Re: Someone bashing XSL

Subject: Re: Someone bashing XSL
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 12:22:31 -0400
At 03:58 PM 7/31/99 +0100, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>good lord, we have had 15 years of "competition to XSL", in the shape
>of all the SGML processing systems over the years, and the entire
>development of DSSSL. what more do you want? 

Current and live competition, taken seriously.  If the W3C was crazy enough
to set up a competitive environment within its own styles project, then it
seems reasonable for the rest of the world to contemplate further

While I'm not happy about competition via the usual broken implementations
of standards, alternatives that take different approaches altogether should
be encouraged even as they announce why they consider their approach better.

>XSL is a pretty modest
>effort at standardizing the best of the last decade into an 80/20

That depends on what you call the best of the last decade, which seems to
be the origin of most of this conflict.  

>It isn't a big new product trying to bulldoze competitors
>aside, with hordes of screaming brain-washed acolytes. why do you (and
>Leventhal, I suppose) portray XSL as the product of a sinister inner
>circle bent on influencing world history, like something from the plot
>of a james bond film?

Perhaps it's because the XSL community has responded publicly to any kind
of project-level criticism with flat denial and ridicule rather than
considering whether that criticism might in fact have a point.  

No sinister inner circle is needed - just a common community of interest
that is self-reinforcing.  Given the strength (not necessarily size) and
attitude of that community, I see little hope for significant change, short
of an unlikely W3C veto.  

>hey, I've got an idea? why dont we backtrack 6 months and restart the
>frenzied argument about the politics of W3C and XSL? Lets have another
>round of "whats wrong with CSS and DOM" - what joy!

I think we've had plenty of argument, and most of the salient points have
been made.  I hope that readers will find the archives adequate, though
perhaps new questions will arise.  These conflicts have appeared throughout
the list's existence, from very early on, so I hope there isn't too much
more yet to find.

XSL does have its virtues.  I've repeatedly stated that I think it does in
fact have significant potential and is an important part of the overall
toolkit. I do, however, think it could have been designed with more virtue
and less danger.

We now resume our normal programming...

Simon St.Laurent
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