A weaker XSL?

Pavel Velikhov pvelikho at cs.ucsd.edu
Fri Feb 5 00:21:34 GMT 1999

Clark Evans wrote:
> Peter Seibel wrote:
> >
> > I'm not arguing that you can implement XSL so it uses no heap, just that
> > you could implement it on top of SAX rather than DOM. Or am I still missing
> > something?
> I think you are echoing my belief.
> Question: Is XSL defining "style" instructions
> or "composition" instructions.
> Things like sorting, re-arranging, table-of-contents
> generation, etc. are really large processing instructions
> that are more along the line of *what* to process, rather
> than *how* the information should be presented. Things like
> this could be moved into XQL or some other transformation
> language, leaving XSL a more pure "style" oriented
> specification.

  But XSL is really turning into a query language for XML, not
just a stylesheet language. I completely agree that some lightweight
language is needed to do the basic presentation-oriented things.
Then the implementation could be made efficient, such things as
intelligent buffering of the input, lazy evaluation of the output 
document, optimization are really hard to do for a full blown 
query language, but are doable for a simple one.

> Thus XSL wouldn't be *generating* a table of contents,
> it would only let you choose if you want to display it,
> and if it is displayed, how it is displayed, in green
> ink or red, bold or itallic, Aa1i style or
> style, etc.
> By doing this, a weaker XSL would have a much more
> clearly defined role, would be less subject to
> "feature creep", and could be implemented on top
> of SAX instead of assuming (and requiring) a full
> DOM implelementation.

  It will probably be orders of magnitude more efficient too.
And it will have a more clear and understandable role. IMHO
nobody wants to learn a bunch of highly expressive and pretty 
much general purpose languages for XML processing.

> Just $.02 
> ;) Clark Evans

Pavel Velikhov

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