[xquery-talk] XQuery spec and timeframes

Jonathan Robie jonathan.robie at datadirect.com
Tue Jan 24 09:55:21 PST 2006

Frank Cohen wrote:

> Last year at the SDForum.org Web Services Conference Tim Bray and  
> Adam Bosworth talked about XQuery as a cake that took too long to  
> bake. The audience was Java developers. Trying to fight against that  
> attitude from the thought leaders is hopeless while the spec is not  
> final.

One way to get beyond that might be to try to get <a 
large number of implementatinos</a>, including implementations from many 
leading software vendors, in a wide variety of environments. Sure, it 
makes good buzz to tell everyone that the cake took too long to bake, 
but vendors are clearly investing heavily in this technology. And when 
vendors have a stake in it, it's going to be promoted. At XML 2005, the 
number of talks mentioning XQuery was huge.

> Secondly, the enterprise and institutional software architects and  
> program managers I am calling on like the promise of XQuery and are  
> ready to rally around the new standard. But they wont accept "the  
> spec is basically final" or "the spec does not include xxx and we  
> have added it to our implementation." (The xxx could be full text  
> search, try/catch/exceptions, or any number of other enhancements.)  
> They need the 1.0 spec to defend their choice of a new platform.
> XQuery 1.0 with kinks still inside is fine with me rather than  
> waiting any longer.

I can't see how we could possibly wait any longer ;->

Not just because it's been a long time, but because these Working Drafts 
have been rather stable for quite a while. The Working Group probably 
*is* erring on the side of caution, but at this point, it's water under 
the dam. Some small companies were hurt significantly because their 
development cycles were relatively fast, and they couldn't bring their 
product to market in the timeframe required. The gap between the 
projected time frame and the actual time frame was pretty big, and 
that's a bad thing particularly for small vendors. I hope we can do 
better in future versions.

> About XML-QL and XQL adoption... XQuery is a native XML programming  
> language and Java is an object-oriented programming language. They  
> are natural competitors. I have no reason to think that the object  
> bigots in the Java community are motivated to support XQuery as  
> anything more than an improved SQL language. The win for XQuery is  
> with developers that are working with complex XML data. To them  
> XQuery is a winner for system performance and scalability and rapid  
> development of XML services.

Well, Jason Hunter, the guy behind JDOM, has become a real XQuery 
enthusiast, often encouraging people to bypass Java APIs entirely and 
work directly in XQuery. But there are times you *really* want to embed 
XQuery in a Java environment, e.g. when you are writing your servlets in 


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