John made me think this morning. I recognise that in general there are few geeks that can talk on their pet subjects with enthusiasm and get the point over to those alien non-geeks. Recognising your own esoteric jargon, translating terms and ideas into plain language and generally noting the onset of that glazed look is not easy. I don't believe many people put much effort into it either. And yes, I'll include myself in that group. People are often quite interested in techdom, but all too often have faced enthusisasts with zero communications skills and are wary of asking. The second TLA and that's it. They're gone. No more interest. When my wife is asked what is the subject of my book, she usually answers that it's about a man who goes on holiday. Clearly I've failed to communicate there.
I'm not even sure I could put my finger on the problem. Possibly the depth of the gap between speaker and listener? When you need to explain markup to talk about transforms to talk about ... it gets hard. I'm sure there are simpler levels of abstraction, but I guess I've never spent enough time looking for them. Wanted. A comprehensible description of why XML works, what it's good for and where it fits in the scheme of things important. Must be understandable by a used car salesman.
Otu Ekanem announced the formation of a London XSLT user group. Keep an eye on xslug.org for more. Looks like they've just got Apache up and running so far. Good luck, especially if you're looking for XSLT work.
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