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Re: Leventhal's challenge misses the point (long)

Subject: Re: Leventhal's challenge misses the point (long)
From: James Clark <jjc@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 18:00:17 +0700
james leventhal
Heikki Toivonen wrote:
 
> To do any sort of "real work" transformation and styling with XSL requires
> knowledge that is not different from programming skills.

I disagree.  I think one of the main strengths of XSLT is precisely that
it allows a user with no programming skills to do many useful
transformations.  However this does require a proper tutorial which the
XSLT spec is currently lacking.  The Microsoft XSL document does quite a
good job of introducing XSLT. Have a look at:

  http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/XSLGuide/xsl-overview.asp

and in particular

  http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/xslguide/xsl-template.asp

I can't see anything in there that is beyond the skills of somebody who
can write XML+CSS. This is very typical of the sorts of transformation
that arise when using XML for data.

There are uses of XSLT that do require programming skills, and there are
many transformations that cannot be solved with XSLT but instead require
the power of a full programming language. But that doesn't imply that
there aren't many useful transformations that can be done with XSLT
without any programming skills. I don't claim to be an expert on what's
easy for non-programmers, but I don't think that the major companies
that are supporting the development of XSLT, like Microsoft, Oracle,
Lotus and IBM (see Appendix D of the XSLT WD for a complete list) would
be bothering with it if it was completely unuseable by non-programmers.

James


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