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RE: Fw: XQuery concerns and considerations

From: Paul Cotton <pcotton@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 19:38:44 -0400
Message-ID: <E7AC4500EAB7A442ABA7521D188143978E59E9@tor-msg-01.northamerica.corp.microsoft.com>
To: <firewalk@speakeasy.net>
Cc: <www-xml-query-comments@w3.org>
Dear Tony and David

This is a response to the following message, which you posted to the XML
Query Working Group's comments list:


The XML Query Working Group has approved the following response:

> I am real curious, and kind of concerned with the XQuery language. 
> it really appears like the wheel is being created yet again. 
> it isn't even XML compliant, short of being wrapped in XML tags. 
> How are you supposed to perform an XSLT transform on the query?

As stated in the XML Query Requirements [1] the XML Query WG is planning
to produce an XML version of the XML Query language.  This work has
simply not yet been completed and made public.

> This looks remarkably like SQL-92, i would even bet that 
> there is a direct mapping between the 2 languages. 
> Is this what you are trying to do? 

The XML Query WG is trying to meet the requirements which the WG has
published in [1].  The fact that _some_ of these requirements could be
met with SQL is no surprize since some of the Requirements are very

> Why not just wrap sql statements with XML Tags and call it good? 

Many of the Requirements cannot be met by SQL and this is why the WG has
proposed a new syntax and semantics for querying XML.  In particular SQL
cannot be used to directly query the XML Query Data Model [2].

> yes i know there would need to be some sort of mapping, but 
> i would rather see a standard created for defining object to 
> relational data mapping.

The XML Query WG does not intend to define such a mapping.  Other
organizations such as SQLX [3] are working on this topic.
> Why not use XPath to query into a relational dataset? It 
> could be done very easily, just look at the XML support in 
> Microsoft SQL Server 2000.

There are many things that XPath cannot do such as joins that makes it
an inappropriate choice as the basis of an XML Query language.  

> What is the point short of creating yet another standard, 
> making it even more complex for developers to incorporate 
> XML support into their systems.
> It looks like the real point here is to provide you with 
> something to do, maybe someone decided that this is something 
> that could be done to kill time, and other peoples productivity.
> Please prove me wrong with a real use for this technology 
> that can not be solved using current technology.

We can assure you that none of the participants on the XML Query WG are
trying to waste their own time or to kill other people's productivity.
In fact several participants of the XML Query WG have already
demonstrated working prototypes of XQuery.  Please see [4] for a notice
of some of these efforts.  

We appreciate your feedback on the XML Query specifications. Please let
us know if this response is satisfactory. If not, please respond to this
message, explaining your concerns.

Paul Cotton
On behalf of the XML Query Working Group

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlquery-req
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/query-datamodel/
[3] http://www.sqlx.org
[4] http://www.xmlhack.com/read.php?item=1168

Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada 
17 Eleanor Drive, Nepean, Ontario K2E 6A3 
Tel: (613) 225-5445 Fax: (425) 936-7329 
Received on Friday, 4 May 2001 20:11:31 UTC

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