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Re: Two recommendations: (1) Call it XSLT "program" (n

Subject: Re: Two recommendations: (1) Call it XSLT "program" (not XSLT "stylesheet"), (2) stop treating XSLT as an acronym
From: ac <ac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 00:01:03 -0400
Re:  Two recommendations: (1) Call it XSLT "program" (n
Hi Andy, All,

While I agree that XSLT, like Haskell, is a general purpose functional programming language, I would say that Java is a general purpose object-oriented programming language and I can not see why you would say that Logo is a domain specific programming language. Having written a few Logo interpreters, I would say that Logo is also a general purpose functional language also. In fact, logo is quite like Lisp, without parenthesis, making it somewhat easier to learn and use, especially for young (functional) programmers, but that does not prevent them from doing anything.

I simply tend to prefer XSLT mostly because it is so well integrated into XML technologies and distributed environments (e.g. streaming, pipelines). XSLT higher order function integration in 2.1 will be very nice, although they can already be simulated.

Since XML is a general information language, and streaming is a general information processing model, and XSLT is a full blown functional programming language, it seems that XSLT is a general purpose programming language, even if its paradigm is FP rather than OO. The programming purpose and the programming paradigm are typically different things. FP and OO both refer to the paradigm, not the purpose. All the languages you quote seem to be general purpose. The fact that Haskell is not so well/much integrated with XML, as XSLT, does not seem to make it more or even less "general purpose". General purpose of course is only a potential, as in any case each program, or more precisely code library, typically has a dedicated purpose.

Finally, styling is also a common information processing issue, which most "general purpose" languages support, check out Java UI and presentation models, libraries, and interfaces, for example. XSLT can do it well, especially for XML, especially in combination with CSS, but it is not any more limited to styling than any other GPPL. But the root question was more: is styling limited to color and font, or does it also include transformation? That boundary does not seem clear or well defined, and, in fact, probably can not be. Hence "stylesheet" and/or "transform". "script" could have been used too although scripts are probably more linear. Some languages like Pascal use "program" and others even used "main", which may be the worst but still has been used extensively. "class" and "interface" can also do fine for OO/Java, but really, especially for XSLT, the choice of "stylesheet" and "transform" seems better than many other options, also providing the "programmer" with a possibility to categorize code libraries somewhat according to the intent on the fuzzy style/transform axis. Of course, in many cases, that axis is so "fuzzy" that it does not matter, but sometime it might.

Sorry for the OT parts of my 2c.


From: Kendall Shaw [mailto:kshaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 03:18 PM
To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re:  Two recommendations: (1) Call it XSLT "program" (not
XSLT "stylesheet"), (2) stop treating XSLT as an acronym

XSLT is not a general purpose language. There are sometimes reasons to
make a distinction between languages like XSLT and languages like
Haskell, say.
I thought the distinction were:

Haskell = functional programming language
Java    = general purpose programming language
Logo    = domain specific programming language
XSLT    = functional programming language



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