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# Saturday, 27 September 2008

We are certain xslt/xquery are the best for web application frameworks from the design perspective; or, in other words, pipeline frameworks allowing use of xslt/xquery are preferable way to create web applications.

Advantages are obvious:

  • clear separation of business logic, data, and presentation;

  • richness of languages, allowing to implement simple presentation, complex components, and sophisticated data binding;

  • built-in extensibility, allowing comunication with business logic, written in other languages and/or located at different site.

It seems the agitation for a such technologies is like to force an open door. There are such frameworks out there: Orbeon Forms, Cocoon, and others. We're not qualified to judge of their virtues, however...

Look at the current state of affairs. The main players in this area (well, I have a rather limited vision) push other technologies: JSP/JSF/Faceletes and alike in the Java world, and ASP.NET in the .NET world. The closest thing they are providing is xslt servlet/component allowing to generate an output.

Their variants of syntaxis, their data binding techniques allude to similar paradigms in xslt/xquery:

<select>
  <c:forEach var="option" items="#{bean.options}">
    <option value="#{option.key}">#{parameter.value}</option>
  </c:forEach>
</select>

On the surface, however, we see much more limited (in design and in the application) frameworks.

And here is a contradiction: how can it be that at present such a good design is not as popular, as its competitors, at least?

Someone can say, there is no such a problem. You can use whatever you want. You have a choice! Well, he's lucky. From our perspective it's not that simple.

We're creating rather complex web applications. Their nature isn't important in this context, but what is important is that there are customers. They are not thoroughly enlightened in the question, and exactly because of this they prefer technologies proposed by leaders. It seems, everything convince them: main stream, good support, many developers who know technology.

There is no single chance to promote anything else.

We believe that the future may change this state, but we're creating at present, and cannot wait...

Saturday, 27 September 2008 10:36:06 UTC  #    Comments [3] -
Tips and tricks | xslt
Thursday, 09 October 2008 05:36:57 UTC
Ok, but what do you think about ASP.NET MVC (http://www.asp.net/mvc)?
It claims "Clear separation of concerns" as its main goal.

Design quality and popularity aren't really related. Or may be they are, but not the way you think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worse_is_better
Sunday, 12 October 2008 06:55:07 UTC
Oleg,

I'm certain you better than many others know that in the "customer - developer" paradigm there are not too many choices to select from.

From the other side I'm trying to think on the place of the xslt. Many things hint that xslt fits well in the presentation layer, so why to thoroughly avoid it?

P.S. I have no a practical experience with ASP.NET MVC.
Vladimir Nesterovsky
Monday, 20 October 2008 20:12:05 UTC
Oleg,

one of the problems that we try to express in this article is not the technical difficults with XSLT + some framework support behind (actually there is no such problem at all), but the high fashion on what and how should be used in software development that dictated by the main players (JSP/JSF/Facelets and ASP.NET). It's too difficult to push in something new (even it's a brilliant solution) on market without support of such "main players". Since most of the customers even don't want to deal with third party solutions.

Concerning the ASP.NET MVC - me too have no experience with it, but my intuition after brief survey of the tutorial is whispering to me: "you have a deja vu"...
Arthur Nesterovsky
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