Data manipulation languages for XML (was Query Languages ...)

Richard Light richard at
Wed Nov 19 12:53:32 GMT 1997

In message < at>, "W. Eliot
Kimber" <eliot at> writes
>I'm afraid I don't see how using groves as the fundamental abstraction for
>editing is inconsistent with satisfaction of any of the requirements.  All
>that's needed on top of what DSSSL provides are functions that represent
>the editing actions needed (as opposed to modeling editing as a transform,
>which is probably not a useful approach).  If SQL provides a useful model
>for defining such functions, we should use it.

I'm perfectly happy with this idea too, and agree that we wouldn't need
to add much to DSSSL/SDQL to allow the abstract representation of an
editing process.  SQL can act as a touchstone for us to check the
completeness of the set of additional functions - I'm not sure it is a
useful model as such.

However, what I am really arguing is that once we have done this, there
is still a case for going on to define a more user-friendly SQL-like
syntax for specifying data manipulations.  This syntax would have
exactly the same relationship to SDQL as XSL does: it would be a simple
front-end into a subset of SDQL's functionality.


Richard Light
SGML/XML and Museum Information Consultancy
richard at

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