Processor Metaphors (was RE: my output just contains xsl code)

Subject: Processor Metaphors (was RE: my output just contains xsl code)
From: Jeni Tennison <Jeni.Tennison@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 10:56:34 +0100
Hi Laura,

>I changed <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
><xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="";>
>and it worked just fine.  BTW, I am using IE5 xsl thingy whatever... i can't
>remember all these acronyms! 

Lying in bed last night, I started trying to think of a metaphor that would
explain to you why your solution was non-optimal, and I came up with this
one.  I know you've received the same advice in a different form, but the
metaphor kind of amused me, and thought it might the list, so I hope you
don't mind:

XSLT processors are like cars.  With a modern car, as long as you know how
to drive, you can probably work out how to make them get you from A to B.
They do differ in various little ways - the knobs and switches might be in
different places on the dashboard - but as long as you take a little time
to get familiar with the different layout, then you're OK.  They also each
have various optional extras like seat warmers and electric sunroofs that
can make your journey that bit more pleasant.  And of course they differ in
speed and efficiency.

Some early cars are really clapped out in comparison.  They don't have
indicators, for example: something considered essential nowadays.  Some of
them had to be started by crank handles, and tend to overheat easily.  If
you learnt how to drive one of these old cars, then you would find a modern
one rather confusing - you might take your old crank handle and try to find
where to put it to start the car, or stop every 5 miles to let it cool down
when you don't need to.  Plus, to be selfish, the old cars can be a danger
to other road users unless you stick to country lanes and don't try to
drive near anyone else.

You stated your problem initially as 'I can't start my car!'.  There could
have been lots of reasons for your problem: you might have not turned the
ignition key all the way, or tried to start while in gear.  It turns out
that the reason for your problem was that you're driving an old car and
didn't know about the crank handle.

Please go and get a new one: they're safer, more efficient, they have all
these lovely features that will make your ride so much smoother, and they
don't need tricks to keep them going.  Plus if you're learning to drive, it
makes a whole lot more sense to learn how to drive the type of car that has
the features your instructor expects it to.  There's even a new model of
your old car, from the same old reliable manufacturer: it has the same
trim, and it'll fit into the same garage.



Dr Jeni Tennison
Epistemics Ltd, Strelley Hall, Nottingham, NG8 6PE
Telephone 0115 9061301 ? Fax 0115 9061304 ? Email

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