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Re: [xsl] Does XSLT have a run-time system?


Subject: Re: [xsl] Does XSLT have a run-time system?
From: James Fuller <james.fuller.2007@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2013 17:40:19 +0100

RTSD used to be something we cared more about in primitive software
architecture ... but modern languages tend to be supplied 'with
batteries' today (GC, memory management, etc etc) with compilation
pulling/linking in everything needed or dynamic languages doing that
job ... also  iterative agile development practices make it easy to
build software observing runtime behavior as part of the code/develop
loop (esp. in modern IDE).

As for XSLT, Wolfgang is correct to say that XSLT parse tree rep of
code and data + all the other things that help execute and run the
transformation could be considered the RTS. Also there is a matter of
scope involved, for example if you use saxon compiled transforms, then
the JVM itself might be considered the RTS but thats probably
stretching the original intention of the nomenclature.

Its an interesting question as things like hot patching live running
code starts to become a viable requirement for 'always running'
software systems.

an unrelated aside ... the use of the term 'runtime system' reminds me
of software partitioned artificially (for no tech reason) to ease
commercialization.

case in point, DBase from the 1980's had a developer and runtime
license ... the cost of the runtime license was a lot lower but you
would need volume, the developer license was quite expensive. In this
instance, the RTS served as a 'dongle' to charge more money. I suspect
the emergence of open source licensing has helped diminish artificial
licensing practices but have no data to back up that statement.

Jim Fuller

On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 11:09 AM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
>
> Wikipedia describes "run-time system" like so [1]:
>
>         Every computer language implements some form
>         of runtime system, whether the language is a compiled
>         language or an interpreted language.
>
>         As a simple example of a basic runtime, the runtime
>         system of the C language is a particular set of instructions
>         inserted into the executable image by the compiler.
>         Among other things, these instructions manage the
>         processor stack, create space for local variables, and
>         copy function-call parameters onto the top of the stack.
>         The reason this behavior is part of the runtime, as opposed
>         to part of a keyword of the language, is that it is systematic,
>         maintaining the state of the stack throughout a program's
>         execution. The systematic behavior implements the execution
>         model of the language, as opposed to implementing semantics
>         that contribute to a particular computed result.
>
> From that description, run-time doesn't seem to be pertinent to an XSLT processor implemented using, say, Java. Those kinds of execution-time-inserted instructions would be done by Java (or at a lower level), I would think.
>
> Does XSLT have a run-time system? If yes, would you give some intuitions about what it contains please?
>
> /Roger
>
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-time_system


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