XML News from Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The W3C XQuery and XSL working groups have released XQuery 1.0, XSLT 2 and XPath 2 as a collection of eight related recommendations:

Now the implementation work begins. There's one good open source implementation of XQuery/XSLT 2 (Saxon), a few native XML databases that support XQuery including the open source eXist, and one product I can't quite categorize (Data Direct XQuery). No browsers support XSLT 2 nor are any likely to in the near future. Getting them to support XSLT 1 was a major struggle.

Despite the hundreds of pages of specs, XQuery is still really only half done. Updates are still necessary and may become stable later this year. Even when they're finished, I'm not sure if it will really be possible to write pure XQuery apps, or if you'll still need to use database specific code for crucial operations like defining collections. Standard Java and other APIs for talking to XQuery databases are also needed, and work is under way to produce them. Nonetheless this release is a major milestone. As Churchill once said, "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."