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Re: Verboseness - XML Syntax for XQuery 1.0 (XQueryX)

From: Jonathan Robie <Jonathan.Robie@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:46:14 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20010711123549.01adfbe0@10.64.32.7>
To: www-xml-query-comments@w3.org, Dylan.Walsh@Kadius.Com
Hi Dylan,

I am responding to the following message on behalf of the W3C XML Query 
Working Group, which has reviewed this response:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-xml-query-comments/2001Jun/0018.html

You make two points in this email, which we shall address separately.

 > As you can see, the equivalent XML is very,
 > very long-winded. It is using an element syntax
 > for the XPath expressions, and it also heavily
 > expands the XQuery parts as well. When I heard
 > about the XML Syntax, I thought that was an
 > excellent developement, as an alternative to the
 > existing text syntax, with its pseuodo elements etc.
 > However this XML Syntax below is such
 > that it is unlikely to be used for hand written querys.

We designed XQueryX to be readable by programs, not by humans. The 
fundamental requirement was that this representation show the full 
structure of the query, including expansion of the paths. XQueryX is not 
intended to be used directly by end-users, and we agree that it is unlikely 
to be used for hand-written queries.

An XML syntax designed to foster hand-written queries would probably be 
quite different from XQueryX, and would make different design choices. For 
instance, the paths would probably be left unexpanded, as in XSLT.

 > Could they not have a version with normal XPath and
 > perhaps provide a return syntax which is similar to an
 > XSLT template body? I think they should strive to make
 > XQuery consistent with XSLT rather than SQL. Both
 > XQuery and XSLT perform broadly similar tasks - take nodes
 > specified by an XPath expression and return nodes based on
 > literals. XSLT is a widely used XML standard with which many
 > XML programmers are familiar. As it stands, the text syntax is
 > completely alien to SQL programmers anyway.

XQuery's element constructors are already quite similar to XSLT template 
bodies. They allow any XQuery expression to appear within them, and this is 
the main difference between XQuery element constructors and XSLT template 
bodies.

We appreciate your feedback on the XML Query specifications. Please let us 
know if this response is satisfactory. If not, please respond to this 
message, explaining your concerns.

Jonathan Robie
On behalf of the XML Query Working Group 
Received on Wednesday, 11 July 2001 12:46:06 GMT

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