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RE: Grand Unification Theory

Subject: RE: Grand Unification Theory
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 08:38:15 -0400

HI Lars,

I'm not sure if this is such a good idea. I used to support this idea,
too, but after I've seen the uses that XSL patterns are being put to
I'm not so sure any more.

XPointers are supposed to be used for locating a specific point or
range in an XML document. (The current version can locate multiple
points, but I'm not sure that's a good idea.)

XSL patterns, on the other hand, are supposed to:

  - be triggered by a specific set of elements
  - be used as string expressions
  - be used as boolean test expressions
  - be used to locate a specific node in the document relative to a
  specific node

Only the last of these uses is really in harmony with XPointer,
although the first also has some similarities. So, while this may be
possible it's not clear if the results will be very nice.

We have to remove the processing part from the picture in order to have them
re-united. In we consider only the notation and not the processing, it make
sense that both get united. Form a notational point of view. The notation
has to support both a class level and instance level notation. The former
and the latter should seamlessly derived one form the other.

>From the XSL point of view, a pattern is like a query or a name space
context (not like the actual XML name space but more like for paths and name
services). I know that from a process point of view this is not a query but
from the notational point of view, with a XSL pattern you specify with node
classes you want. In XPointer it is which instance node you want. The main
point is from the knowledge management point of view. If you can re-use the
knowledge you gain in XSL (class based) to XPOinter (instance based) or vise
versa, you minimize the information overload and maximize the investment in
learning the person already made. Also, you minimize the learning curve for
newcomers and make it more easy to people who have to explain all this to
newcommers (there'll be millions of them in the future!)

Didier PH Martin

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