Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World

Subject: Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World
From: Ihe Onwuka <ihe.onwuka@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:27:02 +0000
On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM, Abel Braaksma (Exselt) <abel@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I agree, there is little you can do to help people that cross there arms
> and shake their head when trying out a new language, finding out it is
> not what they have been used to and dismissing it as bad because it is
> different. It is a phenomenon most often seen when shifting paradigms
> (imperative to functional, literate to procedural etc).

Will come back to this.

> Back to topic: I have had my moment of suckitude when starting out with
> XSLT, especially my struggle with xsl:variable, but thanks to this list
> and to a moment of going back and learning to understand a different
> viewpoint to tackle a problem, I find it now hard to live without it.
> For me, I find the difference between text() and string() clear, but I
> am now biased.

I should stop being surprised at how often people fail to legislate
for the presence of bias in their perceptions. It's particularly acute
in IT. You mention peoples reluctance to shift paradigms but all too
often the advocacy they are exposed to is counter productive because
of a failure to acknowledge bias.

People don't seem to be able to simultaneously embrace 2 realities.

1. Your favourite language may indeed be fantastic.
2. Your favourite language may not be otimal or even suitable as a
gateway to a new paradigm or to programming in general.

> There is no programming language in the world that does not have its
> peculiarities, not in the least in the hello-world examples. XSLT is a
> language that typically operates on XML and it is a special purpose, not
> a general purpose language. A well-known close equivalent is probably
> SQL. Any hello-world example in that language requires you to understand
> how to create a (temporary?) table and select data from it. Not easy.
> Yet SQL is embraced by many people and the same many people love and
> hate it.

SQL gets away with stuff because it remedied a really deplorable
situation that preceded it, one that the NoSQL movement seems to be
trying hard to recreate.

To the issue of "suckitude". My view is that this technology has alot
more applicability in more domains and presented correctly will appeal
to more palates. Everywhere there is  suckitude there is opportunity
so my response is not meh!

> I think therefore that any comparison with a general purpose language
> makes no sense.

Don't think it matters. People will make those comparisons. Plus
doesn't XRX promote the idea that X-Fu obviates the need for
heterogeneous mixing with general purpose languages.

Embrace the challenge.

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