XQuery in the Browser

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Ghislain Fourny, Markus Pilman, Daniela Florescu, Donald Kossmann, Tim Kraska, Darin McBeath

Webpage: http://www2009.eprints.org/102/1/p1011.pdf

Since the invention of the Web, the browser has become more and more powerful. By now, it is a programming and execution environment in itself. The predominant language to program applications in the browser today is JavaScript. With browsers becoming more powerful, JavaScript has been extended and new layers have been added (e.g., DOM-Support and XPath). Today, JavaScript is very successful and applications and GUI features implemented in the browser have become increasingly complex. The purpose of this paper is to improve the programmability of Web browsers by enabling the execution of XQuery programs in the browser. Although it has the potential to ideally replace JavaScript, it is possible to run it in addition to JavaScript for more flexibility. Furthermore, it allows instant code migration from the server to the client and vice-versa. This enables a significant simplification of the technology stack. The intuition is that programming the browser involves mostly XML (i.e., DOM) navigation and manipulation, and the XQuery family of W3C standards were designed exactly for that purpose. The paper proposes extensions to XQuery for Web browsers and gives a number of examples that demonstrate the usefulness of XQuery for the development of AJAX-style applications. Furthermore, the paper presents the design of an XQuery plug-in for Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The paper also gives examples of applications which were developed with the help of this plug-in.

Keywords: XML and Web Data


Resource URI on the dog food server: http://data.semanticweb.org/conference/www/2009/paper/102


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