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RE: Comments on SPARQL from the XML Query and the XSL WGs (decimal syntax)

From: Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 18:08:30 +0100
To: "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>, <ashok.malhotra@oracle.com>
Cc: <public-rdf-dawg-comments@w3.org>, <w3c-xsl-query@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1EQT2w-00074u-Ib@maggie.w3.org>

> I don't see it in
> I Backwards Compatibility with XPath 1.0 (Non-Normative)
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xpath20-20050915/#id-backwards-compatibility

The existence of the incompatibility is documented in item 7 of I.2:

> J Revision Log (Non-Normative)
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xpath20-20050915/#id-revisions-log

The revision log only logs changes made since April this year, whereas this
decision was made way back before the first draft of XPath 2.0 was published
in 2001: see
> Could you help me find rationale for the change in XPath?

We don't tend to publish rationale: it's hard enough to get everyone to
agree on what the language should be without asking everyone to agree on the

I normally have quite a good memory, but five years is a long time and I
simply don't recall what the arguments for this were at the time. One of the
factors might have been SQL compatibility. It's been a very stable part of
the spec.

I think it's a good change: we get a lot of XSLT users who are puzzled about
the strange results that double arithmetic sometimes gives, and it's not
easy to explain these effects to non-technical users. Decimal arithmetic
produces far fewer surprises.

Michael Kay
Received on Friday, 14 October 2005 17:08:53 UTC

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