RE: First working draft of XSL

Subject: RE: First working draft of XSL
From: "James K. Tauber" <jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 05:29:06 +0800
One thing I particularly like about the draft is the ability for the result
tree to follow any document type and for the flow objects to just be one
possible schema to use. It both makes XML-to-HTML transforms easier and
XML-to-arbitrary-XML transforms possible.

Regarding the pattern syntax: remember we already have this issue with

Just over a year ago, I briefly argued that the addressing aspects of XLL
should be separated out because they can be used for more than just linking.
This, fortunately, got done with XPointers (although not because I said
anything :-)

A little further down the track, I suggested that maybe XPointers (or
something similar) could be used for patterns in XSL (I was told that this
was being considered).

Now looking at the new pattern syntax, the overlap is more obvious than
ever. Should this be taken advantage of?

XPointers and XSL patterns differ in that the former is generally concerned
with instances of an element whereas the latter is generally concerned with
classes of an element. But it doesn't seem that extension of one syntax to
allow for the kinds of things expressible in the other would be that

For example, XSL patterns use


to express *all* items with parents of type list

The same thing in XPointer is, I think:


Why not use the XSL syntax for this?

Furthermore, why not extend the XSL pattern syntax to allow for things like


(ie the third item in every list)

to be expressible as the XSL pattern:


or something similar.

What do people think?

NOTE: It is 5.30am here in Perth and I've been up all night. This could just
be the fruits of sleep deprivation :-)


James Tauber / jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx
Lecturer and Associate Researcher
Electronic Commerce Network             (
Curtin Business School                  (
Perth, Western Australia                (

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