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Re: Language is not markup and markup is not language.

Subject: Re: Language is not markup and markup is not language.
From: "Chuck White" <chuck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 11:26:37 -0700
xslt procedural language
David LeBlanc wrote:


It seems to me that the time of the XSL comittee could
be better spent developing a good STYLE and/or TRANSFORMATION notation
rather then diluting the effort with procedural language elements.
This is a heck of a valid argument, which I hope will not be reduced to a
debate about how a "procedural" language is defined. XSLT may or may not be
a procedural language in the strict sense of the word, but who cares if it
is or not? No matter what you call it, it's complex. As a non-programmer,
when I first viewed the XSLT spec I nearly gagged on my Cheerios.

As a non-programmer who programs anyway, I've grown to like XSL and XSLT,
but I've had to force-feed much of it into my brain, which naturally resists
anything with parentheses and braces as a matter of course. So it may be
very nifty that we have a style sheet language that can manipulate strings,
but I was under the impression that the reason for developing a DOM standard
was so that this kind of functionality could be managed through languages
like ECMAScript and Java. 

I think it's a little late in the game to be quashing XSL or XSLT, but I
think the W3C should begin to ask itself how much it wants to get involved
in these procedural issues, and how much more complex things should become
in the near future. As it stands now, 99% of the web developers I know will
NOT use XSL for any kind of *client* side processing until there is 100%
browser support, sometime in the year 2525. And that's if the language had
been kept fairly simple. 

Having said all that, however, as a designer, I can say that maybe the W3C
is trying to prevent the kinds of things that are wrong with print
publishing from happening on the Web, and this is the approach. If the cost
in developing standards that will result in consistency across platforms is
added complexity within a style sheet language, maybe I'm for that. The
danger, however, that few people will use it is quite real, and should be
considered with each step taken.

Chuck White
Creative Director
Advance Recruitment Advertising, Inc.
visit the SF Bay Area's Premier Job Site:

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