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Re: [xml-dev] Should XML Professionals Be Programmers?

On Thu, 2012-03-08 at 10:27 -0600, Len Bullard wrote:
> It's a general qualifications question:  do you expect an XML
> professional to:

> 1.	Be able to correctly interpret DTD/Schema?
> 2.	Write or modify a DTD/Schema
> 3.	Code and/or test and modify XSLT.
> 4.	Program at least to a level of proficiency to build simple
> productivity tools (for example, basic querying of XML in some form)

Not necessarily.

Someone doing day-to-day text processing will be much more productive if
they can write scripts, use regular expressions, and do not wear overly
restrictive clothing.

If that day-to-day work involves _creating_ schemas, or working with
multiple types of document, familiarity with the validation languages in
use may be a distinct plus, for sure.

"What Every Unix Programmer Should Know" isn't all that far away from
"What Every XML Developer Should Know" in practice, with languages like
XLST, XSD and XQuery taking the place of shell scripts, sed scripts and
awk programs.

The big questions are not only "does she know the details?" but, "does
he work with the bigger picture in mind?"  Introducing XML into a
workflow involves understanding how the people and necessary tasks
interact, and that's a different sort of skill than programming.

Similarly, transcribing and marking up XML documents (medieval Greek
travel diaries, for example) may require understanding of the documents
and they way they use structure and language - their rhetorical nature,
if you will - and again that's not primarily a programming perspective,
although in designing the markup it's necessary to discuss needs with
whoever will be responsible for processing the marked up documents.

There's no single answer.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/

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