RE: [xsl] XSLT/XPath 2.0 (was "Identifying two tags...")

Subject: RE: [xsl] XSLT/XPath 2.0 (was "Identifying two tags...")
From: "Stuart Celarier" <stuart@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 18:59:19 -0700
Let me try offering some perspective on what I think specifications are
and are not.

The W3C specifications are designed primarily for use by implementers,
language lawyers and their ilk, who need to be able to determine if they
have truly conformed to the requirements of the specification. 

Specifications and standards are not intended to be textbooks or good
exposition. Just try reading the ANSI/ISO C++ Standard. It is darn good
as a specification, in that it is (generally) straightforward to tell if
a C++ compiler conforms to the Standard; but it would be a dreadful way
to learn to program in C++.

The language of specifications is necessarily complex and specific. I
don't think that their use of language is contrived, gratuitous, or a
sign of some pretension to erudition. The comparison to Martin Heidegger
isn't particularly apt, other than to say in both cases that the writing
is dense and strives to be precise. If you see that as obfuscation, you
may be missing the point. If you think that makes specifications hard to
read, you're not alone, brother.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dan Holmsand

I guess that I have two problems in understanding this: this other 
language seems to be designed by descendants of Heidegger and Roland 
Barthes, or someone else feeling that using words already used by others

is a sign of weakness (I mean: "in the post-schema-validation infoset 
the attribute information item may, at processor option, have a property

attribute declaration" which is "An item isomorphic to the declaration 
component itself."). Heidegger couldn't have said it better.

But I guess that my big problem is that I don't get what this new (and 
apparently rich) language is good for. That, of course, does make 
understanding impossible (in the same way you can't very well understand

what a chair is if you're not familiar with "sitting").

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