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The Minds Behind Promind Systems, The Creators of XSLmaker

Interview with the Co-Creators of XSLmaker

WSJ: What are the major challenges that your customers face?

Miloradovic Parman: Education is the major challenge. XSL carries a different kind of thinking with it. I must say it's a more of a beautiful way of looking at computing. XSL is about matching patterns, which is really how human brain works. It's power is enormous. As always, something different makes people shy at first.

Our mantra has always been to make the hard part easy. For example, think of when you want to do something, but a road to a really interesting part seems to go through the jungle. Our customers said that and we focused on making the “verbose” part of XSL invisible. The tool will take care of that, so that developers and designers can get to the interesting part right away.

Another problem that we understood from getting the feedback is the question of power. Lots of really high-powered XSL developers said they don't want to lose the power to code anything they want. Tools often do things their way and cut off some avenues of coding, and no one wants that.

We went to great lengths to make sure that this kind of coding power is not diminished. This is something you won't see if you are a beginner in XSL, but if you are a pro, you will appricate it right away.

So in the end, it's the ability to be easy for a beginner and at the same time powerful for pros that had us working hard. It's probably the most challenging ongoing job for us. I'd like to think we've done a good job, but since we really love doing it, we wouldn't stop even if they told us that it's perfect now.

WSJ: Since you have been around for awhile, how does the landscape for website development look today, compared to a few years ago?

Mijatovic: There are two things of major importance: standards and XML. Standards conformance is and always has been important, even when sometimes it seems to stifle innovation. Whether we're talking about de facto or de jure standards, it's only normal to want to reuse your skills and work, and to have access to more systems as they happen to support the same set of technological directives, if you will.

XML has been recognized not only as a great and powerful medium, but also as a necessity for web development. And I must say that past six months have brought more change in the website development than the past few years. Stable and compliant XSLT support across browsers, wide acceptance of RSS and Microsoft plans to have a place for it in Internet Explorer have all contributed to it.

Miloradovic Parman: And there's also the “time to play” factor. Lots of developers we work with and talk to have gone through trying-it-out phases. The thing is, there are many ways to create web sites from XML data, not just RSS. You can use XSLT, you can use DOM, you can parse XML and you can do it in any number of languages, from ASP to PHP to Perl and Visual Basic and Cold Fusion. And we've seen people trying it all out.

In the end though, we've seen most of them want to go XSLT since it's language- and platform-independent, and it's the only one supported by browsers. It doesn't require you to use any language per se, because it is "the" language for the job. Because of all these factors, we think that XSLT is becoming the preferred way for XML to HTML for building websites. Our download and registered users numbers would seem to suggest that.

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SOA World Magazine News Desk trawls the world of distributed computing and SOA-related developments for the latest word on technologies, standards, products, and services and brings key information to you in a timely and convenient summary form.

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ITSG News Desk 07/20/05 07:07:27 PM EDT

The Minds Behind Promind Systems, The Creators of XSLmaker. Serge Miat and Boyanna Mill co-founded Promind, developer of XSLmaker, a decade ago. In Part One of an exclusive interview with Web Servicese Journal, Miat talked about the product's history and outlined how it's being used by developers today.

WSJ News Desk 07/20/05 06:22:55 PM EDT

Serge Miat and Boyanna Mill co-founded Promind, developer of XSLmaker, a decade ago. Miat recently gave an exclusive interview to Web Services Journal, in which talked about the product's history and outlined how it's being used by developers today.

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