and XML/XSLT Re: java/jdk13 does not autodetect itself

Jan Grant Jan.Grant at
Thu May 15 04:07:20 PDT 2003

This is only an "in passing" comment and has no patches attached, so
treat it accordingly.

On Thu, 15 May 2003, Herve Quiroz wrote:

> PS: I've had time to think about " 2.0" (while supervising an
> exam...) and I've come to some thoughts I would like to share. Maybe we
> should let the port building as-is for now and support it only in
> 2.0 ? I'll explain further in my next message (after a good
> meal that is).

I know there's been some interest in XML and XSLT to describe the build
process for various java ports.

The latest (it's not that recent) thread on XML-related technologies on
-arch raised a number of criticisms about the technologies*. major
amongst these were that using XML for configuration in and of itself (a)
did nothing for version control, and (b) was still semantically empty.

So if XML configuration files are a part of the plan, might I suggest
that they utilise a namespace (preferably one that contains a version
indication)?  Firstly, it gives an absolute grounds to hang a semantics
off; secondly, it makes it (at least theoretically) possible to provide
XSLT transforms that update older configuration formats.

I s'pose my point is that Unix comes with a bunch of tools for dealing
with its traditional file formats (awk, grep, sed, etc). One of the
reasons XML is perceived as clunky is that corresponding XML
technologies are "heavier" (eg, XSLT) and/or don't have any standard
(even semi-standard) command-line tools for using in a Unix filter
chain (eg, an XQuery tool that sits in the same conceptual space as find
and grep). If the java ports system adopts XML for its configuration
(which is a very java-flavoured thing to do) then it ought to use the
technology "right" to address its critics.


* most of which stemmed from their rampant misapplication, mind you :-)

jan grant, ILRT, University of Bristol.
Tel +44(0)117 9287088 Fax +44 (0)117 9287112
YKYBPTMRogueW... you try to move diagonally in vi.

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