XForms + REST + XQuery (+ Jenni Tennison)

New, standards-based ways to build cool applications.

As a new application development architecture stack complete with its own cryptic acronym, XRX (XForms/REST/XQuery) is a good example of “sounds promising, but I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to dig deeper”. So, I was very happy to hear that Jeni Tennison is digging deeper and reporting on her findings.

She’s using the eXist XQuery engine (which I once wrote about in XML.com) and the Orbeon XForms engine, which apparently bundles eXist. eXist may never catch up with MarkLogic in features and performance, but hey, it’s open source, and seems to be progressing nicely from release to release. eXist and MarkLogic provide a great example of the value of standards in general and XQuery in particular, because the combination lets you develop a standards-compliant proof-of-concept application with completely free software and then scale up with a commercial platform once you’ve proved your concept.

I’ve dabbled with XForms implementations on and off over the years, and I’ve been a little disappointed, but only a little, because I saw progress. Orbeon looks like even more progress, so I look forward to hearing more from Jeni about her experiments. Considering how active new MarkLogic employee Micah Dubinko has always been in XForms work, perhaps we’ll see some interesting XRX work from him as well in the future. (And, if you’re interested in XQuery, don’t miss his co-worker Norm Walsh’s reports on getting to know XQuery.)

1 Comments

By piers on July 7, 2008 1:08 PM

the combination lets you develop a standards-compliant proof-of-concept application with completely free software and then scale up with a commercial platform once you’ve proved your concept.

Yes, that’s exactly right. Exist and MarkLogic Server complement each other in a way that is definitely more than the sum of the parts, and both are very good reasons to get behind XQuery. The great thing about eXist is that you can use it for a small project, a great way to play around with the technology without committing a lot of time or expense. Not sure how Orbeon fits into that, so I was also happy to read Jeni’s article(s).

pretty sure it’s Jeni with one ‘n’ in the title, but I love the “jenni_tenni” in the url, which sounds like a swedish 70’s pop band.