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RE: intertwined specs

At 03:52 PM 2/16/2001 -0600, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>As I sort my way through the XQuery draft, it has a
>way of looking like an ASP page with all of the
><% %> delimiters removed.  Ok.  I can
>see the utility of it (alternative to the SQL variants
>popping up from every vendor), and the overlap
>with XSLT (transforms in the query).  So far so good.
>I can see the sense of this.  The stored procedure
>guys should love it.

Yes, I think all of this is reasonable. Of course, many, perhaps most 
XQuery queries will not look like an ASP page. Many will just use the 
expression language without constructing literal XML.

>MSL:  well, ok as long as these are formal
>proofs among interested parties as to the
>correctness of parts, no problem.  If this
>enters the production systems, it is not
>something most will welcome outside the
>deepgeeks with the faster propellors. So,
>it will be an academic exercise similar to
>the early DSSSL with Scheme/LISP.  Good
>to have for formal work; not something
>the production folks will want to work with
>unless it is made *very* friendly by tools.
>Even then...

You don't show your formalisms to your users, no more than you ask them to 
read the assembly code.

>Keep in mind what someone made very clear
>very passionately in Vancouver when this
>SGML On The Web thing was a'bornin' and
>people had to agree to walk away from the
>advanced state of extant solid work:
>"It has to be simple."  Jean Paoli- Microsoft

Well, yes, it has to be simple. But formal approaches, used well, make 
things simpler. I wish SGML were LL(1), for instance, it would have made 
the language much easier to implement. However, I wouldn't bother my users 
with an explanation of what LL(1) means.