[xquery-talk] Izzit Bcos I is functional?

Ihe Onwuka ihe.onwuka at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 15:07:14 PDT 2015

On Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 12:03 PM, daniela florescu <dflorescu at me.com> wrote:

> Ihe,
> based on my own personal experience, I could give you the long version of
> the answer and the short version
> of the answer.
> I’ll start with the short one.
> And I will start with the NON-reason for the non-sucess of Xquery.
> 1. No, it’s not because it’s functional.
> Even though, because it’s functional, it will be restricted to be used
> only by people with CS degrees, and not by
> random Joes and Janes who write web sites. The way it is designed it is
> intended to make a population of educated programmers
> ETREMELY efficient, and NOT to increase the  total number of developers to
> hundreds of millions.
> When being reproached this fact in the past, my answer was always the
> same: building a database application should not be for the uneducated.
> It’s like building a 30 story building, you don’t do that without a
> architect ad a structural engineer.
> E.g. if you want to eradicate a grave neurological disease, you don’t
> lower the bar to allow anyone from the street to perform a neurosurgery,
> you just make the existing neurosurgents more productive.
> And BTW, XQuery (like any programming language in 2015) should not be
> written by hand, by mostly automatically generated by tools, so at the end,
> who cares if it is functional or not.
> 2. It’s not because academia doesn’t pay attention.
> That’s not true. Almost every database class I know finishes with teaching
> the students XQuery. I taught full XML/XQuery classes myself in both
> Stanford and Berkeley
> and the students loved it. It is true that most database professors
> themselves don’t understand XML and XQuery, but that’s another story……
I'm not sure about that. I know Harvard does but that is part of a web
programming course.


MIT doesn't, neither does either of the universities I went to.

> ==============
> Here would be my FIRST real reason:
> 1. XQuery CANNOT be more successful then the problem that it tries to
> solve, which is XML processing.
> XML itself is not successful.Period.
> There is no money in XML. Period.
> There is a USE CASE in XML as documents, but not enough money in this
> market.
> And XML as data is a total flop. XML is hated and avoided by the
> developers like hell. And that, for good reasons.
What are they. Alot of the ones I have read aren't true and seem to be
based on a lack of knowledge about XML

> So, why wouldn’t they use XQuery, when they don’t want to see the face of
> XML in the first place !?
> So, you see,  it would be unreasonable to expect that XQuery is successful
> in places where XML is hated.
> E.G. MarkLogic after 14 years of existence barely managed to pass 100M
> revenue. DatasTax after 3 years
> of existence is at more then 300M revenue (and less investment from VCs).
> It’s … XML vs. JSON. Documents vs. data.
Y'see I reckon that if JSON was deployed in many of the domains where XML
is, it too would be hated.

> So…. I think it is simply a question of …. there is no market for XML
> ……(aka no enough MONEY in the market).
> (there are plenty of other reasons, of course, but I think this is the
> main one..)
> =============
> The only way for the ideas behind XQuery to become successful is trough
> JSON and a language like JSONiq.
> Because there IS enough money in the market behind JSON…
> That’s my short answer.
> I can send you the longer answer, maybe later.
Eagerly awaited.
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