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From Bertrand Delacretaz <>
Subject Re: Cocoon: presentation tier + J2EE EJB business tier --- a valid performant architecture?
Date Sun, 08 Jun 2003 11:18:48 GMT
Le Samedi, 7 juin 2003, à 19:06 Europe/Zurich, Steve Brackenbury a 
écrit :
> ...Also, my development team is experienced with XSL.  I'm concerned 
> about how they will react to XSL.  They are experienced JSP 
> developers.  What kind of balking might I encounter?  How can I get 
> them to give XSL a fair assessment?  Any tips on convincing them of 
> the benefits?...

I assume you mean "not experienced".

I've been doing quite a lot of XSLT in the last two years, also 
mentoring several programmers coming from various backgrounds. It has 
been a success for people who were open-minded about accepting comments 
and adapt their way of working to what XSLT does best, and a failure 
with people who tried to write (for example) java-like code in XSLT, 
without taking advantage of specific XSLT features and way of working.

What I like in XSLT is that it is very concise if written correctly (in 
terms of number of constructs - of course the XML syntax is a pain), 
often writing a few templates does the job *but* it might take a lot of 
reflexion to write them. As always, building simple things takes a lot 
of brainpower.

For me the move from java to XSLT is similar to moving to an 
object-oriented language from a procedural one: you have to change your 
state of mind, if you keep on working "the old way" with the new tool 
it fails.

So I'd say the advantages are that you will write much less XSLT code 
than java code to achieve the same results (which means less code to 
test and maintain), but unless your people are willing to learn XSLT 
properly and understand "the XSLT way" they might be frustrated by the 

Compared to JSP, I think XSLT's advantages are mostly in the ability to 
generate different formats (HTML, HTML+CSS, SVG, PDF, RTF, WAP, etc.) 
with similar tools and reusable chunks of XSLT code. If your app 
produces only HTML the difference in maintainability might not be so 

Hope this helps,
   Bertrand Delacretaz
   independent consultant, Lausanne, Switzerland

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