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Re: [xsl] New XSLT 3.0 Working Draft

Subject: Re: [xsl] New XSLT 3.0 Working Draft
From: Michael Kay <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 09:31:42 +0100

On 10/07/2012 19:01, Michele R Combs wrote:
Since relatively few folks adopted 2.0, what do we think the chances are of 3.0 being adopted?

It's an excellent question. But I think it needs to be expressed in terms of "when", not "whether". XSLT 2.0 appeared in 2007 and there has been roughly one new processor appearing every year. There are still environments on which no XSLT 2.0 processor is available, but they are becoming less common. The most recent development is Saxon-CE which brings XSLT 2.0 to the browser for the first time.

Of course cost is a factor. One reason people stick with XSLT 1.0 is that nearly all the processors were free. Very few people have been able to justify writing an XSLT 2.0 processor and giving it away for nothing; most of the XSLT 2.0 processors therefore cost money, and however much better 2.0 is, there will be a lot of people who find it hard to persuade their boss to allocate budget. Equally, the main environment on which XSLT 2.0 is still not available is the LAMP platform, and the main reason for that is that users of this platform are markedly reluctant to spend money on infrastructure software; without funding, there will be no investment.

Certainly I think you can expect a long wait before XSLT 3.0 is widely implemented. To me it feels a little bit like the SQL scene, where it took around 10 years from publication of SQL 1992 to widespread availability and adoption (and even then, the actual level of conformance was variable). I'm not sure how W3C processes are going to adapt to this, because they still seem geared to the old idea of "internet speed" in which you don't regard a standard as finished until the implementations are available; what is clear from the XSLT 2.0 experience is that most implementors won't start work until the standard is stable.

Michael Kay Saxonica

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