Re: Heresy? Re: DSSSL WWW Enhancements

Subject: Re: Heresy? Re: DSSSL WWW Enhancements
From: Christopher Walsh <christop@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 09:20:23 +0000 (GMT)
>  > The real problem is people's fears of the unknown.  I think what would
>  > help more than anything else is good tutorials and examples of using
>  > DSSSL.  Since good learning material on DSSSL is still scarce, people
>  > will be less likely to adopt it.
> hear hear. 100%.

I bring the newbies point of view to the debate.

I first heard of DSSSL and Jade about 8 weeks ago and I had never used 
Lisp or Scheme before. I must admit, it was hard going to start with.

However, I have just (this morning) put the finishing touches to 
version 0.000001 of a document infrastucture we will be using to
produce printed and on-line doc for a product that will ship in
about 2 months. 

The common source doc is heavily based on HTML, with a few bells and
whistles like conditional text, automatic indexing and table of contents

I guess what I am trying to say is that people will use whatever tools
they need to get the job done. I needed to do sgml->html and 
sgml->pagemaker, so I used DSSSL. Good doc and tutorials are the
only things that would have made a difference. This is not to belittle
the tutorials that are already available -- I would have been lost without
them -- but we need more.

Someone else has already made the comment about wanting to set global 
variables -- I can empathize with this 100%: I remember wanting to do this
and having an pseudo-epiphany when I realized this was just not the way 
to do things.

The hardest thing I had to contend with was thinking about the problem
in a new way. A new syntax will not solve this problem.

If you learned BASIC as your first programming language, object-oriented
programming requires a shift in your mental model of programming. This
does not mean that C++ should be made more like BASIC to make it easier
to learn.

I for one am glad DSSSL exists in the form it does -- once you get it, 
it's great.

All I've got to do now is explore the 99% of DSSSL that I don't fully
understand, and then I can get working on version 0.000002 of our 
SGML environment.

Sorry for waffling,


 CHRIS WALSH [christop@xxxxxxx] \ "Permissive society?
 Technical Author                \  It doesn't exist. 
 SCO Client Integration Division  \  I should know, I've looked for it."
 Vision Park, Cambridge, UK        \                --Rigsby

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