October 28, 2003

XSLT whines

Java | XSLT

Bertrand writes:

According to Ugo Cei on the cocoon-users mailing list, XML isn't worth "a pile of fetid dingo kidney" (TM) as a scripting language. After writing lots of XSLT lately, I must agree.

I cannot agree more, although I very much like the data-driven execution model in XSLT. I also like the XPath data accessing model.

The top two things I don't like about XSLT are:

  • The XML syntax, which makes programs very verbose.
  • The extensibility mechanism is language agnostic, but it makes it difficult to write complex XSLT/Java programs that integrate nicely.

From this perspective, the SXML processing tools available for Scheme are a very nice integration of XML in a programming language. In SXML the XML processing is described as a real Scheme program that has access to all the library functions for traversing and accessing the XML tree. I wish Java had something of a similar simplicity, but instead it got all the DOM and SAX crap, and no portable XPath library implementation.

What is even scarier is that XSLT 2.0 is moving towards becoming a full programming language with an XML syntax.

One thing I started to pay more attention to is XQuery, and the excellent implementation done in Qexo by Per Bothner. XQuery promises to solve some of the XSLT verbosity I mentioned above. The processing model is closer to functional programming, although it does appear to loose the data-driven processing model I like in XSLT.

Posted by ovidiu at October 28, 2003 02:38 PM |
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