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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [RT] Managing Flow and Resources
Date Mon, 10 Dec 2001 23:35:43 GMT
MJ Ray wrote:
> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> >I think not. DSSSL vs. XSLT is a good example of why the lisp-like
> >parenthesis syntax in the document-centric world is a bad idea.
> So DSSSL "lost" purely because of parentheses?

No, I didn't say this.

I just said that one of the things that made XSLT 'appear' friendlier to
the web users was its well known syntax.

> SGML vs XML had nothing to do with it?  

Oh, absolutely, DSSSL worked on SGML that had no notion of namespaces.
This is, alone, enough to kill the language dead in just one shot.

> I think you are over-simplifying.

If you count my comment above as the only reason why XSLT 'won' over
DSSSL, you are absolutely right, but I didn't say so: I was just
pointing out that it's vital, when technological concepts are introduced
in a population that didn't know them previously, to present them in a
way that is closest to their available knowledge context.

This is one of the basic general rules of cognitive theory applied to
programming language semantics.

And we must take this into consideration even in this case.
> [...]
> >For example, try to finish the following strings so that the first is
> >well-formed Scheme and the second is well-formed XML:
> Personally, I find it a lot easier to finish the Scheme one, but it takes
> some getting used to, same as the XML does.  Your alternative layouts don't
> follow the coding standards, as you probably know.

Yes, I know. Anyway, the example was made to prove you how 'personal'
the whole thing is.

> Anyway, I think most people have realised by now that this whole syntax
> thing is totally irrelevant to the real point that was being made, so I'll
> shut up.

Please don't, it's good to have different opinions on the table: it
keeps everybody sane, focused and balanced.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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