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

Subject: Re: A would-be user's first XSL experience (long)
From: "Chuck White" <chuck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 09:06:17 -0700

>> [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.]
>My experience is that these are the last people in an organization to buy
>the separation of abstraction from presentation. I would be amazed if we
>could really count on them as allies in this discussion. Most of them
>think XML (much less XSL!) is a Unix-inspired plot to make their lives
>more complicated. They are mostly right: XML does tend to make their lives
>more complicated but that's sometimes the price of progress.
>I suspect that roughly 1 in 1000 would even find our Web front-end on
> (what would they be doing on

Much less the object model underlying the DOM, eh?

Both sides of this discussion have valid points. James Clark's XT is a
valuable, wonderful service being provided for the hard core XSL

Those dumb Mac people (I'm one), the ultimate end users of a substantial
portion of the compiled UA-based software that is finally given birth after
all this, will be the ultimate arbiters of the debate about how broad-based
XSL becomes. As a Mac user, the argument I don't buy *isn't* that the
separation between abstraction from presentation is useful. The argument
that I don't buy is that it is always necessary. That distinction is what
has plagued this list for months, and what truly separates the abstraction
separatists from the ignorant (oops, I mean those of us who don't care about
this issue as much). As a dedicated software engineer, Paul should have as
many transformation options as is practical within the scope of an
international standard. And I, as an end user, should only have to worry
about using software that works well. 

You can blast the ignorant about their inability to grasp conceptual
programming issues all you want, but in the end, it is they who will dictate
the success or failure of compiled software that utilizes the various
vocabularies being discussed in this and other similar groups. If your hope
is that there will never be compiled software that uses this technology,
that the only people using this vocabulary should be programmers working
front end or middleware applications, then perhaps you should point this out
as an end goal. There wouldn't necessarily be anything wrong with that as a
stated goal, as long as you're upfront about it.  

I think Marc Andreeson's latest ruminations about software development and
the Web should be paid heed to, however. Most users want something as easy
to use as a TV set. that may not sit well with those who feel people should
be more knowledgable about the architecture underlying the software they're
using, but it's the way things are going to be as more people get connected.

To those who feel encroached upon because some of us are not programmers but
we're reading this list anyway, I say: start a private list.

Chuck White
Creative Director
Advance Recruitment Advertising, Inc.

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