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

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Hi Eric,

>> The kind of model I favour is one where XPath is broken down into
>> modules that can be combined when XPath is used in XQuery, XSLT,
>> W3C XML Schema, XForms, XPointer, user-defined languages and so on.
>> The most basic module would support only the basic axes, for
>> example; other modules would build on top of it to add the support
>> required for the other languages' uses of XPath.
> This seems like such a good idea that I am surprized it hasn't been
> unanimously accepted yet :-) ...

I dunno -- maybe I should write it up properly. Now, where was the
entrance to that intradimensional rift?...

> In an ideal world, XPath 1.0 could be one of these modules!

Yes, or at least something that looks so darned close to XPath 1.0
that no one would know the difference. I do think that the underlying
data model from XPath 1.0 needs to change a little, to support a "type
annotation" feature, make it closer to the Infoset and all that, but
what I'd like is for it to be much more agnostic about where that
typing information comes from and what the types are (the types are
just labels).

> In a way this is already what's happening: specifications define
> their own sub or super set of XPath. It would be a mean to formalize
> what's happening in real life.

Absolutely. To me, XPath and XSLT were built with the power to extend
and evolve. New versions should be evolving in line with existing
extensions. XPath 1.0 was actually too big for some languages; we
should be able to look at what's been done with it to work out how to

> It would also be a challenging exercise to build static typing as a
> module: in general purpose programming languages this is a rather
> fundamental design decision!

I guess that saying that I think values should be represented as
labelled strings *is* saying that I think static typing should be
built in from the bottom up? But I don't think that means that all
languages built on top of this fantasy XPath would have to check types

>> (Coo, don't *I* feel important!) I have no idea; I've only been an
>> invited expert for a few days. We should ask Dare.
> Sure, you are the eye of all the independent consultants within this
> W3C WG!

Believe me, I take that responsibility very seriously.



Jeni Tennison


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