Re: A would-be user's first XSL experience (long)

Subject: Re: A would-be user's first XSL experience (long)
From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 03:49:23 -0700
Paul Prescod wrote:

> I certainly agree. And I'm hearing from you that I must compile and
> use a command line program to "get started" with this language
> designed (among other things) to appeal to non-programmers. Is my
> point so obscure?

At this point in XSL's development? Yes. If you want a GUI then you may
have to lag behind the latest and greatest specs.

Personally, I'd be grudgingly content with a precompiled console-style app for Mac - a very prominent platform in the professional Web design and development industry, to say nothing of print. There are many others with some understanding of markup, however, for whom any console app will be a little steep.

Note that I have not been criticizing the usability of XSL per se, as Michael has - I'm still quite open-minded on that point. I have been suggesting that a significantly larger part of XSL's potential users might be able to evaluate XSL on its merits if the current "compile it yourself, use a Win32 console app, or WinIE5" conditions of investigation are broadened. It's unfortunate that XSL is being attacked publicly with such broad rhetorical strokes with these barriers in place. [I know the overall statistics, but it still appears to me that among those superficial, media-centric Web developers who work above the application layer, easily half prefer Macs. Easily 2/3 in San Francisco's and New York's silicon gulch/alley.]

News: back at work, after another 90 minutes or so of trying unsuccessfully to compile on the Mac, and after coaxing a local Linux guy to try chasing down and compiling all the required components (preliminaries to an HTML/CGI front end), I broke down and got James Clark's Win32 executable. I can edit files on the Mac on an NFS-mounted volume and point the binary at same. Awkward, but less so than using an unfamiliar editor in a (personally) disagreeable environment.

I still think a Web front end is a good idea. It will let me do a little intra-organizational evangucation if it turns out to be as useful as I expect. I'll pursue on my own.

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