[xquery-talk] XML/XQuery academic conferences ?

John Snelson john.snelson at marklogic.com
Thu Oct 13 02:19:20 PDT 2011

Like Ron says, I would point out that XML is still very much alive and 
thriving in areas where it's indispensable for understanding 
unstructured data[1]. This is possibly a more mundane, "solved" problem 
from an academic perspective - but it doesn't mean that there's not 
massive business value in working with data like that.

I wonder what difference the rise of the "Big Data" meme will have on 
XML. After all, if 80% of the data created is unstructured, then surely 
XML is the obvious way to comprehend that data.


[1] or semi-structured data, or document shaped data, or your buzzword 
or choice :-).

On 13/10/11 06:31, Ronald Bourret wrote:
> This is really interesting. I'm very curious as to why people think XML
> is dead.
> All the job descriptions that come across my desk ask for XML. Entering
> XML as a keyword in Monster.com returns "1000+" jobs, which appears to
> be the highest number they'll return. Dice.com says 10803 of its 85033
> jobs ask for XML.
> XML has done what we all thought and hoped it might -- become as
> ubiquitous and mundane as ASCII. Or perhaps that's just it: Nobody
> builds academic careers on ASCII.
> All I can say is that this shows a remarkable lack of foresight on the
> part of academia. The technical part of the written world is slowly
> migrating to XML and it would seem that the opportunities are boundless
> for finding clever ways to query, assimilate, and build intelligent
> systems on top of all that marked-up text. Perhaps it's just too fuzzy
> for mainstream computer scientists?
> -- Ron
> Daniela Florescu wrote:
>>> Few  of the cs phds  I've interviewed could do ANY of the tasks you
>>> quote.  None had to pass an exam in making programs that actually worked
>> David,
>> I am not sure if this is the problem of the Phds, or merely the sample
>> that came to you for interview.
>> I had to pass such an exam.
>> But: I swear. I've seen them. They do exist. They roam freely all over
>> the Sillicon Valley. They are all over Google and Facebook.
>> And they know how to do those things:  automatic parallelization of
>> functional languages, automatic detection of indexes, etc.
>> **ALL**  of that.
>> Their problem is that they live in a world where working on XML is
>> equated with having a lobotomy
>> ("something REALLY bad must have happened to you...!").
>> Their peers and teachers, and all the other "stonebreakers" of the
>> world, and all the other Stanford and Berkeley professors
>>   keep telling them them that XML is dead, and that if they work on XML
>> they'll destroy their brilliant carriers.
>> That's what happened to me.
>> (I still have have a set of emails with such content, from "famous"
>> experts in the database world, for the fun of others :-)
>> Even at my (advanced..)  age, it's not easy to take.
>> But when you are 20-ish something, trying to figure out what to do with
>> your carrier, that's really hard.
>> And it's not their fault.
>> It's because the "grown-ups" of this community don't care to make any
>> compromises to explain to the rest of the world
>> why the rest of the world should care about markup languages and
>> functional programming as an information querying and processing
>> paradigm.
>> A world where the selfish: "keep it small -- aka, such that I can
>> control it" is the king.
>> That what my original email was about.
>> Best regards
>> Dana

John Snelson, Senior Engineer                  http://twitter.com/jpcs
MarkLogic Corporation                         http://www.marklogic.com

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