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Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World


Subject: Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World
From: Graydon <graydon@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:50:34 -0400

On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 12:05:32PM -0400, Wendell Piez scripsit:
[snip good stuff]
> Talking about the processing model in the context of documents with
> mixed content also gives us an early opportunity to start thinking
> about XSLT's purposes, strengths and weaknesses.
[snip more good stuff]

One of the things I've found when explaining XPath to non-technical
audiences -- because, really, XSLT or XQuery just do things, it's XPath
that lets you say what stuff you want to do those things _to_ -- is that
starting with "name or string?" and "descendants?" worked really well.

(Much to my surprise, and it was not the first, or the fifth, thing I
tried.)

It got across the idea that there were consistent kinds of abstractions,
that the XML file you can see is not the parsed representation that XSLT
actually operates on -- the idea that there *is* a parsed
representation, that every XML document is a database, isn't immediately
obvious -- and then there was something to build on.

Just that little fragment of model got me better specifications from
those clients, and it increased their sense that their XML data was
legible, that it was possible to know what was in there.  Which made
them much happier to be dealing with XML representations of their
documents at all.

-- Graydon


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