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   RE: [xml-dev] XSLT and XQuery

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> What I am interested in hearing about, but what noone has yet
> been able to
> explain, is whether:
> 1) there are more fundamental differences between XSLT and
> XQuery (beyond surface syntax)
> 2) and if so, why I should care
What counts as fundamental? At one level, the tasks are the same: take a set
of documents as input and produce a [set of] documents as output.

Within this there are many differences of emphasis, some based on user
requirements and usage scenarios, others based on the traditions and
priorities of the people doing the development work. XSLT's original usage
scenario was styling of documents for presentation. Hence it's stronger on
documents than on data, it's designed to be tolerant to variations in the
structure of the documents and to errors in the stylesheet, it's typically
used to process a small number of input documents. XQuery's primary usage
scenario is searching XML databases, hence it's stronger on data than on
documents, and it's designed to enable a lot of static optimization and

It would have been nicer if we could have come up with a single language
suited to both tasks, rather than two languages with a 70% overlap in
functionality; but I don't think it's the end of the world that we haven't
achieved that. In fact, a bit of friendly competition sometimes does no harm
and can be in the users' interest in the long run.

Mike Kay


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