Blixem is an engine to evaluate LiXQuery queries. It tries to follow the LiXQuery semantics as close as possible.

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Blixem Strato Public Release

What is a LiXQuery engine?

LiXQuery, or Light XQuery, is an elegant and simple sublanguage of XQuery, the standard query language for XML documents and data. LiXQuery has almost the same expressive power as XQuery and has a compact and well defined syntax and semantics. The LiXQuery language was designed with two main audiences in mind. First of all, LiXQuery targets researchers investigating the expressive power and the computational complexity of XQuery. The second audience for LiXQuery are teachers, this is because LiXQuery only omits features which are not essential to understand the typical queries written in XQuery. The XQuery features that are omitted in LiXQuery are only those that are not essential from a theoretical perspective.

When should I use LiXQuery instead of XQuery?

If you are a researcher investigating the expressive power and the computational complexity of XQuery. Features that are essential from a theory perspective are not dropped. If you are a teacher because we believe that when one understands queries written in LiXQuery, one also understands most typical queries written in XQuery.

Where can I find more information about the syntax and semantics of LiXQuery?

The complete syntax and formal semantics of LiXQuery is given in "A light but Formal Introduction to XQuery" and "a formal foundation for xquery research ". Both papers can be found at the LiXQuery page.

Features of Blixem


  • parses and evaluates LiXQuery.
  • implements the LiXQuery formal semantics as close as possible
  • is easy to use and robust.


  • has a far less complex syntax and semantics than that of XQuery.
  • results of a query evaluation will be a proper subset of the same query evaluated by XQuery.

Or better, [try out Blixem] yourself and experience the features!


Here we present the Blixem roadmap which sheds some light onto which features are available in the different releases.

  • Blixem public beta's
    These public beta's will contain all features when they are implemented. None of them will be fully tested.
  • Cirro (Blixem 1.0)
    The Cirro release has all the basic functionality of LiXQuery except for functions and construction.
  • Alto (Blixem 1.1)
    Fully tested functions.
  • Strato (Blixem 1.2)
    Fully tested construction.
  • Nimbo (Blixem 1.3)
    Fully tested LiXQuery engine including syntactic sugar.[1]

Where does the name Blixem come from?

Blixem is the Dutch word 'bliksem' written in English. 'Bliksem' is Dutch for lightning.

Blixem Team