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   RE: [xml-dev] XPath 1.5? (was RE: [xml-dev] typing and markup)

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At 9:31 AM +0100 5/7/02, Michael Kay wrote:

>I don't think it's acceptable, if people go to
>the trouble of defining the data types they are using in their documents,
>that XPath and XSLT should ignore this information and treat eveything as if
>it were text (or guess that it might be a number, as XPath 1.0 does).

It is all text. The idea that there are any numbers whatsoever in an 
XML document is an illusion that is sometimes useful in a particular 
local processing environment. XSLT should allow particular strings to 
be converted to numbers (including NaN) at the specific request of 
the stylesheet. The stylesheet needs to be in control, not the 
schema. If the stylesheet says it's a number, then it's a number, 
whether the schema agrees or not.

>Anyway, we get messages every week on xsl-list from people asking how to
>manipulate dates. I would love to reduce the complexity of the solution, but
>I don't think we can deny that the requirement exists.

There are no dates in XML documents either. There are strings and 
elements which some local processing environments may choose to treat 
as dates. In fact, I'm already doing this today using EXSLT, without 
any schema anywhere in sight. Schemas are no more necessary to add 
date processing functions to XSLT than they are to add numbers. This 
is a huge red herring.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|             http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/bible2/              |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
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