Re: (dsssl) Heresy

Subject: Re: (dsssl) Heresy
From: Adam Turoff <ziggy@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 13:02:04 -0400
On Sat, Apr 05, 2003 at 01:32:20AM -0700, John W. Shipman wrote:
> I'm assuming that no one has
> yet written a Nutshell Guide to DSSSL or the equivalent, so
> the only way to learn DSSSL is from the spec.

I heartily disagree.

I've never sat through one of Ken Holman's classes, but I daresay
that when he was teaching DSSSL, it was probably the easiest way
to start using the language.  What I've seen of his XSLT/XSL-FO
materials are positively superb.

So while there are no titles at your local bookseller that cover
learning or using DSSSL, there *are* easier ways to learn the spec than
grovelling through the spec looking for nuggets of wisdom.

Personally, I learned DSSSL by first learning DocBook and hacking
little customizations on Norm's DSSSL stylesheets.  This is probably
the best and most troublesome way to learn DSSSL.  Although there's
a huge body of working code to examine and tweak, the DocBook
stylesheets are highly complex because they need to accommodate a
very large number of paramterized customizations.  In fact, I was
quite surprised how much I could accomplish in a page of code when
I wrote my first standalone DSSSL stylesheet.  :-)

> For the record, despite XML's verbosity, I find it easier to read
> XSLT and XSL-FO code than DSSSL code.  But I'm not an old Lisp
> hand.

I find that I like DSSSL about 10x more now that I've found the = and % 
keys in vim.  :-)  (autoindent and find-matching-brace) 


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