Re: [xsl] [possibly off topic] Adoption Rates and Future

Subject: Re: [xsl] [possibly off topic] Adoption Rates and Future
From: Hank Ratzesberger <hankr@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2011 23:19:59 -0700
Hi Micheal, et. al.,

Another of my broadband posts, let me try to
narrow this down to something.

On 11/2/11 2:16 PM, Michael Kay wrote:
You seem to be asking three separate questions.

In the title of your post, you allude to the extent to which the technology is adopted and how this might change over time. But you don't really explain how the body of your post relates to this question, nor do you give any data about the level of adoption or how this is changing. Which is wise, because there is no hard data, and extrapolating from the morsels of data we have (such as google search trends) is probably very unreliable.

Then you tell us an anecdote about (if I read it right) a company that is having trouble recruiting. Well, there could be a million reasons for that; I'm not sure what we are supposed to read into this story.
Anecdotal to list, apologies, but for me... I was told yesterday by my previous employer
that he can't find anyone to maintain and XML application and today by my current employer
that XML is not seen as the solution it was thought to be several years ago.

With a plethora of formats at various stages of maturity, implementations, and the
specifications themselves having been scrutinized for years, it all seemed settled to me.

There is excellent documentation and examples available in print and online, and
remarkably helpful user groups such as this one.

Yet XSLT is conceptually different from typical languages, and some quite capable
programmers I have worked with consider it difficult -- apparently so much so that
they decided not to utilize it.

I see a lot of code written to create data structures, populate them and manipulate
the values. Yet XSLT accomplishes this and provides scores of standard functions.

Finally you ask for a list of XML applications. Well, you might collect some, though again, good information is notoriously hard to come by. Very few of the projects I have consulted to over the years have made anything public or visible about the fact that their systems are based very largely on XML.

Different people will see what's happening from different perspectives and draw different conclusions; every one of them is seeing a tiny part of the total picture. From my perspective, what I see is that XML (and with it XSLT) is now a mature technology that is deeply embedded in the infrastructure, that is doing a very useful job, and that no longer has any great novelty or fashion appeal.
Yes, and it's always the upstart, fashionable, languages that get the press.

From my rather isolated environment, I had presumed that XML and XSLT were
embedded in the infrastructure, but I did not see them adopted at times where
they made good sense by scientists and engineers building data repositories.
I'm going to conclude that the reason for this isn't
XSLT, but that the groups I've worked with were not able to adopt good
schema / exchange formats and those that were available, e.g. GML and
ISO 19115 were either overwhelming or underwhelming (or both).


Michael Kay Saxonica

On 02/11/2011 19:54, Hank Ratzesberger wrote:

Please forgive me if this is off topic, or point me to another list, (or just ignore)

At a previous job, I built a application/website that for the most part was
entirely scripted in XML -- eXist database, XSTLT, XForms. Having moved
on, they could not find much interest in filling the job and likely the
application will get ported to "LAMP" with limited features and the
job role more of a data analyst.

Having built an entirely open source (and free) application using W3C
standards with several excellent books for training and helpful mailing
lists, I am wondering why there should be any lack of interest, though
granted the university system has some challenges hiring from the
private sector when it comes to IT.

Perhaps it isn't clear the XML is a technology stack, not simply a
file format.  When sitting on J2EE applications, it is using the Java
character encoding, real number and date handling -- I18N and
various floating point issues are consistently handled.

Is there a good list of XML/XSLT/etc. based applications?  Where
can reference as examples that use the technology?

Thank you,

-- Louis (Hank) Ratzesberger lratzesberger@xxxxxxxx Scripps Orbit and Permanent Array Center Mailing Address: Mail Code 0225 9500 Gilman Drive University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0225 858-822-4472 IGPP/SIO Location: Bldg T-31 8860 Biological Grade

-- Louis (Hank) Ratzesberger

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