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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: A mathematical vision of XML leads to interesting conclusions
Date Sun, 19 Dec 1999 01:30:41 GMT
Brett McLaughlin wrote:


> OK.  Do you have any "formal" spec written up?  

No, not at all: Donald needed it, he couldn't decide what to do so asked
for my help... and I ended up writing that mail :)

> There are several important items that come to mind:
> - I see how you allow elements to be overriden.  What about adding to?
> For example:
> <page>
>   <author>John Smith</author>
>   <body>Yet to be written</body>
>   <legal>Copyright (c) Foo Inc.</legal>
> </page>
> I want to have my result look like:
> <page>
>   <author>John Smith</author>
>   <author>Brett McLaughlin</author>
>   <legal>Copyright (c) Foo Inc.</legal>
> </page>
> How could I do this?  If you are wondering , the importance of this is
> an incremental bulding of a page.  What I am slowly wandering to is the
> biggest problem we have today using XML in Java is that DOM is a hog,
> and although SAX2 looks like it will allow us to move away from an
> in-memory model, we still need XML techniques to incrementally add to an
> XML document.  With a template system, this gets more complex, because
> the additions may sometimes be additions, sometimes replacements.  So
> the ability to take a template, possibly already parsed or in memory,
> and not just replace elements/nodesets but add to them, and how to
> represent the difference in XML, becomes important.

You're talking about what I call the "now infamous" Simple Incremental
Transformation Language (SITL). Clark and I have been arguing about that

In a couple of words:

1) should _not_ be as powerful as XSLT
2) should allow complete incremental operation
3) should be as simple to write as writing XML
4) should allow you to transform you XML "somewhat"

(this "somewhat" is the key point to be defined that influences all the
other points)

and now we could add

5) should allow simple inheritance at the instance level


> But how do you do:
> [XML_1] + [XML_2] = ???
> This needs to be defined.  

I think we want to do something like

 [XML_1] * [XML_2] =

where '*' stands for "convolution".

> +1 Stefano, let me know if you need help.

Of course I do... do you want me to write all that by myself? ;-)

Anyway, let's start to brainstorm this with some examples of things we
would like to be able to do and we'll carve a language out of that.

People, do you consider something like this "noise" for this list? If
so, we'll move...

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
 Come to the first official Apache Software Foundation Conference!  
------------------------- http://ApacheCon.Com ---------------------

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