RE: Apply-templates - how to omit top level element ta
At 03:30 PM 9/8/2005, you wrote:
To understand http://www.w3.org/TR/xpath requires you to understand the terms in the way they are used, which for a newbie, requires chicken-or-egg logic. Examples help the newbie learn the context in which the terms are applies so that they can they learn the subject which the terms are used to describe.
I think this is the case with any non-trivial undertaking.
Just an observation, but I think one reason XSLT has not taken off more than it has is because it is so difficult to learn, and my intuition tells me that is shouldn't have to be that difficult but the terms used to describe things and the required mental model are not easy to pick up, so many people don't.
That may be true, but if so it's a glass-half-empty argument. Some would say that XML/XSLT has taken off, phenomenally well actually, and that accordingly it's been a victim of its own success, since it's being taken up by all kinds of people who don't understand the principles on which the technology is based, and discover they don't actually have much sympathy with those principles when they encounter them. Who's to blame for this?
One of the deeper principles is "it's better to understand and control your own data format than it is to cede that control to a software vendor whose objectives are aligned with yours only incidentally, if at all".
There are plenty of organizations for whom that may not be true. If you are a happy member of the mass of people and organizations whose every desire is anticipated by the developers of proprietary "Office" packages, and who have the budget to follow the upgrade path dictated by the vendor, and who never expect to migrate that data off that platform ... then go with the vendor. It's certainly easier to spend a few hundred than it is to learn an entirely new tech that requires you to get your hands dirty.
For example, my editorial team for http://www.howtoselectguides.com/ is pushing me to drop the use of XML publishing and move to publishing in Word. Doing that will kill my ability to use the content in numerous contexts, but because XML/XSLT is so difficult for the laymen, I may be forced to.
It sounds like you and your group could do with a little sympathetic training. XML is basically simple, but its ramifications are deep and complex and potentially reach into everything you do with electronic data. Many organizations find it liberating to have this power; others find the responsibility bewildering and would rather have "the experts" do it. This can be fine until you discover the experts have something else in mind.
P.S. Does anyone know a really good WYSIWYG editing tool that doesn't get in the way but still supports editing XML to a schema? We can't seem to find one...
The key question is "what do you mean by 'schema'" -- if a W3C XML Schema, I'd recommend looking at XMetaL (now from BlastRadius I think). Unfortunately, the question is off topic on the list, which is about XSL.
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