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Re: SGML complexity

  • From: <juanrgonzaleza@c...>
  • To: <xml-dev@l...>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 05:52:20 -0700 (PDT)

sgml dom
Alexander Johannesen said:
> On 9/7/06, juanrgonzaleza@c... wrote ;
>> But sincerely do you think that larger number of articles and books
>> devoted to PHP mean that XSLT is easier?
> Oh yes, by a large degree. XSLT as a language is substantionally
> smaller, smarter, and more dedicated.

Other strongly disagree with you. Any statistics at hand?

> To do certain things, there's only
> a handful of ways. In PHP, there's infinite possibilities, by virtue of
> being a full programming language.

You see XSLT more focused to 'machine'. Whereas PHP opens the doors of
creativity and this appears to be a serious trouble for you.

> XSLT is for
> transformation, not programming, and hence don't need all that
> complexity.

XSLT can be considered a programming language in all right:

As a programming language, XSLT has many features [...]


And it was proven to be Turing complete. Hovewer i agree with you, even
focusing to certain kind of simple transformations for small docs (<
3Mb?), the language is too complex and convoluted.

>> I think that XSLT is much more difficult than other languages to
>> learn. Others agree with me.
> In my experience, only those who come at it from a functional
> programming perspective. Given that XSLT thrives when being
> declarative, I see more people struggle with XSLT because they haven't
> got a clue what they're doing, nor have they read what it says on the
> tin.
>> <blockquote>
> ...
>> <blockquote>
> ...
>> <blockquote>
> ...
> This is silly. Why didn't you search for "XSLT rocks" instead?
> -- http://www.43things.com/entries/view/417053
> -- http://norman.rasmussen.co.za/45/xslt-transformations/

What is silly? That you erased the links contradicing you? That Michael
Kay said that "That means there is a steep learning curve and often a lot
of frustration"?

Of course if an average programmer changes the 'chip' from usual
imperative to declarative programming and become familiar with the
redundant angle notation, then (s)he perfectly may find easy XSLT.

Well, also raw binary code may be easy with enough effort from our part...

> Obviously not all agree it [expletive deleted]. I can also provide you with quotes
> that says that once you do what you're supposed to do instead of doing
> what you think you should do, XSLT is *the* XML tools of choice.

Many other strongly disagree! I already cited a bit. Now i can introduce
"Transcending the limits of DOM, SAX, and XSLT" article


Aside from the somewhat annoying verboseness of XSLT, it is limited in its
expressiveness -- the things you can say are expressed rather clearly (and
functionally, not procedurally), but you quickly bump up against all the
things that you simply cannot say in XSLT.

> I had a
> somewhat steep learning curve with XSLT *because* I didn't
> understand what it was meant to do. Once I actually read the darn
> specification, I felt ashamed and embaressed, and went on to a
> declarative and keyed happier lifestyle.

That is good for you. I also worked in a text to MathML processor using
XSLT and in a XSLT transformation from original (XML based) CanonML to
(X)HTML for presentation. With a lot of effort you can do many things
work, but real problem was in extension to scientific module. Even
asumming only three lines of XSLT code for each scientific concept of
language, i would be not glad with a 6000 lines XSLT only for the
physicochemical module.

Also lispers try to convince us that prefix notation is closer to mind's
God, but still prefix notation lacks popularity in all programing
languages i know.

>> I prefer to think that XSLT is just no popular when compared to other
>> wb technologies. It appears to me more reasonable conclusion.
> Popularity has nothing to do with quality. DOM is probably used more
> than XSLT. Would you use DOM or XSLT to squeeze goodness from an XML
> tree? And more importantly, why?

About quality i agree with with you.

About DOM, well i think that often both approaches are complementary.
'Standard' DOM can be slower than XSLT, but inner method improves a lot

I would are surprised if you are able to reproduce ASCIIMATH using XSLT
for instance.

> Alexander
> --
> "Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know."
>                                                          - Frank Herbert
> __ http://shelter.nu/ __________________________________________________

Juan R.


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