I'm recruiting fellow rebels to work on a project called ViXEn with me.
ViXEn is a language for querying and manipulating XML documents and document sets. The name stands for "Verbose XML Expressions." ViXEn is geared toward XML users rather than developers. It is not meant to provide an all-purpose general expression language for XML processing. It is meant to provide functionality that addresses the most common use cases of simple XML processing from the perspective of a user.
It provides 20% the functionality of XQuery but addresses 80% of the requirements of real world XML users. It is based partially on the XUpdate and SiXDML specifications with generous inspiration from the AppleScript language.
When the rough draft is released, you'll notice that it abandons XPath as a node selection and filtering mechanism. I have found that XPath is too cryptic and ambiguous for most (non-technical) XML users. Other constructs that are happily missing include loops and parent axis traversal.
What's important to understand is that ViXEn is not an XQuery or XPath replacement. If you're a developer, and you use these languages, please continue to do so. If you're a casual XML user, and don't have the deep technical background that the people pushing specs at the W3C have, then ViXEn may just be for you.
First diary post!