Re: Schemas in XSLT 2.0 (Was: Re: [xsl] keys and idrefs - XSLT2 request?)

Subject: Re: Schemas in XSLT 2.0 (Was: Re: [xsl] keys and idrefs - XSLT2 request?)
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 17:22:09 +0100
> I'm actually inclined to agree with this. I think schemas add a degree of
> complexity to XSLT that run counter to what it does best. As it stands right
> now, XSLT is like a loosely typed language a la Python or Javascript, and
> that lack of typing makes it very useful for handling all kinds of
> metaphoric transformations ... ones that simply utilize overall structural
> patterns to perform the transformations, then subclassing the exceptions. I
> worry that is XSLT introduces type, it will 1) be a major performance drain,
> 2) strongly limit the metaphorical transformations, and 3) lock it
> explicitly into XML Schema, rather than making it possible to work with some
> other schema language.

Yes this view has my sympathy as well. It's a real worry that while
Xpath 2.0 is coerced into being a carrier for XQuery, many of the extra
features being added have rarely or never been requested by XSLT users,
In particular schema support doesn't seem particularly high on many
people's wish list. and many features that have been requested are being
delayed. Multiple file output, grouping, evaluation of dynamically
constructed XPath expressions, etc. It would have been nice to
see an XSLT 1.x with these things in, rather than have everything pushed
back to a 2.0 that still hasn't even come out as a first draft, and
judging by the functions and operators document will be somewhat
preoccupied with schema support.

As for your point 3, I agree that being locked into W3C schema at this
stage when there is so little experience with schema, and there are
clearly going to be multiple schema languages used with XML would be a
bad thing. This is why earlier I highlighted the difference between
supporting the built in types (that could also be used for example with
RELAX NG) as opposed to requiring (or encouraging) full W3C Schema
processing before transformation, which is likely just to make worse
the kind of compatibility problems associated with dtd defaulting


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