Re: [xsl] <quote>XSL is NOT easy</quote>

Subject: Re: [xsl] <quote>XSL is NOT easy</quote>
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 19:20:04 -0400

At 06:02 PM 6/26/2007, you wrote:
> In this case, he's correct that I have defended XSLT's ease of use,

Interesting how you put it...

I didn't think I put it harshly/wrongly, just factually.

Well like I said, it's in the subtle shift between the "XSLT is easy" discussion and the "why some people think XSLT is hard" discussion. I acknowledge it might seem paradoxical for me to maintain that it's easy but that some people don't find it so. But I do. Partly that's because I've found that it's sometimes the very people who find it hardest who get the most excited when they discover how easy it is.

The other aspect of this conversation that I think often goes unnoticed is that knowledge and skill must not only be acquired, it must also be maintained. XSLT lends itself to an "immersion" learning approach, I think, and is less rewarding to those who treat it as a Language of the Week, getting quick results and then turning as quickly away.

While some languages offer a more-or-less steady learning curve, XSLT's is steep at the front (unless you happen to have started with DSSSL or LISP), and then levels off. This is consistent with what others have said about how important it is to get the basic idea. There are some things you can't fake.

So: easy or hard? Standing in front of the wall, it's hard. Get up the steep part and it's easy. If you're the type who needs things to be obvious and familiar, or has many different responsibilities competing for your attention, it might be hard. If you've already assimilated similar sorts of things, or if you're the type who can throw yourself into something and master it, it's easy.

To make matters even worse -- I also think Karl's original critic had a point, not too far from this one. :->


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
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