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Re: XML in the alleged Real World

real world denver
Thomas B. Passin wrote:
> In other words, they probably are looking at some examples and thinking that
> is all there is.  That worked pretty well with html, especially earlier
> versions, and I think it had a lot to do with the rapid spread of web sites.
> It's really a tribute to the design of xml that you can get useful work done
> without knowing much more. But as we know, you start to run into problems
> when you want to do more advanced things but haven't done your homework,
> read the specs, and so on.

A lot of general XML books, in fact most all of the ones that I've seen, rush
right into examples. And when I was starting to use XML and XSLT 3 years ago,
the only widely available XML books I could find glossed over important
fundamental concepts, or didn't cover them at all. I asked some dumb questions
online and got a better sense of things from the helpful replies, but it
really wasn't until I had pored over the specs that I really understood what
was going on.

The thing is, I remember trying to look at the specs initially, and felt I was 
in way over my head. I wasn't really ready to comprehend them until I had 
worked with XML and XSLT for a while. To do that, I just looked at some 
examples :)

So I don't know. I have mixed feelings about it. There are so many of us who
don't like to do a lot of reading before we actually write code, you know?  
So having examples up front are helpful in that regard.

Technical literature always has to make some kind of sacrifice in how it
communicates a concept, trying to strike the right balance between explanation
and demonstration. I've yet to figure out the best formula for achieving this.

   - Mike
  mike j. brown                   |  xml/xslt: http://skew.org/xml/
  denver/boulder, colorado, usa   |  resume: http://skew.org/~mike/resume/
                                             ^ yes, i'm looking for work


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