[tmql-wg] Proposed new requirement: Ability to produce textual output

Robert Barta rho@bigpond.net.au
Sun, 22 Jun 2003 10:18:13 +1000

On Sat, Jun 21, 2003 at 03:47:23PM +0200, Lars Marius Garshol wrote:
> | We only would need XML, I reckon, so that the output can be
> | posttransformed.
> Well, that assumes the users will be happy to use both TMQL and XSLT
> to get what they want, rather than use TMQL to produce it directly.
> Producing non-XML output is actually quite common; 

That's true, it would quite often be useful. I considered using this
for LaTeX output (for the TM->slides stuff), but then decided against
it: TM engineering seems to be all about a decent knowledge/information
management. Working around XML then seems to be a bit inconsistent.

> I'm currently involved in one project where the customer wants a
> straight text output from the topic map, using indentation to
> indicate nesting.

I know exactly what you are talking about.

Still, from an architectural point of view, nothing can stop a vendor
to create XML (which contains the formatted text) and XSLT-postprocess
this behind the scenes. If that is too expensive then why not hand
back raw data and use a homegrown templating mechanism.

Allowing arbitrary text to be generated WITHIN a TMQL query statement
will have ugly consequences on the syntax: To avoid ambiguity you
would have to introduce explicit terminators around the text. If these
should then appear in the text they have to be escaped, blablabla.

XQuery worked around it very nicely. But it only works if the text is
structured. Well XML.