XML and Web Services In The News - 2 November 2006

Provided by OASIS | Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by Innodata Isogen


 Reinventing HTML
 W3C Advances Mobile Web Best Practices to Proposed Recommendation
 Google Launches Java-Powered Gmail for Mobile Devices
 Think Standards Are Boring? Think Again!
 Migrating to XForms
 OASIS Forum: Secure Interactions in Sector Applications
 Motorola Picks Home For its Open-Source Java

Web Service Standards for Service Registry and Repository
Staff, IBM Technical Paper
IBM has published a technical paper which describes the main concepts and capabilities of a service registry and repository and the standards that deliver the value of a service registry and repository in a heterogeneous environment. A number of key specifications and standards related to interoperability of service registries and repositories exist today. These include the resource and metadata specifications which themselves build on the robust landscape of Web services specifications. Further, in the modeling space, a mature model for classifying services also exists with the OWL standard. This standard forms one key part of a data model that goes beyond the technical documents that need to be stored in a service registry or repository. It is clear, however, that additional work remains to achieve a fully interoperable service registry and repository. This additional work is in establishing an industry definition of the data model for service registry and repository that aligns with WS-MetadataExchange and provides a means to maintain user defined annotations, classifications and relationships along with the technical documents such as WSDL and XSD. The new or extended queries that could be carried using WS-ResourceTransfer (WS-RT) will also need to be standardized along with that service registry and repository data model. Previous specifications efforts have laid out a significant foundation of understanding what is important to include in a service registry data model. The emergence of new specifications that provide a common mechanism to manipulate resources now enables the service information repository to be standardized as well. The result of combining the critical features and experience from service registry efforts and using emerging standards related to service and resource management will establish a more functional point of integration with interoperability that does not exist today. A service registry and repository handles the management of service descriptions and serves as the system of record for this information throughout the complete lifecycle of a service. The paper elaborates on the standards that enhance the value of a service registry and repository throughout the four main stages of a service lifecycle: modeling, assembly, deployment and management.
See also: the overview

W3C Advances Mobile Web Best Practices to Proposed Recommendation
Jo Rabin and Charles McCathieNevile (eds), W3C Technical Report
W3C has announced the advancement of "Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0" to the level of Proposed Recommendation. Thirty organizations participating in the Mobile Web Initiative have achieved consensus, and encourage adoption and implementation of these guidelines to improve user experience and to achieve the goal of "one Web." The document has been written primarily for creators, maintainers, and operators of Web sites. Readers of the document are expected to be familiar with the creation of Web sites, and to have a general familiarity with the technologies involved, such as Web servers and HTTP; readers are not expected to have a background in mobile-specific technologies. The document specifies Best Practices for delivering Web content to mobile devices. The principal objective is to improve the user experience of the Web when accessed from such devices. The recommendations refer to delivered content and not to the processes by which it is created, nor to the devices or user agents to which it is delivered. Requirements expressed as use cases include Presentation Issues, Input, Bandwidth and Cost, User Goals, Advertising, and Device Limitations. Because of the limited screen size on a mobile device, the subject matter of the page may require considerable scrolling to be visible, especially if the top of the page is occupied by images and navigation links. In these cases the user gets no immediate feedback as to whether their retrieval has resulted in the right content. Mobile device input is often difficult when compared with use of a desktop device equipped with a keyboard. Mobile devices often have only a very limited keypad, with small keys, and there is frequently no pointing device. Mobile networks can be slow compared with fixed data connections and often have a measurably higher latency; data transfer often costs money. Mobile browsers often do not support scripting or plug-ins, which means that the range of content that they support is limited. In many cases the user has no choice of browser and upgrading it is not possible. Comments on the Proposed Recommendation are welcome through 11-December-2006.
See also: the W3C announcement

Google Launches Java-Powered Gmail for Mobile Devices
Steve Bryant, eWEEK Blog
Google is announcing a new Java Gmail client for mobile devices. Gmail for Mobile Devices is a free application and will work on any J2ME phones in the U.S. Users can download the app by using their phone's browser to navigate to gmail.com/app. According to Google, the new application will work on about 300 different phones in the U.S. market. There are no ads. Attachments open as normal, provided you have the appropriate software. Gmail for Mobile Devices is free, but you'll have to pay your carrier for the data transfer. Google has partnered with Sprint for the launch, and Gmail for Mobile Devices is available for download from the Sprint PCS Vision and Sprint Power Vision home pages. My favorite feature: Gmail for Mobile Devices preloads the first ten message in your inbox when you start the app. There's no data transfer lag when you click on those messages. Google also offers an XHTML version of Gmail for mobile browsers, but man, that's a lot slower to use. I only wonder why it took Google so long to launch this particular app. It seems like such a no-brainer.
See also: Gmail for mobile

Think Standards Are Boring? Think Again!
Staff, APC.org Internet & ICTs for Social Justice and Development News
If you think standards are boring, you had to be in Greece this week, where a loose coalition of researchers, librarians and corporate representatives launched a campaign on open standards. The timing coincided with a forum on the future of the internet that is receiving about 1,500 people in a hotel outside of Athens four days in a row. "We're test-driving," said Susy Struble from software-giant Sun Microsystems, in reference to the first step taken to build a larger movement favouring open standards. "We're talking technology standards here, applied to hardware and software." The new coalition wants to get back to the open nature of technology and innovation and ensure that the multiplication of proprietary extensions are put aside to the benefit of compatible ones. The coalition that is set to grow in numbers as soon as participants will look back at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), is currently made up of Magdy Nagi from Egypt's Library of Alexandria, Jamie Love of the Consumer Project on Technology, Eddan Katz of the Yale Information Society Project, Robin Gross of IP Justice, Daniel Dardieller from standards consortium WC3, and Sun Microsystems's Susy Struble. It will work on the basis of rough consensus and pursue the recognitions highlighted in the Tunis Agreement; paragraph 44 [excerpt] — "The development and use of open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demand-driven standards that take into account needs of users and consumers is a basic element for the development and greater diffusion of ICTs and more access to them, particularly in developing countries." More than any other party, the governments are seen not only as enablers, but also as procurers and purchasers of hardware products and information. The new-born coalition envisions this special position of governments as an opportunity for them to promote open standards.
See also: The Register

Migrating to XForms
Paul Sobocinski, XML.com
In 2001, the W3C set out to create an XML standard for implementing user forms in XHTML by publishing the XForms 1.0 Working Draft. The purpose of XForms is to eventually replace existing HTML forms, which are limited in capability and notoriously difficult to develop in. In March of 2006, the W3C announced the XForms 1.0 Second Edition Recommendation. In July 2006, Mozilla announced Preview Release 0.6 of their XForms extension. It won't be long until browsers begin supporting XForms, and once this happens, they will be the prevalent and preferred method of user data collection on the internet. Until then, it's in our best interest to begin migrating our current XHTML forms to XForms so that we're ready once the new standard is mainstream. The goal [in this article] is to take an XHTML document containing one or more standard forms, convert the forms into XForms format while preserving all of the information, and generate a new XHTML document as a result. To achieve this, we use the PHP parser functions, which have been around since PHP 4 and have been used in many PHP APIs, such as Magpie (an RSS parser) and nuSOAP (a library for web services support). We provide here are the rudimentary building blocks for a complete HTML to XForms translator. The parser can be easily scaled to handle all possible HTML form elements and translate them into XForms. You may find this article useful: "XForms for HTML Authors" [Steven Pemberton, W3C/CWI]. It explains in detail how to use XForms to provide all features available with HTML forms.
See also: XForms for HTML Authors

OASIS Forum: Secure Interactions in Sector Applications
Staff, OASIS Announcement
OASIS has announced the publication of a complete program agenda for the November 27-29, 2006 Adoption Forum, to be held in London, UK. Focusing on these very real, modern-day threats, 'Managing Secure Interactions in Sector Applications' will be the theme of the third annual event. The OASIS Adoption Forum brings together users, government agencies, researchers and developers from the international community to discover how open standards for security are being implemented and what the future holds in this area. This year's sessions will cover sensitive key areas such as identity management, access control, authentication in e-Government, and SOA and security. Attendees will examine approaches to these topics, while discussing new ideas to help individuals and their organisations make informed choices. Keynote presenters include Karel De Vriendt, Head of Unit for the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General, and Mark D. Ferrar, Director of Infrastructure at the Technology Office for UK's National Health Service (NHS) Connecting for Health. A closing panel, moderated by Nigel Stanley, Practice Leader for IT Security at Bloor Research, will address the relationship between open source tools and open standards for security. A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) session will access how PKI is being used today, its potential to interact with newer technologies, and alternatives for ways in which the standard should evolve. Also featured at the forum will be OASIS standards, including the Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML), Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), and WS-Security will be featured, as well as specifications under development, such as Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM).
See also: the Forum web site

Motorola Picks Home For its Open-Source Java
Stephen Shankland, CNET News.com
Motorola plans to build an open-source version of Java for gadgets such as mobile phones within the framework of the Apache Software Foundation. The work to develop the Java Micro Edition (ME) software will use the Apache License, Motorola said Tuesday, inviting others to participate in creating "a complete Java ME software stack." The move follows the company's pledge in May to release its software relating to a cell phone variant of Java ME called MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) 3.0. Sun Microsystems created Java, which lets the same program run on a wide variety of computer systems without having to be adapted for each one, and Motorola has long been a licensee and collaborator. In August, Sun announced its intent to release its version of Java ME as open-source software by the end of 2006. However, it's not clear whether the Motorola and Sun projects are complementary or competing. Motorola declared in a statement that it's trying to "reduce Java fragmentation"—a possible open-source affliction in which developers split the same project into incompatible versions. But Motorola indicated that the two companies are not working closely when it comes to open-source Java. It's likely Sun and Motorola will use different licenses: Motorola chose the Apache License, but last week, Jonathan Schwartz said Sun is likely to use the Community Development and Distribution License (CDDL) for open-source Java. Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open source officer, said that according to Sun and Apache, CDDL and Apache code may be intermingled.

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