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From "Alistair Hopkins" <>
Subject RE: Cocoon on Slashdot
Date Tue, 23 May 2000 08:16:10 GMT
I agree.

XSLT is also not as hard as getting your formatting and logic hats on
simultaneously.  Or worse, getting your design team and your serverside
programming team to know everything about each others jobs to do
code-in-html or html-in-code, whichever.

Further, the XSL knowledge required to to replicate the data content on most
web pages is trivial.  And, if you are getting involved in serious
conditional xsl processing, perhaps you should shift some of that logic back
to your XML generation and put it in the logic where it belongs.

-----Original Message-----
From: Stefano Mazzocchi []
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: Cocoon on Slashdot

Robin Green wrote:
> Someone asked about a servlet engine with support for WAP, and Cocoon,
> Enydra and Resin were all recommended, among other packages:
> Some people said that XSL (XSLT that is) is all pain and no gain, because
> is more tricky but less powerful than ordinary programming languages. I am
> inclined to think there is a grain of truth in what they say.

I must disagree here.

What people mean by "ordinary" programming language is "procedural
languages". C, Java, Perl, PHP, XSP are all procedural languages. You
place the logic right where you want it to be executed.

You can _see_ the flow in the code. This is also why GOTO paradigms were
abandoned starting from the early '70 when Pascal were born....

do you remember how hard it was to change your programming mindset from
BASIC to Pascal and remove all those numbers for every line?

Would you _ever_ go back now?

What people fail to understand is that while every turing-complete
programming language is capable of describing instructions for every
possible turing machine, there are languages that are targetted for
specific problems and solve those _very_ well.

For example, ever tried to write an adventure game in C? ever tried to
switch to Prolog for the exact same thing?

Perl and Java are both turing complete, very different, but both

XSLT is not turing complete and declarative, but try to transform XSP
into Java with Java code: can you do it in 4kb of code? I don't think

Of course, XSLT is hard. It's hard because it's _different_... but just
like RDF is hard, namespaces are hard, xlinks are hard... everything
that changes your view of the world is hard to grasp... but it's the
only meaningful way of doing programming.

Otherwise, just stick to VisualBasic :)

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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