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- To: 'Rick Jelliffe' <email@example.com>, xml-dev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Does WTSIWYG make simplicity moot? (was Re: [xml-dev] dtds, schemas, xhtml, and multimedia technologies)
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 08:58:38 -0600
That's it. More assistance; fewer surprises.
1. Visual interfaces are productive. No contest.
2. Visual interfaces can be obstructive. Anyone
who works with Intellisense has seen times when
autocomplete features bypass the eye. The hand
can be faster leaving invalid syntax behind. Quotation
autocompletes are another notorious one. The best
Viz systems catch these early. Unfortuntately, some
leave them behind so depending on them is as dangerous
as children who think spell checkers relieve them
of the need to learn to spell, calculators of the
need to calculate, and so on. We never lose the
need to eyeball the syntax and mentally run the
3. The most productive language for the most people
is Visual Basic. The IDEs are a great help
to those that need it. As Tony Coates says, not all
people are solving tricky problems all the time.
In fact, most of them aren't. They have specialized
in one or two products doing a handful of tasks and
that is the daily grind that pays the bills. A
lot of XML-Dev cognoscenti are toolbuilders and
they are exceptional. That also means they are a
significant but small minority.
4. Abstractions of languages ARE where the visualization
is important. XML Schema Basic is probably not tougher
to learn than DTDs. On the other hand, if XML Schema
Basic were all I needed, I'd stick with DTDs for the
obvious reasons. XML Schema abstractions are tough
to learn, take practice to apply (or we wouldn't have
that big best practices page), and so far, the tools
are buggy, and do disagree on interpretations of the spec.
Therefore, one ends up with multiple tools and tests against
XML Schemas aren't simple. Fact. Most of
the tools are expensive. Fact. One can't force a
class to buy tools for the class that exceed the
cost of the class. Fact.
Like it or not, PFE (my preference), Notepad, VI,
are here to stay. They are also free, and as one
who does not drink port, that leaves even more
spare change for new guitar strings, the only habit
I have in common with the Cisco Kid.
DTDs are here to stay. They may be applied to large
jobs less than we once did, but they won't die off
and the competent XMLer learns how to apply them. Tools
don't make them go away. In Pam's case, the
XMLValidatingReader class supports them; so .NET
includes them and she has a way to work with them,
all from an OK But Not Great visual programming
Tilt away, folks; the windmills don't care and
Dulcinea remains an ugly maid. Back to Fox and
dreams of C#.
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Putting cost aside, one benefit of direct manipulation interfaces
is in presenting information in views that allow better physical