XQuery, 2nd Edition, Updated! (A Drawback to XQuery)

XQuery, 2nd Edition, Updated! by Priscilla Walmsley.

The updated version of XQuery, 2nd Edition has hit the streets!

As a plug for the early release program at O’Reilly, yours truly appears in the acknowledgments (page xxii) from having submitted comments on the early release version of XQuery. You can too. Early release participation is yet another way to contribute back to the community.

There is one drawback to XQuery which I discuss below.

For anyone not fortunate enough to already have a copy of XQuery, 2nd Edition, here is the full description from the O’Reilly site:

The W3C XQuery 3.1 standard provides a tool to search, extract, and manipulate content, whether it’s in XML, JSON or plain text. With this fully updated, in-depth tutorial, you’ll learn to program with this highly practical query language.

Designed for query writers who have some knowledge of XML basics, but not necessarily advanced knowledge of XML-related technologies, this book is ideal as both a tutorial and a reference. You’ll find background information for namespaces, schemas, built-in types, and regular expressions that are relevant to writing XML queries.

This second edition provides:

  • A high-level overview and quick tour of XQuery
  • New chapters on higher-order functions, maps, arrays, and JSON
  • A carefully paced tutorial that teaches XQuery without being bogged down by the details
  • Advanced concepts for taking advantage of modularity, namespaces, typing, and schemas
  • Guidelines for working with specific types of data, such as numbers, strings, dates, URIs, maps and arrays
  • XQuery’s implementation-specific features and its relationship to other standards including SQL and XSLT
  • A complete alphabetical reference to the built-in functions, types, and error messages

Drawback to XQuery:

You know I hate to complain, but the brevity of XQuery is a real drawback to billing.

For example, I have a post pending on taking 604 lines of XSLT down to 35 lines of XQuery.

Granted the XQuery is easier to maintain, modify, extend, but all a client will see is the 35 lines of XQuery. At least 604 lines of XSLT looks like you really worked to produce something.

I know about XQueryX but I haven’t seen any automatic way to convert XQuery into XQueryX. Am I missing something obvious? If that’s possible, I could just bulk up the deliverable with an XQueryX expression of the work and keep the XQuery version for production use.

As excellent as I think XQuery and Walmsley’s book both are, I did want to warn you about the brevity of your XQuery deliverables.

I look forward to finish reading XQuery, 2nd Edition. I started doing so many things based on the first twelve or so chapters that I just read selectively from that point on. It merits a complete read. You won’t be sorry you did.

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