RE: XSLT 2.0
> Why is Saxon the only popular xslt 2.0 processor?? You'll have to ask all the people who haven't developed XSLT 2.0 processors why they haven't done so. They might each give you a different answer. Personally, I think you have to look at the way open-source culture affects the business model for software development. Once you have a lot of open-source products available in a particular space, it becomes quite hard to get investment for new developments. It's easy for version 1.0 because everyone thinks they are going to get 70% market share. Beyond version 1.0, you can expect consolidation as the expectations become more realistic. How many open source Perl processors are there? How many does the market need? The alternative route is to produce commercial products and try to differentiate them sufficiently. You can go for low-cost commercial products (the Saxon-SA approach) or high-end products (such as Datapower). Either way, with open source taking 95% of the market, it's not easy to make the business case, and there's certainly not room for a large number of competing products. The other aspect is simply timing. With a 1.0 release, everyone wants to get a product out early, to grab mind-share. With 2.0, there's less hurry. People want to see the spec stabilise first, and they want to see how demand develops. I strongly suspect that there are companies who have developed XSLT 2.0 engines that they are keeping quiet about. It might be that their silence is because the products are not yet fit for exposure in the field, but I suspect it has much more to do with marketing. Perhaps even with coding complete, they haven't worked out how they are going to make money out of the product. Also, remember that XSLT is competing for investment with other technologies. Whether you're a Microsoft or a start-up, what are the attractions of doing an XSLT 2.0 versus an XQuery 1.0? With XSLT you (and your backers) have a pretty good idea what the size of the market is, what proportion you can hope to get, how much the development is likely to cost, and what return you can expect on your investment. With a new field like XQuery, you can put forward a business plan written in cloud cuckoo land, and people will swallow it. On the other hand if (like many open-source developers) you're motivated more by technical creativity and/or a desire for immortal fame than by money, you're probably even more likely to be interested in doing version 1.0 of something rather than version 2.0 of something else. For most mature technologies you can expect the field to be dominated by two or three products, and I suspect that's the way it will go with XSLT 2.0. Sometimes there's only one, or there's one that has 90% of the market. That's not healthy, and I hope we won't be in that situation for long. Michael Kay http://www.saxonica.com/
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