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Re: Modern talking

  • From: u123724 <u123724@gmail.com>
  • To: "Liam R. E. Quin" <liam@w3.org>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2017 19:04:42 +0200

Re:  Modern talking
I don't have a stake in XQuery but as a practioner working not just
with markup yet still with enough XSLT experience I've found
XML-specific programming languages generally limiting in that problem
domains I'm using them for would often benefit from the kind of
infrastructure and mindshare that general-purpose programming
languages have, such as APIs for database and network access, unit
testing, etc.

From my utilitarian perspective, XSLT's (and supposedly XQuery's) wins
over general-purpose language where literal XML content with
small-scale variable/expression expansions needs to be produced from
input. OTOH, the more an XSLT program makes use of complex and/or
dynamic expressions to construct output markup, the more other
language options become attractive.

I'd also agree that RDF or other logic-oriented formalisms are the way
to go for "uniform data models". Encoding child, attribute,
following-sibling, etc. axes as logical clauses is straightforward,
and in fact part of XPath specs anyway AFAIK. Axioms for tree-ness
could similarly be defined. Using Prolog would then give you a more
general query language eg. rather than XPath conjunctive path query


you could use the more general form

    child(P,C), attribute(C,A)

though Prolog also lets you define variable-free syntaxes for CPQs.

Moreover, Prolog generalizes XSLT's pattern matching into unification,
and allows rules/templates just like XSLT (though not with implicit
priorities). Outside of the RDF bubble, there's ISO Topic Maps with
the "tolog" profille of Prolog to query ontology data.

M. Reichardt

On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 5:22 PM, Liam R. E. Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 2017-08-29 at 12:19 +0200, Giuseppe Celano wrote:
>> And yes, XQuery is tied to XML, but the problem here is, in my
>> experience, not XML, but the huge amount of misinformation
>> circulating about it (stemming from ignorance of it), misuse of it,
>> and laziness: if one persists in trying to handle XML without
>> XPath/XQuery/XSLT, I can understand why they ended up hating it.
> I regret not pressing harder to push the Working Group to rename XQuery
> to FastForest and to refer to databases as forest stores. My purpose
> was to head off the ideas that the database must load the XML text
> files every time there's a query and to emphasize that they can be
> really fast.
> --
> Liam Quin, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
> Staff contact for Verifiable Claims WG, XQuery WG
> Web slave for http://www.fromoldbooks.org/
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