Archive for the ‘XML’ Category

XML periodic table

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

XML periodic table

It’s a visual thing and my small blog format style won’t do it justice. Follow the link.

XML grouped by Business language, QA, Document format, Internet format, Graphic format, Metadata standard, Transformation.

What a cool listing!

Lots of old friends but some potential new ones as well!


XML Prague 2018 Conference Proceedings – Weekend Reading!

Friday, February 9th, 2018

XML Prague 2018 Conference Proceedings

Two Hundred and Sixty (260) pages of high quality content on XML!

From the table of contents:

  • Assisted Structured Authoring using Conditional Random Fields – Bert Willems
  • XML Success Story: Creating and Integrating Collaboration Solutions to Improve the Documentation Process – Steven Higgs
  • xqerl: XQuery 3.1 Implementation in Erlang – Zachary N. Dean
  • XML Tree Models for Efficient Copy Operations – Michael Kay
  • Using Maven with XML development projects – Christophe Marchand and Matthieu Ricaud-Dussarget
  • Varieties of XML Merge: Concurrent versus Sequential – Tejas Pradip Barhate and Nigel Whitaker
  • Including XML Markup in the Automated Collation of Literary Text – Elli Bleeker, Bram Buitendijk, Ronald Haentjens Dekker, and Astrid Kulsdom
  • Multi-Layer Content Modelling to the Rescue – Erik Siegel
  • Combining graph and tree – Hans-Juergen Rennau
  • SML – A simpler and shorter representation of XML – Jean-François Larvoire
  • Can we create a real world rich Internet application using Saxon-JS? – Pieter Masereeuw
  • Implementing XForms using interactive XSLT 3.0 – O’Neil Delpratt and Debbie Lockett
  • Life, the Universe, and CSS Tests – Tony Graham
  • Form, and Content – Steven Pemberton
  • tokenized-to-tree – Gerrit Imsieke

I just got a refurbished laptop for reading in bed. Now I have to load XML parsers, etc. on it to use along with reading these proceedings!


PS: Be sure to thank Jirka Kosek for his tireless efforts promoting XML and XML Prague!

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2018 – 77 Days To Paper Submission Deadline!

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Call for Participation

Submission dates/instructions have dropped!


  • 22 March 2018 — Peer review applications due
  • 22 April 2018 — Paper submissions due
  • 21 May 2018 — Speakers notified
  • 8 June 2018 — Late-breaking News submissions due
  • 15 June 2018 — Late-breaking News speakers notified
  • 6 July 2018 — Final papers due from presenters of peer reviewed papers
  • 6 July 2018 — Short paper or slide summary due from presenters of late-breaking news
  • 30 July 2018 — Pre-conference Symposium
  • 31 July –3 August 2018 — Balisage: The Markup Conference
Submit full papers in XML to
See the pages Instructions for Authors and
Tag Set and Submission Guidelines for details.
Apply to the Peer Review panel

I’ve heard inability to submit valid markup counts in the judging of papers. That may just be rumor or it may be true. I suggest validating your submission.

You should be on the fourth or fifth draft of your paper by now, but be aware the paper submission deadline is April 22, 2018, or 77 days from today!

Looking forward to seeing exceptionally strong papers in the review process and being presented at Balisage!

eXist-db – First Upgrade for 2018

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

I usually update from notices of a new version and so rarely visit the eXist-db homepage. My loss.

There’s a cool homepage image. With links to documentation, community, references, but not overwhelmingly so.

Kudos! Oh, the upgrade:

eXist-db v3.6.1 – January 03, 2018

From the release notes:

eXist-db v3.6.1 has just been released. This is a hotfix release, which contains bug fixes for several important issues discovered since eXist-db v3.6.0.

We recommend that all users of eXist 3.6.0 should upgrade to eXist 3.6.1.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed issue where the package manager wrote non-well-formed XML that caused problems during backup/restore. #1620
  • Fixed namespace prefix for attributes and namespace nodes.
  • Made sure the localName of a in memory element is correctly obtained under various namespace declaration conditions
  • Fix for NPE in org.exist.xquery.functions.fn.FunId #1642
  • Several atomic comparisons raise wrong error code #1638
  • General comparison to empty sequence sometimes raises an error #1639
  • Warn if no <target> is found in an EXPath packages’s repo.xml

Backwards Compatibility

  • eXist-db v3.6.1 is backwards binary-compatible as far as v3.0, but not with earlier versions. Users upgrading from previous versions should perform a full backup and restore to migrate their data.

Downloading This Version

eXist-db v3.6.1 is available for download from Bintray. Maven artifacts for eXist-db v3.6.1 are available from our mvn-repo. Mac users of the Homebrew package repository may acquire eXist 3.6.1 directly from there.

Downloading This Version

eXist-db v3.6.1 is available for download from Bintray. Maven artifacts for eXist-db v3.6.1 are available from our mvn-repo. Mac users of the Homebrew package repository may acquire eXist 3.6.1 directly from there.

When 2018 congressional candidate (U.S.) inboxes start dropping, will eXist-db be your tool of choice?


Sessions for XML Prague 2018 – January 10th, Early Bird Deadline!

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

List of sessions for XML Prague 2018

The range of great presentations is no surprise.

That early registration is still open, with this list of presentations, well, that is a surprise!

January 10, 2018 is the deadline for early birds!

From the post:

Unconference day

Schematron Users Meetup
XSL-FO, CSS and Paged Output – hosted by Antenna House
Introduction to CSS for Paged Media
XSpec Users Meetup
oXygen Users Meeup
Creating beautiful documents with the speedata Publisher
eXist-db Community Meetup
XML with Emacs workshop

Friday and Saturday sessions

Bert Willems: Assisted Structured Authoring using Conditional Random Fields
Christophe Marchand and Matthieu Ricaud-Dussarget: Using Maven with XML Projects
Elli Bleeker, Bram Buitendijk, Ronald Haentjens Dekker and Astrid Kulsdom: Including XML Markup in the Automated Collation of Literary Texts
Erik Siegel: Multi-layered content modelling to the rescue
Francis Cave: Does the world need more XML standards?
Gerrit Imsieke: tokenized-to-tree – An XProc/XSLT Library For Patching Back Tokenization/Analysis Results Into Marked-up Text
Hans-Juergen Rennau: Combining graph and tree: writing SHAX, obtaining SHACL, XSD and more
James Fuller: Diff with XQuery
Jean-François Larvoire: SML – A simpler and shorter representation of XML
Johannes Kolbe and Manuel Montero: XML periodic table, XML repository and XSLT checker
Michael Kay: XML Tree Models for Efficient Copy Operations
O’Neil Delpratt and Debbie Lockett: Implementing XForms using interactive XSLT 3:0
Pieter Masereeuw: Can we create a real world rich Internet application using Saxon-JS?
Radu Coravu: A short story about XML encoding and opening very large documents in an XML editing application
Steven Higgs: XML Success Story: Creating and Integrating Collaboration Solutions to Improve the Documentation Process
Steven Pemberton: Form, and Content
Tejas Barhate and Nigel Whitaker: Varieties of XML Merge: Concurrent versus Sequential
Tony Graham: Life, the Universe, and CSS Tests
Vasu Chakkera: Effective XSLT Documentation and its separation from XSLT code:
Zachary Dean: xqerl: XQuery 3:1 Implementation in Erlang

I’m expecting lots of tweets and posts about these presentations!

xsd2json – XML Schema to JSON Schema Transform

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

xsd2json by Loren Cahlander.

From the webpage:

XML Schema to JSON Schema Transform – Development and Test Environment

The options that are supported are:

‘keepNamespaces’ – set to true if keeping prefices in the property names is required otherwise prefixes are eliminated.

‘schemaId’ – the name of the schema

#xs:short { “type”: “integer”, “xsdType”: “xs:short”, “minimum”: -32768, “maximum”: 32767, “exclusiveMinimum”: false, “exclusiveMaximum”: false }

To be honest, I can’t imagine straying from Relax-NG, much less converting an XSD schema into a JSON schema.

But, it’s not possible to predict all needs and futures (hint to AI fearests). It will be easier to find xsd2json here than with adware burdened “modern” search engines, should the need arise.

eXist-db v3.6.0 [Prediction for 2018: Multiple data/document leak tsunamis. Are You Ready?]

Monday, November 27th, 2017

eXist-db v3.6.0

From the post:


  • Switched Collation support to use ICU4j.
  • Implemented XQuery 3.1 UCA (Unicode Collation Algorithm).
  • Implemented map type parameters for XQuery F&O 3.1 fn:serialize.
  • Implemented declare context item for XQuery 3.0.
  • Implemented XQuery 3.0 Regular Expression’s support for non-capturing groups.
  • Implemented a type-safe DSL for describing and testing transactional operations upon the database.
  • Implemented missing node kind tests in the XQuery parser when using @ on an AbbrevForwardStep.
  • Added AspectJ support to the IntelliJ project files (IntelliJ Ultimate only).
  • Repaired the dependencies in the NetBeans project files.
  • Added support for Travis macOS CI.
  • Added support for AppVeyor Windows CI.
  • Updated third-party dependencies:
    • Apache Commons Codec 1.11
    • Apache Commons Compress 1.15
    • Apache Commons Lang 3.7
    • Eclipse AspectJ 1.9.0.RC1
    • Eclipse Jetty 9.4.7.v20170914
    • EXPath HTTP Client 20171116
    • Java 8 Functional Utilities 1.11
    • JCTools 2.1.1
    • XML Unit 2.4.0

Performance Improvements

  • Compiled XQuery cache is now multi-threaded; concurrency is now per-source.
  • RESTXQ compiled XQuery cache is now multi-threaded; concurrency is now per-query URI.
  • STX Templates Cache is now multithreaded.
  • XML-RPC Server will now use Streaming and GZip compression if supported by the client; enabled in eXist’s Java Admin Client.
  • Reduced object creation overhead in the XML-RPC Server.


The bundled applications of the Documentation, eXide, and Monex have all been updated to the latest versions.

Prediction for 2018: Multiple data/document leak tsunamis.

Are you prepared?

How are your XQuery skills and tools?

Or do you plan on regurgitating news wire summaries?

XML Prague 2017 – 21 Reasons to Attend 2018 – Offensive Use of XQuery

Monday, November 13th, 2017

XML Prague 2017 Videos

Need reasons for your attending XML Prague 2018?

The XML Prague 2017 YouTube playlist has twenty-one (21) very good reasons (videos). (You may have to hold the hands of c-suite types if you share the videos with them.)

Two things that I see missing from the presentations, security and offensive use of XQuery.

XML Security

You may have noticed that corporations, governments and others have been hemorrhaging data in 2017 (and before). While legislators wail ineffectually and wish for a 18th century world, the outlook for cybersecurity looks grim for 2018.

XML and XML applications exist in a law of the jungle security context. But there weren’t any presentations on security related issues at XML Prague in 2017. Are you going to break the ice in 2018?

Offensive use of XQuery

XQuery has the power to extract, enhance and transform data to serve your interests, not those of its authors.

I’ve heard the gospel that technologists should disarm themselves and righteously await a better day. Meanwhile, governments, military forces, banks, and their allies loot and rape the Earth and its peoples.

Are data scientists at the NSA, FSB, MSS, MI6, Mossad, CIA, etc., constrained by your “do no evil” creeds?

Present governments or their successors, can move towards more planet and people friendly policies, but they require, ahem, encouragement.

XQuery, which doesn’t depend upon melting data centers, supercomputers, global data vacuuming, etc., can help supply that encouragement.

How would you use XQuery to transform government data to turn it against its originator?

eXist-db Docker Image Builder

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

eXist-db Docker Image Builder

From the webpage:

Pre-built eXist-db Docker images have been published on Docker Hub. You can skip to Running an eXist-db Docker Image if you just want to use the provided Docker images.

To ease your use of eXist-db or create a customized distribution of eXist-db, complete with additional resources, this rocks.

XML Prague 2018 – Apology to Procrastinators

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Apology to all procrastinators, I just saw the Call for Proposals for XML Prague 2018

You only have 50 days (until November 30, 2017) to submit your proposals for XML Prague 2018.

Efficient people don’t realize that 50 days is hardly enough time to put off thinking about a proposal topic, much less fail to write down anything for a proposal. Completely unreasonable demand but, do try to procrastinate quickly and get a proposal done for XML Prague 2018.

The suggestion of doing a “…short video…” seems rife with potential for humor and/or NSFW images. Perhaps XML Prague will post the best “…short videos…” to YouTube?

From the webpage:

XML Prague 2018 now welcomes submissions for presentations on the following topics:

  • Markup and the Extensible Web – HTML5, XHTML, Web Components, JSON and XML sharing the common space
  • Semantic visions and the reality – micro-formats, semantic data in business, linked data
  • Publishing for the 21th century – publishing toolchains, eBooks, EPUB, DITA, DocBook, CSS for print, …
  • XML databases and Big Data – XML storage, indexing, query languages, …
  • State of the XML Union – updates on specs, the XML community news, …
  • XML success stories – real-world use cases of successful XML deployments

There are several different types of slots available during the conference and you can indicate your preferred slot during submission:

30 minutes
15 minutes
These slots are suitable for normal conference talks.
90 minutes (unconference)
Ideal for holding users meeting or workshop during the unconference day (Thursday).

All proposals will be submitted for review by a peer review panel made up of the XML Prague Program Committee. Submissions will be chosen based on interest, applicability, technical merit, and technical correctness.

Authors should strive to contain original material and belong in the topics previously listed. Submissions which can be construed as product or service descriptions (adverts) will likely be deemed inappropriate. Other approaches such as use case studies are welcome but must be clearly related to conference topics.

Proposals can have several forms:

full paper
In our opinion still ideal and classical way of proposing presentation. Full paper gives reviewers enough information to properly asses your proposal.
extended abstract
Concise 1-4 page long description of your topic. If you do not have time to write full paper proposal this is one possible way to go. Try to make your extended abstract concrete and specific. Too short or vague abstract will not convince reviewers that it is worth including into the conference schedule.
short video (max. 5 minutes)
If you are not writing person but you still have something interesting to present. Simply capture short video (no longer then 5 minutes) containing part of your presentation. Video can capture you or it can be screen cast.

I mentioned XSLT security attacks recently, perhaps you could do something similar on XQuery? Other ways to use XML and related technologies to breach cybersecurity?

Do submit proposals and enjoy XML Prague 2018!

XSLT Server Side Injection Attacks

Friday, October 6th, 2017

XSLT Server Side Injection Attacks by David Turco.

From the post:

Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) vulnerabilities can have serious consequences for the affected applications, often resulting in remote code execution. Examples of XSLT remote code execution vulnerabilities with public exploits are CVE-2012-5357 affecting the .Net Ektron CMS; CVE-2012-1592 affecting Apache Struts 2.0; and CVE-2005-3757 which affected the Google Search Appliance.

From the examples above it is clear that XSLT vulnerabilities have been around for a long time and, although they are less common than other similar vulnerabilities such as XML Injection, we regularly find them in our security assessments. Nonetheless the vulnerability and the exploitation techniques are not widely known.

In this blog post we present a selection of attacks against XSLT to show the risks of using this technology in an insecure way.

We demonstrate how it is possible to execute arbitrary code remotely; exfiltrate data from remote systems; perform network scans; and access resources on the victim’s internal network.

We also make available a simple .NET application vulnerable to the described attacks and provide recommendations on how to mitigate them.

A great post for introducing XML and XSLT to potential hackers!

Equally great potential for a workshop at a markup conference.


Procrastinators – Dates/Location for Balisage: The Markup Conference 2018

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Procrastinators can be caught short, without enough time for proper procrastination on papers and slides.

To insure ample time for procrastination, Balisage: The Markup Conference 2018 has published its dates and location.

31 July 2018–3 August 2018 … Balisage: The Markup Conference
30 July 2018 … Symposium – topic to be announced
CAMBRiA Hotel & Suites
1 Helen Heneghan Way
Rockville, Maryland 20850

For indecisive procrastinators, Balisage offers suggestions for your procrastination:

The 2017 program included papers discussing XML vocabularies, cutting-edge digital humanities, lossless JSON/XML roundtripping, reflections on concrete syntax and abstract syntax, parsing and generation, web app development using the XML stack, managing test cases, pipelining and micropipelinging, electronic health records, rethinking imperative algorithms for XSLT and XQuery, markup and intellectual property, digitiziging Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscripts, exploring “shapes” in RDF and their relationship to schema validation, exposing XML data to users of varying technical skill, test-suite management, and use case studies about large conversion applications, DITA, and SaxonJS.

Innovative procrastinators can procrastinate on other related topics, including any they find on the Master Topic List (ideas procrastinated on for prior Balisage conferences).

Take advantage of this opportunity to procrastinate early and long on your Balisage submissions. You and your audience will be glad you did!

PS: Don’t procrastinate on saying thank you to Tommie Usdin and company for another year of Balisage. Balisage improves XML theory and practice every year it is held.

XQuery (Walmsley – Updated15 Sept. 2017) – Pagination Differences

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

For those of you smart enough to own a copy of XQuery by Priscilla Walmsley, it was updated as of 15 September 2017.

There’s a four (4) page difference in length between the original edition (758 pages) and the updated version (762 pages).

One two (2) page addition is the new section “Specifying Serialization Parameters by Using a Map” plus an unnecessary page break following the introduction to example 13-4 (of the updated version).

Chapter 13, Inputs and Outputs, now ends on page 228 instead of 226.

The other two pages arise from the insertion of array:put following prefix-from-QName and before map:put, in Appendix A. Built-in Function Reference.

I haven’t found any mention of the pagination difference, which will be confusing for students consulting Walmsley.

Since the edition is not being updated, putting the added four pages in an Appendix D or even in preface material numbered i, ii, …, would have preserved references across the first and second versions.

XQuery should be widely used. Creating unnecessary friction for using XQuery resources doesn’t advance that goal.

Overlap – Attacking on Machine Learning Models

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Robust Physical-World Attacks on Machine Learning Models by Ivan Evtimov, et al.


Deep neural network-based classifiers are known to be vulnerable to adversarial examples that can fool them into misclassifying their input through the addition of small-magnitude perturbations. However, recent studies have demonstrated that such adversarial examples are not very effective in the physical world–they either completely fail to cause misclassification or only work in restricted cases where a relatively complex image is perturbed and printed on paper. In this paper we propose a new attack algorithm–Robust Physical Perturbations (RP2)– that generates perturbations by taking images under different conditions into account. Our algorithm can create spatially-constrained perturbations that mimic vandalism or art to reduce the likelihood of detection by a casual observer. We show that adversarial examples generated by RP2 achieve high success rates under various conditions for real road sign recognition by using an evaluation methodology that captures physical world conditions. We physically realized and evaluated two attacks, one that causes a Stop sign to be misclassified as a Speed Limit sign in 100% of the testing conditions, and one that causes a Right Turn sign to be misclassified as either a Stop or Added Lane sign in 100% of the testing conditions.

I was struck by the image used for this paper in a tweet:

I recognized this as an “overlapping” markup problem before discovering the authors were attacking machine learning models. On overlapping markup, see: Towards the unification of formats for overlapping markup by Paolo Marinelli, Fabio Vitali, Stefano Zacchiroli, or more recently, It’s more than just overlap: Text As Graph – Refining our notion of what text really is—this time for sure! by Ronald Haentjens Dekker and David J. Birnbaum.

From the conclusion:

In this paper, we introduced Robust Physical Perturbations (RP2), an algorithm that generates robust, physically realizable adversarial perturbations. Previous algorithms assume that the inputs of DNNs can be modified digitally to achieve misclassification, but such an assumption is infeasible, as an attacker with control over DNN inputs can simply replace it with an input of his choice. Therefore, adversarial attack algorithms must apply perturbations physically, and in doing so, need to account for new challenges such as a changing viewpoint due to distances, camera angles, different lighting conditions, and occlusion of the sign. Furthermore, fabrication of a perturbation introduces a new source of error due to a limited color gamut in printers.

We use RP2 to create two types of perturbations: subtle perturbations, which are small, undetectable changes to the entire sign, and camouflage perturbations, which are visible perturbations in the shape of graffiti or art. When the Stop sign was overlayed with a print out, subtle perturbations fooled the classifier 100% of the time under different physical conditions. When only the perturbations were added to the sign, the classifier was fooled by camouflage graffiti and art perturbations 66.7% and 100% of the time respectively under different physical conditions. Finally, when an untargeted poster-printed camouflage perturbation was overlayed on a Right Turn sign, the classifier was fooled 100% of the time. In future work, we plan to test our algorithm further by varying some of the other conditions we did not consider in this paper, such as sign occlusion.

Excellent work but my question: Is the inability of the classifier to recognize overlapping images similar to the issues encountered as overlapping markup?

To be sure overlapping markup is in part an artifice of unimaginative XML rules, since overlapping texts are far more common than non-overlapping texts. Especially when talking about critical editions or even differing analysis of the same text.

But beyond syntax, there is the subtlety of treating separate “layers” or stacks of a text as separate and yet tracking the relationship between two or more such stacks, when arbitrary additions or deletions can occur in any of them. Additions and deletions that must be accounted for across all layers/stacks.

I don’t have a solution to offer but pose the question of layers of recognition in hopes that machine learning models can capitalize on the lessons learned about a very similar problem with overlapping markup.

It’s more than just overlap: Text As Graph

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

It’s more than just overlap: Text As Graph – Refining our notion of what text really is—this time for sure! by Ronald Haentjens Dekker and David J. Birnbaum.


The XML tree paradigm has several well-known limitations for document modeling and processing. Some of these have received a lot of attention (especially overlap), and some have received less (e.g., discontinuity, simultaneity, transposition, white space as crypto-overlap). Many of these have work-arounds, also well known, but—as is implicit in the term “work-around”—these work-arounds have disadvantages. Because they get the job done, however, and because XML has a large user community with diverse levels of technological expertise, it is difficult to overcome inertia and move to a technology that might offer a more comprehensive fit with the full range of document structures with which researchers need to interact both intellectually and programmatically. A high-level analysis of why XML has the limitations it has can enable us to explore how an alternative model of Text as Graph (TAG) might address these types of structures and tasks in a more natural and idiomatic way than is available within an XML paradigm.

Hyperedges, texts and XML, what more could you need? 😉

This paper merits a deep read and testing by everyone interested in serious text modeling.

You can’t read the text but here is a hypergraph visualization of an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s “The hunting of the Snark:”

The New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, to say nothing of the Rabbinic commentaries on the Hebrew Bible and centuries of commentary on other texts could profit from this approach.

Put your text to the test and share how to advance this technique!

XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 (That’s a Wrap!)

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 W3C Recommendation 8 June 2017


This specification defines the syntax and semantics of XSLT 3.0, a language designed primarily for transforming XML documents into other XML documents.

XSLT 3.0 is a revised version of the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation [XSLT 2.0] published on 23 January 2007.

The primary purpose of the changes in this version of the language is to enable transformations to be performed in streaming mode, where neither the source document nor the result document is ever held in memory in its entirety. Another important aim is to improve the modularity of large stylesheets, allowing stylesheets to be developed from independently-developed components with a high level of software engineering robustness.

XSLT 3.0 is designed to be used in conjunction with XPath 3.0, which is defined in [XPath 3.0]. XSLT shares the same data model as XPath 3.0, which is defined in [XDM 3.0], and it uses the library of functions and operators defined in [Functions and Operators 3.0]. XPath 3.0 and the underlying function library introduce a number of enhancements, for example the availability of higher-order functions.

As an implementer option, XSLT 3.0 can also be used with XPath 3.1. All XSLT 3.0 processors provide maps, an addition to the data model which is specified (identically) in both XSLT 3.0 and XPath 3.1. Other features from XPath 3.1, such as arrays, and new functions such as random-number-generatorFO31 and sortFO31, are available in XSLT 3.0 stylesheets only if the implementer chooses to support XPath 3.1.

Some of the functions that were previously defined in the XSLT 2.0 specification, such as the format-dateFO30 and format-numberFO30 functions, are now defined in the standard function library to make them available to other host languages.

XSLT 3.0 also includes optional facilities to serialize the results of a transformation, by means of an interface to the serialization component described in [XSLT and XQuery Serialization]. Again, the new serialization capabilities of [XSLT and XQuery Serialization 3.1] are available at the implementer’s option.

This document contains hyperlinks to specific sections or definitions within other documents in this family of specifications. These links are indicated visually by a superscript identifying the target specification: for example XP30 for XPath 3.0, DM30 for the XDM data model version 3.0, FO30 for Functions and Operators version 3.0.

A special shout out to Michael Kay for, in his words, “Done and dusted: ten years’ work.”

Thanks from an appreciative audience!

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017 Program Now Available

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017 Program Now Available

An email from Tommie Usdin, Chair, Chief Organizer and herder of markup cats for Balisage advises:

Balisage: where serious markup practitioners and theoreticians meet every August.

The 2017 program includes papers discussing XML vocabularies, cutting-edge digital humanities, lossless JSON/XML roundtripping, reflections on concrete syntax and abstract syntax, parsing and generation, web app development using the XML stack, managing test cases, pipelining and micropipelinging, electronic health records, rethinking imperative algorithms for XSLT and XQuery, markup and intellectual property, why YOU should use (my favorite XML vocabulary), developing a system to aid in studying manuscripts in the tradition of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands, exploring “shapes” in RDF and their relationship to schema validation, exposing XML data to users of varying technical skill, test-suite management, and use case studies about large conversion applications, DITA, and SaxonJS.

Up-Translation and Up-Transformation: A one-day Symposium on the goals, challenges, solutions, and workflows for significant XML enhancements, including approaches, tools, and techniques that may potentially be used for a variety of other tasks. The symposium will be of value not only to those facing up-translation and transformation but also to general XML practitioners seeking to get the most out of their data.

Are you interested in open information, reusable documents, and vendor and application independence? Then you need descriptive markup, and Balisage is your conference. Balisage brings together document architects, librarians, archivists, computer scientists, XML practitioners, XSLT and XQuery programmers, implementers of XSLT and XQuery engines and other markup-related software, semantic-Web evangelists, standards developers, academics, industrial researchers, government and NGO staff, industrial developers, practitioners, consultants, and the world’s greatest concentration of markup theorists. Some participants are busy designing replacements for XML while other still use SGML (and know why they do).

Discussion is open, candid, and unashamedly technical.

Balisage 2017 Program:

Symposium Program:

NOTE: Members of the TEI and their employees are eligible for discount Balisage registration.

You need to see the program for yourself but the highlights (for me) include: Ethiopic manuscripts (ok, so I have odd tastes), Earley parsers (of particular interest), English Majors (my wife was an English major), and a number of other high points.

Mark your calendar for July 31 – August 4, 2017 – It’s Balisage!

ARM Releases Machine Readable Architecture Specification (Intel?)

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

ARM Releases Machine Readable Architecture Specification by Alastair Reid.

From the post:

Today ARM released version 8.2 of the ARM v8-A processor specification in machine readable form. This specification describes almost all of the architecture: instructions, page table walks, taking interrupts, taking synchronous exceptions such as page faults, taking asynchronous exceptions such as bus faults, user mode, system mode, hypervisor mode, secure mode, debug mode. It details all the instruction formats and system register formats. The semantics is written in ARM’s ASL Specification Language so it is all executable and has been tested very thoroughly using the same architecture conformance tests that ARM uses to test its processors (See my paper “Trustworthy Specifications of ARM v8-A and v8-M System Level Architecture”.)

The specification is being released in three sets of XML files:

  • The System Register Specification consists of an XML file for each system register in the architecture. For each register, the XML details all the fields within the register, how to access the register and which privilege levels can access the register.
  • The AArch64 Specification consists of an XML file for each instruction in the 64-bit architecture. For each instruction, there is the encoding diagram for the instruction, ASL code for decoding the instruction, ASL code for executing the instruction and any supporting code needed to execute the instruction and the decode tree for finding the instruction corresponding to a given bit-pattern. This also contains the ASL code for the system architecture: page table walks, exceptions, debug, etc.
  • The AArch32 Specification is similar to the AArch64 specification: it contains encoding diagrams, decode trees, decode/execute ASL code and supporting ASL code.

Alastair provides starting points for use of this material by outlining his prior uses of the same.

Raises the question why an equivalent machine readable data set isn’t available for Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures? (PDF manuals)

The data is there, but not in a machine readable format.

Anyone know why Intel doesn’t provide the same convenience?

XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 (Proposed Recommendation 18 April 2017)

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 (Proposed Recommendation 18 April 2017)

Michael Kay tweeted today:

XSLT 3.0 is a Proposed Recommendation: It’s taken ten years but we’re nearly there!

Congratulations to Michael and the entire team!

What’s new?

A major focus for enhancements in XSLT 3.0 is the requirement to enable streaming of source documents. This is needed when source documents become too large to hold in main memory, and also for applications where it is important to start delivering results before the entire source document is available.

While implementations of XSLT that use streaming have always been theoretically possible, the nature of the language has made it very difficult to achieve this in practice. The approach adopted in this specification is twofold: it identifies a set of restrictions which, if followed by stylesheet authors, will enable implementations to adopt a streaming mode of operation without placing excessive demands on the optimization capabilities of the processor; and it provides new constructs to indicate that streaming is required, or to express transformations in a way that makes it easier for the processor to adopt a streaming execution plan.

Capabilities provided in this category include:

  • A new xsl:source-document instruction, which reads and processes a source document, optionally in streaming mode;
  • The ability to declare that a mode is a streaming mode, in which case all the template rules using that mode must be streamable;
  • A new xsl:iterate instruction, which iterates over the items in a sequence, allowing parameters for the processing of one item to be set during the processing of the previous item;
  • A new xsl:merge instruction, allowing multiple input streams to be merged into a single output stream;
  • A new xsl:fork instruction, allowing multiple computations to be performed in parallel during a single pass through an input document.
  • Accumulators, which allow a value to be computed progressively during streamed processing of a document, and accessed as a function of a node in the document, without compromise to the functional nature of the XSLT language.

A second focus for enhancements in XSLT 3.0 is the introduction of a new mechanism for stylesheet modularity, called the package. Unlike the stylesheet modules of XSLT 1.0 and 2.0 (which remain available), a package defines an interface that regulates which functions, variables, templates and other components are visible outside the package, and which can be overridden. There are two main goals for this facility: it is designed to deliver software engineering benefits by improving the reusability and maintainability of code, and it is intended to streamline stylesheet deployment by allowing packages to be compiled independently of each other, and compiled instances of packages to be shared between multiple applications.

Other significant features in XSLT 3.0 include:

  • An xsl:evaluate instruction allowing evaluation of XPath expressions that are dynamically constructed as strings, or that are read from a source document;
  • Enhancements to the syntax of patterns, in particular enabling the matching of atomic values as well as nodes;
  • An xsl:try instruction to allow recovery from dynamic errors;
  • The element xsl:global-context-item, used to declare the stylesheet’s expectations of the global context item (notably, its type).
  • A new instruction xsl:assert to assist developers in producing correct and robust code.

XSLT 3.0 also delivers enhancements made to the XPath language and to the standard function library, including the following:

  • Variables can now be bound in XPath using the let expression.
  • Functions are now first class values, and can be passed as arguments to other (higher-order) functions, making XSLT a fully-fledged functional programming language.
  • A number of new functions are available, for example trigonometric functions, and the functions parse-xmlFO30 and serializeFO30 to convert between lexical and tree representations of XML.

XSLT 3.0 also includes support for maps (a data structure consisting of key/value pairs, sometimes referred to in other programming languages as dictionaries, hashes, or associative arrays). This feature extends the data model, provides new syntax in XPath, and adds a number of new functions and operators. Initially developed as XSLT-specific extensions, maps have now been integrated into XPath 3.1 (see [XPath 3.1]). XSLT 3.0 does not require implementations to support XPath 3.1 in its entirety, but it does requires support for these specific features.

This will remain a proposed recommendation until 1 June 2017.

How close can you read? 😉


XQuery 3.1 and Company! (Deriving New Versions?)

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

XQuery 3.1: An XML Query Language W3C Recommendation 21 March 2017


Related reading of interest:

XML Path Language (XPath) 3.1

XPath and XQuery Functions and Operators 3.1

XQuery and XPath Data Model 3.1

These recommendations are subject to licenses that read in part:

No right to create modifications or derivatives of W3C documents is granted pursuant to this license, except as follows: To facilitate implementation of the technical specifications set forth in this document, anyone may prepare and distribute derivative works and portions of this document in software, in supporting materials accompanying software, and in documentation of software, PROVIDED that all such works include the notice below. HOWEVER, the publication of derivative works of this document for use as a technical specification is expressly prohibited.

You know I think the organization of XQuery 3.1 and friends could be improved but deriving and distributing “improved” versions is expressly prohibited.

Hmmm, but we are talking about XML and languages to query and transform XML.

Consider the potential of an query that calls XQuery 3.1: An XML Query Language and materials cited in it, then returns a version of XQuery 3.1 that has definitions from other standards off-set in the XQuery 3.1 text.

Or than inserts into the text examples or other materials.

For decades XML enthusiasts have bruited about dynamic texts but have produced damned few of them (as in zero) as their standards.

Let’s use the “no derivatives” language of the W3C as an incentive to not create another static document but a dynamic one that can grow or contract according to the wishes of its reader.

Suggestions for first round features?

Balisage Papers Due in 3 Weeks!

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Apologies for the sudden lack of posting but I have been working on a rather large data set with XQuery and checking forwards and backwards to make sure it can be replicated. (I hate “it works on my computer.”)

Anyway, Tommie Usdin dropped an email bomb today with a reminder that Balisage papers are due on April 7, 2017.

From her email:

Submissions to “Balisage: The Markup Conference” and pre-conference symposium:
“Up-Translation and Up-Transformation: Tasks, Challenges, and Solutions”
are on April 7.

It is time to start writing!

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017
August 1 — 4, 2017, Rockville, MD (a suburb of Washington, DC)
July 31, 2017 — Symposium Up-Translation and Up-Transformation

Balisage: where serious markup practitioners and theoreticians meet every August. We solicit papers on any aspect of markup and its uses; topics include but are not limited to:

• Web application development with XML
• Informal data models and consensus-based vocabularies
• Integration of XML with other technologies (e.g., content management, XSLT, XQuery)
• Performance issues in parsing, XML database retrieval, or XSLT processing
• Development of angle-bracket-free user interfaces for non-technical users
• Semistructured data and full text search
• Deployment of XML systems for enterprise data
• Web application development with XML
• Design and implementation of XML vocabularies
• Case studies of the use of XML for publishing, interchange, or archiving
• Alternatives to XML
• the role(s) of XML in the application lifecycle
• the role(s) of vocabularies in XML environments

Detailed Call for Participation:
About Balisage:

pre-conference symposium:
Up-Translation and Up-Transformation: Tasks, Challenges, and Solutions
Chair: Evan Owens, Cenveo

Increasing the granularity and/or specificity of markup is an important task in many content and information workflows. Markup transformations might involve tasks such as high-level structuring, detailed component structuring, or enhancing information by matching or linking to external vocabularies or data. Enhancing markup presents secondary challenges including lack of structure of the inputs or inconsistency of input data down to the level of spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary. Source data for up-translation may be XML, word processing documents, plain text, scanned & OCRed text, or databases; transformation goals may be content suitable for page makeup, search, or repurposing, in XML, JSON, or any other markup language.

The range of approaches to up-transformation is as varied as the variety of specifics of the input and required outputs. Solutions may combine automated processing with human review or could be 100% software implementations. With the potential for requirements to evolve over time, tools may have to be actively maintained and enhanced. This is the place to discuss goals, challenges, solutions, and workflows for significant XML enhancements, including approaches, tools, and techniques that may potentially be used for a variety of other tasks.

For more information: or +1 301 315 9631

I’m planning on posting tomorrow one way or the other!

While you wait for that, get to work on your Balisage paper!

XQuery Ready CIA Vault7 Files

Friday, March 10th, 2017

I have extracted the HTML files from WikiLeaks Vault7 Year Zero 2017 V 1.7z, processed them with Tidy (see note on correction below), and uploaded the “tidied” HTML files to: Vault7-CIA-Clean-HTML-Only.

Beyond the usual activities of Tidy, I did have to correct the file page_26345506.html: by creating a comment around one line of content:

<!– <declarations><string name=”½ö”></string></declarations&>lt;p>›<br> –>

Otherwise, the files are only corrected HTML markup with no other changes.

The HTML compresses well, 7811 files coming in at 3.4 MB.

Demonstrate the power of basic XQuery skills!


Why I Love XML (and Good Thing, It’s Everywhere) [Needs Subject Identity Too]

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Why I Love XML (and Good Thing, It’s Everywhere) by Lee Pollington.

Lee makes a compelling argument for XML as the underlying mechanism for data integration when saying:

…Perhaps the data in your relational databases is structured. What about your knowledge management systems, customer information systems, document systems, CMS, mail, etc.? How do you integrate that data with structured data to get a holistic view of all your data? What do you do when you want to bring a group of relational schemas from different systems together to get that elusive 360 view – which is being demanded by the world’s regulators banks? Mergers and acquisitions drive this requirement too. How do you search across that data?

Sure there are solution stack answers. We’ve all seen whiteboards with ever growing number of boxes and those innocuous puny arrows between them that translate to teams of people, buckets of code, test and operations teams. They all add up to ever-increasing costs, complexity, missed deadlines & market share loss. Sound overly dramatic? Gartner calculated a worldwide spend of $5 Billion on data integration software in 2015. How much did you spend … would you know where to start calculating that cost?

While pondering what you spend on a yearly basis for data integration, contemplate two more questions from Lee:

…So take a moment to think about how you treat the data format that underpins your intellectual property? First-class citizen or after-thought?…

If you are treating your XML elements as first class citizens, do tell me that you created subject identity tests for those subjects?

So that a programmer new to your years of legacy XML will understand that <MFBM>, <MBFT> and <MBF> elements are all expressed in units of 1,000 board feet.


Reducing the cost of data integration tomorrow, next year and five years after that, requires investment in the here and now.

Perhaps that is why data integration costs continue to climb.

Why pay for today what can be put off until tomorrow? (Future conversion costs are a line item in some future office holder’s budget.)

Oxford Dictionaries Thesaurus Data – XQuery

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Retrieve Oxford Dictionaries API Thesaurus Data as XML with XQuery and BaseX by Adam Steffanick.

From the post:

We retrieved thesaurus data from the Oxford Dictionaries application programming interface (API) and returned Extensible Markup Language (XML) with XQuery, an XML query language, and BaseX, an XML database engine and XQuery processor. This tutorial illustrates how to retrieve thesaurus data—synonyms and antonyms—as XML from the Oxford Dictionaries API with XQuery and BaseX.

The Oxford Dictionaries API returns JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) responses that yield undesired XML structures when converted automatically with BaseX. Fortunately, we’re able to use XQuery to fill in some blanks after converting JSON to XML. My GitHub repository od-api-xquery contains XQuery code for this tutorial.

If you are having trouble staying at your computer during this unreasonably warm spring, this XQuery/Oxford Dictionary tutorial may help!

Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration but only a slight one. 😉


Digital Humanities / Studies: U.Pitt.Greenberg

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Digital Humanities / Studies: U.Pitt.Greenberg maintained by Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar.

I discovered this syllabus and course materials by accident when one of its modules on XQuery turned up in a search. Backing out of that module I discovered this gem of a digital humanities course.

The course description:

Our course in “digital humanities” and “digital studies” is designed to be interdisciplinary and practical, with an emphasis on learning through “hands-on” experience. It is a computer course, but not a course in which you learn programming for the sake of learning a programming language. It’s a course that will involve programming, and working with coding languages, and “putting things online,” but it’s not a course designed to make you, in fifteen weeks, a professional website designer. Instead, this is a course in which we prioritize what we can investigate in the Humanities and related Social Sciences fields about cultural, historical, and literary research questions through applications in computer coding and programming, which you will be learning and applying as you go in order to make new discoveries and transform cultural objects—what we call “texts” in their complex and multiple dimensions. We think of “texts” as the transmittable, sharable forms of human creativity (mainly through language), and we interface with a particular text in multiple ways through print and electronic “documents.” When we refer to a “document,” we mean a specific instance of a text, and much of our work will be in experimenting with the structures of texts in digital document formats, accessing them through scripts we write in computer code—scripts that in themselves are a kind of text, readable both by humans and machines.

Your professors are scholars and teachers of humanities, not computer programmers by trade, and we teach this course from our backgrounds (in literature and anthropology, respectively). We teach this course to share coding methods that are highly useful to us in our fields, with an emphasis on working with texts as artifacts of human culture shaped primarily with words and letters—the forms of “written” language transferable to many media (including image and sound) that we can study with computer modelling tools that we design for ourselves based on the questions we ask. We work with computers in this course as precision instruments that help us to read and process great quantities of information, and that lead us to make significant connections, ask new kinds of questions, and build models and interfaces to change our reading and thinking experience as people curious about human history, culture, and creativity.

Our focus in this course is primarily analytical: to apply computer technologies to represent and investigate cultural materials. As we design projects together, you will gain practical experience in editing and you will certainly fine-tune your precision in writing and thinking. We will be working primarily with eXtensible Markup Language (XML) because it is a powerful tool for modelling texts that we can adapt creatively to our interests and questions. XML represents a standard in adaptability and human-readability in digital code, and it works together with related technologies with which you will gain working experience: You’ll learn how to write XPath expressions: a formal language for searching and extracting information from XML code which serves as the basis for transforming XML into many publishable forms, using XSLT and XQuery. You’ll learn to write XSLT: a programming “stylesheet” transforming language designed to convert XML to publishable formats, as well as XQuery, a query (or search) language for extracting information from XML files bundled collectively. You will learn how to design your own systematic coding methods to work on projects, and how to write your own rules in schema languages (like Schematron and Relax-NG) to keep your projects organized and prevent errors. You’ll gain experience with an international XML language called TEI (after the Text Encoding Initiative) which serves as the international standard for coding digital archives of cultural materials. Since one of the best and most widely accessible ways to publish XML is on the worldwide web, you’ll gain working experience with HTML code (a markup language that is a kind of XML) and styling HTML with Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). We will do all of this with an eye to your understanding how coding works—and no longer relying without question on expensive commercial software as the “only” available solution, because such software is usually not designed with our research questions in mind.

We think you’ll gain enough experience at least to become a little dangerous, and at the very least more independent as investigators and makers who wield computers as fit instruments for your own tasks. Your success will require patience, dedication, and regular communication and interaction with us, working through assignments on a daily basis. Your success will NOT require perfection, but rather your regular efforts throughout the course, your documenting of problems when your coding doesn’t yield the results you want. Homework exercises are a back-and-forth, intensive dialogue between you and your instructors, and we plan to spend a great deal of time with you individually over these as we work together. Our guiding principle in developing assignments and working with you is that the best way for you to learn and succeed is through regular practice as you hone your skills. Our goal is not to make you expert programmers (as we are far from that ourselves)! Rather, we want you to learn how to manipulate coding technologies for your own purposes, how to track down answers to questions, how to think your way algorithmically through problems and find good solutions.

Skimming the syllabus rekindles an awareness of the distinction between the “hard” sciences and the “difficult” ones.



After yesterday’s post, Elisa Beshero-Bondar tweeted this one course is now two:

At a new homepage: newtFire {dh|ds}!


Up-Translation and Up-Transformation … [Balisage Rocks!]

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Up-Translation and Up-Transformation: Tasks, Challenges, and Solutions (a Balisage pre-conference symposium)

When & Where:

Monday July 31, 2017
CAMBRiA Hotel, Rockville, MD USA

Chair: Evan Owens, Cenveo

You need more details than that?

Ok, from the webpage:

Increasing the granularity and/or specificity of markup is an important task in many different content and information workflows. Markup transformations might involve tasks such as high-level structuring, detailed component structuring, or enhancing information by matching or linking to external vocabularies or data. Enhancing markup presents numerous secondary challenges including lack of structure of the inputs or inconsistency of input data down to the level of spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary. Source data for up-translation may be XML, word processing documents, plain text, scanned & OCRed text, or databases; transformation goals may be content suitable for page makeup, search, or repurposing, in XML, JSON, or any other markup language.

The range of approaches to up-transformation is as varied as the variety of specifics of the input and required outputs. Solutions may combine automated processing with human review or could be 100% software implementations. With the potential for requirements to evolve over time, tools may have to be actively maintained and enhanced.

The presentations in this pre-conference symposium will include goals, challenges, solutions, and workflows for significant XML enhancements, including approaches, tools, and techniques that may potentially be used for a variety of other tasks. The symposium will be of value not only to those facing up-translation and transformation but also to general XML practitioners seeking to get the most out of their data.

If I didn’t know better, up-translation and up-transformation sound suspiciously like conferred properties of topic maps fame.

Well, modulo that conferred properties could be predicated on explicit subject identity and not hidden in the personal knowledge of the author.

There are two categories of up-translation and up-transformation:

  1. Ones that preserve jobs like spaghetti Cobol code, and
  2. Ones that support easy long term maintenance.

While writing your paper for the pre-conference, which category fits yours the best?

XQuery Update 3.0 – WG Notes

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

A tweet by Jonathan Robie points out:

XQuery Update Facility 3.0


XQuery Update Facility 3.0 Requirements and Use Cases

have been issued as working group notes.

It’s not clear to me why anyone continues to think of data as mutable.

Mutable data was an artifact of limited storage and processing.

Neither of which obtains in a modern computing environment. (Yes, there are edge cases, the Large Hadron Collider for example.)

Still, if your interested, read on!

BaseX 8.6 Is Out!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Email from Christian Grün arrived today with great news!

BaseX 8.6 is out! The new version of our XML database system and XQuery 3.1 processor includes countless improvements and optimizations. Many of them have been triggered by your valuable feedback, many others are the result of BaseX used in productive and commercial environments.

The most prominent new features are:


  • jobs without database access will never be locked
  • read transactions are now favored (adjustable via FAIRLOCK)


  • file monitoring was improved (adjustable via PARSERESTXQ)
  • authentication was reintroduced (no passwords anymore in web.xml)
  • id session attributes will show up in log data


  • always accessible, even if job queue is full
  • pagination of table results


  • path index improved: distinct values storage for numeric types


  • aligned with latest version of XQuery 3.1
  • updated functions: map:find, map:merge, fn:sort, array:sort, …
  • enhancements in User, Process, Jobs, REST and Database Module


  • improved import/export compatibility with Excel data

Visit to find the latest release, and check out to get more information. As always, we are looking forward to your feedback. Enjoy!

If one or more of your colleagues goes missing this week, suspect BaseX 8.6 and the new W3C drafts for XQuery are responsible.


XQuery/XSLT Proposals – Comments by 28 February 2017

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Proposed Recommendations Published for XQuery WG and XSLT WG.

From the webpage:

The XML Query Working Group and XSLT Working Group have published a Proposed Recommendation for four documents:

  • XQuery and XPath Data Model 3.1: This document defines the XQuery and XPath Data Model 3.1, which is the data model of XML Path Language (XPath) 3.1, XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0, and XQuery 3.1: An XML Query Language. The XQuery and XPath Data Model 3.1 (henceforth “data model”) serves two purposes. First, it defines the information contained in the input to an XSLT or XQuery processor. Second, it defines all permissible values of expressions in the XSLT, XQuery, and XPath languages.
  • XPath and XQuery Functions and Operators 3.1: The purpose of this document is to catalog the functions and operators required for XPath 3.1, XQuery 3.1, and XSLT 3.0. It defines constructor functions, operators, and functions on the datatypes defined in XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes Second Edition and the datatypes defined in XQuery and XPath Data Model (XDM) 3.1. It also defines functions and operators on nodes and node sequences as defined in the XQuery and XPath Data Model (XDM) 3.1.
  • XML Path Language (XPath) 3.1: XPath 3.1 is an expression language that allows the processing of values conforming to the data model defined in XQuery and XPath Data Model (XDM) 3.1. The name of the language derives from its most distinctive feature, the path expression, which provides a means of hierarchic addressing of the nodes in an XML tree. As well as modeling the tree structure of XML, the data model also includes atomic values, function items, and sequences.
  • XSLT and XQuery Serialization 3.1: This document defines serialization of an instance of the data model as defined in XQuery and XPath Data Model (XDM) 3.1 into a sequence of octets. Serialization is designed to be a component that can be used by other specifications such as XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 or XQuery 3.1: An XML Query Language.

Comments are welcome through 28 February 2017.

Get your red pen out!

Unlike political flame wars on social media, comments on these proposed recommendatons could make a useful difference.

Enjoy! Relaunch!

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Lauren Wood posted this note about the relaunch of recently:

I’ve relaunched (for some background, Tim Bray wrote an article here: I’m hoping it will become part of the community again, somewhere for people to post their news (submit your news here: and articles (see the guidelines at I added a job board to the site as well (if you’re in Berlin, Germany, or able to
move there, look at the job currently posted; thanks LambdaWerk!); if your employer might want to post XML-related jobs please email me.

The old content should mostly be available but some articles were previously available at two (or more) locations and may now only be at one; try the archive list ( if you’re looking for something. Please let me know if something major is missing from the archives.

XML is used in a lot of areas, and there is a wealth of knowledge in this community. If you’d like to write an article, send me your ideas. If you have comments on the site, let me know that as well.

Just in time as President Trump is about to stir, vigorously, that big pot of crazy known as federal data.

Mapping, processing, transformation demands will grow at an exponential rate.

Notice the emphasis on demand.

Taking a two weeks to write custom software to sort files (you know the Weiner/Abedin laptop story, yes?) won’t be acceptable quite soon.

How are your on-demand XML chops?