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Re: W3C's five new XQuery/Xpath2 working drafts - Still miss


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Robie" <jonathan.robie@s...>
To: "Jeff Greif" <jgreif@a...>; <xml-dev@l...>
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2001 11:39 AM
Subject: Re:  W3C's five new XQuery/Xpath2 working drafts - Still
missing Updates

> At 11:13 AM 12/24/2001 -0800, Jeff Greif wrote:
> >One issue not addressed is what progress has the XQuery WG already made on
> >update syntax.  If they have already done substantial preliminary work, but
> >have some perceived need to produce an interim XQuery spec before that's
> >ready for release, it may be a duplication/fragmentation of effort to
> >produce a competing spec in an Oasis TC, and take just as long.
> In fact, this is just the case. Several members of the XML Query WG
> developed a proposal, and several vendors are implementing variations of
> this proposal. This proposal was the basis of a presentation that I gave at
> XML 2001 in Orlando this Fall.

For those of us that were not able to attend XML 2001, is there any material
related to your presentation online such as PDFs, Powerpoint slides or similar
material? I am primarily curious as to whether this update proposal is similar
to the grammar on the Microsoftr XML demo site at or more like the proposal from the UW
database group at
http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/zives/research/updatingXML.pdf or something
completely different.

Speaking of which, besides Microsoft's XQuery demo at
and GoXML (http://www.xmlglobal.com/xmlgupdate/new.html), what are the other
implementations of XQuery out there and more importantly where and when do you
think we are going to see more the implementations of XQuery that contain the
update features you mention?

> Whatever we release in XQuery 1.0, it has to be as solid as possible. That
> means leaving out features that we don't think we have given adequate
> review or for which there are not enough implementations. If you look
> carefully at the entire set of XQuery 1.0 specifications, you will see that
> there is a *lot* of technical content, and we have to make sure that it is
> well-specified and consistent across the specifications. Coordination
> between XQuery and XPath also takes time.
> For me personally, updates are an extremely high priority. I am concerned
> about the likelihood that several similar implementations may hit the
> market before there is a standard for updates. But I am also very concerned
> that XQuery 1.0 be released relatively soon.

Why is the quick release of XQuery so important? Are there really that many
businesses that stand to lose that much money if they have to use XPath for a
few more months instead of jumping to XSLT-with-different-syntax aka XQuery?

I keep hearing about how important it is that XQuery is released quickly but
have yet to see the justification for rushing out the spec with significant
fuinctionality missing.

> So would you still want to see updates in XQuery 1.0 if it meant releasing
> XQuery six months later?


> Incidentally, given the need for a well-specified proposal that is solidly
> integrated with XQuery, and given the fact that the existing proposal came
> from members of the XML Query Working Group, I doubt that doing this work
> outside the W3C would really save time. I also doubt that disallowing
> XQuery features like element constructors would save much time, and I think
> that it is important to be able to construct new instances in updates so
> that they can be inserted or used to replace existing content.

Some form of element constructors would be necessary  for an update language
so I doubt that anyone who is interested in an update language would seriously
consider that an unnecessary feature. Function definitions and strong typing
on the other hand are features that I'm not 100% convinced are necessary in an
update language but wouldn't have strong qualms about including or discarding

I wouldn't discount a seperate OASIS TC yet unless it was shown that the W3C
was making concrete moves towards adding updates to the langauge in the near
future as opposed to _considering_ it for some nebulous future release of
XQuery which would be meaningless since vendors would have come up with their
own extensions to XQuery that support updates and some of them may not drop
their implementations once the W3C recommendation is finally made (HTML all
over again).

All crones with the ability to prophesy will be given free facelifts,
permanents, manicures, and Donna Karan wardrobes. That should pretty
well destroy their credibility.

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