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RE: Concern: XQuery <> valid XML

From: Jeff Chapman <Jeff.Chapman@pervasive.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 15:24:45 -0600
Message-ID: <1B5B8075481CD41185BF00508B64ED96B430FA@ausmail4.aus.pervasive.com>
To: www-ql@w3.org
IMHO, the FLWR expressions bring great value to people who have to
read/write XQuery documents the hard way, ie, with a text editor.  I also
agree that after the dust settles, most people will use GUIs to construct
XQueries and they'll almost never care what the syntax looks like--as long
as the results are correct.

When I worry about XQuery not being valid XML, I'm looking at a spot a bit
over the horizon when we're devising ways to automate things like XML
protocol handling, B2B negotiation, workflows across organizational
boundaries, and so forth.  At this point in time, the ease which humans
analyze XQueries will be purely a convenience whereas the ease which
applications analyze queries will be critical.  By analyze, I mean to
dissect, reorganize, rewrite and possibly execute the generated query.

Frankly, when I first read through the FLWR discussion in the Draft, it took
fully a day before I realized that it wasn't effectively a Macro language
that would be converted to valid XML later--perhaps with some sort of
preprocessor.  Is it possible to have our cake and eat it too?  This might
mean implementing XQuery in valid XML syntax and defining a preprocessor
that would convert FLWR expressions to the equivalent valid XML.  Those
folks who need the convenience of the FLWR syntax could simply preprocess
the XQuery, edit the FLWR expression and postprocess the XQuery back into
valid XML.

It's not my preference to lose the ease of use for humans, but I'm very
concerned that we preserve the means to use 4th or 5th generation XML tools
in ways we haven't even thought of yet.

Jeff Chapman
Principal Architect
Pervasive Software
Email: Jeff.Chapman@pervasive.com
Received on Wednesday, 28 February 2001 16:27:17 UTC

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