XML Prague 2011

[17 February 2011]

XML Prague is just over a month away. I’ll be there again this year, the organizers having once more generously invited me to provide some closing remarks at the end of the conference.

I’d urge anyone within easy travel distance of Prague to plan to attend, but it turns out the conference is booked to capacity already. So there’s nothing to do, if you haven’t already registered, but wait ’til next year. (Well, that’s not really true. XML Prague provides live streaming video, which means you may be able to watch some of the talks even if you can’t be in the room.)

The theme this year is Web and XML; the suggested topics include speculation on why XML never became the usual way to prepare Web pages and the relations between XML and HTML 5 and between XML and JSON. The latter two, at least, seem designed to provoke some bottle-throwing; maybe they will succeed.

The papers include one by Alain Couthures on JSON support in XForms and one by Jason Hunter on a JSON facade for Mark Logic Server; this suggests that at least some XML users plan to co-exist with JSON by the expedient of making XML tools present and work with JSON as if it were XML. When one has to deal with information provided by others which is available only in JSON form and not in XML, it will be handy to view the JSON information through XML lenses.

Other papers describe XQuery in the browser (by way of a Javascript implementation from ETH Zurich, created by compiling the Java-based MXQuery engine into Javascript using Google’s Web Toolkit), XSD in the browser (from the University of Edinburgh), and XSLT 2.0 in the browser (from Saxonica), as well as a general consideration of XML processing in the browser (Edinburgh again). Some papers are about XML and information processing outside the browser: one team is translating SPARQL into XQuery, and Uche Ogbuji of Zepheira is presenting the Akara framework under the title “Spicy Bean Fritters and XML Data Services”, which makes me eager to to go have some spicy bean fritters (figurative or literal).

There are other papers on EPUB, on electronic Bibles, on XQuery optimization, and on a variety of specific applications, projects, and tools.

It should be fun. If you’ll be there, I look forward to seeing you there; if you won’t be there this year, you might sample the conference using the video feed (some people I know turn off the video as distracting and just listen to the audio, which takes less bandwidth). And if not this year, then perhaps next year.