RE: [xsl] killing xslt

Subject: RE: [xsl] killing xslt
From: "Michael Kay" <mhk@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 14:46:50 +0100
Unclear what the status of this is (a deliberately deniable announcement?),
but it's consistent with other rumours.

I don't think this has anything to do with schema integration. Microsoft
were never pushing that alone. Schema integration happened because all the
big vendors (MS, Oracle, IBM, etc) were behind XML schema, and by the time
its technical flaws started appearing there was already so much momentum
that XML Schema was clearly going to be important despite its faults.

I think the real reason Microsoft aren't investing in XSLT is that they
aren't making any money out of it, which is because they can't compete with
free software. There are plenty of XSLT enthusiasts inside the company, as
the blog indicates, but they don't have any funding. XQuery has plenty of
funding because database software still attracts large price tags. Microsoft
are putting their mouth where the money is.

The sad part of this is that it pretty well kills XSLT on the browser, which
always held out so much promise if only the interoperability problems could
be sorted out. On the server, it's pretty clear that Microsoft don't set the
technical direction. 

XQuery in its current form is no good at document transformation, and even
for data, it's got much less functionality than XSLT 2.0. It will succeed as
a database query language, which is what it's designed for, but I don't
think it will ever threaten the space where XSLT is currently used.

Michael Kay

> note the following: 
> 05/13/130969.aspx
> Well this is sort of weird for me, I 
> remember when the xslt 2.0 recs were first 
> coming out, and all the arguments we had, 
> one of things I considered then, and I think 
> I argued it, was that the hideous marriage 
> with xsdl was basically driven by microsoft, 
> natural enough given their wholesale 
> acceptance of xsdl. 
> Given that there was some concern that some 
> of the smaller xslt processors would not be 
> able or would be unwilling to make 
> improvements to support xsdl I felt that 
> this urging on of the schema integration was 
> definitely a drawback, given that probably 
> there would only be a couple of processors 
> willing to support it. That in essence xsdl 
> support was killing off xslt. 
> Now I'm not so sure about accidentally. 
> IIRC MS announced some time back that there 
> would be no further updates to MSXML, other 
> than I suppose service packs and bug fixes. 
> So MSXML will not be supporting XSLT 2.0, 
> and .NET will not be supporting XSLT 2.0, 
> and thanks to the largeness of XSLT 2.0, the 
> largeness of XSDL, and of course debates 
> about the meaning of large areas of the 
> schema spec how many processors for the next 
> version of the language can be counted on? 
> And what is the likelihood of those 
> processors being cross-platform compatible?

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