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Re: Why not reinvent the wheel?

One objection is that us poor developers can only squeeze so many syntaxes
into our heads (at one time anyway).  Subtle differences in processing will
only cause grief when debugging complex programs. They both have
if-then-else and for loops.  For better or worse, they are both programming
languages - and similar ones at that.  Better to get it right once.

Second, we are not talking about a commercial product, but a standards
process.  This fragmentation in the standards space will dilute commercial
support so that it will take longer before we get decent implementations of
any query language.  Competing standards actually delay or prevent
competition among products.   Ask any Unix vendor.  Ask Microsoft.  Too many
standards also weeds out small players.  Only the big boys can support them all.

Jonathan Robie keeps saying that the XML Query use cases are different than
XSLT.  But there have been numerous protests to the contrary on this list.
Perhaps he could tell us which of the XML Query use cases cannot be applied
to XSLT?

I am not buying the optimization argument either.  By exposing random access
XPath (pointed out by Joe English), there is effectively no difference
between them.  My personal opinion, is that a standard schema would provide
a stable footing that allows work to go ahead on static analysis of document
bases.  This document analysis will drive query optimization (as pointed out
by others on the list).  Ordering and equality rules for datatypes will
assist this effort!

Yes, it is a bit easier to read the FORTRAN-like syntax. If syntax sugar is
the compelling argument here, why not develop an XSLT generator?  I am
encouraged by coordination around XPath 2.0.  Why not go the rest of the
way: just make XSLT the XML syntax for XML Query?

Finally, don't worry about slowing the pace of innovation.  XML will get
scrapped in 5 (10, 15?, any bets?) years for something new ;~)

take it easy,
Charles Reitzel

On Thu, 22 Feb 2001 Eric van der Vlist wrote:
>I enjoy XSLT a lot, but if some brilliant guys think they can define a
language that is better fitted for some purposes why should I worry -- even
if there is a huge overlap ?
>If it happens that the new language is a better fit than XSLT to do some of
the tasks I have to do it will save my time. If not I'll continue using
XSLT. Where is the problem with trying something else ?
>Some competition between may be a good motivation and I would rather regret
that XSLT has been lacking credible competitors and alternatives for such a
long time.
>I see competition as simulating and source of diversity and richness (if
it's true for schemas, why not for XSLT? ).
>If people had not always being trying to reinvent the wheel our cars would
roll on logs...