RE: [xsl] XML File Lister for Apache Ant

Subject: RE: [xsl] XML File Lister for Apache Ant
From: "Michael Kay" <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 13:26:18 -0000
> Whether it was intended or just there because of XQuery would be
> to know...

Always hard to write the definitive history of a feature like this. I think
it was introduced initially as a way of getting access to data in an XML
database. It was nearly thrown out several times because people claimed it
was not interoperable, so you might just as well use a vendor-specific
mechanism. Some of us stuck out for keeping it, because (a) you can always
supply the collection URI as a parameter, and (b) it was quite likely that
conventions would appear for creating interoperable collection URIs in the
fullness of time. 
> Sadly it loses it's usefulness for large data sets without an 
> extension like saxon:discard-document... but you never know 
> as it's implementation defined something may emerge where the 
> documents are discarded by default.

I managed to get a get-out clause into the spec that says the requirement
for stable results is not absolute, that is, implementations can provide
options to deliver non-stable results. Hopefully we'll find ways of building
on that to provide the right level of user control in the future. I agree
saxon:discard-document() is a bit of a kludge (but it works).

Michael Kay

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