Re: Possible news item: XRX

Hi Mark and Steven,

Rather than nullifying it as a news article, I think it adds a good 
dimension to clarify that XRX focuses on specific technical approaches 
that can be generalized.  In fact it might be a good way to end the piece, 
including some subset of links to Mark's works.  I'd also ask Erik if he 
has a referenceable link to the work he presented at the XForms evening at 
XML 2007.  I also have some similar links I am trying to dig up for 
applications involving Lotus Forms (XForms) with DB2 pureXML on the server 
and web services in the middle (the middle could be R instead of W, but it 
it doesn't happen to be, which is aligned with Mark's point, I believe).

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Staff Member
Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab

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"Mark Birbeck" <>
"Steven Pemberton" <>
"Forms WG" <>
08/27/2008 10:29 AM
Re: Possible news item: XRX

Hi Steven,

I think XRX is generally a good thing, but its origins are actually in
an _approach_ that is more flexible than simply relying on XQuery.

The main ideas behind XRX go back a few years. For example, nearly two
years ago I gave a talk to XML UK and W3C UK and Ireland on "XForms,
REST, XQuery...and skimming" [1]. The talk described the XRX
architecture as being a set of decoupled and standard interfaces,
which come together to create a framework that requires very little in
the way of server-side maintenance.

This theme of XRX (and the more general notion of 'skimming') as being
an architecture that provides low maintenance applications as well as
speedy development, is part of a tutorial called "skimming -- The
lighter way to program" [2].

This tutorial shows how to first set up eXist and then use it to
manage some contacts, via an XForm. The tutorial specifically refers
to a Ruby on Rails version of the same example in an attempt to show
that 'XForms + eXist' is a lot easier to set up.

But although I don't mind the name 'XRX' being used to describe this
architecture, I prefer the term 'skimming' because it emphasises the
_approach_ rather than the technology.

For example, in my post "skimming at XML 2007 (and The Cloud's Silver
Lining)" [3] I looked at how you can go further with the
'loosely-coupled' approach and make use of Google's GData as the data
source (still using REST, of course). I also looked at Amazon's
SimpleDB which opens up similar possibilities, by providing a database
'in the cloud'.

In other words, whilst REST and XForms seem to be constants, there are
many other ways to address the question of data format and querying.
For example, SPARQL is in many situations a more appropriate choice
than XQuery, and JSON fits some scenarios better than XML.

As it happens, I think that XML databases like eXist and MarkLogic are
already evolving to incorporate this, and certainly from our point of
view, the really important thing is that XForms makes
'loosely-coupled' architectures much, much, easier to build and



[1] <
[2] <>
[3] <

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 3:43 PM, Steven Pemberton
<> wrote:
> XRX: Simple, Elegant, Disruptive
> A meme gathering momentum is "XRX" - XForms on the client, REST 
> XQuery on the server.
> One posting was by Dan McCreary on
> (
> which contained the memorable quote
>        Traditional methods required approximately 40 inserts into 
> tables within a relational database.
>        The use of XForms and eXist resulted in one line of XQuery code:
>                store(collection, file, data)
>        That was it. Simple. Elegant. I was hooked.
> Since then the meme has been popping up elsewhere. For instance, see
> XRX: Performing Updates
> @@ Anyone want to add to the list?? @@
> Steven

Mark Birbeck, webBackplane

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Received on Thursday, 28 August 2008 21:48:17 UTC