Re: [xsl] Review of Dimitre Novatchev's XSLT Pluralsight training

Subject: Re: [xsl] Review of Dimitre Novatchev's XSLT Pluralsight training
From: "Dimitre Novatchev dnovatchev@xxxxxxxxx" <xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 05:33:48 -0000
 Hi Michael,

Thank you for this extensive and insightful feedback. I am happy for
all people whom this course gave new knowledge and understanding.

I promise not to disappoint you in the next courses to come.

> I think the XSLT 3 prep will be more complicated because it's farther
removed from my experience.

The XSLT 3.0 course [3] (of which only Part 1 has been published so
far) is gradually becoming more important, especially given today's
news of the new XSLT 3.0 specification reaching the status of
Candidate Recommendation.

As the "XSLT 2.0 and 1.0 Foundations" course[1] , the XSLT 3.0 course
(and the second part) is (will be) at the intermediate level.

The XSLT 3.0 course presupposes knowledge of XPath 3.0 (and this can
be acquired from my XPath 3.0 course [2]),  and of XSLT 2.0.

Also, anyone starting this course needs to be aware that the second
module ("Packages in XSLT 3.0") can  be challenging on first reading
-- I recommend to anyone who isn't specifically interested in this
topic to skip this module and continue with the rest of the course.
Then, of course, the 2nd module could be addressed on a second


[1] "XSLT 2.0 and 1.0 Foundations" ,

[2] "The Evolution of XPath: Whatbs New in XPath 3.0",

[3] "What's New in XSLT 3.0: Part 1",

On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 1:28 PM, Michael Friedman
sumarimike@xxxxxxxxxxx <xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Ibd like to take a moment to review and promote Dimitre Novatchevbs
> 3.0, 2.0 and 1.0 training courses on Pluralsight. I had the opportunity to
> take the XSLT 1 and 2 courses this year and expect to get into 3.0 soon.
> I believe I need to describe my own level or experience with XSLT and XPath
> to frame the perspective which I offer my thoughts. I am self-taught, in
> field, some terror and flames involved as I learned all this for a project
> was working on in 2001. I also worked in a system called Xyvision which
> a rudimentary form of XML/XSLT in the early and mid-1990s. I've never had
> formal training. One of the early keys to my success was using Oxygen in
> debug mode to watch how the processor consumed the XML and processed the
> stylesheet. That showed me more than anything how this technology worked.
> Doing that was my first "awakening" moment for this process.
> I believe for the XSLT/FO community there are, generally speaking, three
> types of XSLT users. Those who were and are part of the design of
> XSLT/XPath, people who are clear experts. A second subset appear to
> XSLT somewhat programmatically. That is, they have a programming background
> or programming experience. The last set are "other" users. These can be
> people just trying to solve a problem or are at the very beginning in the
> process of learning XSLT/XPath.
> In my case, I fall strangely into the Other category, with one more twist.
> approach XSLT/XPath almost solely from a publishing perspective. I've often
> been involved in projects to turn paper into digital content, and my focus
> is on XSLFO and HTML, and through that XSLT and XPath. So, I would say
> in relation to my peers, my experience is "Advanced".
> All this is to say that at my level of "Advanced" I was able to understand
> the training offered in the XSLT 1 and XSLT 2 courses. I think the skill
> rating for these courses of "intermediate" on difficulty is apt. There are
> things I did not know but was able to visualize and understand in concept.
> had many "aha!!" moments that put the pieces of the puzzle together for me.
> For beginners, and people new to XSLT, I think the training would be more
> difficult (though still useful) because of the level of abstraction and
> partly because beginners would need more examples to make up for a lack of
> experience.
> So to really begin my review of the XSLT 1 & 2 materials, I have this to
> say:
> 1. This is the first time I felt like I was receiving proper training by a
> professional.
> 2. My own experience in XSLFO/XSLT/XPath was VERY beneficial in
> understanding the material and putting it in the right context.
> 3. A strong benefit of the training was Dimitrebs provision of a common
> vocabulary. I did not know the terms "atomic" and "sequence constructors"
> for example, but it made perfect sense, and now I can refer to these things
> correctly.
> 4. There were certain instances, particularly in XSLT 2.0 where I wanted to
> try examples out on my own. I could visualize the situation, but not
> entirely and needed to work through a cause and effect. I had to pause the
> training frequently to see if I could understand the concept, it's
> application, and then some of the implication. I like that he ran several
> concepts into one big example, but in some cases wanted just one example to
> focus on.
> 5. I was particularly interested in the details of functions. Not being a
> programmer, but starting to learn more programming, this is a foreign but
> very useful concept.
> 6. Not surprisingly, I had some trouble with the programmer-oriented
> references, such as regular expressions. I've worked with these before, but
> am not overly familiar with the nuance, which experts would be. I need to
> get better!
> 7. The fragmenting and organization of the topics was very thorough,
> precise, and made a lot of sense. The structure of the training materials
> taught some things also.
> 8. I took a lot of notes, primarily over items I did not know. Examples:
> Default template handling, removing all non-normalized spacing (this is
> something I struggle with a lot), top-level elements, tunneling parameters,
> encoding for uri, codepoints, and normalization.
> As an "advanced" user with a beginning level of training, I felt like the
> coursework was very appropriate for taking me to the "next level" whatever
> that meansb& for opening up the way I could write better code and solve
> problems more effectively. I think the XSLT 3 prep will be more complicated
> because it's farther removed from my experience. I kept thinking I would
> love to sit down and discuss work I have done, do a code review, and see
> I could have been more efficient. I immediately wanted to rewrite a certain
> bit of code I've worked on the past year. I think when one starts out as a
> programmer, you think somewhat linearly (or I did at least), and so I wrote
> my code in this linear fashion trying to solve the problem linearly. But,
> with training, and as you get better you see how you can do things in a
> complex-appearing way that is actually simpler if you can put that much
> together and have confidence in its result.
> I've heard many people exclaim that learning on your own or working in the
> field is the best experience for learning. But, I think it only goes so
> and was very grateful to learn from Dimitrebs training materials. Ibm
> grateful from interaction with the XSLT gurus and list at Mulberry Tech.
> Kind regards,
> Michael Friedman
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Dimitre Novatchev
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk
Never fight an inanimate object
To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the
biggest mistake of all
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what
you're doing is work or play
To achieve the impossible dream, try going to sleep.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Typing monkeys will write all Shakespeare's works in 200yrs.Will they
write all patents, too? :)
Sanity is madness put to good use.
I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.

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