Monday, March 28, 2005
reasons not to overuse XSLT
I fixed a bug.

This is why I dislike overusing XSLT. We take the data from couple of different sources, cram it into XML document and generate HTML page through XSLT transformation. There are at least two really bad things here:
  1. We are passing data between different application components as XLOBs (XML Large Objects (tm) ). I do not care about how ineffective it is, I do care about how non-transparent it is. You never know what someone decided to put into that XML and you never know who and what depends on its content.
  2. We are using XSLT to apply bussines logic. In this case to decide which components are editable and which are read only. Aa a result our UI code is hopelessly hidden in the ocean of bussiness logic writen in poorly designed and not especially convenient programming language (XSLT).
The bottom line is template based approach (JSP, Velocity, XSLT) quite often degenerates in the heavy proprietary scripring, where template stops resembling your destination document (which is the main reason to use the template after all). I think I prefer Tapestry to JSP, DOM4J/JDOM/Xstream to Velocity, Java/Python/Groovy to XSLT. Also I prefer cats.

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