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is XPath-NG a fork?

James Strachan's Radio Weblog

On the subject of XSLT/XPath forking, I do think XPath 2.0 is a huge disappointment. Most developers I know will be giving it a wide berth. XPath 1.0 is a thing of beauty - sure its got a few rough edges here and there but it hits the sweetspot of being an excellent expression language for working with XML without being too complex. XPath 2.0 is almost the whole of XQuery which is way over the top and too complex.
Its looking like already XPath has forked with the formation of XPath-ng.

James has me thinking. Is XPath-NG a fork? I think Uche would object to calling XPath-NG a fork. There was some kerfuffle a while back on xml-dev about whether it was ok to use 'XPath' in this case. Some though it wasn't, Uche claimed it was no different than JDOM. Happily that thread died off before turned into an RSSesque melodrama. To paraphrase Kevin Burton, "forks are much worse".

Forks aside, I suspect it does confuse people when multiple, somewhat related technologies play capture the flag with names. It seems brand recognition is just as important to the technically minded as the marketeers, albeit a gut reaction.

Later: yes, XPath 2.0 is a huge disappointment. Smart people who care about XSLT are working hard on finding a middle way; we'll see how it pans out.

January 3, 2003 02:16 AM


James Strachan
(January 3, 2003 07:53 AM #)

'Fork' is a bit of a dirty word, especially when talking about an open source code base. However what else should an alternative spec be called? Both XPath-ng and XPath 2.0 are new versions of XPath 1.0 - which seems like a fork of the XPath 1.0 spec to me.

Maybe there's a nicer way to say the same thing. Maybe its just a new XPath spec based on XPath 1.0?

Bill de hra
(January 3, 2003 11:45 AM #)

Perhaps it is; and I don't think the W3C/MIT have a trademark on XPath like they do with XML. Using the word fork is inflammatory on my part (I have to keep rememebering others are clicking through what I write, and not always with the context I'm accustomed to from mailing lists). I do think,as yiou do, that a lot of people are deeply unhappy with XPath 2.0 as proposed. As far as I know, Uche isn't going to implement any of it in 4suite. Folks don't want the extra burden imposed on XPath to enable XQuery and WXS - it's a very touchy subject in the markup world, that goes beyond XPath.

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