Re: [xsl] Quasi-Literals and XML

Subject: Re: [xsl] Quasi-Literals and XML
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 19:24:38 GMT
> OK, that may involve selection or omission or concatenation
> or re-ordering of content, but anything beyond that is surely
> the realm of the producers of the XML itself, again using
> appropriate tools for that different job?

In an ideal world, perhaps, but in practice one often wants to query
into the structure of the character data of an XML file. You could say
that you should be using a character based regexp engine for that rather
than a structure based transform like xslt, but often the characters
you want to query are stuck away in the XML structure, so you need an
XML query language (xslt/xpath or perhaps xquery one day) to find what
your looking for, then some character based searching once you get

Obvious examples being things like xpath expressions in select
attributes, CSS expressions in style attributes, SVG path expressions,
to a lesser extent the content of MathML mo and mi elements.

If you want to query into the structure of these things using an
appropriate tool then one needs an API so that XSLT can pass the
appropriate text to that tool. Sometimes that may be in fact the way to
go, but there is a middle ground between that and the current rather
primitive string handling of contains() and substring(). Having some
kind of string matching capability would make an awful lot of transforms
a lot easier.



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