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- From: Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2000 12:12:26 -0500
Title: Procedural vs Declarative XML transformation approaches
I'm not interested in a rehash of what's right and wrong with XSLT itself, but a more abstract discussion of when and why one would take one approach or the other. I can think of a couple of arguments. First, In the world of query languages, it's clear to me that procedural approaches don't scale well -- you want an optimizer to figure out the best way to "just do it" given all it knows about the data, indexes, storage structures, etc. Can this argument plausibly be applied to transformation as well? It doesn't seem like it to me, since transformations are typically defined on a real chunk of XML, not an abstract set of criteria.
Also, I guess I should ask the meta-question -- is the declarative-procedural distinction still meaningful, or am I just stuck in the world of 1980's AI when this was a hot topic? (I guess an even nastier metaquestion is whether this also applies to validation as well as transformation ... I've heard a number of assertions that in the "real world", most XML users just write procedural code to validate content models, data types, and business rules all at once, and are not exactly waiting with bated breath for any of the declarative schema languages ... but I digress).
My suspicion is that the different approaches both are appropriate to certain audiences under certain conditions -- I want to understand those conditions better, not re-start any religious wars. Thanks in advance for any help.