Re: indentation (was Re: About the article)

Subject: Re: indentation (was Re: About the article)
From: Brandon Ibach <bibach@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 21:28:45 -0500
   Initially, I was in favor of Didier's idea.  I am always up for
doing my part to make DSSSL more palatable to people, especially
because it took me so long to get started with DSSSL because of how
complex it looked.  Mind you, I had extensive programming experience,
but with limited exposure to LISP/Scheme, I had some concepts to catch
up on.
   However, I find that I agree with many of Frank's points.  For
starters my C code looks more like standard LISP style.  I favor
saving some lines that would otherwise have just }s on them, and I
find that proper indenting is more helpful for following the program,
anyway.  Also, I agree that those learning DSSSL need to understand
what the nesting is all about, and that it *isn't* the same as in C.
   This brings me to a point that strays from the topic at hand.  It
is my belief that, as the tools progress, the writing of DSSSL code is
going to become more of a specialty, with the bulk of the work being
done using languages like XSL and CSS.  The important thing is, DSSSL
will lie beneath these languages in a layered approach.
   Theoretically, the DSSSL style language could be built on top of
the DSSSL transformation language (the one from the spec that Jade
doesn't currently implement).  Or, put another way, you could
accomplish your style sheets using the transformation language.  But
would you want to?  Of course not.  In fact, I seem to recall, when I
mentioned the transformation language some time back, James himself
mentioning how much of a pain it was to write stuff in it. :) Thus, we
have the style language.  In similar fashion, languages more friendly
to the masses of content developers who don't have programming
experience (like XSL) could be built on top of the style language.
Ideally, I think languages like XSL (and others, possibly) would be
built to encapsulate and abstract the functionality and power of
DSSSL, such that you'd use XSL via an interpreter that would sit on
top of a DSSSL engine.
   Well, I could go off for a while here, but back to the original
topic.  My point in this is that you may not want to go too far to
draw someone in to DSSSL if they wouldn't be willing to invest the
time to really learn how to use it properly.  I guess I wonder if
we're looking for more users in terms of those who use DSSSL by using
Norm's Docbook style sheets, or terms of those who use DSSSL by
writing their own style sheets.

-Brandon :)

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