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   XML specialized programming/transformation/query languages: can onefit a

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: XML specialized programming/transformation/query languages: can onefit all?
  • From: Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com>
  • Date: 13 May 2002 09:40:29 +0200

The feeling I have following the threads about XSLT2.0/Xpath2.0/XQuery
is that it will probably be as difficult to agree on a single language
for XML as it would be to agree on all using the same general purpose
programming language.

(This is *not* a cricism, I for one can't even agree with myself to use
a single general purpose programming language for my own developments.)

For "general" purpose programming languages, I think that most of us
will agree that this diversity is needed and follow Tim Bray when he

"At Antarcti.ca we use perl (logically equivalent to python in this
context) for processing large input data pools, Java for really
complicated geometric layout algorithms that are being refined and
improved all the time, and C for apache modules that manipulate large
shared-memory data structures to process hundreds of complex map-views
per second on commodity Intel hardware.  None of these would be improved
by replacing them with either of the others."

Most of the general purpose languages have started focussed on specific
tasks which are often still their main strengths in their latest
versions and trying to design a language which would do everything would
probably end up with a monster difficult to learn and to use which would
be good for nothing!

Furthermore, we see that a number of basic design decisions (structured
vs object oriented, declarative vs procedural, static vs dynamic typing,
...) need to be done and that each of them has an impact on the profile
of the language (there is no "right answer" for each of these choices
but rather different target applications).

If we follow the parallel between XML specific and general purpose
programming languages, we may wonder if it's possible to define a single
language which will fit everybody's needs and even if this is something
which is not counter productive!

See you in Barcelona.
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
http://xsltunit.org      http://4xt.org           http://examplotron.org


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