RE: [xsl] Is there a reason for not using XSLT 2.0 as a default

Subject: RE: [xsl] Is there a reason for not using XSLT 2.0 as a default
From: "Michael Kay" <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 09:57:13 -0000
> In fact one of the primary reasons Microsoft has held back from
> providing direct support for the XSLT 2.0 spec is based on the last
> second 'split' of the 1.0 spec into the XSL (FO) and XSLT
> specifications causing an incompatible processor to be propogated and
> a support nightmare to be invoked. 

Just to add to DC's reply.

It's a mistake to imagine that Microsoft's WD-xsl processor was a faithful
and accurate implementation of a draft W3C specification. The WD-xsl
language actually bears no more relationship to the Dec 1998 draft of the
language than it does to the final Dec 1999 spec. This is partly because the
Dec 1998 draft is peppered with descriptions of open issues: anyone
implementing it had to make their own decisions on how to resolve these.
It's quite clear to anyone reading that draft that it was in a very
unfinished state. Many features of WD-xsl bear no resemblence to anything in
any W3C draft: you can search in vain for operators such as $and$ or for the
functions that access the context stack. These features were added by
Microsoft because the W3C draft was incomplete. 

To suggest that W3C had a complete specification, that Microsoft implemented
it in good faith, and that W3C then changed it at the last minute, is
therefore a complete distortion. I don't know what motivated Microsoft to
ship product at the time they did, but it was obvious to any observer at the
time that they were basing their product very loosely on a specification
that was incomplete and still changing. It was evident to me as an outsider,
and would have been even more evident to someone with access to the WG
minutes, which I have since seen. The WG was making radical changes at every
single meeting, often without a written proposal on the table, and Microsoft
were members so they would have known that.

Michael Kay

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