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   RE: [xml-dev] Declarative XML Processing with XQuery

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> Thanks.   Off the top, some of what I like about Foxpro 
> comes back with the language integrated query. 

I don't know FoxPro but there were a lot of 4GLs in the 1980s that
integrated database access closely into the programming language. I've never
been sure why they failed. For some reason the market was incredibly
fragmented (no-one had more than 3%) and there were no standards. I think
people wanted better programming languages than the 4GLs offered by the
database vendors, and the independent 4GL vendors wanted to be
database-independent; and of course the disaster called client-server became
fashionable. So in the end loose coupling won the day - people moved to
dynamic SQL embedded in anything (in the form of character strings passed to
procedure calls), which on the surface is about as bad a design as you can
get from a programming language theory point of view.

So on the one hand I'm pleased to see a resurgence of interest in database
programming languages, and on the other hand I'm feeling a strong sense of
deja vu and wondering what lessons have been learned from the last time

One thing I am convinced of: a good database programming language is likely
to be very declarative.

Michael Kay


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