Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World

Subject: Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World
From: David Rudel <fwqhgads@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 02:55:46 +0100
On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 2:20 AM, Ihe Onwuka <ihe.onwuka@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> It's the whole premise of product design. If you got into a car for a
> test drive you would have certain expectations about where certain
> controls were  and how certain things worked wouldn't you?. There
> might be some special features that might  explanation from the
> salesman.

A false comparison, for XSLT has too many distinguishing features for
this analysis to work. If I climbed up on a tractor, I would be
naturally cautious to assume that everything worked the same as in my

> If I got 10 programmers with 10 different backgrounds in a room and
> asked them what they thought certain language constructs did - lets
> say return() or an if statement, I am pretty sure there would be a
> unanimity of expectation.

And they would also recognize that any construct [like an xpath path
expression] specific to the language might require specialized
knowledge. I bring this example up because it relates to your
recurring gripe about "text()." Since path expressions are not
ubiquitous to programming, I don't think it strains credulity to
expect a programmer to exercise caution when seeing something like
Joe/Bog/elephant/text() and recognizing that a quick primer on this
specialized topic may be necessary...and any such primer should point
out the notion of a "node test."

> I don't see why a person who wants to extract 14 December 2014 from
> <date>14 December 2014</date>
> needs to know anything about a DOM or think in trees.

You don't have to think in trees, just like someone who wants to use
Java doesn't have to think in terms of objects... but it helps.

But, since you have come back to this example, I really must disagree
that executing such an operation requires some deep dive into the

One of the first things one learns in XSLT (from practically any
tutorial) is about default templates... and once one knows how default
templates work, then immediately one knows that extracting the date
can be done simply by calling the node.

>> And I would claim that once someone is thinking in terms of trees and
>> nodes, then the "obvious" things to try work just fine in XSLT/Xpath.
> OK. Not a human centric view. How can I illustrate.
> How much do I have to know about a car and it's design if I just want
> to drive it to work and back?

If a person buys a car with a manual transmission, it is incumbent
upon him to know what a clutch is.



"A false conclusion, once arrived at and widely accepted is not
dislodged easily, and the less it is understood, the more tenaciously
it is held." - Cantor's Law of Preservation of Ignorance.

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