Re: Venting

Subject: Re: Venting
From: keshlam@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 09:57:01 -0500
<sfx type="sigh" tone="pained"/>
Is there anyone who is still undecided on the issue?
OF THOSE, is there anyone who thinks further discussion will help them
If not, move to close debate.

My personal opinion, which I will state once and not debate, goes with the
"don't break it up" school. If we do, I despair of the presentation
language ever being implemented. I think it's absolutely essential, in the
long run, that some better alternative to HTML be developed, and the FO set
is the best option currently on the table.

If folks want to provide a transformation-language engine separately, and
advertise it as "fully compliant with the XSL transformation language",
that's fine, and easily marketable as such. Any customer clueful enough to
understand why this is a good thing will understand that phrase.

If folks want to spin off a more general transcoding language, then lobby
to fold it back into XSL, that's a fine idea and I encourage you to do so.
But that's outside the scope of XSL as such; XSL has explicitly stated its
intent to handle the most common 90% (or whatever the figure was) of
transformations for presentation. The fact that it's useful for general
transcoding is a free bonus... and the fact that the FO's are lagging so
far behind is an undesirable artifact of the development process, NOT (as
far as I know) a statement of direction.

The mark of a good tool is that it can be productively used for things its
designers never intended. By that measure, it's clear that XSL is (going to
be) a good tool. But it's not always appropriate to redesign the tool to
better suit these incidental uses, and when you do, you have to be _very_
careful not to make it too complex, or too expensive, for its original

Joe Kesselman  / IBM Research
Unless stated otherwise, all opinions are solely those of the author.

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