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   Semantics was Re: [xml-dev] XQuery types ...

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Evan Lenz wrote:

> Jonathan Borden wrote:
> > I
> > don't mean to be condescending, but it is hard to have a meaningful
> > converstation unless we agree on a few principles.
> I don't have a computer science education (working on that now), but what
> Dare said about XQuery makes complete sense to me.

A number of things were said, and if you want to know my opinion about
XUpdate, google "Borden XUpdate" ... I've nothing new to add.

On the otherhand, I do agree (I suppose with the XQuery WG) that: the XQuery
semantics is a 'good thing', and I suppose that if the XQuery type system
were actually based on XML Schema, as Dare suggests, then what would the
purpose of the XQuery semantics be?

As I've said, I see more in common between RELAXNG and XQuery semantics than
XML Schema, but perhaps I'm the only person to think this, so be it.

> I hardly think this
> requires a discussion of logic and where we got the word "type". You
> consider that terms in computer science do not always correspond directly
> terms in abstract logic. I get the feeling you're not really listening to
> what Dare's saying; instead you're trying to cast his use of various terms
> into the mold you learned in Logic 101. That seems like a surefire way to
> delay meaningful discussion.

Hmm. How about this:

1) XML has largely succeeded as defining an exchange syntax. No longer does
the world _need_ to argue over whether to use angle brackets or parens to
delimit tokens. Whoopee!!

2) By objective measurements, the Web and the Internet have largely been a
failure since roughly 1996 -- this reflected in the now not so recent Stock
Market crash. The networks sector has been demolished and the technology
sector is largely stagnant.

3) If you look at the _hype_ (not the reality) that surrounded XML in
1998-1999, the promise of shared semantics, improved internet search
engines, global catalogs etc, has not materialized.

4) 99% of XML as used today, as a syntactic document exchange mechanism was
done with XML 1.0 + XML Namespaces

Most everything that has come beyond that has been dancing around the idea
of shared _semantics_, yet most people consider this a pipe dream.

I am trying to (re)cast this discussion toward something I consider
meaningful, and in a more rational direction.

1) We need to use the term "semantics" in a precise fashion, otherwise we
will continue to tangentially debate the issues ad infinitum.

2) "Types" and yes I mean "classes" of Logic 101 (I never took that,
actually all my knowledge of this comes from more of a comp. sci.
background -- so be it.) are necessary for a mathematical (i.e. machine
understandable) definition of semantics.

3) Classes understood in this fashion are not esoteric, rather

In any case, yes, I am trying to nudge this discussion on toward promises
that the XML community (perhaps unwittingly) made to the public in 1998, and
remain unfulfilled. In any case if "XML" in the general sense is not
interested in moving in this direction, it really is _done_ and has
accomplished its initial objective (it has succeeded as a document exchange



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