RE: [xsl] Re: OOXML

Subject: RE: [xsl] Re: OOXML
From: "Michael Kay" <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 18:25:52 +0100
> Yes -- strictly speaking XSLT and XQuery are declarative and 
> not functional -- functions are not first-class objects and 
> the languages are not based on the lambda calculus & 
> combinator theory.
> People use the term "functional" loosely to mean 
> "declarative", 

I wouldn't be quite so prescriptive in the terminology. As with OO,
functional programming is an "orientation" rather than a set of conformance
rules. Yes, neither language has higher-order functions (though as everyone
on this list knows, XSLT can simulate them quite well with nodes linked to
dynamic templates acting as a surrogate for a higher-order function); but
the most important characteristic of functional programming is the use of
functional composition as the execution model, with no distinction between
expressions and statements. Both languages have that (though XQuery is
becoming less pure over time, it seems.)

Michael Kay

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