Re: XPath/XSLT 2.0 concerns
10/1/2002 11:51:12 AM, "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...> wrote: >Elliotte Rusty Harold notes: >> Don't forget that DOM3 Abstract Schemas is precedent for killing a >> spec that is off the rails. It doesn't happen often, but it does >> happen. > >Did that get killed because it went off the rails, or because of lack of >interest? Lots of W3C projects seem to wither for lack of interest. The basic reason is that the DOM abstract schemas thingie really didn't meet anyone's requirements. The original idea was to find the intersection of what DTDs, XSD schemas, and other schemas We assumed at the time that the "other" would be XDR, but Microsoft seems to have been pretty diligent at stomping that out of the world's collective mindshare. As it turns out, the obvious "other" would be RELAX NG). The trouble is, nobody really wants such an API, or at least nobody made themselves known. We tried adding features to try to hit the 80/20 point in W3C XSDL capabilities, but that led to something that was too complex and ugly for the DTD and RELAX NG users, and nowhere near adequate for the XSDL power users who really wanted it supported in the DOM. This is not really a precedent for XPath 2 getting major surgery, IMHO. The DOM WG is a very different beast from the XPath/XSLST/XQuery mega-group. There are maybe 8 people actively involved (and I'm just barely one of them). It's REAL easy to decide to cut things out when the alternative is to stay up later every night. It's hard when there are plenty of people to appoint to Yet Another Taskforce. Also, folks, y'all gotta get over this quaint idea that "The W3C" is some purposeful entity. Look at that XHTML - XLink situation ... or the DOM vs XLink data models. The different groups have very different outlooks, e.g. the DOM (largely staffed by XML authoring vendors in its early days, when both Arbortext and SoftQuad sent two representatives apiece) traditionally really really cares about round-tripping syntax, and XPath has been traditionally oriented toward read-only/throw away the syntax sugar. So, given the different worldviews, operating assumptions, and resource constraints, I don't think the demise of the DOM3 Abstract Schema stuff is a precedent that the XPath people will jump on. I agree with Jenni's original point -- if you don't like the complexity of this stuff, scream, yell, rasise issues, let the W3C (whatever that means!) know that you won't implement it, etc. Also, let the vendors you plan to buy XPath-enabled products from what your preferences are. By default, they are going to do the safe thing and promise to support whatever the W3C comes up with. If you don't plan to buy products for the XPath 2 features, that might trigger some reassessments.
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