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Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World - outreach


Subject: Re: [xsl] XSLT Hello World - outreach
From: Graydon <graydon@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 14:24:21 -0400

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 05:59:21PM +0000, David Carlisle scripsit:
> On 27/03/2014 17:54, Richard Fozzard - NOAA Affiliate wrote:
> >David et al,
> >
> >Brilliant! I just*love*  this thought of XSLT with more readable
> >syntax.
> 
> It's been suggested several times, and there have been one or two
> implementations. That is also more or less one description of Xquery.

Permit me to note that while XQuery is absolutely wonderful for query
tasks, it is truly horrible for transformation tasks.  (This hasn't
stopped everybody, admittedly, but the syntax is not a model for
effective transformation.)

> I think one reason they've all failed (apart from Xquery which doesn't
> describe itself that way) is that XSLT is in XML _for a reason_ It makes
> handling templates consisting of XML fragments entirely natural (within
> the unnatural context that is an XML parser).

I'd entirely agree right up to "unnatural". :)

The solution really can't be simpler than the problem.

"I want to represent data in a human readable and machine-parsable way
simultaneously, for a very general notion of data" is a stonkingly hard
problem.  Anything that succeeds in handling all of XML is constrained
away from being simpler than XML.  I really don't think there's a way to
be much if any simpler than XSLT's current syntax and still have it
work.  Which in turn means I don't think there's much hope for "more
readable"; there's information in all those nested tags, and it has to
go in somehow.

-- Graydon


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