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

Subject: RE: New/old pattern syntax, why can't we have both ?
From: "James K. Tauber" <jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 00:03:04 +0800
> Is Xpointer intended to solve the problem of patterns?  It
> seems to me that patterns in XSL are much more complex than XPointers.  If
> XPointers could be used then I would very much agree with using them
> of coming up with another syntax.

XPointers can't really be used for XSL and XSL patterns can't really be used
for XLink addressessing --- AS THEY CURRENTLY STAND.

I'm interested in exploring the possibility of expanding both to form a
superset tree addressing language.

What might make this difficult is that:

1. XSL patterns are generally interested in a class of nodes (eg "all the
elements of type 'emph'") whereas XPointers are generally interested in a
specific node.

2. The processing models are likely quite different. XPointers are used to
find nodes in a document whereas with XSL, you start with a node and try to
find the pattern that matches with the greatest specificity.

> If Xpointer is sufficient then much of this goes away because we will
> probably have an Xpointer parser available already (at least when
> become widely used). If they are not sufficient, then we should use base
> syntax.

I don't think XPointers are sufficient but I don't think it would take much
to make them so.


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

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