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Re: Re: XSL Variable declaration

Subject: Re: Re: XSL Variable declaration
From: Michael Kay <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:34:50 +0000
Re:  Re: XSL Variable declaration
On 14/02/2011 12:09, Vasu Chakkera wrote:
Dear David/Mike.
Thanks for this..

Yeas, It does kind of confuse the reader..

Yes. There was a healthy debate about it. I was opposed to allowing it. It's a class of question we sometimes call "paternalism" - should one add rules to the spec that disallow things whose meaning is perfectly well-defined, but which could be perceived as bad practice? The WGs as a whole sometimes incline one way on such questions and sometimes the other - and I must admit that as an individual member of the WG, I'm not entirely consistent myself.

Generally, orthogonality in language design is a good thing, which means one tends to avoid arbitrary restrictions, which means one tends to avoid paternalism.

So, for example, XPath decided that in axis steps, the axis and the NodeTest should be orthogonal, which makes it legal to write attribute::comment(). A paternalistic design would have banned the combinations that can never select anything.

Michael Kay

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