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   Re: [xml-dev] Why *is* XQuery taking so long?

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Michael Champion wrote:

> This is a bit of a permathread, but I would like to solicit opinions
> from current or former XQuery participants or outside observers.  The
> XQuery activity kicked off with a workshop in 1998 and the working
> group was chartered in 1999.  5 years later, no Recommendation in
> sight.  Why did this happen?

There is no Rec. But to say there is no Rec in sight is, I believe, an 
exaggeration. It's just that a lot of people wish it were there before 
late 2005. If we'd been more efficient, we could have gotten it done 
perhaps one to two years earlier. But I'm not sure that we knew ahead of 
time what we now know in retrospect.

> To kick things off, my  recollection of the rough consensus from the
> last time this permathread surfaced was:
> - XQuery's requirements were far too ambitious and beyond the state of
> the art.  It became an exercise in design by committee rather than
> standardizing actual experience.

XQuery was clearly beyond the state of the art. My own feeling is that 
the outcome is a good one. An XQuery implementation that does not 
support schema import, validation, or other optional features is not 
much more complex than a Quilt implementation, and it's a very useful 

But there are enough implementations of XQuery at this point that I 
think XQuery represents the state of the art. And we have experience 
using XQuery in a wide variety of environements for a very wide variety 
of applications. I actually think that it's good that we got to this 
point before XQuery becomes a Rec.

There's another permathread philosophical question again: should we just 
let individual companies create things, watch them take hold in the 
marketplace, and then standardize them? The standard W3C answer is that 
we don't want the big players to dictate terms to everyone else, and 
that for many crucial technologies, we should work together to create 

> - XQuery has become rather tightly coupled with several other W3C
> specs, especially Schema, XPath, and XSLT.  As is usually the case,
> this creates a bit of a hairball -- changing anything requires
> untangling everything.

Absolutely. And that has been really difficult, frustrating, and time 
consuming. But I do think the wider community wants compatibility among 

> - There are a lot of conflicting intellectual and corporate agendas
> interacting, and coming to a mutually acceptable consensus is
> challenging at best.

Yep. And the solutions we come to together are better than the more 
limited solutions each individual might see.



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