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Can HTML/XML developing be called programming.

 
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Hi,
I have got myself in a bit of a problem with my current employer. I am a contractor in the UK who has just started a second 6 month contract with a large financial. Now my position is called analyst programmer but for the last month they have had me modifying XML. For some obscure reason that nobody knows they store there HTML as XML and that gets converted at request time.
Now the problem is that i cannot stick another 6 months of modifying XML. I have been offered another role which i would much prefer. I have been programming for 6 years and my last role was as technical lead so i feel completely wasted. I have asked to be let out of the role but they have refused to let me go and i am bound to it for 6 months contractually.
Now my question is, has the employer breached the contract by giving me design/XML modifications if i have the title of analyst/programmer? Is XML changing programming? has anybody heard of any similar stories.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
david
 
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Originally posted by David Raid:
Hi,
Now my question is, has the employer breached the contract by giving me design/XML modifications if i have the title of analyst/programmer? Is XML changing programming? has anybody heard of any similar stories.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
david


I would imagine that one of the reasons they store there html as xml is to make it easier to convert the data to other formats. I had a project once that had a data stored in a database that was to be turned into html for a webpage. rather than converting it directly to html, we converted it to xml and used xslt to convert it to html at request time. The benefit? Well, it was EXTREMELY EASY to add an option of displaying it as wml and Htmlbasic for wireless devices, or pdf format for printing, as well as a few other formats. now all of those converstions are done dynamiclly, and we only had to make a single stylesheet for each type of format.
As far as breaching your contract, you would have to talk to a lawyer about that. However, 2 things stick out. First your title is analyst/programmer. Even if it was not considered programming, it probably is considered analysis, so it still may be within your job mandate. Second, if you are using xslt, well that is a Turing complete language, so that can definately be considered programming. As a side note, if you start using xslt and coccoon a lot you may begin to question the need for writing JSPs.
As far as XML changing programming, well I certainly am seeing much more of it in my work and studies. It, and relational databases, seem to be becoming the 2 preferred methods of serialization and data storage. Infact, I find myself using XML for virtually every data intensive programming project I am on. It just seems to make my life a little easier. But that is just me.
Jon
[ January 14, 2004: Message edited by: Jon McDonald ]
[ January 14, 2004: Message edited by: Jon McDonald ]
 
David Rocks
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thank you for your ignorance jon but the question i was wishing to ask again is!!
has the employer breached the contract by giving me design/XML modifications if i have the title of analyst/programmer? Is XML changing programming? has anybody heard of any similar stories.
now please don't use UPERCASE. it is very rude!!
 
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Originally posted by David Raid:
thank you for your ignorance jon but the question i was wishing to ask again is!!
...
now please don't use UPERCASE. it is very rude!!


Talk about rude.
 
Jon McDonald
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Originally posted by David Raid:
thank you for your ignorance jon but the question i was wishing to ask again is!!
has the employer breached the contract by giving me design/XML modifications if i have the title of analyst/programmer? Is XML changing programming? has anybody heard of any similar stories.
now please don't use UPERCASE. it is very rude!!


Looks like someone is off their medication AGAIN!!
 
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OK, er, I mean ok, let's all talk about xml and html from now on.
 
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David, you'll find the Chill Pills on the second shelf of the medicine cabinet.
 
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It seems to me that David won't accept any answer that doesn't please him in this.
His current predicament might be making him edgy of course
I'd say you should be happy you have a job at all. If you're hired as a programmer and doing work that you think requires a lower paygrade use that to your advantage when getting a real programming job and ask to be compensated for the heavier work at such time as it is prudent
You say you've spent 6 months making rather repititous modifications to XML files?
And you call yourself a programmer? A programmer would in that time have written some sort of program to make the modifications based on a script or template
 
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I thought Jon's answer was very good. I learnt a lot. Thanks Jon.
 
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Its funny, I was doing the same work myself - HTML/XML/XSL/XSLT "modification� for a large financial firm (well, countries largest bank to be precise), here in Ireland. It was a 6-9 month "fixed-purpose" contract (not the usual 'fixed term', for some reason), but I had no problem quitting that just after two months into it, when I decided to accept a permanent offer elsewhere. There was a clause in my contract with the bank giving both parties an option to give x weeks notice and to call it a day. (Bank reserved the right to pay in lieu of the notice period.)
Its strange if a contract doesn�t have options to quit for a legitimate reason, and I am not sure if such a contract would stand well in the court of law. I know for sure that in India, such contracts (with unfair advantage to the employer) are not considered valid.
 
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David,
Does your contract actually bind you for 6 months? Do you have to give them 6 mionths notice, and vice-versa?
 
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I don't know English law. I don't really know US law in that I'm not a lawyer. However, I can't imagine any judge or jury seriously saying caring about Turing complete languages or other such obscure reasoning. They'll say, "you sit in front of a computer and write 'code'. XML is used by computer programs and web pages and you're creating it. That's programming."
--Mark
 
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Originally posted by David Raid:
Hi,
Now my question is, has the employer breached the contract by giving me design/XML modifications if i have the title of analyst/programmer? Is XML changing programming? has anybody heard of any similar stories.

david


I think that what you are doing is still considered programming. I'm not sure what answer you are looking for here. If you really want to program, why not write an app that will do the modifications for you?
 
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My thoughts:
Why not upgrade your skill in some free time you are getting or else
offer your help in some other areas of project which are of interest to you. It's just question of 6 months anyway.
 
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