Re: [xsl] format-number underspecified (Was: XSLT 1.1 comments from Steve Muench)

Subject: Re: [xsl] format-number underspecified (Was: XSLT 1.1 comments from Steve Muench)
From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:23:17 -0700
> | is probably Uche; > is Steve Muench:\
> | format-number() is another case in point of this. It  causes *real* pain
> | when an implementor has to find away to implement such an
> | awkward mechanism when his language has perfectly useful, and far more
> | mature, numerical formatting constructs. I bet you implemented
> | format-number() in OracleXSL in ten minutes. It has taken the 4XSLT
> | implementors a dreadful amount of work.
> >Oracle has both Java and C implementations. I did not hear the developers
> >of our C implementation complaining about format-number(). They just
> >implemented the behavior as noted in the spec.

I missed this message, and apparently all others from yesterday when our ISP 
had a network blackout.

This is in response to Steve Muench.

You represent a company who tells everyone for miles around how you *saved* 
one billion dollars on your IT last year.  Lord knows how much money you have 
to throw at developers who are happy to write whatever C code you ask them.

I represent a tiny company who can't even get an ISP with a redundant Internet 
connection.  I'm not talking to you WRT format-number() from speculation about 
what "the developers" experienced.  I am telling you that with my own fingers 
I struggled with format-number() in C to put together an efficient 
implementation for 4Suite.  Jeremy Kloth polished up the job, and between the 
two of us, we spent an inordinate amount of time considering other ways we 
could have provided the same functionality if the XSLT WG had not decided to 
off-load the whole matter to the Java spec.

And Jeremy and I are good C programmers.  I have about a decade of experience 
in the language.

It all wouldn't be so bad if Java had some extraordinarily elegant and mature 
mechanism for numerical formatting, but Java's DecimalFormat stuff is very 
poorly designed and even more poorly specified.

I did not set out to implement a bunch of Java quirks: I set out to implement 
an XSLT processor.  If the W3C is proud of the fact that open-source authors 
implement their specifications, they will do very well to consider that few 
open-source authors have the resources of Oracle.

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python

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