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   Re: [xml-dev] XSLT 2.0 / XPath 2.0 - Assumptions

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| Steve Muench then, editor of XSLT 2.0 Requirements?


Due to an overload of work requirements in other areas
at Oracle, I'm no longer Oracle's Rep to the XSL working group.
I was the editor on the XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 requirements,
but I personally had to pull out of participating about 10
months ago to work on Web Services and development-tools
related things at Oracle. We still have two reps who *do*
participate in the XSL effort, and two in XQuery, and two
in XML Schema, etc., just not me. :-)

| 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".

Oracle is not one of the companies that is trying to
push XSLT to be like SQL. In fact, just the opposite.
In our just-about-to-be-released Oracle9i Release 2
database, we have a new operator added *TO* SQL to
allow you to apply XSLT 1.0 transformations to XML

As you can imagine, we are quite fond of SQL as are our
many customers. Most of our current customers have asked
for an extended version of SQL that is more savvy for XML,
however we do have some customers looking to *only* work
with XML (instead of XML together with a mix of other
data and datatypes), so for those customers we are interested
in making sure that XQuery as an alternative query syntax
can be mapped in a performant way to our existing query engine.

Customers will be able to play with this combination
of (SQLX)+(XPath 1.0)+(XMLSchema 1.0)+(XSLT 1.0)+(Update XML)
database before summer (2002) starts. It's been 2 years
in the making :-)

Not speaking for Oracle here, having worked for 12 years
on our development tools, I see XSLT as an XML-based
"report writing" tool primarily. The line I personally 
have always seen between XQuery and XSLT was that you would
use XQuery (or SQLX) to have the database do the "heavy-lifting",
so to speak, to project and filter and do basic "shaping"
of the data to produce the "needles from within the haystack"
of the large database, and then you'd use XSLT to render
that document into all sorts of follow-on formats from those
database queries: HTML, PDF, SVG, Text, etc. 

I think the features that XSLT 1.0 users want in XSLT 2.0
are those features that make it an even better "report writer"
kind of tool. One of the features I was happy to have 
worked on was the new XSLT 2.0 grouping facilities. To me,
while working on designing that feature, I had the strong
feeling that "users were going to love this!" :-)

I think the spirit of the W3C to combine the XPath 2.0 and
XQuery 1.0 efforts was based on the fact that if a user 
was going to end up using XQuery and XSLT together in this
way, that it would be quite odd if they used to different
syntaxes to accomplish the same thing. Prior to unifying
the core of XQuery with XPath, there was really a lot of
syntactic overlap. 

Steve Muench - Developer, Product Mgr, Evangelist, Author
Simplify J2EE and EJB Development with BC4J
Building Oracle XML Apps, www.oreilly.com/catalog/orxmlapp


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