XML and Web Services In The News - 30 March 2006

Provided by OASIS | Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML.org Daily Newslink is sponsored by Innodata Isogen


 WSDM for J2EE Provides Next-Generation Management
 National Archives Readies Move to OpenDocument
 Creative Commons Releases Open Source Software ccHost
 Microsoft And Eclipse: A Showdown for Ajax Leadership
 GROKLAW Wrong on "Microsoft Muscles in on OpenDocument Group"
 BEA Seeks to Modularize App Server
 'Sandal and Ponytail Set' Cramping Linux Adoption?

WSDM for J2EE Provides Next-Generation Management
Leigh Williamson, et al., IBM developerWorks
This article explains how two management standards, WS-Distributed Management and JSR 077, actually work together with the help of AIDE. WSDM is the next generation of management. Using existing development tooling, the process of enablement is quick and straightforward. Modeling the management capabilities of existing resources can be more involved than actually implementing the management service once modeled. Using WSDM allows consolidated and service-oriented management using existing APIs such as JSR-77, JMX, or CIM. The next generation of Manager products will be able to leverage WSDM interfaces to dynamically discover and introspect the capabilities of new resources that may not have existed when the manager program was originally written. Because of its inherent decoupling of management client from managed resource (including implementation language), there is tremendous opportunity to combine and correlate between systems employing wildly different native management interfaces. The AIDE, the Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators, and the WSDM Browser for CIM and OSGi tools at alphaWorks have recently been updated.
See also: WSDM references

National Archives Readies Move to OpenDocument
Howard Dahdah, ComputerWorld
The Digital Preservation team at the National Archives is looking to migrate its Xena preservation software to the new OpenDocument format with the next release of the software, in turn being the first Australian government agency to do so. The National Archives has been involved in drafting the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) format, working closely with the OASIS standards group in submitting code for the new file format. OpenDocument is a specification for standardizing documents based on an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file format. It covers the features required by text, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents... Michael Carden, preservation software manager at the National Archives of Australia, said NAA is in the process of migrating its office file preservation format to use the OpenOffice 2.0 suite which by default uses OpenDocument. Carden said his team at NAA was testing code at this minute and has been submitting changes to the CVS repository on Sourceforge regularly. The NAA is interested in ODF because the nature of its work involves receiving information in disparate file types from all over the country.
See also: ODF references

Creative Commons Releases Open Source Software ccHost
Jon Phillips, NewsForge
"ccHost, an Open Source project that provides web-based infrastructure to support collaboration, sharing, and storage of multi-media using Creative Commons licenses and metadata, has released version 2.0. The new features most notably show up and are tested in Creative Commons' project, ccMixter, a popular on- line music social network service that supports legal media sharing and remixing. ccHost is the Open Source Software engine powering ccMixter. Anyone may download, install, and use ccHost to freely build media sharing communities. If you're into sampling, remixing and mash-ups grab the sample packs and a cappellas for download and you can upload your version back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample. For audio-based installations there is support for M3U-based radio. While previous versions of ccHost had RSS support, ccHost 2.0 now supports the ATOM feed standard and caching for all feed types. On the administrative side, ccHost now ships with the sample pool API turned on; this allows for multiple different ccHost installations to query each other for samples. Beyond the basic usage of multiple ccHost installations communicating through this RESTful API, anyone may also use the simple sample pool API to write code that interacts with a ccHost installation's sample pool. Other administrative additions include import and export of settings, internationalization accessible through a string editor, replacement of magpie with custom code, a new ratings panel, stricter fairness policies, and various administrative options for administrators to customize ccHost.
See also: ccMixter web site

Image Annotation on the Semantic Web
Jacco van Ossenbruggen, Raphael Troncy, et al. (eds), W3C Working Draft
W3C has announced that its "Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft for "Image Annotation on the Semantic Web." Produced by the group's Multimedia Annotation in the Semantic Web Task Force. The need for annotating digital image data is recognized in a wide variety of different applications, covering both professional and personal usage of image data. Most work done in this area does not [currently] use semantic- based technologies partly because of the differences between the multimedia and the web communities and their underlying standardization organizations. This document explains the advantages of using Semantic Web languages and technologies for image annotations and provides guidelines for doing so. It is organized around a number of representative use cases, and a description of Semantic Web vocabularies and tools that could be used to help accomplish the task mentioned in the uses cases.
See also: Semantic Web references

Microsoft And Eclipse: A Showdown for Ajax Leadership
Charles Babcock, InternetWeek
Microsoft and backers of Eclipse, the open source programmer's workbench, have stepped up efforts to create Ajax-friendly tools for building interactive Web applications. Unlike the mature technical standards for server-side software, tools and technologies for Web development are changing rapidly. Ajax is the symbol of emerging Web development, combining JavaScript and XML so that, instead of requiring round trips to a server each time a user wants new data, a browser's cache pre- fetches the information that might appear next. This leads to much faster interaction, with Google Maps among the star examples. Eclipse leaders -- which include IBM, Intel, Red Hat, and SAP -- last week laid out the expansion of the developer's workbench into a platform that can compete with Microsoft in the enterprise. Microsoft last week released an updated test version of its own Ajax development tool, called Atlas, that creates standard JavaScript on an application's client side. Microsoft also has written server-side extensions to JavaScript to improve the way Ajax apps work on Windows computers, so software written in Atlas can interact with elements of Windows Vista. But Microsoft won't ship Atlas until it releases the next version of Visual Studio, called Orcas, and that's still several years away. Meanwhile, Eclipse is capitalizing now on the proliferation of Ajax toolkits. Microsoft has the advantage of being able to tightly integrate its tools with Windows, its SQL Server database, and other software. Indeed, IBM donated Eclipse's core workbench technology as open source code because it wants Java tools to have a level of integration similar to Microsoft's.

GROKLAW Wrong on "Microsoft Muscles in on OpenDocument Group"
Rick Jelliffe, O'Reilly 'Opinion'
"I have been involved in that world (ISO SC34 in particular) for more than a decade now, and GROKLAW's concerns do not seem realistic to me. For a start, standards are voted on by national bodies. So even if Microsoft got membership on all the local committees of every country that has a vote, they cannot stop ODF being standardized. You cannot compare ISO with groups like W3C or OASIS where corporation representatives get a direct vote on final issues. Cynics might say that one reason for the anti-ISO message that periodically erupts from some large companies stem from their lack of ability to influence ISO standards as strongly as they can influence other standards bodies. Now if the MIcrosoft representative or their cypher had the job of counting the votes then there would be the possibility of fraudulent miscounting or 'losing' ballots, I suppose. But the interest in these standards and minimal diligence by national bodies in verifying that their cast vote was counted easily addresses this. Back to reality... I don't see how Microsoft can prevent ODF. And EXCMA fast-tracking is no faster than OASIS fast-tracking in SC34. GROKLAW worries about Microsoft using legitimate procedural tricks to slow ODF down [but] I don't see much opportunity for endless delay here. ISO has a deadline operating by which guarantees that stalled processes die, and a strong committee chairman and sympathetic committee members at INCITS can be expected to stare down silliness.
See also: the GROKLAW article

BEA Seeks to Modularize App Server
Paul Krill, InfoWorld
BEA Systems is working to modularize services from its WebLogic Server application server, enabling them to run independently with open source frameworks. Known as "backplane," the modularization technology would make available separate from the application server functions such as Web services, JMS (Java Message Service) support and JDBC pooling, said Gary McBride, BEA senior product marketing manager. Speaking at the BEA Dev2DevDays2006 technical event, McBride noted the technology is in the conceptual stage. Also at the event, BEA officials said the company within a few days would release a module enabling the open source Apache Tomcat Web container to be administered via BEA's own WebLogic Server 9.0 console framework. The module, referred to as WebLogic Console for Tomcat Server, will provide improved administration for Tomcat, [providing] better administrative control over Tomcat than does the Tomcat administrative tool; users, for example, will be able to manage multiple instances of Tomcat from a single point and get information on factors such as aggregated performance and logging.

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