RE: The Cathedral and the Bizarre (was: do you use pi's?)

Subject: RE: The Cathedral and the Bizarre (was: do you use pi's?)
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 07:01:37 -0400
Hi Guy,

On the issue of attracting the development community to Mozilla, it would
appear to me that is doing it's utmost to drive away all
but the Mozilla zealot. Their obsession with anti MS rhetoric makes me
start to gag everytime I go back there for updates. I tried politely
bringing this up with the Webmaster but was "firmly" told that MS was as
good as the devil incarnate.

I cannot agree more :-) This anti Microsoft is not very constructive indeed.
It seems that for a lot of people that to depreciate the enemy is how they
gain the courage to kill him. There is also an other way to see it: as an
opponent in a good game of tennis. If the opponent where not part of game,
the game itself wouldn't be so fun. This is the good old sport attitude.
Some in the project think that way. Unfortunately, the one who thought like
that is gone. Anyway at least some in the project are open minded and do not
have their brain restricted by bigotry. This minority try to learn from the
opponent and try to get better themselves. But like I said, we are a
minority. they other have a stronger criticism muscle than action muscles

As for XStyles.... I'm torn on this one.

I can see what's being done with this, and it looks exciting (I'd certainly
liek to have a play with this), but isn't this just a repeat of the mistake
made with JavaScript Stylesheets (JSS)?

I had an interesting chat with two Netscape developers regarding XUL, with
a few E-mails bouncing back and forth, until I brought up MS HTC... I never
got a reply nor heard from them again.

this is unfortunate that these people didn't took the occasion to expand
their horizons.
About XScripts: JavaScript style sheets where not based on the rule
paradigm. What you have different here is that XScripts is inspired from
diverse sources: DSSSL, XSL, XQL and procedural scrip languages. In fact,
just imagine XSL but the body or content of a rule is instead a scriplet.
The scriplet itself is not restricted to a single language (like the bigot
would like to do). Why? Because software is before and foremost a cultural
thing. A language and more particularly a computer language is a way to
express. Some prefer to "speak" PERL and others "Python" and so on. Each
group having very good reasons to use a particular language. So, this is why
XScript tries not to be constrained to a single script language. Also, the
goal is not to replace XSL but provide what XSL cannot provide: A full
expression language. Also, some people are not comfortable with XSL language
and are more comfortable with a procedural approach. Personally, I am trying
to see how we can merge the two. For example we can have a template that can
contain either XML construct in it or procedural constructs (mean here
scripts). But for now, and also not to be excommunicated from the community
by the inquisition, I do not merge both and keep these world separate.
However, as a pet project, I still look with an open mind how I can merge
both world with constructs people are familiar with. So, no this is not
JavaScript style sheets again. The project is not driven by bigotry this
time :-)))

[In comparisson to this during the beta I was contacted by a MS rep
specifically to quiz me about areas of IE5 that caused difficulty, or that
where lacking... inviting not repeling critique]

This should be the good behavior. You know Guy, The worse enemy Netscape
always got wasn't Microsoft but Netscape itself :-))

It would seem to me that if Mozilla wants to play in this area, that an
implimentation of HTCs would serve the development community better, which
already exist now as an independant W3C Note..... Having said that, I
confess to a heavy bias in this, and if I'd been plating with XStyles first
I'd probably be advocating that.

XScripts will work on IE too so, you'll get HTC. In fact, funny thing, it
will work first on IE and then on Mozilla. This is because the only stable
code I can use now is IE :-))) I started with Mozilla but got tired of seing
my project jammed with broken builds and new bugs introduced. But as soon as
we get the new platform stable enough the fun will start again. I cannot
promise you HTC will part of the fun because this is not in my plate. But I
can tell you that XScripts will gove you access to it on platforms where
this is available. In fact, actually, I am experimenting with something: to
give access within a rule body to the DOM directly so that as the rules are
fired, the stuff gets displayed on the screen. There is no more intermediary
steps of converting from XML to HTML and then interpreting HTML into layout.
This way you play directly with DOM objects which are directly the layout

It also seems to me that is the .selectNodes(...) MS XML DOM extension was
implimented by Mozilla, then the very diret equivelant of what presented
bellow could be implimented wholly from within script.

I should probably shut-up on this however until I get a closer look at
XStyles. If you have any initial documentation of XStyles, I'd love to have
a look at it, as it occurs to me it might prove useful in some work I'm
facing.... I have to find a way of implimenting XLink interpretation on the
server-side (ASP), converting XLink representations into something
functional for delivery to the client-side. I was planing on implimenting a
JavaScript class as a client-side linkManager, and delivering XLink
interpretations as a JavaScript triggering anchor, with an instance of the
class.... messy.

As soon as I have some written material, I ship that to you for revision.
And you feedback and criticism will be greatly appreciated. Don't worry, I
not yet attained by the Rinos (ref: the famous Ionesco play). Simply said, I
am not a bigot :-)))

All this was going to be implimented through a WSC (Windows Scripting
Component... MS are really jumping all over this concept... like a HTC on
steroids registerable as a COM class) on the server.

Even if XStyles are a while off I'd appreciate a gander at some examples to
at least grok the concept being played with.

There are too many holes in the tapestry being woven that is XML at
present, and we need all the tools we can get to patch it.

OK, I confess ::blush:: that was a blatant attempt to get another quote up
on Cafe con Leche... I feel dirty now.

:-))) Active Scripts interface is indeed very practical and some people(the
non-bigot part of Mozilla project) find this kind of interface should be
replicated for Mozilla so that new script language could be added but
shhhhhhh... not too loud, I could be excommunicated :-))))

Didier PH Martin

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