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size of XQuery developer community

Hans-Juergen Rennau hrennau at yahoo.de
Mon Aug 31 15:37:38 PDT 2009


  size of XQuery developer community
Hello Michael,

of course you are right in that XSLT and XQuery are built on the XDM, not on XML as a serialization format, and you are right in that the XDM can be completely separated from the serialization format. But I prefer to view XML and the XDM as one organic whole, and exactly this is what I meant by the term "deep understanding": an understanding covering three _levels_ of XML: level #1: the lexical; level #2: the inforset (= structural model totally unconcerned with aspects of processing); level #3: the XDM extending the infoset in order to embrace the reality of processing = a global information model which preserves the structural achievements of the infoset and embeds it into a stunningly flexible definition of information value. Each level evolved from the previous one, I think, was it not so, historically?

This evolution is a wonderful achievement, and I am emphatically against "marketing" XQuery and XSLT as tree processing languages, as if you could come along with some tree and get it processed. What should be done is rather: encourage people to get familiar with the new reality which XML (via XDM) constitutes: a global information model of stunning power and flexibility, enabling XPath, XSLT, XQuery and what is to come.

A poet (Joseph Brodsky) once wrote: it is not so that the poets should adopt the language of the masses; common people should adopt the language of literature. In the realm of IT, XDM/XPath/XSLT/XQuery are like literature, and I would not sell them for something else.

With kind regards,
Hans-Juergen



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Message: 4
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 19:55:03 +0200
From: Michael Ludwig <http://x-query.com/mailman/listinfo/talk>
Subject: Re:  size of XQuery developer community
To: http://x-query.com/mailman/listinfo/talk
Message-ID: <http://x-query.com/mailman/listinfo/talk>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Daniela Florescu schrieb:
>> a widespread lack of a _deep_ understanding of XML.
>
> Hans-Juergen,
>
> Yes, you are right.  There is a deep misunderstanding in IT of our
> core message about the role of XML in the new architectures.

What is that core message? (If it is not what I'm going to write below.)

> XML is not syntax, it can/should be the primary way of modeling data.

To XSLT and XQuery, XML is the XPath Data Model, which - I think - could
exist quite merrily without a serialization format.

To the Programming World, XML is the angle-bracket serialization format.
I've heard XML experts say that the Programming World does not like
angle brackets. (I don't know if this is true, but I've seen a lot of
editors that hide the angle brackets.) I think that some people do not
like the verboseness of the XML serialization format.

XML, which isn't SGML, cannot change its serialization format without
major disruptions.

The XPath Data Model seems to have an alternative serialization format
in XQuery: element bla { attribute blub { ... } }.

But instead of mucking about with the serialization format, wouldn't it
be more clever to market XQuery and XSLT as Tree Processing Languages?

(Being very careful, bien entendu, not to come dangerously close
to deforestation operations in order not to scare away the
environmentalists.)

Trees enjoy a pretty good reputation. Much better than angle brackets!

> XQuery is not a query language (oh well), but a full blown
> (declarative) data processing language.

Well, but it typically lives where there is XML data, and it is
typically used to query that data. It looks very well integrated
to me. Isn't this a big plus?

-- 
Michael Ludwig

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