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Re: [xsl] Rescuing XSLT from Niche Status

From: "Jacobs,David B." <djacobs@--------->
To:
Date: 2/16/2001 12:37:00 PM
> Well it certainly provoked some thoughts in me, above all, how can

I'm glad :-).

> eventually they ask, why not just use PHP, which has a simpler syntax
> and is more tolerant of trial and error (i.e. if you get something
> nearly right you get some sort of results, whereas write select =
> "gunge" when you meant select="'gunge'" you'll be staring at zero
> output). And I don't have an answer to that question if XSLT is
> understood as a scripting mechanism, not as a tool for styling in the
> broadest sense.

This is a good question.  If you are using XSLT like a templating language,
why not just use one of the existing popular ones (PHP, ASP, etc).  IMHO,
the main benefits are enforced separation of the views from the controller
and model and language independece.  Technologies like PHP just make it too
easy to embed the controller and even parts of the model directly into pages
which leads to a nightmare for maintenance.

Since many languages have strong XML support and databases are comming along
nicely, it is easy for the program's model to generate dynamic XML
documents.  This allows the model and controllers to be built using
components written in different languages (e.g. SOAP).

> I'm not sure XSLT really is in a "niche" from which it needs rescuing.
> This group is one of the most interesting ones I know because it's
> highly specialised but not at all cliquey: passers-by, even with the
> daftest FAQ's, are made to feel at home.  And above all a lot of the

I did not mean to imply that the XSLT community was unfriendly, I have found
it to be extremely nuturing and tolerant.  But I have encountered the
statement "wow, you can understand XSLT?" in casual conversations all too
often.  Which leads me to believe many people are being turned off by the
technology before they even get started.

While using XSLT this way may not show it in its full glory, I believe it is
still very valuable and more attractive to a much wider audience, which I
feel XSLT would benefit from.

David




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