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   Re: [xml-dev] limits of the generic

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Jonathan Robie wrote:
> Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> > > Is it wrong for SQL or Java to have datatypes?
> >
> >Within their own contexts, no.  Extending those types beyond SQL or Java
> >processing creates a whole new set of problems that people who use SQL
> >or Java seem to be remarkably bad at recognizing.
> Such as?

How about the design decision that numbers are represented
as IEEE floats (complete with infinities, NaNs, and +/- 0)
in XSLT and XPath?  I can't think of a single good reason why
XPath needs floating point arithmetic, let alone IEEE 754 floating
point arithmetic, other than the fact that it's what Java supports.

Note that most other languages, including C and C++, do *not*
have adequate support for IEEE floating point to implement
XPath according to spec, even if the underlying hardware has it.  
Division by zero yields "undefined behavior" in C89, not +/- infinity
as required by XPath.

Or how about the specification of 'format-number' in XSLT
section 12.3?

Or the collection of primitive data types in W3C XML Schemas?

--Joe English



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