Re: [xsl] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: order of UNIONs

Subject: Re: [xsl] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: order of UNIONs
From: Jeni Tennison <jeni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 19:31:22 +0000
Hi Dimitre,

>> My feeling is that while the former treatment of simple value lists
>> is theoretically purer, more generic and more extensible, for the
>> 'normal' users of XSLT, the latter is more intuitive.
> C'mon Jeni,
> Since when are we a psychology group?

We might not be a psychology group, but I'm a psychologist by training
(feel like I'm admitting to being an alcoholic!). From that
background, I know that you get a better design in the long run if you
recognise both the advantages and disadvantages of different design
options, weight them, and choose the option that gives the most
advantages and least disadvantages.

If you follow that process, you soon find that most disagreements over
design can either be reconciled algorithmically or come down to
disagreements over (a) the assignment of a particular advantage of
disadvantage to a particular option or (b) the importance of different
criteria in relation to each other.

Unfortunately, these are the hardest things to resolve. The only way
to conclusively prove whether something is more intuitive than
something else is to conduct a good set of experiments (though a few
examples where it's obviously not the case would be equally
effective). My view that usability is more important than theoretical
purity is fairly deeply held, as is yours in the opposite direction, I
would imagine.

So we're left with guess-work and opinions, which make for a lot of
sound and fury for not much by way of conclusions. Which I guess is
why we haven't seen a XSLT/XPath WD yet :)



Jeni Tennison

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