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   RE: [xml-dev] Which Will Be Released First, the W3C's XQuery Spec or Lon

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Several points to complement Jonathan's reply:

(a) if you were a vendor and your XQuery product was late, wouldn't it be
very tempting for you to blame W3C?

(b) the specs are late primarily because there are too many people
participating in the process. Over 1000 comments were received on the last
call draft, and it has taken a year to process them. Clearly the only way
one can produce specs quickly, in an area that many people care about, is to
produce them using a process that is much less open than W3C's. I don't know
the answer to this dilemma.

(c) I don't think there is any evidence that any vendors are deliberately
trying to slow the process down. But I think there might be one or two who
are probably regretting submitting quite so many comments, given the delays
this has caused. Microsoft have probably submitted more comments than anyone

(d) I don't think there is any evidence that Microsoft are ahead of the pack
in implementing XQuery and that other vendors feel a need to catch up, or
that any participating vendors (Microsoft included) think that delaying the
standard is in their best interest. On the contrary, I think this is wild

(e) I find it strange that you see a need for more open source
implementation activity to happen in parallel with the standards
development. I thought there was plenty, and many of the implementations
(like my own) are indeed from people closely involved in the standards

Michael Kay


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Don Demsak [mailto:donxml@gmail.com] 
> Sent: 14 October 2004 14:47
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: [xml-dev] Which Will Be Released First, the W3C's 
> XQuery Spec or Longhorn?
> The following is from my blog entry:
> http://donxml.com/allthingstechie/archive/2004/10/13/1421.aspx
> Microsoft has been taking in on the chin recently for the delays in
> releasing Longhorn (including from yours truly), but I'd like to point
> out another 800lb gorilla that should be taken to task for taking too
> long to release a product, the W3C.  Some people love to bash
> Microsoft, and typically the same folks look the other way when the
> W3C does something similar.  In case you haven't heard, Dare announced
> that XQuery will not be a part of the .Net 2.0 beta 2 release (and the
> final release).  The reason, the estimated time that the XQuery spec
> will become a recommendation isn't until late 2005, which is after
> .Net 2.0 will be released.  Microsoft got burned badly when they
> released code based on working drafts of XSL back in IE 5.0, and they
> can't let that happen again.  In case you don't remember, XSL looked
> like it was ready to go, and very late in the game the W3C members
> decided to rewrite the spec and split it into two (XSLT and XSL-FO). 
> I spent years on the VBXML XSLT discussion group trying to explain to
> developers that there were 2 versions of XSL out there, and it was
> very confusing for the majority of developers.
> So, Microsoft has decided to be cautious and limit their exposure on
> XQuery and have limited support within SQL Server 2005.  I don't blame
> them on this.  The XQuery spec has been an official W3C Working Draft
> since February 2001 and is still a Working Draft (over 3 years later).
>  It still has to go thru the complete process (Working Draft to
> Candidate Recommendation to Proposed Recommendation and finally W3C
> Recommendation).  I don't think it would be beyond some of the
> business on the committee to purposely slow down the recommendation
> process in order to give their companies time to catch up to level of
> support Microsoft has for XQuery.  So which one do you think will be
> released first Longhorn or the W3C's XQuery spec?
> One of my major complaints with the W3C (and other standards
> organizations) is that they just produce standards, not
> implementations of the standards.  I understand that software
> companies have a vested interest in releasing products according to a
> specification, but without having a publicly accessible implementation
> of the spec to work with during the draft process it makes it very
> difficult to create test cases.  The writers of the spec have to
> resort to thought exercises to test their ideas.  My idea is to marry
> a standards organization with an open source community (think of
> merging the W3C and SourceForge), but put a hard division between the
> two groups.  In order to prevent intellectual property leakage from
> the businesses on the standards org side to the open source side,
> individuals from one side can not work on the other (for a given
> spec).  This way there is a living example for the standards group to
> work the bugs out of (before it becomes a recommendation), and should
> streamline the specification process.  I know licensing can become a
> hairy issue here, so that is why I keep the 2 sides divided.  A
> company on the standards committee does not risk exposing its IP to
> the open source implementation, and the reverse should be true too. 
> To make this work, the open source project leaders would need to have
> very good access to the working draft committee.  In a perfect world,
> there would be at least 2 open source implementations (.Net and Java),
> and even the code based on rejected implementations would be available
> for all (which is something some of the MS MVPs in XML have been
> asking of MS for libraries that were abandoned).
> Don Demsak
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