XQuery as a general data processing language WAS: [xquery-talk] XQuery and Web 2.0

Peter Coppens pc.subscriptions at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 01:05:09 PDT 2008

On 25 Apr 2008, at 23:37, Jason Hunter wrote:

> Daniela Florescu wrote:
>> It's not exactly true. Me, together with many other people who  
>> participated to
>> the creation of XQuery (only *some* of us, though !), since day  
>> one, we always had in mind,
>> while designing XQuery, a  general programming language for XML  
>> data processing,
>> and not merely a "query" language (whatever that means).
> For what it's worth, we're having great success using XQuery as  
> defined today as a general purpose web programming language.  For  
> performing updates, making fast text search calls, and all the rest  
> we just use functions.  Here's a list:

Perhaps I am old fashioned (given my gray hair I am entitled to be)  
and while I think markmail is a very nice web application indeed it is  
also not a 'typical' one (perhaps that makes it so nice). Given the  
function (extensions) listed in the link below it is probably not even  
a typical XQuery 'application' (if such thing would exist) and I  
assume it certainly would not be easy to 'port' to anything else but  
MarkLogics technology.....but I am just guessing here.  Anyway, XQuery  
was designed to 'work' on the XQuery/XPath data model and I don't  
believe anywhere anytime soon your 'typical' developer/architect/ 
designer will choose XDM as its main representation of information to  
implement (transactional business) logic upon. If XQuery has the  
ambition to become a general (data) processing language it will have  
to integrate (or work) seamlessly with <your preferred oo programming  
language> object model. I think and for what I have seen of it, LINQ  
seems to deal with that problem in a rather elegant way (no hands on  
experience disclaimer here). Personally I have not found an easy way  
of dealing with that problem. I either end up writing (a useless lot  
of) XQuery to call external Java functions (and then just hope the  
XQuery processor will kind of 'respect' the intended order of calls)  
or use XQJ to invoke XQuery and then do a lot of mumbo jumbo to  
convert from Java objects to XDM and vice versa. Don't think anyone  
not having some relation with XQuery  will even consider that workable.
> http://xqzone.marklogic.com/pubs/3.2/apidocs/All.html
> FWIW, it seems messy and unnecessary to me to change the language in  
> any significant way to support these things.  I prefer the Java  
> approach. Simple language, complex libraries.  Empirically you can,  
> for example, do fast text search through library calls.  So let's do  
> that.
> -jh-
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