More on XSLT and (XLinq)LINQ and XML

by M. David Peterson

Update: Credit where credit is due. From Mike Champions comments below, we discover,

Uhh, this really wasn't my doing. Nithya is the XSLT Program Manger and has worked hard to make the case for XSLT2, Soumitra Sengupta was the Product Unit Manger who made the hard call to pull the plug on XQuery in .NET 2.0, and Anders is the one who laid down the party line that XLinq will not even try to compete with XSLT for loosely-structured doc scenarios that XSLT handles well.


Thanks for the info, Mike! And thanks to each one of these folks who have helped bring ALL of this into reality. It is MUCH appreciated :)


[Original Post]
mikechampion's weblog : Why does the world need another XML API?

XSLT definitely won't go away. The Microsoft XML team was promoting XQuery as a "better XSLT than XSLT 2.0" a few years ago (before I came, don't hurt me!), and got set straight by the large and vocal XSLT user community on why this is not going to fly. While it may be true in some abstract way that XQuery or XLinq might logically be able to do everything that XSLT does, as a practical matter it won't. Most obviously, XSLT a "real" standard and supported on most platforms; if you need to write XML processing code with a high confidence that it can be made to work on the client and the server, on Windows, OS X, Linux, etc., and easily co-exist with application logic written in C , C#, Java, or a scripting languge, then XSLT is probably just the ticket. Even if you are committed to the .NET platform and could take an XLinq dependency, there are jobs that are simply easier to do in XSLT than XLinq, especially when the XML data being processed is loosely structured and deeply nested. XSLT's recursive template matching paradigm is very well suited for that kind of data, and XLinq has not been designed with that type of data in mind


I've emphasized and made bold a portion of the above text *NOT* as a form of gloating (although, it brings a smile to my face to know that I was and am a part of the mentioned "large and vocal XSLT user community on why this is not going to fly" :D) and instead as a focal point to help bring focus to the fact that in the space of less than 2 years, the presence of Mike Champion on Microsoft campus has created an enourmous impact on the support and development of XML technologies that the community is desirous of, finding ways to get the "message" into the hands that matter most... e.g. The one's making the decisions as to the ultimate technical direction and underlying technologies that will be supported, and those that will not.

Worth noting,


2 Comments

Mike Champion
2006-06-22 21:58:07
Uhh, this really wasn't my doing. Nithya is the XSLT Program Manger and has worked hard to make the case for XSLT2, Soumitra Sengupta was the Product Unit Manger who made the hard call to pull the plug on XQuery in .NET 2.0, and Anders is the one who laid down the party line that XLinq will not even try to compete with XSLT for loosely-structured doc scenarios that XSLT handles well.


At the time (from the outside), I thought Microsoft was doing the right thing by betting on XQuery in the mid-tier, and was bummed when I heard that the plug had been pulled ... until I learned about LINQ. If I had anything to do with the current state of affairs, it was by pointing to all you raving XSLT zealots and suggesting that it would be good to throw out some fresh meat :-)


M. David Peterson
2006-06-23 00:17:53
> If I had anything to do with the current state of affairs, it was by pointing to all you raving XSLT zealots and suggesting that it would be good to throw out some fresh meat :-) <


And us raving XSLT zealots are all the more thankful.


Regarding the mentioned folks > I will bring this to the top of the post. But I do believe the fact remains that since your arrival, things have been "different."


I'll leave it at that. :)


Thanks for the update!