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[SER30] Alternative syntax for output:serialization-parameters

From: Erik Bruchez <erik@bruchez.org>
Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 16:00:19 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAc0PEWXE40SpX7SfZzNyCV60QEFwSoN+cgyfKgLFL+CaUfs=A@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-qt-comments@w3.org
Cc: public-forms@w3.org, "public-xformsusers@w3.org" <public-xformsusers@w3.org>
All,

The XForms Working Group is looking into providing a `serialize()`
function similar or identical to the XPath 3 function [1], and to make
it available, for practical reasons, to XPath 2 implementations.

Ideally, the XForms Working Group would like to use the exact same
function signature as XPath 3. But while considering the XPath 3
function, it has come to our attention that the format to pass
serialization attributes appears to be extremely heavy (via the
output:serialization-parameters), to the point that we are thinking of
using an alternative way to pass such parameters.

I have provided my understanding of this in the following public email
to the XForms Working Group:

  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-forms/2013May/0003.html

Our questions to the group are:

1. Is our understanding, as expressed in the email above, correct?
Namely, that `use-character-maps` is the main reason behind the chosen
format (although we do understand that future extensibility could be a
factor as well), and that there is no other way to pass serialization
parameters?

2. If so, could the group be convinced of using instead a lighter
syntax, such as a simple sequence of tokens in an attribute value?

The main driver behind this thinking is that lighter is usually
better, and having to provide a complete XML document to provide a few
serialization parameters, while clearly maximizing flexibility, is
definitely on the heavier side of what is possible. This is true
especially since character maps are likely to be used rarely,
certainly more rarely than some other serialization parameters.
Optimizing for the common cases seems like good practice.

(As a side note, if maps were a core feature of XPath 3, then using a
map parameter could be a possibility for XPath 3 (although not for
XPath 2).)

Thanks,

-Erik

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xpath-functions-30/#func-serialize
Received on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 23:01:10 UTC

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