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RE: W3C's five new XQuery/Xpath2 working drafts - Still missi

  • To: xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: RE: W3C's five new XQuery/Xpath2 working drafts - Still missing Updates
  • From: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@S...>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 11:53:20 -0700

xquery update lack

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dare Obasanjo [mailto:kpako@y...]
> Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2001 11:50 PM
> To: Champion, Mike; xml-dev@l...
> Subject: Re:  W3C's five new XQuery/Xpath2 working drafts -
> Still missing Updates
> Well, the major reason the W3C got so many responses about 
> the RAND issues was because the story eventually ran on everyone's
> technology tabloid

Right, but it wasn't the sheer volume of responses that moved the W3C AC to
action, it was the fact that they made compelling points that pointed to a
credible threat to "fork the web." The conspiracy theories hurt the cause
more than they help. I won't pretend that anyone SHOULD be as up in arms
about the lack of an update in XQuery as they were about patents, I'm just
making the point that the W3C *does* listen when enough of their "customers"

The dilemma for the W3C is exactly as Soumitra Sengupta posed it: an XQuery
without updates relatively soon, or an XQuery with updates significantly
later.  Note that XPath is factored out of XSLT and XQuery; maybe an update
language based on XPath 2.0 can be developed independently? As Michael Kay
noted, XQuery = XPath 2.0 + "1) element and attribute constructors 2)
function definitions 3) strong typing".  The latter two would be useful for
an update language, but not critical IMHO (and they appear to need some more
time to cook in the W3C Labs, not to mention lots of real-world testing,
before they are ready to be standardized). 

Anyway, there are a number of options here:

- Let the W3C proceed at their own pace, with typing/functions prioritized
ahead of updates.  Silence means assent to this scenario.

- Start an OASIS TC to develop an XUpdate-like language based on XPath
(2.0?) in parallel with XQuery.  This will probably not be well-received by
many people at W3C, but perhaps we can agree that diversity is not the same
as divisiveness. It may be that XPath 2.0 is that "glue" that unites the
transformation language, query language, and update language(s), and that is
a good basis on which to push forward in parallel.

- Lobby the W3C to readjust the XQuery working group's priorities. This is
probably futile, but it did work for the patent issue ... and if the W3C
sees the alternatives as "forking the web" it might prefer realign its
priorities rather than cede more of the XML spec space to OASIS.

[Obligatory disclaimer: This is TOTALLY my personal opinion, probably not
shared by the colleagues who represent my employer on the relevant W3C WGs.]


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