Positive feedback is always a good thing. And thanks to feedback received and extensive implementation work, W3C has announced that they have published eight new standards in their XML Family. The new standards will play a large role in connecting databases with the Web and they “will support the ability to query, transform, and access XML data and documents.” The three main standards are XML Query, XSLT 2.0 and XSLT 1.0. What are they all about? In a nutshell, XQuery lets you mine data from memos to messages, and everything in between, and XSLT 2.0 brings increased functionality to the already deployed XSLT 1.0, which lets you transform and apply visual style to XML data documents. "XQuery will serve as a unifying interface for access to XML data, much as SQL has done for relational data," said Don Chamberlin of IBM Almaden Research Center, co-inventor of the original SQL Query language and one of the co-editors of XQuery 1.0. "Since virtually any kind of information can be represented using XML, I expect XQuery to play a central role in unifying information from many different sources. Companies across a wide range of industries can use XQuery to pull together structured and semi-structured information for processing in a unified way." "The XQuery Working Group engaged in exhaustive review and collaborative work, both with other W3C Working Groups and with the developer community," explained Jim Melton of Oracle, XML Query Working Group co-chair and co-editor of two of the standards published today. "Over 1,000 comments from developers helped ensure a resilient and implementable set of database technologies." "These specifications provide a much needed bridge between two worlds: documents with complex but irregular internal structure on the one hand and databases and simple data with atomic values on the other," said W3C's Michael Sperberg-McQueen, one of the editors of the original XML 1.0 specification. Complete details are available in W3C’s press release here.