Saxon 9.7 Release!

I saw a tweet from Michael Kay announcing that Saxon 9.7 has been released!

Saxon 9.7 is up to date with the XSLT 3.0 Candidate Recommendation released from the W3C November 19, 2015.

From the details page:

  • XSLT 3.0 implementation largely complete (requires Saxon-PE or Saxon-EE): The new XSLT 3.0 Candidate Recommendation was published on 19 November 2015, and Saxon 9.7 is a complete implementation with a very small number of exceptions. Apart from general updating of Saxon as the spec has developed, the main area of new functionality is in packaging, which allows stylesheet modules to be independently compiled and distributed, and provides much more “software engineering” control over public and private interfaces, and the like. The ability to save packages in compiled form gives much faster loading of frequently used stylesheets.
  • Schema validation: improved error reporting. The schema validator now offers customised error reporting, with an option to create an XML report detailing all validation errors found. This has structured information about each error so the report can readily be customised; it has been developed in conjunction with some of our IDE partners who can use this information to provide an improved interactive presentation of the validation report.
  • Arrays, Maps, and JSON: Arrays are implemented as a new data type (defined in XPath 3.1). Along with maps, which were already available in Saxon 9.6, this provides the infrastructure for full support of JSON, including functions such as parse-json() which converts JSON to a structure of maps and arrays, and the JSON serialization method which does the inverse.
  • Miscellaneous new functions: two of the most interesting are random-number-generator(), and parse-ietf-date().
  • Streaming: further improvements to the set of constructs that can be streamed, and the diagnostics when constructs cannot be streamed.
  • Collections: In line with XPath 3.1 changes, a major overhaul of the way collections work. They can now contain any kind of item, and new abstractions are provided to give better control over asynchronous and parallel resource fetching, parsing, and validation.
  • Concurrency improvements: Saxon 9.6 already offered various options for executing stylesheets in parallel to take advantage of multi-code processors. These facilities have now been tuned for performance and made more robust, by taking advantage of more advanced concurrency features in the JDK platform. The Saxon NamePool, which could be a performance bottleneck in high throughput workloads, has been completely redesigned to allow much higher concurrency.
  • Cost-based optimization: Saxon’s optimizer now makes cost estimates in order to decide the best execution strategy. Although the estimates are crude, they have been found to make a vast difference to the execution speed of some stylesheets. Saxon 9.7 particularly addresses the performance of XSLT pattern matching.

There was no indication of when these features will appear in the free “home edition.”

In the meantime, you can go the Online Shop for Saxonica.

Currency conversion rates vary but as of today, Saxon-PE (Professional Edition) is about $75 U.S. and some change.

I’m considering treating myself to Saxon-PE as a Christmas present to myself.

And you?

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