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Re: XProc Usability (was Re: New to Xproc Question : conditionnal "output port" definition?)

From: Michael Sokolov <sokolov@ifactory.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 14:45:43 -0400
Message-ID: <4E9B2657.4010106@ifactory.com>
To: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
CC: XProc Dev <xproc-dev@w3.org>

>>      And I'm
>>      one of the outliers who's unconvinced that moving from an XML
>>      pattern-based syntax to a string syntax for XPath (back way before
>>      XSLT 1.0 came out) was a good thing. Water under the bridge.
>>
>> Oh, wow!  The thought of that gives me shudders…
>>
>> I’m curious—why do you feel this way?
> Because a lot of valuable information is locked up in a non-XML syntax
> where I can't get at it with my XML tools. And also because XPath is
> what introduced QNames-in-content to the world, for which sin I still
> feel unclean.
>
That *does* feel to me like implementer's bias.  XPath syntax is so much 
more elegant and useful than any XML encoding of it could ever be - I'm 
sharing the shudders here.  Actually of all the XML  technologies, XPath 
is the only one that ever made any intuitive sense to me.  It's almost 
as elegant as Perl :)

As for the issue with QNames; I think it's unfair to blame XPath for 
that.  The fact is that "names" in XML are context-sensitive and have 
hidden parts to them which can only be detected by performing 
tree-walking. It's a lamentable fact that has consequences for 
everything that touches XML, including XPath.  Yes it means XPath has to 
appeal to some external agent for namespace bindings, but that's not 
really different in spirit from the context-sensitivity in an XML 
document model.  My main beef is about the lack of default-namespace 
binding in XPath - it's totally counter-intutitive (at least once you've 
absorbed how namespaces work everywhere else...)

Unless I missed the source of your guilty conscience?

-Mike
Received on Sunday, 16 October 2011 18:46:00 GMT

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