Re: RE: [xsl] logical operators in *test*
Subject: Re: RE: [xsl] logical operators in *test*|
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 13:45:07 -0500
At 11:48 AM 10/29/2003, Lawrence wrote:
I think you are missing Mike's point. It doesn't make any difference at
all what development background you
come from - you don't learn any new programming language by guessing at
syntax. Many C programmers learn C by
reading K&R's book (or one of thousands of others). They may have earlier
used languages that used AND or OR,
but clearly that syntax is not going to get through any C compiler I've
True enough: but who hasn't ever guessed at this kind of thing? (Even, who
hasn't guessed correctly, being encouraged thereby to guess again the next
time?) The question isn't "why do people guess" but "why do people have a
hard time finding this info"?
I actually don't think people have such a hard time finding it. It's just
that along the way, finding out how to find it, they try some sub-optimal
approaches. Like asking on a mailing list being received at over 2000
addresses. (Yes, folks. Would you stand up in an auditorium full of 2000
people and ask? I don't mean to frighten anyone ... Boo!) Eventually they
get wise and have a copy of the Mulberry Quickref, and Mike's book, and a
bookmark to DaveP's FAQ ... and the next thing you know, they're answering
questions on the list, not asking them.
In the meantime, however, we have to put up with FAQs. There are two
reasons why a question with a simple answer may be asked frequently:
1. The answer is simple, but not easy to find
2. The answer is simple and not hard to find, but many people are asking anyway
Mike's question is focussed on 1., but we shouldn't rule out 2. Why are
many people asking? Maybe because many *many* people are learning XSLT.
Accordingly, certain questions that seem easy once you know, but that
require a bit of initiative and
knowing-how-to-learn-a-new-programming-language (something we aren't born
knowing, after all), just get asked frequently (up to a saturation point,
So, many people are learning XSLT?! Or at any rate, coming here to do it.
This list proves to be a very effective way to learn, exposing the neophyte
simultaneously to a grand mix of easy and hard questions, allowing him or
her to "swim" in the material at whatever level they feel comfortable,
without having to be stared at. It works as well as it does, among other
reasons, because we have a low threshold for asking *any* question -- which
is generally a very good thing. Some "dumb" questions turn out to be very
deep, and you don't want to discourage them.
I know we've lost some valuable contributors because they're tired of
answering the same old same-old. But that doesn't bother me so much, since
however we miss them, they get replaced by new blood, and presumably
they're moving onto bigger things, so it's all good.
And in the meantime, it's incredibly valuable to have a place where people
can learn how to learn this kind of stuff, and even make a few mistakes
along the way.
Wendell Piez mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
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