New/old pattern syntax, why can't we have both ?

Subject: New/old pattern syntax, why can't we have both ?
From: "Pasqualino \"Titto\" Assini" <assini@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 11:23:48 +0200
There has already been a lot of criticism regarding the new "compact"
XSL syntax for pattern matching.

The main, and correct, argument being that as it doesn't conform to XML

Personally I find the new syntax pleasing and much nicer to read and
write that the old one but I also need to work on the patterns as if
they were written in "real" XML. 

I think that the solution is very simple. 

The new syntax should be seen as a shorthand for the full, verbose, XML

It would be the parser responsibility to translate the compact form into
the normalised, "canonical" fully-XML form so that the application
programmer can be oblivious of this syntax details.

This is nothing new, RDF, for example has defined a compact and full
format for its descriptions with a clear mapping between the two forms. 

I know that supporting two syntaxes would make parser writing slightly
more complex but, as parsers gets written just once and then used
billions of times, this is not really an issue.

So my proposal would be: 
- define a canonical XML form for pattern matching
- define a one-to-one mapping between the canonical form and the compact
- require any conforming XML/XSL parser to return the canonical form.

Pasqualino "Titto" Assini  ---  assini@xxxxxxxx  
Kamus Internet Consulting  ---

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