XQuery Java Code Generation
The release introduces the ability to compile a query to Java source code. The facility is available
in Saxon-SA, and it applies to the Java platform only.
This is a first release of this capability and it should be treated as a beta release, providing
early access for evaluation. Feedback is very welcome. Restrictions include:
Calls to extension functions (external Java functions) cannot be compiled. This includes
calls to the built-in extension functions in the Saxon namespace.
When the query contains external variables, there is no check that the supplied value conforms
to the required type.
There is very limited support for collations.
document-node(element(ABC)) is not supported.
There is no support for substitution groups in a
On most run-time errors, no information is provided linking the error to a location in
the source query.
saxon:validate-type pragma is not supported.
There is no separate compilation of modules: the whole query is compiled into a single Java class
(sometimes with one or more inner classes)
For large queries, it is possible that the generated Java code will exceed Java compiler limits.
It's important to have the right expectations for performance. Very often the query will run twice as
fast, but the speed-up factor is quite variable. A great deal of the time is spent in the
run-time library, and operations such as parsing, tree navigation, sorting, and serialization benefit
very little from compilation. Arithmetic computation, on the other hand, improves a lot (especially
when it takes place in a predicate or where condition), and so does
function calling. For simple path expressions such as
/a/b/c/d there is no speed-up
at all, but for some queries involving complex recursive function calls the compiled code may be
a factor of four or five faster.
It is hoped to extend this capability to XSLT in a subsequent release. Compiling for .NET is
still under consideration, as is direct generation of bytecode rather than Java source code.
For more details see Compiling Queries to Java code.