Re: (dsssl) Heresy

Subject: Re: (dsssl) Heresy
From: Paul Tyson <paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2003 21:02:49 -0600
4/4/03 11:53:36 AM, tmcd@xxxxxxxxx wrote:

>It has occurred to me that DSSSL is, well, not as popular as 
it ought
>to have been, and that its functions have possibly <whisper>
>superceded by other systems</whisper>.

The first proposition is correct, the second is not.  You can 
do *some* of what DSSSL does with XSLT.

>I use DSSSL for transforming XML into RTF and HTML in 
>Is it possible to perform such functions of DSSSL using XSLT 
or other

You should know that you can program any special-purpose 
solution you want, but for specifying tree transformations in a 
standard way using a general-purpose language there is nothing 
close to DSSSL.  People are "satisfied" with XSLT because they 
don't imagine anything better (to paraphrase Ted Nelson), or, 
like Ken Holman, they have to follow the money.

In the last couple of years I have chosen to use XSLT because I 
didn't want to saddle my clients with the superior, but more 
abstruse DSSSL technology.  I am now convinced that only by 
severely limiting your expectations will you be satisfied with 
XSLT.  I made the mistake of not scaling back my imagination to 
suit the technology.

>My apologies for my heretical question.

Truth fears no heresy.  Nor is truth coincident to popular 
opinion.  I think among those who know DSSSL and XSLT (not just 
the syntax, but the larger scope and purpose), XSLT is a 
regrettable, but practical, second choice by a good measure.  
There is a large domain of problems for which XSLT is suitable.  
There is a much larger domain for which DSSSL is not only 
suitable, but essential.  Few people are actually working on 
those sorts of problems, so they don't recognize what they're 

>Tim McDaniel, tmcd@xxxxxxxxx; tmcd@xxxxxxxxxx is my work 
> DSSSList info and archive:

Paul Tyson, Principal Consultant          Precision Documents
      "The art and science of document engineering."

 DSSSList info and archive:

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