W3CTechnology and Society


The Query Languages 1998 Conference

Call for Participation

December 3rd and 4th, 1998
DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, Boston, Massachussets

Conference Scope

The World Wide Web nowadays contains a vast amount of information. As the amount of information continually increases, the problems of efficient access to and management of the information become critical.

Information on the web can be structured in a variety of ways. Most of the existing web documents are based on HTML, and in the future new standards like XML, RDF, P3P, and DOM, promise to increase with their extended functionalities both the variety of formats and the quantity of information.All this new power raises the question of how applications and users can access and process this information: query languages are one answer.

Query languages can make information present in the web accessible in a structured, standard and efficient way, and therefore reusable with success by a variety of processing applications. Query languages can potentially support a variety of data-processing tasks, including, for example, querying, integrating, and transforming data in XML documents, querying and accessing the metadata structures in RDF, analyzing the privacy statements in P3P specifications, or providing a flexible interface to the document object model, DOM. In addition, query languages can bridge the gap between structured/semi-structured web documents and traditional databases, providing a common language for retrieving and processing information on the web, regardless of how or where that information is stored, thus facilitating reuse and integration of database technologies.

And, query languages can facilitate the primary task of searching and managing information on the web, both at a small scale (intranets, web site management, interaction with single users, interaction with intelligent agents), and at a larger scale (search engines, data directories, multi-agents processing).

So, query languages are the "second generation" tool that can increase the use of emerging web standards, facilitating the development of new applications that analyze and process data on the Web.

Scope of the W3C Conference on Query Languages is to begin the discussion of query languages for the Web (with particular emphasis on querying XML and RDF), of the needed requirements for such query language(s) , and of proposing solutions. We expect that the conference will clarify the shared and individual needs of different W3C groups like XML, RDF, P3P, DOM. Moreover, the Conference will take in particular account the related needs of commercial databases and of companies relying on querying technologies. 

Expected audience

We expect several groups to contribute to the conference:

The conference is a W3C member-only event. In addition, selected experts invited from W3C members can participate.


As far as the deliverables are concerned, the program of the conference will be published on the web with public access. This will include tutorial and position papers.

In addition, eventual minutes and reports from the discussions, as well as a final document summarizing the outcome of the conference and the suggested future actions, will be kept member confidential. Invited experts are required bona fide to stick to the confidentiality agreement. This policy can be later modified on request of the members

If sufficient interest arises, it is expected that W3C will initiate a related working group and activity.


The Conference venue can host a limited number of participants (approximately 70 participants). Therefore, registration is handled on a first-come first-served basis, so if you plan to attend the conference please register as soon as possible.

If you would like to attend the conference, you should register before November 15, 1998. A registration web form for the conference is available at http://cgi.w3.org/Register/selectUser.pl?_w3c_meetingName=QL98.

There is a limit of two persons from each W3C member organization, and of one person from external organizations.This limit can be overridden (on a first-come, first-served basis) if after the registration deadline (15 November 1998) there are still vacancies. There is no registration fee for W3C members. Non-members are expected to pay a minimal registration fee of $150 to help to partly cover the meeting expenses (accommodation, lunch, etc). The payment can be made on-site at the conference; accepted forms of payment are MasterCard, Visa, or a check in US dollars made payable to MIT/W3C. If you have trouble with these forms of payment, please contact the chair (massimo@w3.org).

Note that it is required that every member or organization represented at the conference submit a position paper.

Position Papers

Position papers are the basis for the discussion at the conference. A position paper is usually short, around 1 to 5 pages (exceptionally, it can be longer in case it contains a well-defined technical contribution), and summarizes:

Suggested topics are, for example:

Position papers must be sent via e-mail to the Conference Chair (massimo@w3.org) by the 18th of November, 1998. Allowed formats are HTML and ASCII. In addition to an HTML or ASCII files, alternate formats can be included as well, like PDF, Word, Postscript.

All the position papers will be inserted in the web pages of the conference, and distributed as printed notes to all the participants. The Chair can ask the authors of particularly representative position papers to explicitly present their position at the conference to foster discussion. In this case, the authors are also invited to make the slides of the presentation available on the conference web site.

Conference Organization

W3C Contact and Conference Chair:

Massimo Marchiori (W3C)

Email: massimo@w3.org
Tel.: +1 617 253 2442
Address: The World Wide Web Consortium, MIT Lab for Computer Science, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, United States of America.

W3C Meeting Planner:

Susan Hardy (W3C)

Email: susan@w3.org
Tel.: +1 617 253 2613
Address: The World Wide Web Consortium, MIT Lab for Computer Science, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, United States of America.

Alternate Contact for Europe:

Janne Saarela (W3C)

Email: jsaarela@w3.org
Tel.: +33 (0)4 92 387771
Address: The World Wide Web Consortium, W3C/INRIA/Sophia-Antipolis, 2004, Route des Lucioles, 06902 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex, France.


Street map · Bus map · Bus 64 Route Map · Bus 64 schedule (15 minutes from Kendall/MIT)
DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel
400 Soldiers Field Rd
Boston, Massachusetts 02134-1805
Tel: +1 617 783 0090
Tel. (USA toll free): 800 222 8733
Fax: +1 617 783 0897

Rate: $189+ 12.45% tax per day

Accepted Credit Cards:

Tentative schedule: Continental Breakfast is served at 8:30 am. The Conference begins each day at 9am and ends at 5pm. Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

You are recommended to book your hotel room as soon as possible as December is a busy time of year in the Boston area.

Note that you will need to make your own hotel reservation.

Alternative Local Area Hotels

(This list will be soon updated with a description of room availabilities)

Howard Johnson Hotel
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4689
Tel: +1 617 492-7777
Tel. (USA toll free): 800 654-2000
Fax: +1 617 492-6038
Distance: approx 0.3 miles from the conference venue
Accepted Credit Cards:
Hyatt Regency Cambridge
575 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: +1 617 492-1234
Tel (USA toll free): 800 233-1234
Fax : +1 617 491-6906
Distance: approx 0.5 miles from the conference venue
Accepted Credit Cards:

Farrington Inn
23 Farrington Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02134-1704
Fax 617-783-3869
Distance: approx 0.7 miles from the conference venue
Accepted Credit Cards:


Discussion on the conference and on query languages in general will take place using the W3C mailing list w3c-ql@w3.org.

Send an email to massimo@w3.org or to w3c-ql-request@w3.org to subscribe.

W3C members can consult the archive of the mailing list at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ql/.

Resource Statement

W3C Resource Commitment

This activity will consume 30% of the time of one W3C staff member for chairing the conference, 20% of the time of one W3C staff member to handle local organization, and 10% of the time of one W3C staff member for managing the conference website. This conference is not part of a running W3C activity, but is organized under W3C's mandate to track and prepare possible activities in the Technology & Society domain.