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Re: formal XSLT education (was Re: _why_ do people...)

Subject: Re: formal XSLT education (was Re: _why_ do people...)
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 13:21:36 -0400
Re:  formal XSLT education (was Re: _why_ do people...)
At 06:38 PM 9/5/01, Mike wrote:
So I guess I am a bit conflicted as to the best way to steer people when
introducing them to XSLT. Is it better to start with a clean slate and
explain it all from the ground up, or do you make some assumptions about
what they already know and put effort into leading them from "the way you'd
think it would be done" to "the way it really gets done"?

Again, I don't want to speak for Debbie, but I think we lean towards the "clean slate" approach. This is partly because we actually get students who don't have a procedural or even a web background, on whom those particular assumptions are lost. Interestingly, these students often turn out to have a remarkable facility with the language.

(It'll be interesting if XSL-FO brings in a whole new class of users from the off line publication world.)

Experience does show that however you get there, a firm grasp of (a) template-based processing and (b) the ins-and-outs of XPath, together provide a good foundation for almost any use case. The most frustration I've seen from self-taught users has been either because they didn't understand templates (including those helpful but sometimes pesky built-in templates), or because they were trying to use XPath without really knowing how it works.


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
  Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML

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