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   RE: [xml-dev] typing and markup (was Re: [xml-dev] XQuery types)

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com] 
> Sent: Monday, May 06, 2002 1:14 PM
> To: Jonathan Robie
> Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] typing and markup (was Re: [xml-dev] 
> XQuery types)
> > Suppose you try to multiply an integer times a URI. Do you 
> want that 
> > error
> > to be caught? Suppose you want a sorted list of numbers - 
> do you want to 
> > sort them numerically rather than lexically? If so, types 
> are good. Yes, 
> > whoever implemented the system had to think to make that 
> happen. We have 
> > descriptions of the thinking implementors will have to do.
> > 
> > Has the strong static typing of Java gotten in your way as a 
> > programmer?
> No, it doesn't, but you're asking completely the wrong 
> question.  The successful presence of strong static typing in 
> Java in no way suggests that such things are appropriate in 
> XML.  The kinds of typing we're seeing proposed and discussed 
> in fields like Schema and Query are kinds of typing which 
> seem perfectly acceptable in Java but downright ridiculous in markup.
> If - in an XML context - you're trying to multiply an integer 
> times a URI, I think you've likely run amok in your 
> processing.  You probably shouldn't be attempting to multiple 
> @href by quantity in the first place, and static typing's not 
> going to help there.  It may be able to help you with sort 
> order, but I'd rather see a mechanism for sorting, not a type 
> system which happens to understand sorting.

Well said. My issue with the XQuery type system is that the WG has
focused on adding unecessary complexity to querying XML (what is the
difference between "cast as", "assert as" and "treat as"?, what happens
when I multiply an xs:float with an xs:integer and an xs:decimal?) yet
fail to cater to a user scenarios which (according to one of the W3C
honchos) is a requirement of around 50% of the people expecting to
utilize XQuery. Yes, I'm talking about updates again and Yes, I'm a
broken record. 

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