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

Subject: Re: [xsl] <quote>XSL is NOT easy</quote>
From: "CyberSpace Industries 2000 Inc." <csi2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 20:32:02 -0400
I think XSLT is quite good for non-programmers, it's programmers with
some experience of other things that find it really difficult I've

I always find it very surprising that programmers with experience only of imperative languages find taking up a declarative language difficult - after all we were all taught declarative semantics at school - in our mathmatics lessons.

But it is a very common experience - can anyone suggestion why this might be?

I teach XSLT and also find this to be true.


I think it is a case of ... "when you are a hammer - all problems are nails".

A programmer "writes code" ... so the solution to all problems must be "writing code".

They can't seem to get it that an XSLT processor executes and has default behavior - which can be modified by "templates" you supply for each node in the input tree of nodes.. and that they are called templates since you provide a template of what you want as output.... you don't write procedural code to generate it.

Not a new problem of course... In the late 60's in Bell Northern Research - we were using something called "Mark IV" that was a generic solution to the classical "posting problem". it had default behavior that you could modify by supplying the equivalent of templates that would be invoked at specific points in the processing.

The "programmers" could not get it through their heads that this default processing was there and already provided a solution to the posting problem. Instead they found that you could exit MarkIV via some assembler level call - and invoke an external procedure. So then they proceeded in some external language to solve the posting problem all over again... but always forgetting some condition or other.

So I think it is a compelling need to "write code" to solve any problem that gets in the way.

CyberSpace Industries 2000 Inc.
Multimedia Promotions/ XML Training and Consulting

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