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RE: [xml-dev] XSLT 2.0 and XSL(-FO) 2.0

From: "Michael Kay" <michael.h.kay@--------.--->
To: <AndrewWatt2000@---.--->,<xml-dev@-----.---.--->
Date: 5/12/2002 7:11:00 PM
> Since XSLT 2.0 will inevitably impact XSL-FO 2.0 then 
> concerns similar to 
> those we have been discussing arise there.
Since XSLT and XSL-FO are developed by the same working group it's
likely, if anything, that XSL-FO users have more influence on XSLT
development than other groups with an equal claim. I'm not sure what
point you're trying to make?

Frankly, Andrew, I think you've got things totally out of proportion.
The principal concepts of XSLT and XPath were laid down with the 1.0
specs. Anyone who has mastered that is going to have very little
difficulty picking up the new features. People coming to the language
new are not going to need to learn the difficult programming tricks that
were needed in 1.0 to do common tasks like grouping, sorting dates, or
computing subtotals. The only thing that is conceptually new is the
integration with XML Schema, and by the time we've finished the hope is
that you won't need to understand that if you don't want to use it.
There's a lot more formal specification this time round, but that's
intended for implementors, not for users: users, as always, will pick it
up by sitting next to Nellie. The language family has grown, but it's
still incredibly small compared with SQL or Java.

If we've got it wrong, then (as happened with SQL) the user and vendor
community will stick with 1.0. I don't personally believe that will
happen: you only need to see how many of the difficult coding problems
raised every day on xsl-list become trivially easy with 2.0 to see why. 

Yes, we all have our favorite list of features in XPath 2.0 that we
think no-one needs, and hopefully some of them will go, but they all
have their champions, so throwing things out is not easy. There are even
people who like schemas. It doesn't actually worry me unduly if there's
the odd function in the function library that no-one uses. It does worry
me if we leave out features that mean people have to continue writing
arcane things like

   count($x | $y) = count($x)

to test if $x and $y are the same node.

Michael Kay
Software AG
home: Michael.H.Kay@n...
work: Michael.Kay@s...


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