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   Re: [xml-dev] XSLT and XQuery

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On Mon, Jan 07, 2002 at 12:18:53PM -0500, Mike Champion wrote:
> 1/7/2002 11:03:57 AM, Adam Turoff <ziggy@panix.com> wrote:
> >> Unifying the remaining 
> >> portion of XQuery and all of XSLT would certainly take a significant amount 
> >> of time -- I would estimate it as at least an additional year. 
> >
> >It sounds like that would be time wisely spent.  I find it less
> >important to get XQuery 1.0 out the door "quickly", and more
> >important that XQuery 1.0 is substantially similar to the XQuery
> >that will be in use in five-to-ten years' time, 
> For what it's worth, I agree.  BUT we have this little problem
> that expectations have been raised, XML is near the "peak of inflated
> expectations" in the hype cycle, and the pundits are starting to
> smell blood in the water.  

There is little that is newsworthy in that statement.  This describes
the state of XML in the media pretty much since its initial release.
I fail to see how this current wave of hype is greater or more
meaninful than the previous three years' worth of (accumulated)
hype.  :-)
> The folks who pay the bills seldom give us enough time to "do
> the right thing."  There's a Frequently Quoted Maxim from Voltaire
> that "the best is the enemy of the good."  How can we get the good
> and the best to kiss and make up with respect to XPath/XSLT/XQuery?

With all due respect to Jon Bosak, Tim Bray, James Clark and the 
other lumiaries who brought us here, I would hardly say that anything
in the world of XML qualifies as "the best" anything.  XML 1.0 had
serious deficiencies that aren't (yet) being addressed with XML 2.0;
XSLT 1.0 hit a 80/20 sweet spot and failed to deliver some serious
function points: user-defined functions, coersion of a result tree
into a node-set, etc.

These are *hard* problems to solve.  All of them.

That said, XML and XSLT aren't necessarily *bad*, just good enough
(and imperfect).  If XQuery could hit that same sweet spot, it too
would be good enough; as it stands, it is at odds with much of the
rest of the XML foundation technologies and generally missing the
mark in some areas.

It is my ardent hope that XQuery does not suffer the same fate as
RDF, XLink and XSchema; years after its completion RDF is still
befuddling and stagnant (although that is being addressed), and
XSchema is so large, confusing and intimidating that it will be a
very long time before we see it's widespread adoption.  

Perhaps what this world really needs (and wants) is for XQuery to be
adopted by the W3C so that it spurs independant developers to create
a simpler, competing query language that is actually adoptable and
implementable.  That sounds like a fairly oblique way to create 
technologies to "enhance the interoperability of the World Wide Web"...



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