[xquery-talk] XML/XQuery academic conferences ?

Daniela Florescu dflorescu at mac.com
Wed Oct 12 12:33:42 PDT 2011


On Oct 12, 2011, at 11:51 AM, David Lee wrote:

> Question.
> 1) What are "the other problems" with Balisage ?

I love Balisage. But:

- Too narrowly focused I would think. ( Looks like an old family reunion
-- which is indeed pleasant :-)
( As an example, few people with database background
participate to it. Few people with serious IR background. Few number  
of newcomers
every year, and they are not encouraged when they do)

- Too small, community isn't large enough.

- DNA has little to do with the research community (just check how  
many people are coming from academia in the committee..)

But yes, I enjoy reading the papers in Balisage, too, and I enjoy the
family feeling too when i go there.

> 2) What qualifies as "academic cloud" (clout?).

This I think I understand well enough. I've been a researcher long  

I would say, the bare minimum requirements:
- publications should be copyrighted (which in XML Prague and Balisage
I am not sure they are)
- that has to be some official affiliation with ACM http://www.acm.org/
- that has to be an official and more rigurous  selection process,  
and followed ad literam.
- submissions should be more serious (not only "send us a paragraph  
and we believe
you because we've been knowing you for decades")

But it's a longer discussion.

> Way back when I was in collage Software of any kind wasn't considered
> "academic" ... it was considered 'beneath the level' of any true  
> academic

Yes, but things changed. And it's time they change for XML too.

> ... which is probably why I dont look to PhD's when I'm looking for  
> a good
> software person.

Well, that's a surprising view for me.

( I don't REQUIRE a Phd when I look for a good developer, but nor do I  
disqualify people
because they have one. I am taking my good developers wherever I find  
them. )

If they weren't any software academics,  there would be no software  
and if there are no software professors, there will be no  software  
students. If there are no students,
there is no critical mass.

Etc. Etc. Etc. The vicious circle.

The major complaint right now for XQuery is: we have enough  
implementations; yet
  there are not enough programmers who know it.

How can we get out of this if we don't teach it ?

There has been a huge amount of work that has been spent by database
people (e.g. Jim Gray) in the 80's before they managed to raise  
traditional databases to the level of
"class being thought in universities". This effort has a large  
correlation with the spread of databases today, obviously.

I think that XML and markup languages would beneficiate  now from a  
similar effort,  or from being thought
in Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Wisconsin, ETH, Imperial College, etc, etc.

Such classes cannot be thought without a professor, and a professor  
needs to get an official job, and
  for that he needs publications in a community recognized by his  
university peers.

I am judging whether is good , or bad, or evil, or not. But that's how  
it works in practice.

Hence my practical question: how do we get out of here ?

Best regards

> Maybe there simply isn't something the Ivory Tower considers  
> "worthy" in the
> study of XQuery ?
> But back to reality ..
> I'd certainly recommend Balisage.   There's been PhD people who have
> published papers there and had official sanctions from their  
> universities to
> do so.  So at least for some combination of people & universities it
> qualifies.
> ----------------------------------------
> David A. Lee
> dlee at calldei.com
> http://www.xmlsh.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: talk-bounces at x-query.com [mailto:talk-bounces at x-query.com] On  
> Behalf
> Of Daniela Florescu
> Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 2:04 PM
> To: xquery-discuss
> Subject: [xquery-talk] XML/XQuery academic conferences ?
> Dear all,
> I am having a problem right now, and I don't know how to solve it.
> We had over the summer several outstanding students, who did
> really great research in processing XML and XQuery.
> Here comes the question. Where can we publish the result of this
> research  !?
> 1. I know that there is XML Prague (and that would be my first choice
> given the
> skill of the audience).
> But the problem with XML Prague is that it doesn't have (yet) the
> academic
> "cloud". Students don't get PhDs because they published there, and
> professors don't get
> tenure. (whether the world is well organized and why doesn't happen is
> a completely
> different topic -- but that's the reality).
> In a CV for an application for a professor position for Stanford  you
> can put it at best in the category:
> hobbies and other activities, despite the fact that the work is
> technically equally challenging, if not more.
> Balisage is another option, but has other problems.
> 2. Database conferences.
> Unfortunately those guys don't understand much about XML. In fact they
> are strongly convinced
> that XML/XQuery is totally dead  (just went to a Stanford professor
> talk that said just that, and Stonebreaker
> says something along the same lines on a regular basis in the NoSQL
> conferences).
> So they'll not understand the XQuery new work, let alone publish it.
> 3. Functional programming conferences (after all, XQuery is a
> functional language..). Maybe it's a choice !?
> I have no experience, but I am interested to hear if anybody else has.
> 4. WWW Conference. Based on my experience, it's such a wide conference
> --- it's like a conference on water
> -- where do you start !? As a result the audience, as well as the  
> program committee, is interested in widely different
>  things (and XML/XQuery might not be one of them, and then you are
> out of luck)
> 5. NoSQL conferences. Unfortunately, there are two problems. First,
> NoSQL is still not accepted in academic conferences
> -- they have the same problem as XML itself. And second, they try to  
> stay away from XML like crazy ("angle brackets, not cool,
> man, not cool. Not Web scale.").
> So, I am interested in your feedback.
> - Where is the "research center of gravity" of this community ?
> - How can we stimulate young smart researchers to work on interesting
> and hard problems if they cannot value
> this work for their carrier ?
> Any feedback appreciated, thanks
> Dana
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