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Some more thoughts about XPath 2.0

From: Erik Bruchez <ebruchez@orbeon.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:30:37 -0800
Message-Id: <A3F7E3D3-12B7-49E1-991E-F0FD0A700DF2@orbeon.com>
To: "Forms WG (new)" <public-forms@w3.org>

All,

I was suggested that XPath 2.0 had to wait XForms 2.0, and that this
means likely waiting a long time based on our track record.

It was also suggested that we should maybe try to work on smaller
specs in order to deliver value to implementors faster.

I believe that XPath 2.0 would be a prime candidate for trying to go
down that road instead.

I also believe that, in its simplest incarnation, XPath 2.0 support is
easy to introduce into XForms:

* In a first phase, XPath 2.0 support can consist of basically
   dropping in an XPath 2.0 implementation into your XForms
   implementation. This is pretty much what we do in Orbeon Forms, and
   we have had great success with that. It certainly beats the hell
   out of just using XPath 1.0.

* Likely, certain parts of the spec should be updated to specify what
   happens when XPath 2.0 is used, e.g. wrt types passed and returned
   from our functions.

* Regarding how to specify whether to use XPath 1.0 or XPath 2.0, I
   suggest following what is being done in the XProc specification
   [1]. I believe that what applies to XProc also applies to XForms. In
   short, the the form author specifies which XPath version should be
   used, and depending on what the implementation actually supports,
   different behavior is chosen. An implementation is free to support
   1.0, 2.0, or both.

In short I don't think we need to wait years to provide implementors
guidance about how to use XPath 2.0 in XForms, _if they wish to
support it_. Then later, in a few years, XPath 2.0 can be made
mandatory in XForms.

-Erik

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xproc/#xpath-context

--
Orbeon Forms - Web Forms for the Enterprise Done the Right Way
http://www.orbeon.com/
Received on Friday, 14 December 2007 22:30:46 UTC

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