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RE: XQuery - The truth comes out!

At 06:06 PM 2/26/2001 -0800, Evan Lenz wrote:

>Despite my affinity for template rules, I'm perfectly willing to grant that
>such a move might be necessary. Also, despite my being comfortable with
>XSLT's syntax (for the most part), I am starting to see the demand and hence
>need for a different syntax, such as an SQL-like syntax. I believe that
>another syntax could be created for XSLT down-reference pull, and the
>similarity between XSLT and XQuery would become even more apparent. (Paul
>Tchistopolskii's work on XSLScript might be leveraged here.)

That might be interesting and fun to play with, especially if it had 
exactly the same information content as the corresponding XSLT, and the two 
could be directly translated into each other. I'm comfortable with XSLT 
syntax, especially now that XML Spy has reduced the amount of keystrokes I 
need to write a stylesheet, but I imagine someone might have fun with this.

>Many people have had trouble learning XSLT, due to the difficulty of
>figuring out how template rules work. By taking template rules (push) out of
>the equation, XSLT would be *much* easier to learn (as well as a great deal
>less powerful). I'm, of course, not proposing that template rules be removed
>from XSLT.

Right - when I've taught people XSLT, the hard parts seemed to be template 
rules and recursive descent ( <xsl:apply-templates/> ). And these are 
precisely the features that I treasure most in XSLT. I'm not sure the 
syntax of template rules or recursive descent have been the big stumbling 
block, I think it basically takes a little time for beginners to grasp this 
approach to programming.

>Believe it or not, I agree with all of the above, as long as you're talking
>about template rules. But in the case of XSLT down-reference pull, on the
>other hand, that translation should be trivial. My agreement with you here
>doesn't detract from the primary point I've been trying to make.

Hmmm....maybe we've been agreeing loudly while talking past each other.

At any rate, watch this space. I think the XSLT and XQuery people will 
figure out how to do the right thing. We have reasonable and bright people 
on both sides, and we both really care about the right issues.

>Jonathan, I'm learning a great deal from this discussion, and I very much
>appreciate your willingness to not only participate, but your
>open-mindedness in doing so.

Thanks - I'm finding this discussion productive and interesting.


These are my opinions right now. They may be quite different from the 
opinions of Software AG, the W3C XML Query Working Group, or the opinions 
that I will have after reading and considering your response.