XQuery Redux

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.
  • 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.

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