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RE: XPath conformance? was RE: [xml-dev] storing XML files

Amazing... one small piece of "borderline flamage" from me (I take the
blame/credit/responsibility ;->) sparks a lively and useful discussion
(15+ messages in this thread now ;->)...

So, proof that there are times when minor "flamage" is not so bad... if
the ends justify it ;->

You can flame me now... I'm already charred beyond recognition, so it
won't hurt so bad ;->


Chris Parkerson
Product Manager
eXcelon Corporation
Burlington, MA
(781) 674-5393

-----Original Message-----
From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 10:27 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: XPath conformance? was RE: [xml-dev] storing XML files

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Evan Lenz [mailto:elenz@xyzfind.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 8:52 PM
> To: Tom Bradford
> Cc: Champion, Mike; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: XPath conformance? was RE: [xml-dev] storing XML files

> Just don't pretend that you're any longer in conformance to 
> the standard.

XPath 1.0 Section 6 says in toto:

XPath is intended primarily as a component that can be used by
other specifications. Therefore, XPath relies on specifications that
use XPath (such as [XPointer] and [XSLT]) to
specify criteria for conformance of implementations of XPath and does
not define any conformance criteria for independent implementations of

Also, extension functions are defined in XSLT, not XPath, so neither
operators or functions to the XPath 1.0 spec is any more or less
If you want a "standard" query language for XML DBMS, wait until XQuery
comes out, (or get the XML world to agree that XSLT is "the" XML query
language, I don't care) then we can argue about each other's

Admittedly, I shouldn't have used the word "conformance" in spinning off
this thread. My point was that in a fluid technology/standards situation
such as we find ourselves in now, "conformance" is less important than
learning what really works. It's time  now to figure out what query
syntax/semantics hits the right balance of theoretical rigor,
efficiency, end-user understandability, and so forth. The argument "I am
more XPath 1.0 conformant than thou" doesn't contribute much to this

If y'all wanna have a religious war, there are plenty of real ones to
from these days, sigh. 

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