Re: [xsl] XSLT 2 processors
>I'm genuinely surprised that Microsoft has dropped the ball on this.
They put in a massive effort when they introduced .NET which was after
their browser played a pioneering role in the genenis of XSL. Not
affording their .NET library XSLT2 is tantermount to sabotaging the
progress of XML related development. It just doesn't make sense and is
pretty lame IMO.
I don't know any detail of what went on inside Microsoft other than a
few rumours that leaked out, but I do know a little bit about the
process, or lack of it, that results in product development decisions
inside large companies. There will always be champions (perhaps in this
case even a Champion...) advocating investing in a particular
technology; there will be others with competing proposals, and there
will be managers who aren't intimately acquainted with the technical
detail who end up having to make the decisions. There will also be
customers pushing for one course of action or another, and some of those
customers will have clout and others won't: not necessarily because of
pure revenue considerations, but perhaps because keeping them "on side"
is important for unrelated reasons.
In making these decisions, the biggest problem is that so much of this
kind of software is free, which means that the value the customers get
from a product doesn't flow back into investment in that product. When
the champions for developing a particular piece of software can't put
together a business case based on the direct revenue from that product,
the arguments for and against become very woolly and subjective.
XSLT has always been a technology that some people love and others hate.
The language has deep beauty but superficial ugliness, so this range of
reactions is not surprising. No doubt this polarisation of views exists
within Microsoft as much as anywhere else; and no doubt the negative
views will have been amplified by those advocating other investments
that were competing for the same budget, such as XQuery and Linq.
Perhaps some of these voices were even arguing that Microsoft could
safely leave this area to third parties.
So you shouldn't be surprised. These decisions are complex, there is a
lot of emotion involved, and very little hard data about the impact of
deciding one way or another. Probably at least half the product
development decisions made in a big company turn out to be wrong, so
expecting a big company to make the decision you consider right is naive.
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