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   RE: Patterns - What is it?

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  • From: "Fabio Arciniegas A." <fabio@viaduct.com>
  • To: Dan Mabbutt <Seigfried@msn.com>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 12:24:58 -0400

~I'm confused.
~I just discovered a branch of XML that I wasn't aware of previously called
~"Patterns," but it appears to be two different things to two different
~groups. Are there really two different disciplines, both called
~Patterns, or
~am I missing something?

The document you saw uses the term "Patterns" as it was used in the dec. 16
1998 working draft of XSL. That sense is closer to the way we use the term
in the phrase "Search pattern" and, specifically, was defined as the
following: "A pattern is a string which selects a set of nodes in a source
document". For an updated version of that concept (including some changes in
the terminology), see the current WD http://www.w3.org/TR/xsl/).

On the other hand "XML Patterns" is used to denote XML design patterns in
the traditional Software Design Sense. Id est "named common solutions to a
common problem in a context". For more information about XML design patterns
you can go to my two-part article on the subject on xml.com and Rick
Jelliffe's excellent book "SGML and XML cookbook".

Hope this helps,

Fabio Arciniegas A.                         http://www.thefaactory.com
Viaduct Technologies, Inc.                           Software Engineer

"To admit a belief merely because it is a custom - but that means to be
dishonest, cowardly, lazy! - And so could dishonesty, cowardice and
laziness be the preconditions for morality? "
	-F. Nietzsche - Daybreak,s. 101, R.J. Hollingdale transl

~The first group is represented by the page http://www.xmlpatterns.com/.  A
~brief review of this page and some of the references on it suggest that a
~"Pattern" is sort of a "best practice" or "archetype software algorithm."
~The second group is represented by the pages
~http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/xslguide/patterns-overview.asp and
~http://www.fatdog.com.  Here, Patterns are a kind of query language.
~Can anybody clear this up?
~(And by the way, what does ASP really refer to as well? <not a real
~question, just an example of a well known acronym clash>)


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