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RE: XQuery -- Reinventing the Wheel?

Title: RE: XQuery -- Reinventing the Wheel?

Brian Miller wrote:

> Jonathan.Robie@SoftwareAG-USA.com wrote:
> >
> > "An entirely new syntax" seems to be a bit of an
> > exaggeration.  In fact, XPath 2.0 will become that
> > common semantic and syntactic core for both
> > languages [XSLT and XQuery].
> How awkward that XPath (the "common semantic and
> syntactic core" of our pending XML revolution) is
> itself not expressed as XML.

Actually, I do not see this as awkward. In SQL, the query language is not expressed in tables and rows. In XQuery, the query language is not expressed in XML. Why is this a problem?

I have played with several syntaxes for expressing XPath with XML syntax, and it makes expressions *much* harder to read, write, and modify. However, it's quite easy to generate these representations automatically using an XPath parser, and they can be easier to use for programmatic manipulation. But I don't want to write them by hand.

Historical note: XSLT once *did* use an XML syntax for path expressions. The XSL Working Group found this awkward, and adopted a string-based expression language for the convenience of stylesheet authors.