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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The first frightening realization that I had to wrap my head around is that, for all the ways I naturally think in Perl, they think in XSLT.

    Just…ponder that for a few minutes.

    Nothing bizarre about that at all. :-) I can’t claim to be a decade-of-experience expert in XSLT as I can claim to be in Perl, but I am very good with the language, and I like it a whole lot. The syntax is dreadfully verbose, but at the semantic level – its computation model – it is extremely elegant. You can

    • by chromatic (983) on 2008.09.06 19:07 (#64798) Homepage Journal

      I may have asked this before, but is it XSLT you like or XPath? I've never managed to like XSLT, but I do like XPath. The syntax isn't always perfect, but I can't think of improvements.

      • Both. XPath isn’t dreadfully verbose; XSLT is. (It would greatly benefit from a non-XML rendition of its syntax, just like RelaxNG has both an XML and a Compact syntax.) But the basic model (recursive node visiting) is a perfect match for XSLT’s job. The apply-templates directive is basically a map with polymorphic callback using XPath-based dispatch. That’s all there is to XSLT.

        Of course, most people write for-each-heavy transforms instead, so they gain none of the elegance of this model.