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ANSWERS to "What's wrong with XQuery" question

James Fuller james.fuller.2007 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 26 09:49:28 PDT 2010

  ANSWERS to "What's wrong with XQuery" question
> James Fuller said:
> * nosql databases have made inroads where xml databases have not, and
> this is mostly down to aspects of comparable scale and performance ...
> Daniela Florescu said in response:
> Huh. No sure about that.
> While there are fundamental principles that those guys got right (i.e. no
> schema
> and no ACID transactions in distributed systems), they missed high level
> declarative programming,
> and, my God, don't forget that one can prove that Cassandra in current
> incarnation
> looses updates. (and Cassandra is probably the best among them..)
> [[ not that updates get DELAYED, which is OK, they are literally LOST]]
> I mean: what do you think Oracle (or DB2, or SQLServer, or MySQL)
> customers will think about that !???

yes, data loss is not ever an acceptable scenario in 2010!

lets not forget that there will be customers who will decide on
'should I pay a license' or is using open source acceptable.

I think nosql is reminding us that we can look at all that RDBMS are
and think about the future and reconsider assumptions.

> James Fuller said:
> Also, lets remember that nosql has some very
> deep pockets when it comes to what companies are supporting the
> development of these standards/implementations ...
> Daniela Florescu said in response:
> I think you are getting things wrong :-)
> There are WAY deeper pockets around XML then around NoSQL.
> [[ just a thought: NIEM is an XML standard, BPEL is an XML standard,
> and HL7 is an XML standard  :-)]]
> There is just more NOISE around NoSQL .
> Just don't be fooled by the  relative silence around XML.
> (Only fools confuse silence with nothigness :-)

agreed, I am talking about the developer 'mind share' (u mentioned in
previous posts) ... BPEL/NIEM/HL7/XBRL are enterprise technologies
which IMHO foster little grassroots support with developers (web or
otherwise) who have no need of ever using these technologies until
they are developing software within the enterprise. I would also note
that the level of transparency or information sharing between these
communities is mismatched. The nosql crowd is offering open source
technologies which impart 'planet scaling' using interesting (albeit
sometimes flawed) and accessible techniques that developers can try
out now.

For example,


shows thats a pretty high level of transparency of what Facebook is
using to get work done but I know that there is also a lot of big
enterprise workhorses supporting things at Facebook just as well.

Perhaps this is yet again showing that Open Source is superior
development approach ... e.g. maybe today their technologies dont work
perfectly but by open sourcing and involving other developers, high
transparency and evolution will probably take over and present more
capable software in the future as they 'iterate' development.

I think we need to be careful about catering for the needs of a few groups

* 'Browser/js generation': what are we offering to the web people of
today who want to learn technologies that make their lives easier and
cooler ?

* 'Planet wide': what are we offering to the cool web people today,
who are trying to solve hard problems.

* 'Enterprise': over the past 5 years this group is embracing web
standards, but there is a sense that a lot of complexity is artificial
(as shown by 'planet wide' group) as there can be simpler ways to
solve problems. That being said, enterprise do have hard problems
which 'oversimplifying' can exacerbate.

* Everyone else (mobile, etc)

> Daniela Florescu said in response:
> OK. That's why I started this thread. What do you propose ?

* XML database vendors need to get organized

* investigate short hand XML for the 'javascript generation' asap

* investigate ways of pushing xpath deep into the web stack, e.g. both
client/server side as replacement for DOM (need to investigate
'setting' e.g. update scenarios)

* encourage/sponsor EXPATH & EXQUERY, along with CXAN repository

I have a few more thoughts but need to draft them a bit more clearly
before I present here.

James Fuller


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