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Data Pipelining Use Cases Community Group

Gathering requirements and discussing data pipelines (think XProc but for JSON, HTML, text, XML, binary, EPUB...)

Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

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XProc Next Community Group Proposed

As decided at the XProc Workshop in London on June 12 (see, I have now proposed a new community group for XProc, XProc Next. The description is as follows:

Create a place for gathering requirements from existing and potential users of XProc, research in this area, and for supporting and writing the community-driven effort to define an XProc 3.0 specification (formerly 1.1) .

Once the proposal has been reviewed by the W3C staff, the proposed group will appear at

2016 Amsterdam XProc Workshop

As announced by Norm, CWI will be hosting an XProc Workshop on Sept. 26.

To my knowledge, there is no detailed agenda yet. I envision it to be an open discussion on the future of XProc, including, but not limited to, these questions:

  • Who will implement the 2014-12-18 First Public Working Draft that was republished as a WG Note on 2016-07-21?
  • If so, to what extent?
  • Who is interested in using which features of this WG Note XProc 2.0 specification?
  • Or is there consensus that this spec is obsolete and needs to be replaced with something else, if at all?
  • If the WG Note spec is considered obsolete, are some implementors/users still interested in porting some of the features to XProc 1.0 and make an inofficial XProc 1.1 out of it?
  • For both versions, “fictitious 1.1” and “WG Note 2.0”, where will we maintain a list of corrigenda, interoperability conventions and extensions? Directly in the archived spec or a fork thereof, on (that itself needs further standardization and extension), or somewhere else?

Personally, I think that this WG Note 2.0 version contains many improvements over 1.0 without necessitating rewriting every pipeline from scratch in a new language, so I’d like to use most if not all of its new features,  rather than sticking with 1.0 or migrating to the more radical 2.0 approach that Norm, Alex and Jim presented at XML Prague this year. On the other hand, Achim’s an my XML London talk discussed several deficiencies that need to be addressed, mostly related to making sure that all implementations do implementation-dependent or EXProc stuff in the same manner. For example, explicit dependency declaration for steps with side effects is implementation-dependent stuff that is relevant for interoperability but that has been left underspecified.

I’m pretty convinced that XProc 1.0 is useful and the original 2.0 direction (that ended in the WG note) was a sound evolutionary path that facilitated some things and enabled others. Call me an angle bracket dinosaur, but in my view, there was no need to redesign XProc from scratch. I like XProc as it is, and I will like it even more with attribute/text value templates, arbitrary data formats as input or output, XPath function libraries, etc. Besides, my company and Achim Berndzen (creator of MorganaXProc) are interested in protecting/amortizing our investments in this technology.

Whether and where to maintain which specs is certainly a thing that we’ll need to discuss in Amsterdam. I’m not sure where to maintain a list of discussion topics though. This community group was created to collect use cases for a future XProc version. I think that, for the time being, we can use it to dicuss all things XProc here, particularly the upcoming workshop. On the other hand, this site feels like WordPress and I doubt that it offers Wiki-like functionality by default for collaboratively working on the agenda. We can use a github Wiki, either in a repo that Norm creates below or at another place where it is easy to add collaborators.

First, let’s see who is interested. I just created a Lanyrd event for the workshop. I’d like you to register there. Registration is non-binding, just that we get an estimate of the number of participants. The room will probably be provided free of charge by CWI, and catering will probably be sponsored. So you or your organization will only have to cover travel expenses.

— Gerrit (on behalf of neither Norm, who is organizing the workshop, nor of the community group chairs; I was just getting a bit impatient and then acted on the proven maxim: rush forward now, regret later)

Call for Participation in Data Pipelining Use Cases Community Group

The Data Pipelining Use Cases Community Group has been launched:

Gathering requirements and discussing data pipelines (think XProc but for JSON, HTML, text, XML, binary, EPUB…)

In order to join the group, you will need a W3C account. Please note, however, that W3C Membership is not required to join a Community Group.

This is a community initiative. This group was originally proposed on 2016-02-11 by Liam Quin. The following people supported its creation: Liam Quin, Alex Milowski, Alain Couthures, Romain Deltour, Florent Georges. W3C’s hosting of this group does not imply endorsement of the activities.

The group must now choose a chair. Read more about how to get started in a new group and good practice for running a group.

We invite you to share news of this new group in social media and other channels.

If you believe that there is an issue with this group that requires the attention of the W3C staff, please email us at

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W3C Community Development Team