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As I say, you can draw the line in different places.
Nodes have identity. Atomic values and sequences don't. Creating
something with identity is a side-effect. XPath expressions don't have
side-effects because they don't create things with identity. XSLT
instructions do have side effects, because executing an instruction
twice produces two different nodes. Therefore you can do heavier
optimization at the XPath level than at the XSLT level. There is a logic
to it, however imperfect.
There is another logic as well. Things that are needed both in XQuery
and in XSLT should ideally be done the same way in both. That keeps the
total set of specifications smaller: less to implement, less to test,
less to learn. Many users will be using both languages. The argument
that XPath should be the "greatest common subset" of XQuery and XSLT
isn't an overriding one (for example we have chosen to keep function
definitions separate, despite the argument that users may have to write
the same function twice), but it's a factor to take into account.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Carlisle [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: 10 May 2002 16:16
> To: email@example.com
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] XPath 2.0 - how much of XQuery should
> it include?
> I accept that it has to be an arbitrary choice but
> Drawing the line here
> puts sequence construction firmly on the XPath side of the
> boundary, because a sequence is a value.
> But nodes are also values, so node construction also sits
> firmly in XPath, but basically that says to junk XSLT and to
> use Xquery.
> Looking at Xpath2 that is the distinct impression that is
> given, that XSLT is being marginalised. Maybe that wasn't the
> intended impression but it is no less real for that.
> Sequences are the Xpath2 replacement for node sets, so if it
> makes sense for XSLT to construct node sets it should make
> sense for it to construct sequences.
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