Conclusion: Wrapping Up QL'98

March 2, 1999

Lisa Rein

Wrapping Up QL'98

"Many of the groups who attended the workshop had not even been aware of the work being done by other groups, so this workshop provided a wonderful setting for cross-fertilization," explains Jonathan Robie. "One of the real accomplishments of the workshop was simply to introduce people to each other!"

"There was a big melting pot out there, and the workshop just came at the right moment," explains Massimo Marchiori. "The difficult part that we are tackling now is just to state clearly and promptly (the market doesn't wait) what the future actions of W3C in this area will be."

In terms of next steps, the W3C must decide whether they will simply incorporate feedback into the existing XML working group activity? Or will a separate Query Language Working Group or XML Query Language Working Group be formed?

One of the difficulties is the somewhat delicate placement of the work within the W3C's architecture, since so many different groups will depend heavily on its deliverables. At this point, the W3C is gathering input from its members as to how the query effort should proceed.

However, looking back, the workshop appears to have already been a success as a catalyst for bringing together the various database, document, metadata, and knowledge representation communities into a single forum. It seems like a clear expression of potentially converging interests.

"Searching the web is essential for a variety of other applications," explains the QL'98 Chair Marchiori. "These search technologies will provide the basis for a coherent model of organizing and reasoning on web data: once there, imagination is our only limit."