Re: (dsssl) Heresy

Subject: Re: (dsssl) Heresy
From: "Pavel Tolkachev" <pavel.tolkachev@xxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 11:07:17 -0400
> Funny, I've heard that one of the prime reasons for the low uptake of dsssl
> is the
> lispishness of it, endless brackets.
>    I guess if you are at home with lisp, that gives a natural bias.
No, I actually do not like Lisp. I started to learn it couple of times (eMacs lisp, etc..) and always stopped trying after less than an hour. DSSSL is the first I could somehow manage (I am still not a fan of or someone really knowledgeable in Lisp). Comparing with others, I like that DSSSL is SGML so that I can use marked sections as a kind of pre-processor, and that I can use DocBook as a rich source of examples. What I was actually saying is that IMHO XSL is *even* uglier, than Lisp.

> Please don't start that one again :-)

> With tool help, xml isn't so bad. Even for the doc-heads.
> regards DaveP
I could not find anything better than gvim to use with DocBook (I did tune eMacs for SGML but my performance there was still worse, with all its tools). I tried several higher level authoring tools, but had always return to the "source code", so I left it and it is hard to imagine for me that I could perform better with a tool. Since I have achieved the point where I spend much more time thinking about what I am writing than typing or fighting with a tool or syntax, I beleive I could not gain much with any other choice.

You know, I beleive there is something inherent in this lack of a commonly recognized good tool replacing the text editor: SGML (or XML) are languages for expressing ideas or data in some areas, defined by DTDs, and not just any ideas or data but those of them that are supposedly "free from representation" or at least must allow more than one representation. These languages has been designed to perform this their main function well. If the language (i.e. the means to communicate those ideas between people) that we selected for it, whether it is SGML or XML is worse than the means suggested by some tool, let us standardize and use this tool's language.. this far SGML and XML apparently have been better. I am not saying that all tools are useless, some of them are capable of providing nice alternative views, what I am saying is just that the "main" representation is still XML or SGML file in a text editor/viewer and it is in our best interests to select the better of them to
use. Not to mention some practical aspects, as for example the Jade error reporting coordinate system (line:columns): it would be difficult to find a tool better suitable for working in this sytem, that plain text editor. So, syntax matters..

Sorry again for the off-topic. I was just pleased to learn that I am not alone (such an odd guy who prefers vim for *ML autoring to any tool).



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