[xquery-talk] what is jsoniq !?

daniela florescu dflorescu at me.com
Wed Jun 10 18:39:44 PDT 2015

Dear all,

by now, some of you must be bored of the current discussions and must ask yourself:
what the heck is this JSONiq.org stuff ?

I will answer in one sentence.


JSONiq is XQuery with “.” instead of “/“ and “{“ instead of “<“.



Now, JSONiq has been designed by the Zorba team a couple of years back, looking at the 
gory details and differences between XML and JSON, and trying to reconcile them, technically AND 

JSONq comes in two flavors: JSONiq++ and JSONiq—.

JSONiq++ is a 100% extension (syntactic and semantic ) of XQuery 3.0 that ALSO includes the JSON concepts: JSON navigation , 
 JSON items (objects and arrays) constructors, JSON null and JSON-specific functions.

JSONiq— is a subset (syntactic and semantic) of JSONiq++, restricted ONLY to what JSON is concerned about,
 eliminating everything that has to do with XML (e.g. XML navigation and XML node constructors), plus adding a more 
aesthetically pleasant syntax for JSON navigation, using “.” .

JSONiq++ is indeed complex, as it inherits both the complexities of XML and JSON, and has to reconcile them somehow.
However clunky that is, it is EXTREMELY useful for cases (like Mulesoft) when you have to integrate between data in XML and JSON.
I think those cases are more and more frequent.

JSONiq— is designed to be aesthetically and semantically pleasing to the JSON-only community — out of which there are plenty, too.
See MongoDB, CouchDb, etc.


The Zorba team spent almost a year trying to study the details of the problem (e.g. different characters sets in JSON vs XML, grammatical conflicts, 
uses cases and their aesthetics, etc).   That was NOT fun work. There was nothing deep or highly intelligent in that design.

This was stuff that SOMEONE had to do (and I am sorry to say, it was easier to do outside the W3C standardization meeting rooms).

I think that almost anyone who would start with the same design goals will end up with the same solution.

I wish our efforts were not wasted in vain, and everybody will NOT start re-inventing the wheel now.

Plus, it would be really nice if the JSON community would not start investigating the problem of querying semi-strcutured data EXACTLY 
from the same point the XML community started in 1996….

That would be really bad.

Best regards

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