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

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At 10:17 AM -0700 5/7/02, Jonathan Robie wrote:

>What behavior would you like XQuery and XPath to adopt that is 
>different from what is in the current Working Drafts? Can you 
>illustrate the advantages of this behavior with an example?

Here's just one:

         avg( input()//person/name )

You say you want this to fail. I say I want it to return NaN if any 
of the identified name elements contains a non-number and the actual 
average if they all do contain strings that can be parsed as numbers. 
Neither of us is right. Neither is wrong. We simply have different 
needs in our local environments. Tomorrow I may move to a different 
local environment with different needs.

I also have a use-case of teaching this stuff that requires it be 
simple and intelligible. Based on that, I strongly oppose systems 
that have 20 different ways to do the same thing, and systems that 
mangle multiple layers together instead of allowing them to be 
separated out and used independently. It makes my job more 

 From my perspective, those who want typing need to demonstrate the 
use-cases. Looking at the XQuery use-cases document I don't see many 
there. Furthermore, I specifically reject the following use-case: Q3 "Select all elements using datatypes from "XML Schema: 
Part 2" datatypes"

That's wildly artificial. Are there any others? On a quick scan of 
the latest draft I don't see them, but maybe I missed some or I'm not 
up-to-date enough with the XQuery syntax to see where this is used. 
Section 1.10 seems to be all about complex types, not simple types.

| 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/   |
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