The last year we were working on a project, which in essence dealt with
transformation of graphs. Our experience with xslt 1.0, and other available information
was promising - xslt 2.0 is a perfect match.
We were right, xslt 2.0 fitted very well to the problem.
It's easy to learn xslt 2.0/xquery: be acquainted with xml schema; read through
a syntax, which is rather concise; look at examples, and start coding. API you
will learn incrementally.
The same as other languages, xslt 2.0 is only a media to express algorithms. As such
it fills its role rather good, as good as SQL:2003 and its variations do, and
sometimes even better than other programming languages like C++ do.
Compare expressions "get data satisfying to a specific criteria" and "for each
data part check a specific condition, and if it true, add it to the result".
These often represent the same idea from two perspectives: human (or math)
thinkning; and thinking in terms of execution procedure.
Both kinds of expressions have their use, however it has happened so that we're
the human beings and perceive more easily natural language notions like:
subjects, objects, predicates, deduction, induction and so on. I think the
reason is that a human's (not positronic) brain grasps ideas, conceptions,
images as something static, while execution procedure demands a notion of time
(or at least notions of a sequence and an order) for the comprehension. ("Are you serious?", "Joke!" )
There is the other side to this story.
We have made the project design in relatively short terms. A good scalable
design. We needed people who know xslt 2.0 to implement it. It has turned out, this was a strong objection against xslt!
Our fellow, xslt guru, Oleg
Tkachenko has left our company to make his career at Microsoft, and to our disbelief it
was impossible to find a person who was interested in a project involvong 85% of
xslt and 15% of other technologies including java. Even in java world people prefer routine projects, like
standard swing or web application, to a project demanding creativeness.
Possibly, it was our mistake, to allow to our company to look for developers the standard
way: some secretary was looking through her sources, and inevitably was finding
so-so java + poor xml + almost zero xslt knowledge graduates. We had to make
appeals on xslt forums especially since the project could be easily developed
with a distributed group.
Finally, we have designed and implemented the project by ourselves but to the
present day our managers are calling and suggesting java developers
for our project. What a bad joke!
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