XML and Web Services In The News - 05 April 2006
Provided by OASIS |
Edited by Robin Cover
This issue of XML.org Daily Newslink is sponsored by Innodata Isogen
Yet More On Viper From IBM
Barbara Darrow, CRN
IBM continues to dole out tidbits about its next DB2 database, aka
Viper. [IBM has] made available a free early version for customers and
partners. It was unclear how this "test drive" differs from a previous
beta release offered in November. As with virtually every new tech
product, IBM is slapping the "SOA" label on Viper. SOAs or Service
Oriented Architectures, are the latest technological cure-all capturing
the imagination and marketing dollars of vendors. New features include
DB2 Label Based Access Control (LBAC) security that lets users apply a
new column-level labeling to set access to sensitive data, in addition
to current row-level access control. Ambuj Goyal, IBM's GM for
Information Management outlined some new features at IBM's Executive
SOA Summit in Jaipur, India, the company said. IBM has talked up the
release for more than a year, promising it will handle both relational
and non-relational XML data natively. The product is due mid-year.
Interestingly, all three of the major database vendors already claim
full XML support in their offerings.
See also: the XML description
W3C Working Draft for XMLHttpRequest Object
Anne van Kesteren and Dean Jackson (eds)
W3C's Web API Working Group has released a First Public Working Draft
for "The XMLHttpRequest Object." This initial draft documents features
of the XMLHttpRequest object based on existing implementations. The
XMLHttpRequest object is an interface exposed by a scripting engine
that allows scripts to perform HTTP client functionality, such as
submitting form data or loading data from a remove Web site. The
XMLHttpRequest object is implemented today, in some form, by many
popular Web browsers. Unfortunately the implementations are not
completely interoperable. The goal of this specification is to
document a minimum set of interoperable features based on existing
implementations, allowing Web developers to use these features without
platform-specific code. In order to do this, only features that are
already implemented are considered. In the case where there is a
feature with no interoperable implementations, the authors have
specified what they believe to be the most correct behavior.
See also: the public list
UDEF Framework Attracting Interest of National Cancer Institute
Aliya Sternstein, Federal Computer Week
An open-standards group has created a framework that could facilitate
the global exchange of information among organizations. The naming
system could benefit a wide range of disciplines, from disaster response
to medical research. The Open Group's Universal Data Element Framework
(UDEF) has the potential to hasten information exchange by indexing
the world's datasets -- from e-commerce services to government
registries and medical research databases -- in one universally shared
semantic repository. UDEF provides a rigorous rules-based naming system.
It involves mapping a data descriptor to a structured identifier that
resembles the 184.108.40.206 format used in IP addresses. The UDEF
framework expands on traditional e-commerce by providing a means to
link all components -- bank accounts, inventories and other automated
systems -- to one central semantic hub called the Global UDEF Registry.
Although the National Cancer Institute does not need the Universal
Data Element Framework (UDEF) to accomplish its mission, the framework
offers NCI the potential to share selected cancer research information
with a global community. Therefore, the institute is considering a
pilot project to demonstrate that possibility. Denise Warzel, an
associate director at the NCI Center for Bioinformatics, anticipates
a meaningful pilot project could include 10 to 50 data items, such as
drug name, lab and pathology report.
See also: Trying Too Hard
Clustering Versus Faceted Categories for Information Exploration
Marti A. Hearst, CACM
Information seekers often express a desire for a user interface that
organizes search results into meaningful groups, in order to help make
sense of the results, and to help decide what to do next. Currently,
two methods are quite popular: clustering and faceted categorization.
Here, I describe both approaches and summarize their advantages and
disadvantages based on the results of usability studies. Clustering
refers to the grouping of items according to some measure of similarity.
In document clustering, similarity is typically words and phrases.
Hierarchical Faceted Categories provides a set of meaningful labels
organized in such a way as to reflect the concepts relevant to a domain.
They are usually created manually, although assignment of documents to
categories can be automated to a certain degree of accuracy. The main
idea is quite simple. Rather than creating one large category hierarchy,
build a set of category hierarchies each of which corresponds to a
different facet (dimension or feature type) relevant to the
collection to be navigated.
Sharing Lego Blocks: Modular Software Reshapes the Computing Landscape
John Markoff, International Herald Tribune/The New York Times
The Internet is entering its Lego era. Blocks of interchangeable
software components are proliferating on the Web, and developers are
joining them together to create a potentially infinite array of useful
new programs. This new software represents a marked departure from the
inflexible, at times unwieldy, programs of the past, which were designed
to run on individual computers. As a result, computer industry
innovation is rapidly becoming decentralized. Google now offers eight
programmable components -- elements that other programmers can turn
into new Web services -- including Web search, maps, chat, and
advertising. Yahoo offers a competing lineup of programmable services,
including financial information and photo storage. Microsoft has
followed quickly with its own offerings through its new Windows Live
Web service. "These tools are changing the basic core economics of
software development," said Tim Bray, director of Web technologies at
Sun Microsystems and one of the designers of a powerful set of Internet
conventions known as Extensible Markup Language, or XML, which make it
simple and efficient to exchange digital data over the Internet.
LinuxWorld: Open-source Backer Bruce Perens Calls for PAC
Todd R. Weiss, ComputerWorld
Bruce Perens: As open-source software gains more traction in business
computing, it's time for the community to better protect its interests
in the halls of Congress and the U.S. government with a dedicated
political action committee to lobby officials. While supportive groups,
such as the Open Source Development Lab in Beaverton, Ore., do exist,
they often have boards of directors largely made up of people from
companies that offer proprietary commercial software with different
agendas and goals, Perens said. A dedicated PAC, in contrast, could
help steer issues and discussions in government that are helpful to
the open-source movement, he said. Such a PAC would be important as
local, state and national governments and leaders continue to discuss
a range of technology issues, including open standards, document file
formats and software patent law.
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