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Re: [xml-dev] XQuery 2019 IMap

On Sat, 2019-01-05 at 10:23 +0000, Hans-Juergen Rennau wrote:
> Hello, hello, has anybody the postal address of Sir Tim Berners-Lee?
> I want to write him a letter, expressing my disappointment. I shall
> not mince words, trusting that truly great minds are not touchy. I
> want to ask - how can the closing of the XQuery Working Group be
> explained, if not by a headstrong refusal to think deeply?

It can be explained because the Working Group was down to very few
active participants. The W3C work is funded by Members joining W3C and
sending people to the Working Groups. So if Members don't go, the work
ends. The decision to close the Working Group wasn't Tim's, as it

> "XQuery" is a double lie - it is not about
> XML, and it is not a query language. It is about mapping information.

Although i agree with you about mapping information, the word lie is
perhaps a little loaded.

At one point i tried to push for a different name; perhaps unexcitingly
i think i suggested fast forest, and for people to talk about forest
stores rather than XML databases. But there was considerable push-back
from the Working Group.


> True, the generalization from XML to Information is still rudimentary

In general i think of XML as being an information representation
syntax; as RDF as being a knowledge representation model (in the sense
of 1970s and 1980s expert systems); of JSON as being an intechange
syntax for data and (less happily) configurations. But these are only
approximate, not clear boundaries.

An advantage of a syntax-based representation is that there's no single
fixed way to parse XML: you can build any number of data structures.
It's perfectly acceptable to read an SVG image and construct a colour
pallette, not the actual image.

> - we need standardized parsing of non-XML resources into XDM node
> trees.

Do we? Well, we have some ways to get from JSON to XDM in the XPath 3.1
Functions and Operators book.

> True, the sister paradigm of information structure, graph, is still
> not supported natively - it should be integrated into the XDM (adding
> RDF triples and RDF datasets) as well as the expression language
> (adding SPARQL expressions).

Once you go here i think you have indeed left behind the X.

> But these shortcomings just point to the need of an XQuery Working
> Group - for a continuation of the journey from XQuery to IMap..

(IMAP itself as a name is already in use for email, of course; i'm not
sure whether that matters)

Possible ways forward include a W3C community group, if you want to be
able to reawaken the XQuery Working Group (and presumably the XSLT
Working Group); an external-to-W3C organization (Oasis? or something

But i think really what you have to show is not only excitement about
technical possibilities but how your proposal would answer business
* do something you couldn't do before;
* do something you are already doing, but more cheaply
* do something you are already doing, but faster
* do something you are already doing, but more reliably
and so on. This is the kind of story that attracts funding and


Liam Quin - http://delightfulcomputing.com/
web slave for https://www.fromoldbooks.org/
with fabulous vintage art and fascinating texts to read.

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