[Mono-list] FYI: X# - New Data/XML-oriented language project at MS

Ben Hutchison ben.hutchison@intamission.com
Thu, 9 Jan 2003 10:47:24 -0000

Yet another future Mono Todo item perhaps??

From: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,808302,00.asp

Microsoft Corp. is seeking to make XML-based Web services easier to
develop with the delivery of several new tools and, ultimately, a new
XML-based language optimized to handle data rather than objects. 

The Redmond, Wash., company last month delivered three tools to help
users develop around XML. Perhaps holding more promise for developers,
however, particularly those in the Microsoft world, is a vision for a
new XML "language" that company insiders are calling X# (pronounced X
sharp), a .Net language based on the company's C#.

According to sources close to the company, Microsoft officials, citing
the increasing importance of XML and XSD (XML Schema Definition) in
application development, are looking at adding intrinsic XML and data
support in the new language.

Don Box, a Microsoft .Net software architect, hinted at the development
of a new XML-based language at the XML conference in Baltimore last
month. During his keynote address at the conference, Box dropped hints
that Microsoft was beginning to look at a "data-oriented language. XML
and Web services push data manipulation into mainstream programming,"
Box said. "But current substrates are optimized for objects, not data."
Sources could not say when, or even whether, X# will be delivered as a
product or part of a product. Microsoft officials would not comment for
this story.

"Is there a need for this?" asked Mike Sax, CEO of Sax Software Inc., of
Eugene, Ore. "The only XML 'language' we have today is XSLT [Extensible
Stylesheet Language Transformations], which was originally conceived as
a way to transform XML data into presentation-centric HTML. Although
XSLT is fairly widely used, its power is limited, and it is fairly hard
to use."

Sax added that if Microsoft were to deliver such a language as X#, "I'm
pretty sure that Microsoft would make the language an open standard,
similar to C#. An open, developer-friendly language to transform and
process XML data would be incredibly useful."