I spent four days last week on a training course, most of which consisted of learning XQuery. I’m a lot happier with it now that I was a couple of months ago. In particular,
- OxygenXML or Stylus Studio are pretty good IDEs. A little cluttered, but an improvement over vim & Emacs.
- Of course, I’m still working on XQuery.tmbundle for TextMate.
- XQuery 1.0 is now out.
- It’s a minor shame that the product I’m using doesn’t support it fully yet, but that’s just a matter of time.
- I’ve come to term with the type system. I’ve worked out where it can help me more than hinder me. I continue to be shocked when I return the wrong kind of element from a function and get a type error. Dunno why, it’s doing the right thing, but it still surprises me.
- I ♥ XPath. It just rocks in so many ways.
- Heh, James Clark was the editor. That explains a lot.
Overall, this is good news, especially given the fact that I’m embarking on a large project that’s utterly dependent on XQuery.
On the downside,
- XML namespaces suck. You can tell this is true, when in a room where 5 developers have been involved with XML and namespaces for over 5 years each, and they still don’t get it.
- The implementation defined areas still loom quite large.
- I suspect that this isn’t really a big issue in practice, though. You’re not likely to be swapping out XQuery implementations with any frequency.
- I still despise the smileys-for-comments.
Anyway, if you’re playing around with XML in any seriousness, it’s probably worth checking out XQuery. It’s surprisingly useful.