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   XML in the alleged Real World (was Re: [xml-dev] Does XML-Dev matter?)

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3/24/2002 3:48:24 AM, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:

>  Seriously, what was indicated as being overwhelming about XSLT? If the
>  alleged real world doesn't get XSLT what hope is there for comprehension of
>  the more complete XML Jigsaw / XML Spaghetti (choose your term according to
>  taste)?
>  And just for completeness what were the characteristics of the "real world"
>  which you mention?

The slice of the "real world" I visited was in Europe, and the people I referred
to were people with long experience in IT who had used XML (and simple 
XSLT apps) for a year or two, but "hit the wall" trying to implement actual 
customer requirements for Web applications using XSLT.  I'm not talking
about a big sample of people, I'm talking about a sense I got from a few
conversations: XSLT is good for simple things, hard for hard things, and
the tools don't help with the hard stuff.  

But the "what hope is there for the whole tangled ball of X-spaghetti if 
experienced software developers have trouble applying one of the best and
most widely supported specs" is PRECISELY the point.  Tim Bray's presentation
makes us think about how other innovative technologies became accepted 
by the mainstream or not. It seems more and more clear that those tools
that help people get their Day Jobs done without making them bet their
careers on learning a new, complex way of working are those that tend to
succeed. I don't spend enough time in the Real World outside XML geekdom
to have strong opinions on where the 80/20 point in XML (broadly defined)
really is, but I think that's exactly the question we should be asking
ourselves, one another, and our customers.

I mentioned this all in response to a question "Does XML-DEV Matter?" -- I
say it *does* matter because questions like this have been asked and
wrestled with here for years, even if the answers are not yet obvious.
Maybe it's value is like that of a sailor's bar
in the 15th century - if you don't have a good map to guide you, the
gossip -- about who headed where, who came back, and who didn't -- 
is a WHOLE lot better than nothing.


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