Re: xslt core and intuition was RE: Reference to varia
Here is something I wonder about as I don't know that my own experience is something to go by: What do people think is a required level of understanding (the core) of xslt beyond which one can intuit the rest.
The data model and XPath. The processing model, templates, and "document-driven" ("push") processing: how it works, why it's good, and when it doesn't help and you have to try something else.
If you get these, the rest can follow. If you try to fake it and write XSLT without understanding these, you'll get into trouble, probably sooner rather than later.
And how much of xslt do people think can be intuited.
Likewise, I have taught hands-on classes in which the neophytes who'd never done anything beyond HTML have done great, while the code jockeys sitting next to them have been pulling out their hair.
Particular problems in XSLT have been difficult; but this has had more to do with the problems, and sometimes the poor fit between the problem and what XSLT does well, not with XSLT as such.
One reason XSLT seems especially mysterious, I think, is because people think of a stylesheet as a "program" that gets "executed". It's not: it's just a *specification* for a transformation, and rightly should contain the minimum possible programming logic. Mike Kay (or the guys at IBM, or MS, or your other friendly XSLT engine developer) wrote the program; I'm just running their code with my inputs. (And yes, I know this is not an absolute distinction. ;-)
XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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