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Re: [xml-dev] XML support in browsers?

Michael Kay wrote:
> I don't see it as funny, but I agree it is a little sad. Nevertheless, it is
> true. There's a paradigm shift involved in mastering XSLT for doing anything
> non-trivial, and a lot of programmers will never gain the benefits of the
> technology because they aren't prepared to retrain themselves. 

The XML community pretty much failed at the outset to convince their 
supposed target audience that it was worth retraining themselves, and 
never really became a part of the Web community.  It's not just a 
paradigm shift problem - the Web certainly has seen those, and was one.

> On the other hand, if you think this means we should restrict ourselves to
> designing languages in the idiom of the 1960s in order to cater for people
> who don't want to learn new skills, then I think that's even sadder. There's
> a large enough community of happy and productive users to prove that the
> exercise was worthwhile; it doesn't bother me too much if they only comprise
> 10% of the total. My measure of success is not the percentage of programmers
> using the technology, but the efficiency and effectiveness of those that do.

To me, a key aspect of that success is that XSLT's not really making it 
as planned kept it from damaging the Web.  XSLT has found its home 
primarily in fields where it was a more appropriate technology.  The 
publishing side of me is very happy with XSLT (and XSL-FO). The Web side 
of me just marvels that smart people ever thought this was a good idea 
for the Web.

A decade later, it still makes for strange conversation when the XML and 
Web communities wander into each other's turf, though.

Simon St.Laurent

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