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Re: XQuery Updates in XSLT

Subject: Re: XQuery Updates in XSLT
From: John Snelson <john.snelson@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 07:12:20 +0000
Re:  XQuery Updates in XSLT
Robert Koberg wrote:

On Oct 29, 2008, at 4:15 PM, John Snelson wrote:

Robert Koberg wrote:

On Oct 29, 2008, at 3:48 PM, John Snelson wrote:

Robert Koberg wrote:

On Oct 29, 2008, at 3:21 PM, Scott Trenda wrote:

I think John is confusing the meaning of "functional" here. Dimitre
meant "functional" as in "based on functions/templates, like Haskell or
Scheme (as opposed to imperative)", and perhaps John interpreted
"functional" to mean "it works, it's not broken".

I am sure John knows what functional means. I was commenting about the
use of XQuery as opposed to xsl's identity template with some exception
templates. It sounds like he think XQuery is better at this type of

Yes. It's a few lines of easily readable XQuery Update, versus a few
complete XSLT templates and an explanation of how the identity transform

Really? Show me how you use typeswitch (or whatever you would like to use) to handle the XSL equivalent of exception templates in a few lines.

Problem: In a copy of the original document, rename the "name" attribute of "product" elements to "id".

XQuery Update solution:

copy $a := doc(...)
modify for $p in $a//product return rename node $p/@name as "id"
return $a

Way too simplistic for the real world.

I take that to mean that you concede for the stated problem :-).

Now the problem has changed. Also, lets imagine there were other elements beside product involved - like a label, abstract and price. (I am not even getting into mixed content... yet :) )

You need to
* change the name attr to an id attr
* you need to change product elem into item elem
* you need to wrap all products that start with the same letter (derived from name attr value) with an items element
* you need to change abstract to description.

Actually those are all pretty simple in XQuery Update.

Then, you need to make it into XHTML for the web :)

That kind of whole document transform is probably better off in XSLT.

I don't expect you too actually do it, just ADMIT damnit! :)

I admit what I knew I was trying to express all along: XSLT is great for certain things, and XQuery is great for others. I would like people to consider using the best way to express their intent, and not to dismiss useful technology out of hand.

BTW, you do realize you are on an XSL list, you heathen. :)


XQuery and XSLT 2.0 are such close languages - it's probably time to start building bridges between them, rather than offhand rejection. We have greater common enemies... ;-)


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