xsl query or transformation language

Henry S. Thompson ht at cogsci.ed.ac.uk
Tue Sep 1 18:30:11 BST 1998

Lisa Rein <lisarein at finetuning.com> writes:

> Henry I am a little confused about perceiving XSL as a query language.

> It was my understanding that it aims to be a transformation language,
> like DSSSL, that works with a query or scripting language to
> transform/process and format data.

Well, XSL defines its own query syntax for walking the input document

a) for the purposes of deciding which style rules to apply to
which input document components (in which case you should think of a
query as returning a 'yes this matches' or a 'no this doesn't match'
result when applied to a node in the tree;

b) for the purposes of finding one or more bits of the tree to process
next, given a starting point (the node we're processing now), in which
case you should think of a query as returning a set of nodes in the
tree given a starting point.

A variant of type (b) where you just want the first element of the set
occurs as well.

Sounds like what I mean by a query language, how about you?

  Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
     2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
	    Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht at cogsci.ed.ac.uk
		     URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/

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