Subject: Re: [xsl] XSLT vs Perl|
From: Terence Kearns <terencek@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 16:26:43 +1100
But the way they are added is far from being perfect. The string regular expressions of XSLT 2.0 is the only place where regular syntax is used, XML matching is not expressed in terms of regular expresions.
Further on, the regexps in XSLT 2.0 are a mix of those from XML Schema and perl 5, fit into the XML syntax XSLT 2.0, but without capabilities of perl to compose and manipulate them.
While in perl one can generate, compute, concatenate and split regular expressions, as well as manipulate their results freely, in XSLT 2.0 the operations are limited to a few built-in commands.
I understand that it is a difficult task to design a regular expression language to match attribute values and character data; but when there is no good solution inside XSLT, it should be left out of it -- tool chains can be long; otherwise the glue must be powerful and flexible. XSLT does not provide a powerful and flexible glue; it is still XML-oriented.
In RenderX XEP, an XSL FO formatter, the preprocessor is written in XSLT;
it is a complex stylesheet of moderate size, and it does what is best to
do in XML manipulation language.
Regular parsing and type manipulations are done in a different language, because a different language is more suitable.
Instead of providing means for interaction, XSLT 2.0 is going to provide inferior solutions for problems that can better be handled in other parts of toolkits.
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