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   Re: [xml-dev] xPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0 ... size increase over v1.0

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rjm@zenucom.com (Rick Marshall) writes:
>My personal test of the soundness of programming languages and
>techniques is that i should be able to use them without constant
>reference to a manual or a "tool to make it easy". therefore i don't
>use java, dislike many modern graphic environments and development
>tools, and fear for the future of this great technology.

In some ways I see what is happening to XML as even more difficult (and
troubling) than what has happened to Java.  

With Java, it's at least reasonably possible to explain "Java the
language" separately from "Java the libraries", though I'd probably want
System.out and System.in.  My Java work depends on an understanding of
the language core supplemented by references to the libraries.  The
tools, when they help me, really only help with the libraries, and don't
reach the core language - I don't trust them enough to consider that.

With XML, it's harder and harder to make that separation because the
tools are growing more and more intertwined.  Using these specs created
since the rise of W3C XML Schema (or heck, Namespaces at times) requires
more than an understanding of XML 1.0 + a few reference books - it
requires a clear understanding of many intertwined things which are not
themselves particularly clear.

I can still sort of hand developers XML + a parser and expect something
good to come of it, but developers looking for anything more than that
quickly find themselves in strange territory where many things look
familiar but combine in unusual (and sometimes problematic) ways.  Those
tools and specifications (especially anything derived from WXS) look at
the core XML 1.0 information with expectations derived from elsewhere,
making it more and more difficult to explain the separation of the core
from the supporting tools.

On the bright side, reading the Web Services family of specifications
brings on even more of the same kinds of despair, so it certainly could
be worse.

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org


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