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[XQuery] A.2.2 Lexical Rules: remove

From: Michael Dyck <jmdyck@ibiblio.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 14:09:57 -0800
To: public-qt-comments@w3.org
Message-id: <402E9CB5.FD3B6399@ibiblio.org>

XQuery 1.0: An XML Query Language
W3C Working Draft 12 November 2003

A.2.2 Lexical Rules

This section should be deleted, or at least made non-normative.

I have made this point several times before:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-xml-query-comments/2002Jan/0002.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-qt-comments/2002Aug/0021.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-qt-comments/2002Nov/0105.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-qt-comments/2004Jan/0407.html
I've received a few replies, but never a satisfactory justification.
This time, I'll presumably at least get an official WG response.

Here's a summary of my objections to this section:

(1) It's error-prone.

(2) It's poorly defined.

    There's only a vague description of the automaton. There's no
    definition of:
    --- its possible configurations;
    --- how its configuration is changed by each different kind of
        transition;
    --- what its initial and accepting configurations are.

    Moreover, there's no description of how the automaton ascertains
    which pattern (of the currently legal patterns) matches the current
    input. (Note that most automata don't have to deal with this,
    because their "pattern" vocabulary is the same as their input
    vocabulary.)

(3) It favours a particular implementation strategy, making conformance
    more difficult for anyone choosing to use a different strategy.

All of which could be improved or excused if it were actually necessary,
but:

(4) It isn't necessary. It's redundant, given the rest of Appendix A.
    Or, if it actually *does* express a requirement not expressed
    elsewhere, then either it's a mistake, or it *should* be expressed
    explicitly elsewhere. And if you don't understand the implications
    of A.2.2 enough to *know* whether it expresses unique requirements,
    then that lack of knowledge alone should tell you that you can't
    risk making it normative.

-Michael Dyck
Received on Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:11:16 UTC

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