XML and Web Services In The News - 12 July 2006
Provided by OASIS |
Edited by Robin Cover
This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by SAP
Extending and Versioning Languages Part 1
David Orchard and Norman Walsh (eds), TAG Finding Editorial Draft
W3C has updated a draft TAG Finding on "Extending and Versioning
Languages." The document provides terminology for discussing language
versioning, identifies a number of questions that language designers
must answer, and presents a variety of version identification
strategies. The inevitable evolution of languages, by adding, deleting,
and changing syntax or semantics of parts is called versioning. Making
versioning work in practice is one of the most difficult problems in
computing. Arguably, the Web rose dramatically in popularity because
evolution and versioning were built into HTML and HTTP. Both systems
provide explicit extensibility points and rules for understanding
extensions that enable their decentralized extension and versioning.
This TAG finding describes general problems and techniques in evolving
systems in compatible and incompatible ways. These techniques are
designed to allow compatible changes with or without schema propagation.
A number of questions, design patterns and rules are discussed with a
focus towards enabling versioning in XML vocabularies, making use of
XML Namespaces and XML Schema constructs. This includes not only
general rules, but also rules for working with languages that provide
an extensible container model, notably SOAP. A separate document
contains schema language specific discussion.
See also: W3C TAG Findings
Separate Data and Formatting with Microformats
Jack D. Herrington, IBM developerWorks
Microformats are a new way to embed structured data within standard
XHTML code. This article explains how to read and write the new
pragmatic formats for the semantic Web. Until now. Microformats are
one small step forward toward exporting structured data on the Web.
The idea is simple. Take a page that has some event information on it
-- start time, end time, location, subject, Web page, and so on. Rather
than put that information into the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) of
the page in any old way, add some standardized HTML tags and Cascading
Style Sheet (CSS) class names. The page can still look any way you
choose, but to a browser looking for one of these 'microformatted'
pieces of HTML, the difference is night and day. Microformats are a
pragmatic approach to solving the issue of structured data on the Web.
Is it as architecturally pure as XML-encoded data separated from its
formatting through a mechanism such as XSLT style sheets? No. But I
think this approach is a realistic middle step that will help build a
more intelligent Web that is easier to use and provides better search
and data integration.
Needed: Terrorist Target Markup Language
Bob Glushko, Doc Or Die Blog
The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Homeland
Security has just issued a scathing criticism of the National Asset
Database. The NADB is supposed to be a comprehensive list of vital
systems or locations whose destruction would have a debilitating impact
on security, public health, the economy, or even morale and confidence.
Unfortunately, the Inspector General's review shows that the NABD
inventory contains many "non-critical assets" and thus can't support
the resource allocation and risk assessment for which it was
commissioned. I am going to look at this news from a Document
Engineering and Information Architecture perspective. Why did it happen,
and how could we prevent this from happening again? Despite [the
published] guidance, states and local governments submitted assets that
didn't follow the specified formats, were incomplete, were duplicates...
reflecting some mixture of incompetence, negligence, and political
calculation to get more than a fair share of Homeland Security funds.
But suppose that the DHS had encoded these narrative specifications in
an XML vocabulary called "Terrorist Target Markup Language" and required
all asset submissions to conform to it. TTML would have made it possible
to detect most of these problems immediately when they were submitted,
and the standard organization and format of the data would have enabled
additional data mining to detect anomalous information. This isn't a
far-fetched suggestion. There are numerous XML standards activities
underway in the homeland security domain, including biometric data
exchange, common alerting protocols, and emergency response.
W3C mobileOK Scheme 1.0
Sean Owen, Jo Rabin, and Phil Archer (eds), W3C Working Draft
W3C announced that its Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group has
released the First Public Working Draft of the "W3C mobileOK Scheme
1.0" specification. The document describes the W3C mobileOK scheme:
what it denotes, what it requires, and how it may be detected and
evaluated. mobileOK defines machine-readable content labels which may
be applied to content to indicate that the content and its delivery
pass a suite of tests based on the Mobile Web Best Practices document.
The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group is creating these labels
to help catalyze development of an effective user experience for mobile
users of the web. Tools that can produce, parse, adapt or manipulate
mobileOK content (browsers, content management systems, authoring
tools, content adaptation systems, etc.) add value for authors, and
can advertise this capability.
See also: the W3C news item
Adobe Announces FrameMaker DITA Application Pack
Keith Soltys, Core Dump Blog
Adobe announced and demoed the FrameMaker DITA Application Pack, an
extension to FrameMaker that adds full DITA support to FrameMaker 7.2.
Adobe did ship a DITA structured application with FrameMaker 7.2, but
the application pack adds much more functionality, including a DITA
menu, support for maps, relationship tables, conrefs, and ID generation.
There will be online help and installation instructions. Based on what
I saw of the demo, this will make it much easier to author DITA-based
content in structured FrameMaker. For example, if you add a topic
reference to a map and the topic doesn't already exist, FrameMaker will
create the topic and assign it a unique ID. If you double-click on a
topic in a map, the topic opens for editing. If you create a conref to
an element that doesn't have an ID, FrameMaker will generate the ID
for you. The Application Pack will be freely available for downloading
by FrameMaker 7.2 users. It'll be in open beta in August, with a full
release sometime later (no specific date was given). Adobe will also
be releasing an S1000D Starter Kit, with will provide similar
functionality for the S1000D users.
See also: DITA references
Build an SOA Framework with Apache Geronimo and POJOs
J. Jeffrey Hanson, IBM developerWorks
Developing software without regard to the application program interface
(API) constraints enforced by libraries and frameworks is an appealing
proposition. This lure has led many to accept the paradigm of Plain Old
Java Object (POJO) programming -- the idea that you should be able to
develop software on the Java platform without being required to use
superfluous interfaces or third-party APIs. The Apache Geronimo framework
provides a solid infrastructure for POJO development to build
sophisticated applications and services. POJOs are Java classes that
are not required to adhere to specific external interfaces or third-party
APIs. This ability in itself essentially decouples code from external
associations. One of the primary benefits of this decoupling is the
freedom it gives software developers from ancillary tasks, such as
persistence, transaction support, and remoting. This article proposes a
simple SOA framework through POJO programming that uses reflection and
Geronimo's GBean dependency injection to enable component decoupling.
See also: Apache Geronimo
Google Joins Open Document Group
Elinor Mills, CNET News.com
The ODF Alliance, was formed to solve the problem of users getting
locked out of files when they are using an application other than the
one the document was created with. Google, whose Writely online word
processing program supports ODF, joined the roster of 240 ODF Alliance
members this week, Marino Marcich, managing director of the ODF, said
Tuesday. Google also unveiled its Google Spreadsheets application last
month, but has not said whether that program will support ODF. "Google
is a major player obviously and a tremendous boost to the alliance,"
which launched with just 36 members in March, he said. "It demonstrates
the depth and growing support behind the ODF. Although Microsoft Office
document formats are the most widely used, the XML-based OpenDocument
Format has emerged as an alternative with backing from IBM, Sun
Microsystems and others, as well as high-profile government customers
in Massachusetts and Belgium. Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk,
said Google's support could bring a large user base: "If Google includes
ODF support in Google Spreadsheets and finds a role for ODF in Gmail
then you're talking about a significant number of users who will be
using and creating documents in that format."
See also: ODF Alliance
Google Patent Parade
Steve Bryant, eWEEK Blog
The USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) published twelve Google
patents last week, revealing more details about the company's eforts
to employ geocoding technology in its search applications. The patents
cover topics such as reducing ambiguity in geographic location,
weighting the value of the relationship between business name and
location, and determining the value of local search results. Several
patents also cover the process of matching ads to page content,
automating the advertising approval process and providing real-time
transportation data for travelers. The patents were submitted in the
latter months of 2004, but were only published last week by the USPTO.
The patents could ostensibly cover recent upgrades to Google Maps,
Google Earth and Google's AdWords program, to name a few. A Google
representative declined to say which products the patents covered.
According to the job descriptions, those salespeople are responsible
for generating and closing sales of the Google Search Appliance and
Google Earth among U.S. Department of Defense government agencies.
Baseline magazine recently published a cover story that covers, in
part, how Google could work with the military.
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