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RE: XQuery & XSLT was RE: Verboseness - XML Syntax for XQuery1.0(XQueryX)

Thomas outlines some of the major design guidelines for any good
language design that are also followed by the members of the working

Best regards

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas B. Passin [mailto:tpassin@home.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 5:04 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: XQuery & XSLT was RE: Verboseness - XML Syntax 
> for XQuery 1.0(XQueryX)
> [Jonathan Robie]
> > At 10:57 AM 6/19/2001 -0700, Murali Mani wrote:
> >
> > >a) semantics is more important than syntax, but probably they are 
> > >also linked together
> Semantics, syntax, and there's a third dimension: human 
> comprehension.  The syntax must promote human understanding.  
> Even with SQL, for example, it's so easy to have a query 
> return something other than what you wanted, and often it's 
> very hard to be sure if the results are correct or not.
> To me, this dimension rules out an xml syntax as the only or 
> primary syntax, because the xml has too much visual noise.  
> An xml syntax would have to be considered an adjunct for 
> machine processing, as it seems the current plan has it.
> Even when queries will be mainly machine-generated, a human 
> is going to have to develop and debug the query generator, 
> again emphasizing the importance of human comprehensibility.
> This entails certain consequences, like these:
> 1) minimal context-dependence
> 2) a judiciously small amount of operator overloading (e.g., 
> "+" for string
> concatenation) - too much overloading gets hard to remember.
> 3) minimal exceptions, preferably none, so use of syntactical 
> features is consistent.
> 4) recursion - e.g., expressions may contain expressions with 
> minimal limitations, queries may make use of other queries.
> I don't know if the XQuery effort has a set of guidelines 
> like this, but it looks as if they have been thinking 
> somewhat along these lines.  Perhaps Jonathan would care to 
> comment on this?
> Cheers,
> Tom P
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