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Last modified: September 30, 2002
Cover Pages News Clippings 2002-09

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  • [September 30, 2002] Apache AXIS Axis 1.0 Release Candidate 2. A posting from Sam Ruby announces release candidate 2 of Axis release 1.0. Apache AXIS "is an implementation of the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) submission to W3C and represents a follow-on to the Apache SOAP project. Axis is essentially a SOAP engine -- a framework for constructing SOAP processors such as clients, servers, gateways, etc. The current version of Axis is written in Java, but a C++ implementation of the client side of Axis is being developed. But Axis isn't just a SOAP engine -- it also includes: (1) a simple stand-alone server, (2) a server which plugs into servlet engines such as Tomcat, (3) extensive support for the Web Service Description Language (WSDL), (4) emitter tooling that generates Java classes from WSDL, (5) some sample programs, and (6) a tool for monitoring TCP/IP packets. Axis is the third generation of Apache SOAP (which began at IBM as 'SOAP4J'). In late 2000, the committers of Apache SOAP v2 began discussing how to make the engine much more flexible, configurable, and able to handle both SOAP and the upcoming XML Protocol specification from the W3C. Its key key features include speed (Axis uses SAX event-based parsing to acheive significantly greater speed than earlier versions of Apache SOAP), flexibility, stability, component-oriented deployment, transport framework, and WSDL support." In Release Candidate 2: "All unit and functional tests pass with this release. The SAAJ and JAX RPC TCK tests pass. All bugs reported as of this morning targetted for the 1.0 release are resolved in this drop. Pending feedback from people like yourselves, this might very well be it... Now that Axis has surpassed Apache SOAP in function, performance, and interoperability and, in particular, has passed Sun's JAX-RPC and SAAJ compliance tests, we are planning to ship v1.0 essentially as it currently stands..."

  • [September 30, 2002] Antenna House Releases XSL Formatter Version 2.3. An announcement from keiko hiraide of Antenna House, Inc. describes the new Version 2.3 release of XSL Formatter.: "Antenna House, Inc is pleased to announce that it has upgraded its XSL-FO processor [XSL Formatter] to V2.3. Version 2.3 provides you with the significant enhancement of layout function capability, multilingual formatting function capability. XSL Formatter V2.3 becomes the most advanced XSL tool for multilingual formatting in the world. Version 2.3: (1) Implements the float in XSL Spec and enhances the layout function. This function provides capabilities of produce the layout of putting images, illustrations and text side-by-side or putting text around the image. (2) Enhances the function of multilingual format. XSL Formatter implements the function of bidirectionality by Unicode BIDI, the text running from left to right as English, Japanese and the text running from right to left as Arabic, Hebrew can be mixed in a single block with mixed directionality. In addition, Arabic justification becomes capable by inserting the glyph 'Kashida'. (3) Provides new support for Arabic and Hebrew: By using XSL Formatter V2.3 and PDF Option, it's possible to do layout the multilingual publications with the flexible mixture of Latin, Cyrillic, Greek alphabet, CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), HAT (Hebrew, Arabic, Thai) and output to PDF. (4) Offers enhanced PDF output options: In case of creating PDF using Adobe Acrobat Distiller from XSL Formatter formatted result, a high quality PDF will be created. From V2.3, links and bookmarks are automatically created in PDF using Distiller. In addition, both EPS with preview image and EPS without preview image can be embedded in PDF via Distiller. (5) Provides graphics support enhancements: By using Plug-in (MathPlayerV1.0) downloadable, the formula written by MathML can be embedded. XSL Formatter supports almost every image formats for Windows..." See the 'Stylesheet Tutorial, Sample Files of Formatting Objects and Sample Stylesheets.' General references: "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [September 30, 2002] W3C Announces Workshop on the Future of P3P. W3C has issued a Call For Participation in connection with a W3C Workshop on the Future of P3P, to be held November 12-13, 2002 at the Dulles (Virginia) Campus of America Online. Position papers are due by September 30, 2002. This event is part of the W3C Technology and Society Domain. "The workshop will discuss technology and policy considerations for the future of P3P including new features or applications of P3P, technical problems with P3P1.0, policy goals that P3P may help address, requirements unmet by P3P1.0, and legal or policy questions that have arisen as a result of P3P implementation. A workshop expected in early 2003 will focus on longer-term P3P-related research and advanced development... The results of this workshop will inform W3C's decision making on future P3P-related efforts, stimulate discussions of new applications of P3P that are possible based on the current P3P specification, and facilitate coordination with organizations engaged in related efforts." Background: "The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 (P3P1.0) was released as a W3C Recommendation on 16 April 2002. Already, P3P1.0 has been implemented in two major browsers, a proxy service, a browser add-on, and other user agent software. In addition, several P3P policy generator and editor tools are available, and tools to track P3P usage are being integrated into Web site privacy policy management systems. Besides the existing P3P tools, a variety of other P3P tools and services have been proposed. As Web sites adopt P3P, limitations have been discovered and new features are being suggested for possible inclusion in P3P1.x or P3P2.0. P3P1.0 includes an extension mechanism that allows for new features to be added to P3P without necessitating a new version of the specification. However, not all new features may be supported by this mechanism. In addition, even if the extension mechanism is used to add new features, there may be benefits to coordination around the use of this mechanism or other efforts to augment the functionality of P3P1.0..."

  • [September 30, 2002] XML Validation Interoperability Framework Updated. A 2002-09-27 posting from Eric van der Vlist announces the release of XVIF version 0.2.0 which includes "a partial implementation of Relax NG and a very partial implementation of W3C XML Schema datatypes. The test suites can now be browsed online and links have been created between the online validator [Online Relax NG validator with xvif support], the strawman and the test cases... The major change in this version is a clean up of the xvif syntax (the xvif 'pipe' element now bahaves as a full class Relax NG pattern) which becomes slightly more verbose but allows to write schemas which are fully conform to Relax NG and yet can define pipes which will be used by xvif processors..." XML Validation Interoperability Framework (xvif) "is a proposal to embed pipe definitions in grammar based schema languages such as Relax NG (and probably W3C XML Schema). The current implementation is built on a partial implementation of Relax NG supporting the features needed to consitute a representative proof of concept. It is available both as downloadable Python source documents (under a MPL open source licence) and as an online demonstration. Discussion on xvif may be carried on '' (archived). Although there is no endorsement of any kind by the DSDL ISO initiative, one of the goals with this prototype is to gather feedback which may be used (or not) by 'DSDL Part 1 - Interoperability Framework'. See other information in the Strawman Proposal: Bringing The Framework Within Schemas."

  • [September 30, 2002] October 2002 Topic Map Conference to be Held in Oslo. A communiqué from Lars Marius Garshol announces a TopicMap Conference arranged by the Norwegian XML User's Group, together with Creuna, Empolis, and Ontopia. "The world's first Topic Map Conference will be held at Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, Oslo, Norway on October 18th 2002. Emnekart Norge 2002 will focus on the business case for topic maps and will feature presentations from Steve Pepper, Lars Marius Garshol, Kal Ahmed, and others." See the conference links and general references in "(XML) Topic Maps."

  • [September 28, 2002] Userland Releases RSS 2.0 for Really Simple Syndication. Dave Winer of Userland recently released RSS 2.0, successor to the earlier RSS versions 0.91 and 0.92. This RSS "2.0" represents the Userland fork, with its acronym "Really Simple Syndication." The other fork is the "RDF Site Summary (RSS) 1.0", maintained by a group of developers (RSS-DEV Working Group) who hang out on the RSS-DEV mailing list; according to this RDF-based effort, RSS "is an XML application which conforms to the W3C's RDF Specification and is extensible via XML-namespace and/or RDF based modularization." Dave writes: "In RSS 2.0, a provision is made for linking a channel to its identifier in a cataloging system, using the channel-level category feature, described above. For example, to link a channel to its Syndic8 identifier, include a category element as a sub-element of <channel>, with domain "Syndic8", and value the identifier for your channel in the Syndic8 database. The appropriate category element for Scripting News would be <category domain="Syndic8">1765</category>... RSS is by no means a perfect format, but it is very popular and widely supported. Having a settled spec is something RSS has needed for a long time. The purpose of this work is to help it become a unchanging thing, to foster growth in the market that is developing around it, and to clear the path for innovation in new syndication formats. Therefore, the RSS spec is, for all practical purposes, frozen at version 2.0. We anticipate possible 2.0.1 or 2.0.2 versions, etc. only for the purpose of clarifying the specification, not for adding new features to the format. Subsequent work should happen in modules, using namespaces, and in completely new syndication formats, with new names." For public comments on "2.0", see the posting of Chris Croome to XML-DEV and references. See general references in "RDF Site Summary (RSS)."

  • [September 28, 2002] Telematica Instituut Hosts ebXML Demonstrator. A posting from Maarten Steen of the Telematica Instituut announces an online ebXML Demonstrator which shows how ebXML works. "It shows how companies will find each other, propose and complete business transactions in an automated way. During the demonstration the viewer learns about the different components in ebXML and their position in the ebXML framework. Therefore this demonstrator should rather be called an explanator... One of the major efforts is the ebXML proposition: to create a common e-business infrastructure with a coherent set of standards for messaging, core components, and processes... The goal of the demonstrator is not merely to demonstrate the concepts of ebXML, but rather to demonstrate in general what infrastructure is necessary to realize the visionary dream of fully automated e-business. Moreover, it aims at provoking discussions on what business decisions and opportunities remain in this automated world, hence pinpointing the essence of future (e-)business...." See the posting and general references in "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."

  • [September 23, 2002] Bali: RELAX NG Validatelet Compiler. A posting from Kohsuke Kawaguchi (Sun Microsystems) announces the release of a RELAX NG validatelet compiler named "Bali." Bali is "a Java tool that reads a RELAX NG grammar and produces source code for a validator which is specialized for that grammar. For example, Bali can read a XHTML schema at the compile time, and it produces, which is a Java source code. Then you compile this file along with your other source code, and at the runtime this class can be used to validate XHTML documents before you process it. The concept of transforming a RELAX NG grammar into a compact table is invented primarily by MURATA Makoto. Bali uses the Multi-Schema XML Validator (MSV) from Sun Microsystems to parse RELAX NG grammars. Compared to general-purpose validators such as MSV and Jing, this approach has the following benefits: (1) Bali can produce a validator in various programming languages, which makes it easy to use RELAX NG in those platforms that don't have general purpose RELAX NG validator implementations. For this release, Bali supports Win32/VC++ and Java. (2) The generated validator is usually small compared to a general-purpose RELAX NG validator, both in terms of the runtime memory consumption and the code size. (3) The generated validator (is expected to) run faster than general-purpose validators. Bali is a fully conforming to RELAX NG; the Win32 and Java implementations pass all of the James Clark test suite. The source code and binaries of the compiler/runtime are covered by the BSD license." See general references in "RELAX NG."

  • [September 21, 2002] Schematron.NET Implementation Written in C#. A posting from Daniel Cazzulino (of DEVerest) via Rick Jelliffe announces a "new implementation of Schematron completely based on .NET and written in C#. It uses XPath-only features, and understands embedded schemas too. Initial performance numbers for schematron execution when compared to MSXML4.01 and .NET XSL classes show speed gains of more than 50%. Embedded schema extraction and loading takes 60% less time it takes either XSL processor to execute the 2 required transformations (extraction and metastylesheet apply). The solution will be presented in .NET ONE 2002 conference, next November in Frankfurt... The project is hosted at SourceForge." From the presentation abstract for "NMatrix Schematron.NET: Advanced Validation Scenarios": "Now that XML Schemas are a broadly accepted and implemented standard we may be erroneously convinced that they solve every possible validation need. XSD is a structure-based language, and doesn't allow many of the more advanced rules common to most businesses to be specified, such as contraints between elements in the document or conditional constraints depending on elements content. We will see numerous examples where custom application logic would be needed to satisfy real world business scenarios. Schematron is a rule-based XML language to solve these needs, and in Schematron.NET it cooperates with XSD schemas to provide an ultimate validation tool for XML documents, effectively reducing the custom validation code needed to a minimum. Schematron.NET is part of the NMatrix open source initiative..." References in "Schematron: XML Structure Validation Language Using Patterns in Trees."

  • [September 20, 2002] Creative Commons Metadata Specification Updated. A posting of 2002-09-18 from Aaron Swartz announces the release of an updated version 1.0b3 Creative Commons Metadata Specification. "In addition to making it easy for people to find the copyright licenses best for them, Creative Commons is working to provide simple RDF descriptions of these licenses. These descriptions will put the important points of the license in a way that makes it easy for machines to process and work from. Unlike Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which tries to prevent people from doing things with digital works, Creative Commons is working towards promoting these uses of works. If you run a search engine, you might use license metadata to highlight public domain and generously-licensed works. If you write a public file sharing server, you might offer to search the users hard drive for works that allow distribution. If you write a magazine, you might use a CC-enabled search engine to find pictures of candy bars that you can legally include..." Changes in version 1.0b3 include (e.g.,) a new cc:Agent class which replaces w:Person; addition of titles and descriptions for everything in the schema; 'Copyleft' has been renamed 'ShareAlike'; dc:rights now points to the copyright holder; recommendation that developers use real RDF parsers; sample python code; clarification on the use of multiple license tags. Dan Connolly (W3C) has contributed to the version 1.0b3 metadata specification. See local references in "Creative Commons Project."

  • [September 20, 2002] XOM Provides Tree-Based API for Processing XML with Java . XOM is a new XML object model under development by Elliotte Rusty Harold and a small team of collaborators. It is released as "a tree-based API for processing XML with Java that strives for correctness and simplicity... XOM is not complete onto itself. It depends on an underlying SAX parser to read documents and feed the data into a tree structure. While theoretically any SAX2 compliant parser should work, Xerces 2.1.0 is the only one that I am fairly confident does work." For background, see the slides from a presentation "What's Wrong with XML APIs (and how to fix them)" given by Harold at the NY XML SIG on September 17, 2002. A jar file and source code are available for download. See comments by John Cowan and the XOM micro tutorial from Michael Fitzgerald.

  • [September 10, 2002] WYSIWYG Bitflux XML Editor. Roger Fischer announced the availability of an open source 'Bitflux Editor'. ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and Wyona AG signed a deal with Bitflux GmbH to open-source the Bitflux Editor under an Apache License. It is a fully functional editor based upon Mozilla 1.x / Netscape 7.0 and may be used with any XHTML and XML Documents. See: (1) the Bitflux Editor Demo, (2) the FAQ document, and (3) Announcements about Bitflux Editor (bx-editor-ann). The editor will be featured at the Second Open Source Content Management Conference September 25-27, 2002 (Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley).

  • [September 10, 2002] NIST and W3C Host Workshop on Usability and the Web. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) have issued a Call for Papers in connection with a 'Workshop on Usability and the Web', to be held November 4 - 5, 2002 in Gaithersburg (near Washington D.C.), Maryland, USA. "Participants will discuss the usability of W3C specifications, how they affect usability of software based on them, and how to improve the overall usability of the Web." Position papers are due 13-September-2002. Organizers include Jean Scholtz, Steven Pemberton, and Sharon Laskowski. A draft proposal for the working group is available online.

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