[Off topic: lessons learned] Re: Why is there an "S" inXSLT?
Costello, Roger L. wrote, On 2008-05-19 17:55: > > David Carlisle wrote: > > >> XSLT has two alternative names for the top level element >> [...] > Write this: > > > <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> > <trn:transform xmlns:trn="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" > version="2.0"> > ... > </trn:transform> > > > Comments? I am relatively new to XML and while encountering XSL(T+FO) I believe I experienced a similar feeling as you: why on earth have they called it this? However, a few lessons learned from other areas kept me from trying to change the world: 1) In active database research there was a discussion in late 1980 and beginning of 1990 to call it reactive databases instead. The concept reactive database would fit the idea better than the concept of active database, BUT the concept of active databases had been around for approximately 8-10 years with numerous research reports, funding applications, numerous researchers etc. The decision was to stick with the concept of active databases. 2) In real-time databases, we have been discussing using something else than ACID properties of transactions, but we usually use ACID as a basis and then tell the differences. The reason is that in databases, ACID properties is a well know idea. Changing it to, for example, ACIM where M stand for mission time rather than durability does not significantly improve the situation. 3) Prof. David L. Parnas has described an interesting issue in the american navy. He tried to change an error message on the screen in the cock pit of their new fighters that were in the requirements engineering phase while he was involved in the project. He was not allowed to. The background story according to Prof. Parnas is as follows (if I remember correcly): The fighter air craft are fitted with two altitude sensors: one for atmospheric pressure which is useful when you are flying upside down and a radar which is useful when you are flying in the mountains. Since fighters can be damaged, these two sensors can be broken. Currently, the display then shows 3000 ft (or something similar) if they are broken.The manual and instructions for flying the fighter then states: If the displays shows 3000 feet ascend and if it still shows 3000 feet ascend further. The figure 3000 feet is the average altitude that these fighter fly on: a height which they rarely fly on. it came into being when a programmer realized that the requirements in an earlier version of their fighter realized that there was no requirement for the situation when the height sensors were broken. The programmer did the right thing: he phoned a user, a pilot in the navy. Unfortunately, he asked the wrong question: "What is the average altitud of that the fighters fly on?". The pilot, being a true military, did not question the question, but answered after a few moments of calculations: "3000 feet". Thus, the error message 3000 feet came into being. After this it has entered manuals, classes etc. 4) A friend of mine works in a factory where they changed the maintenance management system. The system cost approximately SEK 15'000'000. The initial costs for educating of the staff is approximataly SEK 5'000'000 ( a few hundred employees went on training sessions for a couple of days). He believed that it would take 1-2 years before they would be using the new system properly. The bottom line is: the world is full of idiosyncracies (as someone else pointed out) for various reasons. The typical reason is that we cannot foretell the future and when we name things it is difficult, if not impossible, to put really good names on things. Sometimes we are lucky. If a concept has been around for a while and been accepted by a large user community, then it is difficult to change since the concept is part of the legacy of the area. Changing such concepts cost money. In tthe case of XSLT, there are numerious books, articles, web pages using the prefix "xsl". --- Carpe Diem! === Jonas Mellin, Assistant Professor in Computer Science School of Humanities and Informatics, Building E-2 University of Skövde, P.O. Box 408, SE-541 28 Skövde, Sweden Phone: +46 500 448321, Fax: +46 500 448399 Email: jonas.mellin@h..., URL: http://www.his.se/melj
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