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Re: Re: Literal string question

Subject: Re: Re: Literal string question
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 14:46:05 -0500
wendell piez method

Thanks for replying to my remarks. I certainly did not mean to say anything that would discourage you from continuing to do what you're doing.... :->

At 02:40 AM 12/29/01, you wrote:
The perception of "elegance" has much to do with change of culture. What was thought
impossible and unbelievable before, becomes gradually accepted because of its
usefulness, and the notion of "elegance" changes to include the new achievements.
The constructors of the very first automobiles loved their creations and considered
them elegant, although the majority was probably regarding them as monstrousity.

I acknowledge this, and in fact consider it to be an essential feature of what makes all this worth the work -- not only does technology evolve, but so does the context of its use -- and so, within that context, does what is "elegant".

It is easy for something non-traditional to be labeled "non-elegant". A year ago
when I described the Wendell Piez method in the xsltalk list (at this time I didn't
know that this was named after you, but I liked the method and was proud to bring it
to the people), there was a reaction that this method certainly worked, but was
"ugly" compared to the usual way (recursion) of achieving repetition. Recently I
encountered messages in the microsoft groups saying that this was really cool.

That just goes to show, doesn't it?

It is unacceptable to state that we should not use the language for things it was
not designed for -- even the W3C is now changing XSLT for things it was not
originally designed. How to use a language is not a religion nor do we need traffic
cops to tell us what is allowed and what not.

Thanks for that corrective. I didn't mean to say that we shouldn't use the language for things it wasn't designed for. If it works, who am I to complain? Nor did I mean to suggest that such-and-such an approach isn't (or is) allowed at all. But I did mean to draw attention to the fact (and on this list it's easy to forget) *even XSLT* should not always be taken to be a given, that the "best" solution to a problem (most "elegant") is to be found in its true context, not in its presumed context, and that given that context -- which only he knows in detail -- Mike might think about non-XSLT solutions to his problem.

In the meantime, I am confident that we will continue to see more stretching and redrawing of boundaries. This is a good thing. (Along those lines, I even myself tried out a quick shot at a solution -- much like Trevor's, as it happened -- to Mike's challenge. I didn't get far with it because I didn't want to insist on the dependencies it had to introduce.) Yet I also believe that XSLT itself is best served (here meaning best in the larger context) when we balance our interest in innovative approaches to XSLT with our being willing to focus on problems in their own proper local contexts, to determine the best way to solve them there -- precisely *because* what is "best" in any given case is not an absolute dictated by a pre-established religious creed (much as I like my own).

Keep it coming!

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

XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list

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