[xquery-talk] Bumblebee: closed source

Michael Kay michael.h.kay at ntlworld.com
Mon Nov 10 13:59:14 PST 2003

I've been taking a look at Bumblebee, hoping I might be able at the same
time to get value from it and to add value, e.g. by supplying updated
tests or drivers, but I've come to the conclusion that it's not viable
so long as it remains a closed-source product. To test software you've
got to be able to find out what's going wrong when things fail, and you
can't do any effective debugging when the source code is all hidden.

In writing a new Adapter, the big stumbling block has been that there's
no documentation about the format required for the query output. For
example, it seems (empirically) that bumblebee falls over if the query
results contain an XML declaration. But without source code, I'm groping
in the dark, and it's just not fun.

My other gripe about it is the non-XML format used for data. I
appreciate it's difficult to use XML when XQuery itself is a non-XML
format (and that's something I've been struggling with in converting my
XSLT test harness to handle XQuery), but I'm really not prepared to move
to something that uses a home-grown proprietary markup language.

The odd thing is that the real IPR in a package like this is in the test
data, not in the code, and the test data is there for the taking
(although I appreciate that the only value you've added so far is in
supplying test results.)

For the moment: thanks, but no thanks. I'll revert to plan A and
maintain my own test harness. 

Michael Kay

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