RE: Leventhal's challenge misses the point

Subject: RE: Leventhal's challenge misses the point
From: Andy Dent <dent@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 16:27:39 +0800
At 14:14 +0100 28/5/99, Miles Sabin wrote:
In fact, I think we're getting quite close to what I
think is the chief defect of XSL. Despite what's said
about it, it doesn't really separate data-model from
presentation all that well


XML/XSL is a model-view type architecture. MV is good at
breaking the dependency of data-models on presentation
issues. Unfortunately it's very poor at separating
presentation issues from the data model.

I don't think this is the issue.

The big problem I see is that one target audience (graphic designers) and possibly another ('general' public) don't think in the abstract symbolic terms required by either traditional procedural langauges OR declarative.

There is a wide range of literature describing how different people perceive things differently. I'm primarily kinaesthetic and secondarily visual - I have a lot of trouble with abstract structures and have to work hard to get the feel of something described in symbolic terms.

This reminds me of a discussion I got involved in with the UML language.

Rational were defining a standard for visual communication but refused to get any visual communication experts involved. They based the standard on an amalgamation of visual languages designed primarily by computer scientists and engineers over the past decade or so.

I'm not advocating that we abandon textual languages altogether but that our textual languages should be designed with wider appeal. Where languages are concerned with formatted layout then I believe the focus of the language should be on the layout, not on the source data. Where we are manipulating data, *then* is the right time to focus on the data descriptions.

Andy Dent BSc MACS AACM, Software Designer, A.D. Software, Western Australia
OOFILE - Database, Reports, Graphs, GUI for c++ on Mac, Unix & Windows
PP2MFC - PowerPlant->MFC portability

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