Re: Who uses XSLT?

Subject: Re: Who uses XSLT?
From: Rick Geimer <rick.geimer@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 09:24:41 -0700
Paul Prescod wrote:

> It doesn't make sense for every writer and editor to become expert in
> these issues. Their expertise is supposed to be writing, grammar and their
> subject matter. In small techpubs departments, the person that becomes an
> expert is often a technically adept writer or editor. But as time goes by
> they find the technical parts taking over their job. Eventually they
> become a full time support person. This person is hardly ever an average
> writer or editor. They get the support job because they are more
> interested in the technology than their peers.

This is the story of my life. I started as a technical writer and somewhere
along the line became a programmer.  I would be hard pressed to say when the
switch actually occurred, though it was long before the title change.

> > xml and xsl seem to me, since they are more limited in scope than sgml
> > and dsssl, to be easier.  I don't think it's gone far enough in
> > simplification, but it's easier.
> I don't think that XML changes the equation much at all. If there is a
> change it may be because there are so many more books and courses that you
> can take today compared to when it was only SGML.

And don't forget the proliferation of free tools as well. Yes, there were free
tools for doing SGML, but nowhere near the number that have been churned out
for XML. The main part of the equation that XML changed was that it was easier
than SGML for a developer to implement, allowing the explosion of tools that I

> Companies that are not large enough to segment jobs in this way can either
>  a) pray that their writers are technical and interested enough OR
>  b) they can buy a package of schema/transform/stylesheet/editor from a
> vendor. For instance, if they use HTML they can use HoTMetaL or
> Dreamweaver. If they use Docbook, they can use FrameMaker or AdeptEditor.
> If they use HTML Help, they could use Robohelp or something OR
>  c) redirect other technical resources to writing support.
> The only reliable path is b). This is, therefore what I advocate for small
> companies.

Item b) may be the more reliable way, but Dilbertarian managers often choose

Rick Geimer
National Semiconductor

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