[xquery-talk] why do you care what other people think ?

Joe Wicentowski joewiz at gmail.com
Mon May 20 07:55:01 PDT 2013

> Speaking as someone in the digital humanities community, I am extremely
> grateful for the work that has been done on XQuery and on the entire suite
> of XML-related W3C technologies (XPath, XSLT, etc.) within the W3C working
> groups and by independent developers. As a self-taught programmer without a
> computer science background, I can't evaluate the theoretical arguments pro
> or against different styles of programming languages; all I know is that in
> the practical world, it is almost inconceivable that the projects I have
> worked on for the last decade could have been achieved as well as they have
> without XQuery and the tools built upon it (notably Saxon, MarkLogic, and
> the oXygen editor/IDE). Even if the community of users is small by
> comparison with Javascript or Perl or whatever, the impact of projects that
> rely on XQuery is, I suspect, much greater than people realize.

Let me second David's sentiments wholeheartedly.  I am also a
self-taught programmer without a CS background - a historian.  I'm
convinced that I could not have taken on and accomplished what I have
were it not for the high level concerns that XQuery allows me to focus
on.  I started this work in June 2007, months after XQuery's
graduation to recommendation status and 1.0 and the publication of
Priscilla Walmsley's book.  I daily rely on and thank my lucky stars
for tools like eXist-db and oXygen, and the vibrant, generous
communities behind XQuery and all the XML-related W3C technologies.
In seminars I've given to colleagues and new and seasoned digital
humanists about XQuery, one of the most salient arguments that gives
students the confidence that they *can* do this is that XQuery lets
you focus on your data, and lets you get in and out without being
bogged down with all the usual concerns of programming.  I think
XQuery is a tremendously empowering (dare I say transformational)


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