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   XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 - Assumptions

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In a message dated 12/05/02 11:00:18 GMT Daylight Time, jeni@jenitennison.com writes:

One of the things that's been illuminating for me over the past few
days discussion has been how different the assumptions are between
XQuery and XSLT users about how their respective languages are going
to be used


It strikes me that the assumptions/mindset that the W3C WGs are bringing to bear on this is potentially crucial to the proposed mis-step of making XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0 (more or less) subsets of XQuery.

It seems to me arguably that support for a slim and practical XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 can be expected to be very weak in the XQuery etc WGs.

We can take it for granted that the XQuery people are RDBMS-orientated in their thinking / approach. So, likely they will apply that mindset/perspective to XSLT and XPath.

So who is batting for a simple XSLT/XPath in the WGs? Maybe the guys from the XSLT WG?

Michael Kay perhaps, editor of XSLT 2.0? But he is on record as stating "when I first saw the XSL Transformation Language, XSLT, I realized that this was going to be the SQL of the web". His bio also includes the information that his background is in databases and his current employment is on the Tamino XML database. So, Michael can be expected to be batting for a big and bloated "XSLT as SQL", to fulfil his original vision for it. I am copying this to him so he can correct me, if I am wrong.

Steve Muench then, editor of XSLT 2.0 Requirements? But doesn't Oracle have more than a passing commercial interest in RDBMS?

So where is the representation on the XSLT WG for a small and slim XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 to come from?

Jonathan told us the other day, as I recall, that XPath users were in favour of XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 as proposed. Again, as I recall, he "happened" not to answer the question as to who said that? Maybe he will clarify now who stated that the XPath community was happy with the proposals. How many in the XPath community were consulted on the question?

My guess is that many in the XPath / XSLT community are, at best, only vaguely aware of the additional complexity that is potentially being imposed on XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 in the interests of "XSLT as SQL".

What do you think of the idea of an open question to the XSL list asking people if they are crying out for these changes? And asking if they find the 900 or so pages of XQuery etc readable and relevant to their needs?

In the interests of fairness maybe we should avoid a title like "RDBMS guys hijacking XSLT and XPath"? <grin/>

Let me make it clear that I am not against XQuery. I think it could be very important, but crucially XQuery 1.0 seems likely to lack updates.

Andrew Watt


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