Chapter 5. Introduction to the Formal Semantics

Mary Fernández, Jérôme Siméon, and Philip Wadler

“When a Mathematical Reasoning can be had it's as great a folly to make use of any other, as to grope for a thing in the dark, when you have a Candle standing by you.”

John Arbuthnot, The Laws of Form, 1692

XQuery is described by two documents: the XQuery language document [XQ-LANG], which uses prose, and the XQuery Formal Semantics document [XQ-FS], which uses symbols. Symbols support a degree of precision that prose alone cannot achieve, but they require some training in their use. This chapter provides such training and is intended for XQuery implementers and expert users who need a deeper understanding of XQuery's semantics.

This chapter does ...

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