[xquery-talk] Screen-scraping with XQuery

Erik Bruchez ebruchez at orbeon.com
Thu Mar 31 20:31:43 PST 2005

R. Mark Volkmann wrote:

> I don't think it's too hard to learn either XSLT or XQuery.  However, I have a
> strong preference for XQuery syntax over XSLT.  The main reason is the
> verbosity of XSLT caused by using XML as a programming language.  A good
> example of the verbosity I'm talking about is the difference between defining
> and invoking a user-defined function in XQuery versus defining and invoking a
> named template in XSLT.

I don't like calling named templates as well, but I believe XQuery 1.0 
should be compared with XSLT 2.0 in all fairness. XSLT 2.0 introduces 
functions, and while the syntax to declare such functions is a little 
heavier in XSLT (especially for parameters), calling them from XPath 
expressions is much lighter than using XSLT 1.0's named templates. 
Compare the declarations:

   declare function f:doIt($x as xs:string) as xs:integer {};

   <xsl:function name="f:doIt" as="xs:integer">
     <xsl:param name="x" as="xs:string"/>

Then calling the function will be done with:


in both cases (within an XPath 2.0 expression for XSLT, of course). To 
be fair, you will often write <xsl:copy-of select="f:doIt('Hello!')"/> 
in XSLT 2.0, but that remains much lighter than xsl:call-template.


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