Re: [xsl] applying templates to attribute value

Subject: Re: [xsl] applying templates to attribute value
From: Liam Quin <liam@xxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 00:30:48 -0400
On Wed, Jul 02, 2008 at 12:47:13AM +0200, Michael Ludwig wrote:
>     One of the original goals of XML was that it be simple
>     enough that a "Desperate Perl Hacker" (DPH) be able to
>     write an XML parser. The exact interpretation of this
>     requirement varied from person to person. At one extreme,
>     the DPH was assumed to be a web designer accustomed to
>     writing CGI scripts without any formal training in
>     programming, who was going to hack it together in a
>     weekend. At the other extreme, the DPH was assumed to
>     be Larry Wall and he was allowed two months for the task.
>     The middle ground was a smart grad student with a couple
>     of weeks.
> Processing XML with Java: A Guide to SAX, DOM, JDOM, JAXP, and TrAX
> By Elliotte Rusty Harold

ERH seems (from this quote) to be confounding a couple of different

We wanted XML to be implementable in 2 weeks by a grad student.
As opposed to taking an experienced full-time programmer a year,
which was (according to available evidence) closer to the mark for
a full SGML parser.  But the first implementations were in Java
and C rather than in Perl.

The DPH was the person in the documentation department tasked with
(say) changing every reference to part 2006 to part 2009 without
affecting dates... in, say, 100,000 documents of suitably marked-up
XML.  This was a real-life sort of example, and the point was that
we could not (then) assume XML support in text processing languages
such as Perl, so we had to make sure that non-XML-aware tools could
handle XML reliably.  This gave us the <syntax /> for empty elements;
with more general SGML the tools had to read a DTD and possibly also
an "SGML declaration", each in a weird and idiosyncratic syntax.
I never took it to reflect on the programming ability of the Perl
programmer, though.

If Larry Wall was mentioned in connection with "DPH" I don't remember
the occasion :-)



Liam Quin, W3C XML Activity Lead, *

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