Who uses XSLT?

Subject: Who uses XSLT?
From: Paul Prescod <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 09:41:35 -0400
Chuck Robey wrote:
> Huh?  That was my understanding, that DSSSL was supposed to guide the
> presentation of documents.  Documents are written by editors, at least
> outside of the US government, which doesn't have budget restrictions of
> the same size as commercial organizations.

We obviously have some terminological differences. In my experience
*writers* write documents. 

Editors check documents for consistency, grammar, terminology and
occasionally accuracy. 
In my experience, any place that many writers and editors work together
there is also a person or team termed "tech pubs support." These are the
people who automate the work of techpubs. They create macros, write
conversions, maintain stylesheets (even Word or FrameMaker stylesheets),
set up FTP sites, test out software, etc.

It doesn't make sense for every writer and editor to become expert in
these issues. Their expertise is supposed to be writing, grammar and their
subject matter. In small techpubs departments, the person that becomes an
expert is often a technically adept writer or editor. But as time goes by
they find the technical parts taking over their job. Eventually they
become a full time support person. This person is hardly ever an average
writer or editor. They get the support job because they are more
interested in the technology than their peers.

> Not for any *ml, no, but for other markup languages, certainly.  My
> point is that sgml and dsssl where supposed to be a markup system for
> the production of documents, but the skill level required took the job
> out of the hands of those who could write them.
> xml and xsl seem to me, since they are more limited in scope than sgml
> and dsssl, to be easier.  I don't think it's gone far enough in
> simplification, but it's easier.

I don't think that XML changes the equation much at all. If there is a
change it may be because there are so many more books and courses that you
can take today compared to when it was only SGML. 
> If you disagree with my first sentence above, could you give me the
> intention for usage, for sgml & dsssl?

Like many technologies, XML/SGML and DSSSL/XSL support specialization and
segmentation of job roles. Usually someone technical (a consultant or tech
pubs support person) sets up the system, including schemas, transforms,
stylesheets, editor customizations and so forth. Writers write. Editors

Companies that are not large enough to segment jobs in this way can either 

 a) pray that their writers are technical and interested enough OR 

 b) they can buy a package of schema/transform/stylesheet/editor from a
vendor. For instance, if they use HTML they can use HoTMetaL or
Dreamweaver. If they use Docbook, they can use FrameMaker or AdeptEditor.
If they use HTML Help, they could use Robohelp or something OR

 c) redirect other technical resources to writing support.

The only reliable path is b). This is, therefore what I advocate for small

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"The new revolutionaries believe the time has come for an aggressive 
move against our oppressors. We have established a solid beachhead 
on Friday. We now intend to fight vigorously for 'casual Thursdays.'
  -- who says America's revolutionary spirit is dead?

 XSL-List info and archive:  http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list

Current Thread