I've been reminded today that some folks have taken a very strident tone towards advocacy of XSLT 2.0. Just so there's no mis-connotation of "strident", I'll note that I'm a very enthusiastic booster of Python, and I exhort people to give it a try whenever they I can, but I don't think I go about with the notion that "YOU HAVE TO BE NUTS NOT TO USE PYTHON, DAMMIT". I'd rather show code examples and let them come to such a conclusion. I used to associate strident advocacy with XQuery boosters, reinforced earlier this year when one of them wandered into an XML-DEV thread recently with such a supercilious attitude (in essence: "why would a sane programmer use anything except for XQuery?"). I'm starting to wonder whether the same mechanics are developing with XSLT 2.0. I wonder whether it's not a reaction to the fact that XSLT 2.0 has met with some of the same hostility as XQuery (though as I admit, some people have been changing their minds), combined with the fact that XSLT 2.0 level of implementation seems to be slower in burgeoning than XQuery's. Of course, a counter-argument is that there is plenty of the right kind of advocacy as well, especially in the form of Bob Ducharme's XML.com columns.
I think people will have to understand that XML tools can no longer sue for universality in XML processing just because they come out of the XML oven, especially since the XML oven has been over-cooking its buns for a while now. W3C XML Schema, XQuery, and the SOAP Web services stack are just the egregious examples; all the committees seem to have turned into over-engineering shops. I think I've long ago taken the attitude that the 1.0 series of specs got us as far as we needed to go to tackle XML processing. We can easily get the rest done in "native" environments. This at least seems to be true of the Python and .NET camps. Sure XPath and XSLT 1.0 are limited, but mix them into an expressive enough language or rich enough platform, and I just have trouble seeing the need for the leaps in conceptual load that come with, say XPath 2.0
One thing's, for sure, we're all lucky we're so spoiled for choice.