The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: October 07, 2000
SGML and XML News. Q2 April - June 2000

Related News:   [XML Industry News] -   [XML Articles] -   Current SGML/XML News -   [SGML/XML News 1999 Q4] -   [SGML/XML News 1999 Q3] -   [SGML/XML News 1999 Q2] -   [SGML/XML News 1999 Q1] -   [SGML/XML News for 1998] -   [SGML/XML News for 1997] -   [SGML/XML News for 1996] -   [SGML News for 1995]

Site Search: [VMS Indexed Search]

  • [June 30, 2000]   XML Encoding of SPKI Certificates.    An IETF Internet Draft was recently published on the XML Encoding of SPKI Certificates. Reference: "draft-paajarvi-xml-spki-cert-00.txt", by Juha Paajarvi (First Hop Ltd., Finland). The IETF Internet Draft proposes "a standard form for encoding SPKI certificates in XML as opposed to the original s-expression encoding defined in [SPKI: Simple Public Key Certificate, by C. M. Ellison et al., draft-ietf-spki-cert-structure-06.txt]. The standard form is defined as an XML document type definition (DTD). The main emphasis is on the XML-encoding of an authorization certificate that is the basic SPKI certificate form. This draft provides also a brief introduction to XML and a short discussion about the benefits of choosing XML as the certificate encoding format. In addition, this draft discusses the problems of automatic processing of tags (attributes and authorizations transferred by a certificate are called tags in SPKI) when reducing certificates. An example of encoding Java permissions in an SPKI certificate is given to demonstrate the problem and, finally, a solution to this problem is suggested. The actual semantics and theory of SPKI certificates are discussed in more detail in RFC 2693, "SPKI Certificate Theory." The already expired draft "Simple Public Key Certificate" defines s-expression structures for SPKI certificates. The major difference is the use of XML-encoding. In addition, a problem in SPKI tag processing is discussed and a solution is proposed." Background: Cryptography is surely the most difficult technology that must be mastered in implementing certificate tools. Another difficulty often faced by programmers is the encoding format required for certificates. X.509 certificates are encoded as ASN.1 data structures, and SPKI certificates utilize s-expressions as their encoding format. Neither of these encoding formats are widely used in the Internet. This raises the question: 'Could there be a simpler, more widely used format for encoding certificates?' This draft suggests the use of XML as the encoding format for certificates and represents a standard form for encoding SPKI authorization certificates in XML. There are a number of reasons why XML is a good choice for encoding certificates. . ." See (1) the SPKI XML DTD and (2) the reference document "XML Encoding of SPKI Certificates."

  • [June 29, 2000]   Building-Construction Extensible Mark-up Language (bcXML).    eConstruct, a 'pan-European group of construction-related organizations', recently announced an initiative to create XML-based standards and applications for the building and construction industry. "The eConstruct project aims to develop, implement, demonstrate and disseminate a new Communication Technology for the European Building-Construction industry, called Building-Construction eXtensible Mark-up Language (bcXML). This Communication Technology will provide the European Building and Construction industry with a powerful but low cost communication infrastructure that: (1) Supports electronic business between Clients, Architects and Engineers, Suppliers (of components, systems and services), Contractors and Subcontractors, (2) Is integrated with eCommerce and Design/Engineering applications, and (3) Supports virtual construction enterprises over the boarders of the individual European member states. The objective of the eConstruct project is to help the European Building and Construction industry to build faster, cheaper and better, by developing, demonstrating and disseminating a new Communication Technology (CT) that is specifically tailored to the needs of the industry. Although Internet (plus Intranet and Extranet) potentially forms the ideal open, low-cost communication platform for the BC industry, in practise Internet is currently only used in a limited way. The most important reasons are: insecurity, insufficient bandwidth and insufficient structuring of information. Especially 'insufficient information structuring' because the current Internet language HTML only supports freeform data exchange. eConstruct will develop the Internet (XML)-based Building-Construction eXtensible Mark-up Language (bcXML) that will address all problems mentioned above by providing the right information infrastructure for this industry. Moreover, eConstruct will contribute to the development of a true European Building and Construction industry. This objective will be realised by supporting national language and classification specific views on the project information for project partners of different member states, and a common Virtual Reality front-end for Concurrent or Co-operative design, engineering and construction of large-scale (inter)national projects that is real-time accessible by all the parties involved. eConstruct wants to develop such an XML vocabulary, called bcXML including a number of national flavours specific for the European BC industry. bcXML is semantically rich and supports many of the notions used in practise. The semantics included in bcXML will support electronic business communication about construction products, resources, work methods, regulations and much more. Though developed as part of bcXML, the semantics, including the language translations will be developed in a separate part that acts as a 'neutral' classification system providing classification-neutral object identifications. This component will help to solve one of the biggest obstacles the European Building and Construction industry is facing, i.e., the fact that the Information Systems (all the information and knowledge related to building and construction) of all the European countries are different. These differences stem from language differences and from differences in the national classification systems which define the BC semantics. If eConstruct is successful in developing a tool that supports both language and classification conversion and this tool (or tool set) can be applied in bcXML-based communications co-operation and electronic business between participants in international projects will be greatly stimulated." For description and references, see "Building Construction Extensible Markup Language (bcXML)." Compare "aecXML Working Group - Architecture, Engineering and Construction."

  • [June 28, 2000]   Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) Publishes Implementation Specification Version 1.0.    A recent announcement from The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) reported on the publication of the XML-based SIF specification for K-12 instructional and administrative data. "The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), an initiative uniting more than 80 software publishers, technology providers and integrators, and schools and school districts, today released its first technical interoperability specifications for K-12 instructional and administrative software. SIF is expected to revolutionize the way information is stored, accessed, updated and transferred -- sharply reducing administrative burdens that take a significant toll on a school's human and financial resources. Most importantly, SIF will aide parents, teachers, students, building administrators, school boards, central administration, and the community at large by sharing data among applications and enabling them to do what they do best. Through the release of SIF Implementation Specification v.1.0, SIF participants are encouraging education technology administrators from schools throughout the nation to consider becoming involved with the initiative as early as possible. The initial specification defines software implementation guidelines that will directly impact infrastructure, student information services, data analysis and reporting, exceptionalities, food services, grade book, human resources, financial management, instructional management, library automation, and transportation. The SIF specification is based on the W3C endorsed standard Extensible Markup Language (XML). It defines common data formats and high-level rules of interaction and architecture, and is not linked to a particular operating system or platform." The specification, including the XML DTD, is available from the Web site. For additional details and references, see (1) the text of the announcement "Information Revolution Coming to a School Near You. Initiative to Streamline Information Flow in Educational Environments Passes Critical Milestone." and (2) the reference document, "Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)."

  • [June 28, 2000]   Extreme Markup 2000: Conference Program Details.    Program details were recently announced for the upcoming 'Extreme Markup 2000 Conference', to be held August 15-18, 2000 in Montréal, Canada. "The Graphic Communications Association (GCA) today announced details of Extreme Markup Languages 2000, a new technical conference focused on the abstractions that underlie the family of markup languages, including white-hot XML and Topic Maps. Extreme is an unabashedly hard-core conference for technically-oriented members of the information interchange community: a place where information management and markup professionals can gather to learn from each other, exchange ideas and form alliances, challenge their preconceptions, argue, and increase the range of their knowledge and skills. Extreme provides a unique forum where technical ideas can be communicated, explained, examined, and refined. Conference papers have undergone extensive peer review - and revision based on that review - to ensure the highest technical quality. Eight slots on the program have been saved for late-breaking news: material that is developing and changing too rapidly for the results to be reported in time for peer review. Extreme reaches the philosophical heights (markup and semantics, the limitations of the descriptive/procedural distinction, and what we lose by modeling data as an ordered hierarchy of content objects); plumbs the practical depths (using UML to define XML document types, XSL stylesheet generation, managing web relationships); and embraces the hottest topics (what is and should be the relationship between Topic Maps and RDF). Overviews for managers and introductions for beginners are absent by design. 'Extreme is not for the faint of heart,' commented conference co-chair Tommie Usdin of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. 'It's a highly technical conference that concentrates on the evolving abstractions that underlie modern information management solutions, how those abstractions enhance human productivity, how they are being applied today, and how they'll be leveraged tomorrow.' 'We're looking at abstract and concrete information models, systems built on them, and the software that exploits them," according to co-chair Steve Newcomb of TechnoTeacher, Inc. "Of course we'll cover XML, but we'll also focus on SGML, XSL, Topic Maps, XLink, schemas, query languages, and other markup-related topics'." See other references in the main conference entry.

  • [June 27, 2000]   Sun Microsystems Releases Free XSLT Compiler to Developer Community.    From a recent company announcement: "Sun Microsystems today announced the free availability of an early access version of its XSLT Compiler technology, downloadable later this week at This new technology, developed by Sun's XML Technology Center, will greatly improve application communication between XML schemas and significantly speed up transformation of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) files. XSLT (eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation) is becoming an extremely popular technology to support business-to-business integration and device-based Web access. Because of its unique use of the Java platform for actual code translation, Sun's new XSLT Compiler performs better and requires less memory than existing XSLT processors. Sun also plans to donate the XSLT Compiler to the Apache Software Foundation. Along with the Java platform's portable code, XML is quickly becoming a key infrastructure element for e-commerce applications because of its ability to deliver portable data. Currently, industry groups are developing XML vocabularies, or schemas, for standard business-to-business communication. These consensus-based schemas will enable clear and easy XML data transfer between companies. Yet even with these XML schemas, applications at individual companies need to receive data in a specific format that is usually different from the industry schema. XSLT transforms documents into the different formats required by applications. As businesses begin to rely more and more upon business-to-business communications, the need for fast, efficient XML data transformations will become even more critical. Sun's XSLT Compiler provides a fast, efficient means of performing these conversions. In addition to business-to-business integration, XSLT is also commonly used to allow a Web site to support a variety of Internet access devices, such as desktops, pagers, phones, and PDAs. A single XML document can be transformed into any number of display formats to support the different screens and capabilities of these devices. Some of these devices have limited memory and processing capabilities. The small footprint of Sun's XSLT Compiler enables client processing and transformations of XML data even on these small devices. 'The XSLT Compiler is a boon for application developers and XML users who are increasingly faced with cumbersome and slow XML data transformations with existing products,' said Bill Smith, engineering manager of Sun's XML Technology Center. 'With Sun's XSLT Compiler, developers can quickly convert XML files using a fast, lean Java technology-based program that doesn't waste server resources. Furthermore, since the output of the compiler is so small, developers can now perform transformations on small devices that before now had no ability to transform an XML file. These improvements will further drive new market opportunities for application developers using Java technology and XML'." For related software, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [June 27, 2000]   BizTalk Framework 2.0 Adopts the SOAP 1.1 Specification.    From a recent company announcement: "Furthering its commitment to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and open industry standards, Microsoft Corp. today released a draft of the Microsoft BizTalk Framework version 2.0. This newest version of the BizTalk Framework has been redefined to be SOAP 1.1 (Simple Object Access Protocol) compliant, thereby allowing BizTalk Framework XML documents to travel over a network in the form of SOAP messages. In addition, version 2.0 has been extended to include specifications for reliable server-to-server messaging, guaranteeing exactly-once delivery of business documents over the Internet. Multi-Part MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) encoding guidelines also have been added to the framework to support the inclusion of one or more non-XML attachments within a BizTalk message. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 will support BizTalk Framework 2.0 as the protocol for reliable interoperability over the Internet. 'BizTalk Framework 2.0 enhances one of the industry's most popular frameworks for XML-based integration over the Internet,' said Chris Atkinson, vice president of the Windows DNA and Web Services Group at Microsoft. 'Among the enhancements is support for SOAP, an emerging standard for integrating applications and services over the Internet.' The BizTalk Framework takes advantage of standard Internet technologies such as XML and MIME to provide the specifications for XML-based integration within and between organizations. The support for the SOAP 1.1 specification, which was recently submitted to and acknowledged by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), will allow developers to create applications and services that can be more easily integrated, independent of operating system, programming model or programming language. The new reliable messaging capabilities defined in BizTalk Framework 2.0 allow organizations to reliably transmit information via the Internet using standard transport protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). The inclusion of support for Multi-Part MIME, an alternative to inline encoding of binary information, provides guidelines for encoding and decoding of one or more non-XML attachments within a BizTalk XML message. The BizTalk Framework 2.0 specification is available for review at The BizTalk Initiative represents the collective set of investments that Microsoft is making to facilitate business process integration within and between organizations using Internet-standard protocols and formats. It includes the BizTalk Framework, the community and business document library, as well as BizTalk Server 2000, a business process orchestration server and tools for developing, executing and managing distributed business processes. These investments are being made in conjunction with industry standards groups, technology and service providers, as well as key global organizations. Introduced in March 1999, the BizTalk Framework is an open specification for XML-based data routing and exchange. The BizTalk Framework makes it easy to exchange information between software applications and conduct business with trading partners and customers over the Internet. Microsoft, other software companies and industry-standards bodies are using the BizTalk Framework today to more quickly and easily enable B2B processes between systems, independent of operating system, programming model or programming language." For details, see (1) the full text of the annuncement, "Microsoft Unveils BizTalk Framework 2.0. New Version Adopts SOAP 1.1 Specification, Supports Non-XML Attachments and Reliable Messaging." and (2) the document "BizTalk Framework 2.0 Draft: Document and Message Specification." See also, from Satish Thatte, the descriptive note with a BTF2 example. For other references, see "BizTalk Framework."

  • [June 24, 2000]   Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS) Project.    The Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS) Project of the American Hotel and Motel Association (AH&MA) and the OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) recently announced that they had reached an agreement to cooperatively develop and maintain XML-based standards technically relevant to their industries. "The agreement will turn responsibility for the Central Reservation System (CRS) standards over to OTA, while HITIS will maintain the responsibility for all standards not involved in the CRS environment. OTA, which began in May 1999, now has over 125 members representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, including air, car rental, hotel, travel agencies, technology providers and related suppliers. . . This cooperative agreement culminates a three-year industry-wide effort led by AH&MA in developing electronic reservation booking and distribution standards. More than 130 contributors from all aspects of the hospitality industry were responsible for developing the HITIS standards." In July, 1999, "the HITIS Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation to designate the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), as the primary platform mapping for the HITIS standards. . . Both the WHIS and JHIS groups recommended to AH&MA the endorsement of a third mapping, the conversion of the object interface to XML. An interface protocol in XML will provide a common denominator that provides interoperability without the need for bridging technology between the two original mappings. . . All HITIS standards are based on the Interface Specifications, which provides the definition of the basic data types used, naming conventions and general practices found throughout the suite of the 15 individual interface standards. The Interface Specifications, Data Dictionary and Glossary of Terms are found in the HITIS Correlation and Interface Standard document. The XML mapping is enhanced by the use of the HITIS models in Unified Modeling Language (UML) and associated object-oriented documentation that defines the business scope of each of the standards and descriptions of the individual data elements. The UML model serves as an electronic description of the HITIS standards and a basis for developers to use to build applications in an object oriented architecture." As of June 2000, the HITIS Initiative "has completed the extension of Phase I Standards to eXtensible Markup Language (XML)." The goal of HITIS "is to identify general functions (of property management systems) and standardize their implementation. In addition, a common data dictionary for hospitality relevant data is to be developed. HITIS provides an object standard and therefore specifies standardized interfaces for objects providing the identified functions. [Through its Advisory Committee], the HITIS mission is to create computer interfacing standards that will accelerate the hospitality industry's technology usage and lower automation costs. The HITIS Project's mission is to direct a non-proprietary, consensus based process to develop voluntary standards for the integration of evolving computerized system and sub-system transactions in the hospitality industry." For description and references to the HITIS XML standards, see "Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS) Project." See also the full text of the announcement.

  • [June 23, 2000]   Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages.    A fourth revised draft of Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages has been issued by the Unicode Consortium and W3C. Reference: DRAFT Unicode Technical Report #20; W3C Working Draft 23-June-2000. By Martin Dürst and Asmus Freytag. This W3C Working Draft is being developed jointly by the W3C Internationalization Working Group/Interest Group in the context of the W3C Internationalization Activity and by the Unicode Technical Committee. The revised draft document "contains guidelines on the use of the Unicode Standard Version 3.0 in conjunction with markup languages such as XML. . . it now covers all affected characters in the Unicode Standard, Version 3.0." Background: "The Unicode Standard is the universal character set. Its primary goal is to provide an unambiguous encoding of the content of plain text, ultimately covering all languages in the world. Currently in its third major version, Unicode contains a large number of characters covering most of the currently used scripts in the world. It also contains additional characters for interoperability with older character encodings, and characters with control-like functions included primarily for reasons of providing unambiguous interpretation of plain text. Unicode provides specifications for use of all of these characters. For document and data interchange, the Internet and the World Wide Web are more and more making use of marked-up text such as HTML and XML. In many instances, markup provides the same, or essentially similar features to those provided by format characters in the Unicode Standard for use in plain text. Another special character category provided by Unicode are compatibility characters. While there may be valid reasons to support these characters and their specifications in plain text, their use in marked-up text can conflict with the rules of the markup language. Formatting characters are discussed in chapters 2 and 3, compatibility characters in chapter 4. The issues of using Unicode characters with marked-up text depend to some degree on the rules of the markup language in question and the set of elements it contains. In a narrow sense, this document concerns itself only with XML, and to some extent HTML. However, much of the general information presented here should be useful in a broader context, including some page layout languages. . . There are several general points to consider when looking at the interaction between character encoding and markup: (1) Linearity of text vs. hierarchy of markup structure; (2) Overlap of control codes and markup semantics; (3) Coincidence of semantic markup and functions; (4) Extensibility of markup; (5) Markup vs. Styling. . ." For related references, see "XML and Unicode."

  • [June 23, 2000]   An Online Generic Context-Free Parser in Java.    Khun Yee Fung has announced a pre-alpha release of 'An Online Generic Context-Free Parser in Java'. It takes as (text) input an arbitrary context-free grammar specified in XML. If the text file is a valid instance of the grammar, it returns the parse tree (or one parse tree if the grammar is ambiguous). The author plans to make it into an XT extension, and will issue it 'probably' under Apache or GPL license. The distribtion is currently in Java source and classes; it needs Xerces 1.1.0 and later. The code has been tried with JDK 1.2.2 and 1.3. See the Web site for details.

  • [June 22, 2000]   Updated Working Draft for the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) Boston Specification.    The W3C has published a new working draft for the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) Boston Specification. Reference: W3C Working Draft 22-June-2000, edited by Jeff Ayars (RealNetworks), Dick Bulterman (Oratrix), Aaron Cohen (Intel), Erik Hodge (RealNetworks), Philipp Hoschka (W3C), Eric Hyche (RealNetworks), Ken Day (Macromedia), Kenichi Kubot, et al. The working draft document "specifies the 'Boston' version of the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL, pronounced 'smile'). SMIL Boston has the following two design goals: (1) Define a simple XML-based language that allows authors to write interactive multimedia presentations. Using SMIL Boston, an author can describe the temporal behavior of a multimedia presentation, associate hyperlinks with media objects and describe the layout of the presentation on a screen. (2) Allow reusing of SMIL syntax and semantics in other XML-based languages, in particular those who need to represent timing and synchronization. For example, SMIL Boston components should be used for integrating timing into XHTML. SMIL Boston is defined as a set of markup modules, which define the semantics and an XML syntax for certain areas of SMIL functionality. All modules have an associated Document Object Model (DOM)." This version represents the fourth Working Draft of the specification for the next version of SMIL code-named 'Boston'. It has been produced as part of the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Activity, and was authored by the SYMM Working Group. This draft updates the previous version of February 25, 2000. The specification is presented formally in several DTDs, including (e.g.,) SMIL Animation Document Type Definition (DTD), Document Type Definition (DTD) for Level 0 [Level 1 , Level 2] SMIL Layout Document Type Definition (DTD), SMIL Linking Document Type Definition (DTD), SMIL Media Object Document Type Definition (DTD), SMIL Streaming Media Object Document Type Definition (DTD) SMIL Basic Profile Document Type Definition (DTD), as well as an XML Schema for Metadata.

  • [June 22, 2000]   Microsoft's New ".NET" Internet Platform Features Core XML Technologies.    On June 22, 2000 Microsoft Corporation "unveiled the vision and road map for its next generation of software and services: the Microsoft .NET ('DOT-NET') platform. The new family of Microsoft .NET products and technologies replaces the previous working title of Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS) and includes software for developers to build next-generation Internet experiences as well as power a new breed of smart Internet devices." Some of the XML statements featured in the announcement are as follows: ".NET is based on Internet protocols and standards for interactions between devices and services, and in particular relies on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). . . [Bill Gates said] 'With the emergence of standards like XML, we now have the opportunity to revolutionize the way computers talk to one another on our behalf just as the browser changed the way we interact with computers' . . . The .NET platform includes a new set of technologies for building next-generation user experiences, including the new Universal Canvas XML-based compound information architecture, natural user interface, integral digital media support, privacy-enabling technologies for management and control of personal information, and the new Dynamic Delivery system for secure and seamless installation, updates, roaming and offline operation. . . The .Net 'Infrastructure and Tools' include an implementation of the new XML-based programming model [which] helps developers build, deliver, integrate, operate and federate Web services. Visual Studio 7.0, a new version of the world's most popular developer toolset, will provide comprehensive, high-productivity support for XML-based Web service development, including the 50 percent of the world's developers who use the Visual Basic development system. The new BizTalk Orchestration tool dramatically simplifies business process integration over the Internet. The .NET Infrastructure and Tools build off the XML-enabled family of Windows DNA 2000 servers. . . The .NET device software will XML-enable any device, support intelligent interaction with the network and .NET services and serve as a foundation to bring .NET User Experience technologies to non-PC devices such as Pocket PCs, set-top boxes, cellular phones and game consoles. . ." For other details, see the full text of the announcement: "Microsoft Unveils Vision for Next Generation Internet. Company Introduces .NET Generation of Software."

  • [June 22, 2000]   Annotations on Markup Languages: Theory and Practice Volume 1, Issue 4.    The journal Markup Languages: Theory and Practice (MIT Press) continues as the only academic journal dedicated to markup language technology, so I have prepared (belatedly) an annotated Table of Contents document for Volume 1, Issue 4 (Fall 1999). The document provides extended abstracts/summaries, and some additional links. Issue 1/4 of Markup Languages: Theory and Practice contains five feature articles and three book reviews. The 'Squib' from Michael Sperberg-McQueen describes a contest (valid through June 30, 2000) for regex experts. The subscription price for the journal ($50 annual/individual) is very reasonable as technical journals go; readers are therefore encouraged to subscribe and to consider publishing in the journal. Details of editorship and publication are available in: (1) the journal publication information for Volume 1, Issue 4; in (2) the journal description document; and in (3) the overview of the serials document, Markup Languages: Theory & Practice. See also the annotated TOCs for previous issues 1/1, 1/2, and 1/3.

  • [June 22, 2000]   New UNICODE Version of W3C/LTG XML Schema Validator Released.    Henry S. Thompson (W3C XML Schema Structures Co-Editor; HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh) recently announced an updated release of the online W3C/LTG 'XML Schema Validator, XML Output Version'. "The original 8-bit-only, text output version of XSV has been retired, as signalled last week. The full UNICODE version, with text/xml output, is now the main line public version, and it's at a new address, The usage of XSV is up -- running at roughly 100 validations a day, with a high of nearly 200 last Friday. Thanks to those who tick the 'Contribute' box -- I'm about to harvest recent contributions and expand the regression test suite to reflect the increase in breadth of usage. The latest version has a number of bug fixes and improved compliance in the area of enforcing content-model determinism. Of the not-yet-implemented-by-XSV aspects of XML Schema, I would welcome feedback on what users are most keen to see covered first, [from among]: (1) Simple type conformance, other than enumerations and max/min for numeric types; (2) Detailed enforcement of derivation by restriction; (3) Full XPath expressions for identity constraints; and (4) Post-schema-validation infoset contributions." Readers are invited to note, in this connection, activity on the discussion list, which is publicly archived on the W3C server. Henry Thompson announced this public list on April 07, 2000 with a message "'XML Schema Developers List Launched': To accompany the XML Schema Last Call drafts, the W3C is pleased to announce the opening of a public mailing list for XML Schema implementation developers, To subscribe, send mail to with 'subscribe' as the subject." For references to W3C XML Schema development, see "XML Schema Definition Language - W3C XML Schema Working Group."

  • [June 21, 2000]   Open Group Announces Publication of Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML) Specification.    The Open Group has released an announcement for ADML: "The Open Group Announces Publication of Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML) Version 1. A Standard XML-Based Language for Describing Software Architectures to Enable Their Representation, Evaluation, and Analysis." The text of the announcement, in part: "The Open Group, a vendor and technology-neutral consortium dedicated to enterprise interoperability, today announced the availability of ADML Version 1, the first release of the Architecture Description Markup Language, an XML-based mark-up language for describing system architectures. A software architecture describes the structural properties of the software, typically the components and their interrelationships and guidelines about their use. ADML provides a means of representing an architecture that can be used to support the interchange of architectural descriptions between a variety of architectural design tools. ADML is based on Acme, a software architecture description language developed at Carnegie Mellon University and the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. ADML is an XML-based version of Acme developed by the Micro-electronics and Computer technology Consortium (MCC) as part of its Software and Systems Engineering Productivity (SSEP) project. MCC joined The Open Group Architecture Program Group and its members, including NCR and the U.S. Department of Defense, to develop ADML into an Open Group Technical Standard." Documentation for the ADML DTD contains an Overview, User's Guide, Customizer's Guide, and Technical Reference. "SGML Architectures (as opposed to software architectures defined in ADML) allow automatic transformation of an XML document conforming to one DTD into an XML document conforming to a second DTD, by providing a mapping between the elements in the two DTDs. Such mappings of ADML documents can be used to define views of an ADML document. . .Beyond notation, ADML development intends to service a wider set of needs placed on industrial grade modeling tools. These needs can be simply summarized by the following list: (1) Representation - a model must be captured in a format which insures 'shelf life' and a format usable by multiple tools. (2) Views - a model must have the ability to 'morph' other views, including logical, physical, and organization views. (3) Collaboration - a model must have the ability to be partitioned across geograhically dispersed work groups. (4) Repository - a model must have fine-grained persistence. XML is an excellent format for providing these additional capabilities. See "The Merit of XML as an Architecture Description Language Meta-Language" for a more detail description of XML's use as a format for an architectural description language. Because ADML is a large DTD, it is quite common for organizations to use only a subset of its markup model. Similarly, because individual organizations often have specific needs that an industry DTD cannot reflect, many users also extend ADML's markup model. As a result, we expect that ADML will evolve as it is applied to more models, as more XML tools come into use, and as users gain more experience in working with it." For further description and references, see "Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML)."

  • [June 20, 2000]   Phase One of XML.ORG Open Registry & Repository for XML Specifications.    The first phase of an 'Open Registry & Repository for XML Specifications' was recently announced by XML.ORG: "OASIS, the non-profit XML interoperability consortium, today announced public access to the first phase of the XML.ORG Registry (, an open registry and repository for XML specifications and vocabularies. Designed to foster collaboration and enhance communication within industries, the XML.ORG Registry provides the community with a resource for accessing the fast-growing body of XML specifications being developed for vertical industries and horizontal applications. Committed to open industry standards, the XML.ORG Registry offers a vendor-neutral forum for developers and standards bodies to publicly submit, publish and exchange XML specifications and vocabularies. Operated as a non-commercial venture, the XML.ORG Registry is a self-supporting resource created by and for the community. 'The XML.ORG Registry is something that has never existed before. It is the only independent clearinghouse for XML resources,' explained Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS. 'The XML.ORG Registry is not intended to be the one and only resource for XML schemas. Rather, it is designed to serve as a model for an extensible network of XML registries and repositories distributed across the Internet.' 'The XML.ORG Registry belongs to the XML community at large,' said Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems), organizer of the working group that created XML. 'This first phase is a call for participation, an opportunity to experience the potential of an open XML registry and an invitation to the community to help shape its evolving functionality.' Industry groups and other organizations that have developed XML specifications can freely register their work at the XML.ORG Registry. The OASIS 'no strings attached' submission policy ensures that developers receive the benefits and recognition they deserve while retaining all the rights to their work and control over its use. . . Today, the XML.ORG Registry is in its first phase of development. It is offered as a call for participation, an opportunity to experience the potential of an open XML registry and an invitation to the community to help shape its evolving functionality. The XML.ORG Registry is designed to serve as a model for an extensible network of XML registries and repositories distributed across the Internet. Developers of the XML.ORG Registry continue to work with the OASIS Registry & Repository Technical Committee to define a specification for a global network of repositories. This specification is intended to allow interoperable registries to be created for use within industry organizations, communities and corporations. Ultimately, the XML.ORG Registry will link to standards-compliant repositories as they become available, as well as provide resources on its own site." See the full text of the announcement and the web site description, "About the XML.ORG Registry." For related references to XML registry/repository design, see "XML Registry and Repository."

  • [June 20, 2000]   DocScope: Open Source XML Healthcare Project.    At least twelve (12) technical papers were delivered on "XML and Healthcare" topics at the recent XML Europe 2000 Conference, testifying to the heavy concentration of work toward design and development of XML technologies in the medical and health care fields. Recently, Brian Bray posted an announcment and call for participation in the DocScope project -- a 'Standard for Physician Friendly Medical Records'. "DocScope will be a free medical information tool that is as natural and easy for physicians to use as the spreadsheet is for accountants. The software products produced as a result of this project will be made freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and/or other open source licenses where appropriate. The tool will enable physicians to: (1) view standard medical records, (2) create custom views of the information to match personal needs, (3) structure and organize this information, (4) include rich text and multimedia components into the medical record, (5) create personal forms, templates, and boilerplate text for data entry, (6) sequence data entry, analysis, and viewing actions, (7) add customized behaviour through high-level scripts, (8) extend the classes of information stored, (9) integrate the record with data sources and software agents, (10) securely access the information anywhere, anytime, including mobile devices. We plan to eventually operate the project bilingually in English and French using automated translation tools and manual translation. While automated tools are far from perfect, we hope that this will enables wider participation. This project is enabled by the convergence of health care standards and open source tools on the Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) document format for information interchange. This convergence has created an opportunity for applying commonly available tools to the problem of patient records to deploy systems that are simple, transparent, flexible, and standards based. Specifically, XML is core technology that: (1) is the basis of HL7 version 3; (2) is the basis of the European prestandard prENV 13606 (CEN TC.251) -- the prENV 13606 (CEN TC.251) (pre)standard already has a complete definition of a medical record defined in XML terms; (3) has a growing body of tools, both proprietary and open source; (4) has 'universal viewers, Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and open source Mozilla; (5) has unlimited extensibility through standard and custom schemas. A conceptual diagram of the proposed architecture for DocScope is [provided in the project white paper]. In this model, a patient record is conceptually a file in XML format. The file represents an object model that can be manipulated using the Document Object Model (DOM) Application Programming Interface (API). All of the processing blocks in the diagram transform XML input into XML output. Many of the individual transformations are quite simple and can be easily expressed using a variety of programming languages with implementations of the DOM API. Conceptually, data from the Electronic Health Care Record (EHCR) is filtered and transformed based on the users current view and access rights. Style sheets and further transformations determine how the structured XML information is presented on the screen and in reports. Physician input is via forms and rich text controls sequenced by scripts. Input event generate transactions -- expressed again in XML. Transactions can result in both changes to the EHCR and triggering external events. The transaction processor can accept transactions from external sources as well. . ." For other references, see the Web site and "DocScope: Open Source XML Healthcare Project."

  • [June 20, 2000]   Infozone Project Supports Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) Application Development.    "The Infozone project is an open initiative based on the collaboration between several Open Source projects, private companies, and individual developers for the creation of an open source, Java and XML based framework of components that allows programmers to create complex Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) applications. Enterprise Information Portals are applications that integrate all kind of data sources and provide users a single gateway to personalized information needed to make informed business decisions. EIP systems contain Content Management, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, Data Management, and Publishing technologies. These components are combined to build actual applications. EIP software has to be a toolset of software components and technologies that fit into a central framework. A diagram on the Infozone web site shows all the Java and XML components of Infozone and the data flow between the components. Infozone mainly consists of the Resource/Adapter layer, the Prowler CMS, business logic frameworks and modules, the actual application code, and various front-end systems (especially Apache and Cocoon for web applications). Adapters provide on uniform XML view on all available data sources. Adapters are responsible for converting the content of a particular data source into XML and may cache the converted XML data. There is a special Content Adapter - the Document Adapter. The Document Adapter deals with data sources that are able to handle XML data nativly, such as XML repositories and databases. The Adapter layer allows applications to handle, store and query all its data via XML, regardless where the information are actually stored. Central part of Infozone is the Content Management System (CMS) Prowler. Prowler manages all Resources and their corresponding Content Adapters in a transactional environment. This allows applications to execute the business logic in an application server and accessing the results via one or more Content Adapters within one single transaction. . . An alpha release of the Prowler CMS is already available for download. Other Infozone projects will be setup soon. The Infozone Group exists to provide support for the Infozone open-source software projects. It is a membership-based, not-for-profit organisation in order to ensure that the Infozone projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers." Interested parties are welcome to join the project by using the software, writing code, discussing ideas, etc.; the work is supported by a public mailing list.

  • [June 20, 2000]   SOAP 1.1 Implemented at Frontier.Userland.Com.    Dave Winer (Userland) recently announced that "we have SOAP 1.1 running in Frontier, alongside XML-RPC..." The article "Introducing SOAP for Frontier" by André Radke on Soap.Weblogs.Com provides an overview: "On June 20th, 2000, UserLand released the first version of SOAP support for Frontier. This release implements a client and a server for performing remote procedure calls (section 7 of the SOAP 1.1. spec) over HTTP (section 6) using the SOAP encoding for parameters and return values (section 5). This version has not yet been tested for interoperability with other implementations, so all we can claim right now is interoperability with our own implementation. However, we expect to demonstrate interoperability with the IBM-SOAP implementation in the near future. We plan to set up a public test server later today. Our implementation currently has the following known limitations: (1) All parameters and return values must contain an appropriate xsi:type attribute indicating the type of the value. (2) Only a single return value is supported. Additional return values (out parameters) are currently ignored. (3) Arrays (5.4.2) are limited to one dimension only. Partially Transmitted Arrays ( and Sparse Arrays ( are supported. (4) Generic compound types are not supported, if they contain several accessors with the same name. (5) Only the following simple types can be successfully decoded: string, base64, boolean, float, decimal, double, unsignedByte, byte, unsignedShort, short, int, integer, nonPositiveInteger, negativeInteger, long, nonNegativeInteger, unsignedLong, unsignedInt, positiveInteger, timeInstant. (6) Only the following simple types will be encoded: string, base64, boolean, byte, double, int, short, timeInstant. (7) There is currently no API for processing SOAP headers. However, if your client sends SOAP headers with the SOAP-ENV:mustUnderstand attribute set to "1", the server will generate the appropriate SOAP fault. (8) On the server, we support the HTTP protocol binding with or without using the HTTP Extension Framework. The client does not support using the HTTP Extension Framework." See "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [June 20, 2000]   Sun Microsystems Submits JSpeech Markup Language (JSML) Specification to W3C.    Sun Microsystems recently submitted to the W3C a document on the JSpeech Markup Language. Reference: W3C Note 05-June-2000, by Andrew Hunt (Speech Works International). Document abstract: "The JSpeech Markup Language (JSML) is a text format used by applications to annotate text input to speech synthesizers. JSML elements provide a speech synthesizer with detailed information on how to 'speak' text and thus enable improvements in the quality, naturalness and understandability of synthesized speech output. JSML defines elements that describe the structure of a document, provide pronunciations of words and phrases, indicate phrasing, emphasis, pitch and speaking rate, and control other important speech characteristics. JSML is designed to be simple to learn and use, to be portable across different synthesizers and computing platforms, and to applicable to a wide range of languages." Detail: "JSML defines a specific set of elements to mark up text to be spoken, and defines the interpretation of those elements so that there is a common understanding between synthesizers and documents producers of how marked up text will be spoken. The JSML element set includes several types of element. First, JSML documents can include structural elements that mark paragraphs and sentences. Second, there are JSML elements to control the production of synthesized speech, including the pronunciation of words and phrases, the emphasis of words (stressing or accenting), the placements of boundaries and pauses, and the control of pitch and speaking rate. Finally, JSML includes elements that represent markers embedded in text and that enable synthesizer-specific controls." The submitted document "is derived from the Java Speech API Markup Language specification (Version 0.6, October, 1999), which is available from Sun Microsystems's web site. Sun Microsystems wishes to submit this document for consideration by the W3C Voice Browser Working Group towards the development of internet standards for speech technology. We expect the resulting W3C recommendations to be of great importance to the developer community." See also the W3C Submission Request and the W3C Staff Comment). In this connection, see the companion Sun specification for a JSpeech Grammar Format, also published as a W3C NOTE. The JSpeech Grammar Format (JSGF) "is a platform-independent, vendor-independent textual representation of grammars for use in speech recognition. Grammars are used by speech recognizers to determine what the recognizer should listen for, and so describe the utterances a user may say. JSGF adopts the style and conventions of the Java Programming Language in addition to use of traditional grammar notations... The JSpeech Grammar Formatuses a textual representation that is readable and editable by both developers and computers, and can be included in source code. The other major grammar type, the dictation grammar, is not discussed in this [JSGF] document." Sun has submitted this document for consideration by the W3C Voice Browser Working Group. See other references in "Java Speech Markup Language (JSML/JSpeech)."

  • [June 20, 2000]   New XML Base Working Draft.    The XML Linking Working Group has released a second 'last call' working draft for the XML Base specification. Reference: W3C Working Draft 07-June-2000, edited by Jonathan Marsh (Microsoft). The Last Call period for this WD begins 7 June and ends 28-June-2000. XBase "proposes a facility, similar to that of HTML BASE, for defining base URIs for parts of XML documents." Description: "The XML Linking Language (XLink) defines XML constructs to describe links between resources. One of the stated requirements on XLink is to support HTML linking constructs in a generic way. The HTML BASE element is one such construct which the XLink Working Group has considered. BASE allows authors to explicitly specify a document's base URI for the purpose of resolving relative URIs in links to external images, applets, form-processing programs, style sheets, and so on. This document describes a mechanism for providing base URI services to XLink, but as a modular specification so that other XML applications benefiting from additional control over relative URIs but not built upon XLink can also make use of it. The syntax consists of a single XML attribute named xml:base. The attribute xml:base may be inserted in XML documents to specify a base URI other than the base URI of the document or external entity. The value of this attribute is interpreted as a URI Reference as defined in RFC 2396, after processing ... In namespace-aware XML processors, the "xml" prefix is bound to the namespace name as described in Namespaces in XML. Note that xml:base can be still used by non-namespace-aware processors. The deployment of XML Base is through normative references by new specifications, for example XLink and the XML Infoset. Applications and specifications built upon these technologies will natively support XML Base." For related documents, see "XML Linking."

  • [June 19, 2000]   Data Consortium Sponsors XML-Based Research for Real Estate Industry.    A communiqué from John McClure (Principal Engineer, Hypergrove Engineering) reports on the release of documents related to XML-based designs for real estate information; technical feedback on the design approach and implementation is being sought. "The Data Consortium is an open-membership group of more than 50 companies and associations whose goal is an open-source standard namespace for the commercial real estate industry. To that end, a preliminary, annotated DTD has been posted, to be followed by an explanatory guide, and an active glossary and RDFS dictionary. The Data Consortium Namespace (DCN) defines just 13 key elements, whose instances are cross-related in a manner anticipating coordination of XML streams with relational database CRUD functions. These 13 elements are generic: Account, Actor, Document, Entry, Event, Item, Location, Property, Right, Role, Service, System, and Transaction. These 13 elements are specific: by referencing XML Schema and RDF Schema definitions, four levels of categorization, i.e., instance naming, can be simultaneously achieved. In two ways, the DCN extends notions introduced by the Resource Description Framework (RDF). The DCN defines a <list> element that contains a collection of relationships to other resources while RDF's <bag> elements relates a resource to a collection of attribute values. Second, the DCN positions its <Location> element as a building block for RDF's grammatical elements (Sentence, Subject, Predicate). The DCN also defines four property-elements whose names are abstract XML Schema datatypes. Similar to the key elements (above), every instance of a property-element has a naming mechanism coordinated with both an XML Schema and an RDF Schema. Numeric properties may be a numeric range, while all properties may have a keyword value that is a qualified name. Further, the vCard, Dublin Core, MathML, XQL, XLink, and XPointer each have a place within the DCN. We welcome your review of the design and implementation." For other references, see: "Data Consortium (Real Estate Standards)."

  • [June 16, 2000]   Information on SAX2/Java Parsers, Extension Packages, and Applications.    David Megginson announced enhanced content pertaining to SAX2 Parsers and Applications on his SAX web site. SAX, the Simple API for XML, "is a standard interface for event-based XML parsing, developed collaboratively by the members of the XML-DEV mailing list, currently hosted by OASIS. SAX2 is a new version of the popular Simple API for XML, incorporating support for Namespaces, for filter chains, and for querying and setting features and properties in the parser. SAX 2.0 was released on Friday 5 May 2000, and is free for both commercial and non-commercial use. A SAX2 companion package, SAX2-ext, is available from the Software page. This package adds support for reporting lexical items like comments and CDATA sections, together with additional DTD declarations." The reference page for parsers and applications includes pointers to existing SAX2/Java Parsers and Drivers (e.g., The Apache XML Project's Xerces Java Parser, David Brownell's SAX2 XML Utilities, Michael Kay's SAXON, ParserAdapter); SAX2/Java Extension Packages (e.g., SAX2-ext, Apache Extensions); SAX2/Java Applications and Utilities (e.g., David Brownell's SAX/XML Conformance Test Harness, Michael Kay's SAXON). Megginson requests information from developers concerning other currently available SAX resources.

  • [June 16, 2000]   Semi-Extensible Markup Language (SEML).    A communiqué from Sean Palmer announces the release of SEML Version 1.0. Semi-Extensible Markup Language (SEML) "is a new language similar to XHTML and WML that allows the serving of both WML or HTML from a single source document. This means you only need to have one page for both your WAP and WEB sites, which is then delivered by means of XSL and PHP/ASP scripting. It is being developed by WapDesign ORG U.K. . . . To convert SEML to HTML or WMl, you will need two things. Firstly you need a simple and readily available server side processing language, such as PHP or ASP. If you have this, the only key component you are missing is the two XSL files. See the SEML DTD ("-//WAPDESIGN.ORG.UK//DTD SEML V1.0//EN") and a sample SEML document.

  • [June 15, 2000]   Object Management Group (OMG) Publishes Common Warehouse Metamodel (CWM) Specification.    A recent announcement from the Object Management Group (OMG) reports on the OMG's expanded support for distributed metadata standards through the publication of a Common Warehouse Metamodel (CWM) Specification. From the text: "In these days of electronic business and marketing, an enterprise's accumulated data have become one of its most significant assets. Analysis of these data not only allows sales and production to be tuned for maximum profitability, but also allows entirely new and profitable products to be discovered and exploited. But it is difficult to merge data into a single warehouse when the originals are spread over a number of different databases, using not only different data models but different metamodels as well. The term 'metadata' refers not only to the set of definitions of the data in the warehouse products, parts, prices, and so on but also to its formats, processing, transformations, and routing from origin to warehouse: everything, that is, except the data elements themselves in the data warehouse. Metadata management, and reconciliation of inconsistent metadata when data from different sources are merged, are the biggest problems facing enterprises working with data warehousing today. OMG's Common Warehouse Metamodel or CWM provides a standard solution to this problem. Building on three existing industry standards the OMG's Unified Modeling Language (UML), the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and OMG's XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) the CWM starts by establishing a common metamodel for warehousing but then goes beyond this to also standardize the syntax and semantics needed for import, export, and other dynamic data warehousing operations. Designed to work naturally with object, relational, record-based, multidimensional, and XML-based datastores, the CWM supports data mining, transformation, OLAP, information visualization, and other end user processes. Metamodel support encompasses data warehouse management, process, and operation. The CWM specification extends to application programming interfaces (APIs), interchange formats, and services that support the entire lifecycle of metadata management including extraction, transformation, transportation, loading, integration, and analysis. And, users can resolve specific integration issues by taking advantage of the CWM metamodel's built-in extensibility. CWM combines the power of enterprise data management and object modeling, making them available to data modelers, database designers, data warehouse users and administrators, and corporate portal developers and managers. The Specification was developed through the effort of Submitters including IBM Corporation, Unisys Corporation, NCR Corporation, Hyperion Solutions Corporation, Oracle Corporation, UBS AG, Genesis Development Corporation and Dimension EDI. Supporters included Deere & Company, Sun Microsystems, Incorporated, Hewlett Packard Company, Data Access Technologies, In-line Software, Aonix and Hitachi, Ltd. OMG's CWM Specification documents are available for viewing or downloading." There are four parts to the revised CWMI submission: PDF for Part 1, PDF for part 2, PDF for part 3, PDF for part 4. Contact: Dr. Daniel T. Chang. See the vote tally and general description in "OMG Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange (CWMI) Specification." [Note: (1) the article by Sridhar Iyengar, "Is CWMI the Holy Grail of Meta Data Standards?" and (2) CWM Press Kit 2000-06-19.]

  • [June 15, 2000]   Updates to PassiveTex and TEI XSL Stylesheets for PDF Output.    Sebastian Rahtz announced updates to (1) XSL stylesheets for TEI documents, for HTML and XSL FO rendering, and (2) PassiveTex - an implementation of XSL FOs using TeX. PassiveTeX "is a library of TeX macros which can be used to process an XML document which results from an XSL transformation to formatting objects. It provides a rapid development environment for experimenting with XSL FO, using a reliable pre-existing formatter Running PassiveTeX with the pdfTeX variant of TeX generates high-quality PDF files in a single operation. PassiveTeX shows how TeX can remain the formatter of choice for XML, while hiding the details of its operation from the user. PassiveTeX relies heavily on work by David Carlisle (his namespace-aware XML parser written in TeX, xmltex), and was developed from my JadeTeX macros for processing DSSSL via Jade. The TEI stylesheets include "a set of XSLT specifications to transform TEI XML documents to HTML, and to XSL Formatting Objects. I have concentrated on TEI Lite, but adding support for other modules should be fairly easy. In the main, the setup has been used on 'new' documents, i.e., reports and web pages that I have authored from scratch, rather than traditional TEI-encoded existing material. The stylesheets have been tested with the XT, Saxon, Xalan and Oracle XSLT processors; the last of these does not support multiple file output, which means that you cannot use the 'split' feature of the stylesheets to make multiple HTML files from one XML file. If you have not yet installed an XSLT processor, it is probably sensible to pick James Clark's XT, as it appears to be the fastest and most robust." Sebastian writes: "The TEI stylesheets have many small improvements, but remain ongoing work. The PassiveTex application is even closer to the March 2000 draft spec, but still lacking in many areas. Sadly, it is hard to compare the results with FOP and XEP, as they implement an earlier draft. If you have not met PassiveTeX before, it is for you if want to use XSL formatting objects to make nice PDF files from your XML and: (1) you have a TeX setup, and like the cut of its jib; (2) you need multi-lingual hyphenation; (3) you need MathML rendering now (PassiveTeX recognizes the MathML namespace and renders it); (4) you want PDF niceties like bookmarks. It is thus targetted at a different audience from FOP. In this release, the Web pages now have some details of the conformance to the specification." For related resources, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [June 15, 2000]   Ux - 'UNIX Meets XML'.    Paul Tchistopolskii posted an announcement for 'Ux' in which 'UNIX meets XML'. "The source code of Ux framework version 0.1 is available at Summary: (1) Ux is UNIX, revisited with XML. (2) There is Java instead of C. (3) There is XSL instead of sh / awk / perl. (4) There is XML instead of \n and comma-separated ascii files. Ux is a consistent continuation of PXSLServlet project. PXSLServlet is a pipe of 3 components: Sql | XML | XT. In this sense, Ux version 0.1 is a prototype implementation of some universal container for pipes of unlimited length and complexity. If you like, Ux also could be called 'yet another open source XML/XSLT application server', or 'set of extensions to XT' or whatever. My final goal is somewhat re-implementation of UNIX toolbox, re-visiting some concepts of UNIX, XML, XSL and software development in general. The goal of this a bit premature publishing of Ux is to find some other people who may be interested in implementation of some well-known UNIX tools (like diff, grep, sed, etc. ) in XSLT. Version 0.1 is not the end of the story: there will be next versions. Future versions will include things like: extremely smart caching, per-node on-demand validation, plug&play ux-services, realy universal formatting objects, revolutionary efficient XSLT processing, automatic adjustment of the dataflows. To name a few. I don't know how long it will take to implement all of this. This is mostly very hard stuff. . ."

  • [June 15, 2000]   XMLBooster for XML Parser Generation.    An announcement was posted to XML-L for XMLBooster -- new tool to generate XML parsers for COBOL, C, Java, etc. XMLBooster is said to "achieve performance comparable with message-specific hand-written parsers by skipping the intermediate step where the message is turned into a generic DOM tree using a generic parser which must take the entire generality of XML into account and support every feature, no matter how obscure. The parsers generated by XMLBooster only recognize the XML features required to parse the message at hand, and produces directly a parser that initializes application-level data structures without going through any time-consuming intermediate representation." Tool features: (1) Generates parsers, which are between 5 and 45 times faster than generic parsers (2) Produce parsers in C, COBOL, Delphi and Java (3) Produces working data structures in the host language, rather than a dynamic and poorly typed generic tree (4) The XML message to parse can come from a file, a message, a socket, a data structure, etc. (5) Produce naturally validating parsers, far beyond the validation possibilities of DTDs." Rationale: "XML is typically used in two different kinds of contexts: It was originally designed to describe large and complex documents in a structured way. XML is a pragmatic evolution of SGML which had proven to be very cumbersome to use in practice. It is more and more used as a neutral language to describe data structures passed among processes in distributed environments. XML then provides a more flexible and neutral communication middle than binary solutions such as RPC (Remote Procedure Call) and CORBA. The former basically requires validators, XML databases, XML query languages, XML transformers, perhaps in the form of style sheets. Basically, the issue is just to store, retrieve and possibly restructure XML documents. The latter needs just parsers, but it puts more stress on performance, since it must compare with statically compiled schemes based on RPCs. Generic XML parsers are now available. As depicted in the figure below, applications commonly use them to take an incoming XML message and turn it into a generic tree structure (Such a tree is typically built according to the DOM standard, defined by the W3C.) Depending on the application, the incoming message can then be validated using a DTD or not. The generic tree is then used by the application to fetch useful information using runtime table lookups in attributes, and tree walkthrough primitives. XMLBooster takes a radically different approach: (1) One first describes the set of acceptable XML messages using an ad hoc formalism. This formalism, hereafter referred to as the meta-definition can, in first approximation, be seen as a DTD extended to describe a data structure that will receive the various parts of the message in addition to the describing the structure of the message itself. (2) Using this meta-definition as input, XMLBooster produces an XML parser as a module in one of the programming languages it supports. This module is generated in source form, and can be used on any platform where a working compiler for the target language is available. (3) The application programmer can then call this module, which will return an error message if the input does not comply with the message format described in the meta-definition, or a fully initialized data structure in the host language if the input has been analyzed successfully." See the evaluation version and the FAQ document.

  • [June 15, 2000]   Merlot Project - A ChannelPoint Extensible XML Modeling Application.    Tim McCune (ChannelPoint) recently announced the availability of Merlot version 1.0 beta 1 -- an open-source, Java-based visual XML editor. The Merlot Project is a Java based XML modeling application written to make creating and editing XML files easier. Merlot provides an extensible architecture where developers can plug-in their own editing screens to make editing certain elements of a DTD easier or more specific to their application. Merlot runs on any Java 2 virtual machine (JDK1.2.2 or JDK1.3). The application is extensible via custom editor interfaces that can be added for individual DTDs. Through an easy-to-use graphical interface, users can create and modify any valid XML document. The application is extensible via custom editor plugins that can be added for individual DTDs. Other extensibility features such as custom icons and the ability to control which elements and attributes are available to the user let Merlot easily morph to meet your and your users' needs. It also supports reusable libraries of XML document fragments to speed development time. Merlot has been released under an Apache-style license. The Merlot web site contains links to binaries and source code as well as CVS access and an archived mailing list."

  • [June 15, 2000]   Extensibility Releases XML Instance -- A Schema Driven Data Editor.    Extensibility recently announced the release of XML Instance, a 'Breakthrough Schema Driven Data Editor. XML Instance is a schema-driven XML business document editor which provides real-time validation and editing facilities against an XML schema or DTD. XML Instance is the ideal platform for the creation of XML business documents, messages, and configuration files for use in XML-based applications. Organizations can embed their XML-based business rules in an XML Instance document so that internal, trading partner, and industry standards are achieved. XML business documents can be generated and edited conforming to DTDs or schemas in major and emerging XML schema dialects including, XDR, SOX v.2 and a sub-set of XSDL (April 7) processors, bridging diverse e-business environments. . . When opening an existing document with a schema reference, XML Instance automatically locates and loads the schema, producing a template which facilitates fast and accurate document editing. When creating a new document, a schema can be set to create a fresh template. XML Instance supports all major and emerging schema dialects. The support of these dialects creates flexibility when exchanging or receiving XML business documents. XML Instance provides thorough document-building guidance based upon the rules of the schema. Real-time validation facilities ensure accurate data representation and promote seamless and accurate data interchange with your trading partners and industry groups. XML Instance is now available for download. For related resources, see "XML Schemas."

  • [June 15, 2000]   W3C/IETF Working Draft for Canonical XML Version 1.0.    The IETF/W3C XML Signature Working Group has released a new working draft specification for Canonical XML Version 1.0. Reference: W3C Working Draft 13-June-2000, edited by John Boyer (PureEdge Solutions Inc.), with feedback from John Cowan, Martin J. Dürst, Gregor Karlinger, Jonathan Marsh, Joseph Reagle, and Kent TAMURA). Document abstract: "This specification describes a method for generating a physical representation, the canonical form, of an input XML document, that does not vary under syntactic variations of the input that are defined to be logically equivalent by the XML 1.0 Recommendation. If an XML document is changed by an application, but its Canonical-XML form has not changed, then the changed document and the original document are considered equivalent for the purposes of many applications. This document does not establish a method such that two XML documents are equivalent if and only if their canonical forms are identical." Status of the specification: This WD "is the second draft of a proposal that (1) serves as an alternative approach to the Canonical XML specification using the W3C XPath data model, and (2) includes a few substantive changes that affect the canonical serialization of an XML document. It is not necessary for implementations to use XPath to generate the canonical form of an XML document. XPath simply provides a data model that is simplified compared to InfoSet, yet sufficient for the purpose of canonicalization. XPath also provides an expression syntax for describing the desired portion of a whole document. Any variances between that result from this specification's use of the XPath data model and the XML Information Set will be reported to the XML Information Set's comments list. Prior versions of this document were published by the XML Core Working Group (the last of which was the 20000119 draft), which delegated the completion of this specification to the IETF/W3C XML Signature Working Group. We expect continued substantive discussion with respect to the treatment of XML namespaces, but hope to address that (any any other issues) quickly such that we can issue a second Last Call at the beginning of July 2000. The XML Signature and XML WGs and other interested parties are invited to comment on this proposed direction, review the specification and report implementation experience."

  • [June 15, 2000]   XML Query Engine as a JavaBean Component.    Howard Katz (Fatdog Software) recently announced the development of a JavaBean 'XML Query Engine' and the free availability of a prerelease version. XML Query Engine is a JavaBean component that lets you search your XML documents for element, attribute, and full-text content. It can index multiple documents using a SAX parser of your choice. The index, once built, can be queried using XQL, a de facto standard for searching XML that is, very nearly, a proper subset of XPath. XML Query Engine extends XQL's syntax to provide a full-text capability, something lacking in standard XQL. This lets you say such things as Find me the first paragraph within either a division or a chapter that contains both the words "xml" and "xsl" or Give me a list of all elements containing an href attribute which points to a .com organization. XML Query Engine is an embeddable component that's callable from your application. It requires some straightforward Java programming to wire the query engine to your front-end code. The engine uses a result-listener architecture to deliver its results: You register an XQL result listener with the engine before calling your first query. Once your query's been resolved, the result-set document is delivered to your listener's results() method. Query results can be delivered in one of three formats. Two of these are XML, one of which is a standard result format, similar in structure to that returned by other XQL vendors, while the other is specialized to return 'navigational metadata' describing the nodes it contains in terms of their location within their originating documents. You can use this metadata to easily re-navigate, via either SAX or DOM, back into the original documents for further post-processing if desired. The third result-set format is CSV, Comma-Separated-Values, for particularly fast and compact result delivery of navigational metadata. XML Query Engine uses a traditional inverted index scheme to internally track every element, attribute, and the words contained in each for every document you index. Any document to be queried needs to be indexed first. Indexing is the process of pre-building the internal data structures needed to enable subsequent fast retrieval from the indexed documents. Before you can index, you have to tell the query engine what sorts of things to index or ignore. XML Query Engine is a work in progress. The current version is still pre-beta. I've implemented most of the core XQL features necessary to support full-text capability on top of the standard language. [The tool is] primarily intended for use as a personal productivity tool and on servers with low to medium-volume traffic. There are memory-dependent limitations on maximum index size. The engine is very fast: indexing speed on my 466 box is up to 75,000 words per second. Full technical documentation is available on the website." See the download page. For related resources, see XML and Query Languages."

  • [June 14, 2000]   XML Specification for Financial Research.    From a recent announcement: "First Call Corp., a Thomson Financial company, and B-Bop, The XML Platform Company, today released a jointly created 'FAML' Document Type Definition (DTD) for financial research documents utilizing Extensible Markup Language (XML). This FAML DTD for 'Financial Research Documents' ("-//B-Bop Associates//DTD FAML v1.0//EN") provides an initial framework for structuring the content of such documents. First Call and B-Bop are making the DTD available to the public, free of charge, via First Call's institutional Web portal at and B-Bop's Web site at XML offers a common and open format for data interchange between business partners and provides the key element for developing interoperable systems over the Internet. To facilitate the exchange of information, a number of industries have sought to adopt standards for specific types of content to ensure information consistency and compatibility. Such a standard is obtained when there is a broad-based adoption of a single DTD within an industry. In developing the DTD and releasing it to the public, First Call and B-Bop seek to promote an open dialogue that will advance the effort to create an XML standard within the financial services industry. To ensure that the needs of the industry are addressed by the standard, the dialogue should involve a wide array of organizations creating, distributing, and receiving financial research. Given the high level of interest in XML by industry participants, First Call and B-Bop look forward to a single, broad and coordinated approach to creating a standard... A broadly accepted XML standard within the financial services industry will ensure that the independent elements included in a research document (earnings estimates, recommendations, analyses, etc.) are structured in a conformant manner across all organizations. This will facilitate the parsing of the research document into separate components. These components can then be distributed to the appropriate end-user, either separately or in various combinations, allowing for truly customized information aimed at meeting the unique needs of each recipient. XML documents can also be easily converted to the format specified by recipients and delivered seamlessly over the Web and to wireless devices and other applications." The XML specification is distributed as a collection of thirteen (13) DTDs in separate files (DTD Defining Metadata in Financial Analysis reports, DTD Defining Ratings and Target Price information, DTD Defining Financial Terms and quantites, DTD Defining Market Data elements, DTD Defining Securities like Common Stock, Bonds etc.). For details, see the online guide and the full text of the announcement: "First Call and B-Bop Unveil Jointly Created XML Specification for Financial Research. Specification, Intended to Promote Coordinated Industry Effort to Create an XML Standard, Now Available." For other references, see "FAML DTD for Financial Research Documents."

  • [June 14, 2000]   IBM's Xeena XML Editor Updated with Support for W3C XML Schema.    Xeena 1.2EA from IBM alphaWorks is "an Early Access release with experimental W3C XML Schema support (partial). This release also contains many new features, including DTD to XML-Schema import, search and print capabilities, Keyboard Shortcuts and more. Xeena, a visual XML editor, is a generic Java application from the IBM Haifa Research Laboratory for editing valid XML documents derived from any valid DTD. The editor takes as input a given DTD, and automatically builds a palette containing the elements defined in the DTD. Users can thus create/edit/expand any document derived from that DTD, by using a visual tree-directed paradigm. The visual paradigm requires a minimum learning curve as only valid constructs/elements are presented to the user in a context-sensitive palette. A key feature of Xeena is its syntax directed editing ability. Xeena is aware of the DTD grammar, and by making only authorized elements icons sensitive, automatically ensures that all documents generated are valid according to the given DTD Other Xeena features include: (1) Intuitive viewing and editing of XML documents in a tree control view (2) Editing of multiple XML documents (3) Includes XML source viewer (4) Restricts adding and editing of features according to the DTD, and checks validity of produced documents (5) Easy customization of display . Xeena is a Java application built on top of Swing and XML Parser for Java. The XML attributes of the elements are edited via a table. Each attribute value is entered using an editing GUI component (e.g., combo-box, text-field) which is also derived from the DTD. The editor guides the user in inserting elements into the tree in a correct order (according to the DTD) by making the elements palette sensitive to the current selected tree node and by not allowing to insert elements in an invalid order. The editor is a Multiple Document Interface application (MDI) with full fledged support to edit multiple XML documents and copy, cut and paste from one document into another. . .Xeena is now being used by the web3D consortium to edit Extensible 3D (X3D) graphics files."

  • [June 14, 2000]   Revised IETF Internet Draft for XML Media Types.    MURATA Makoto (IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory) recently announced the release of a revised version of the Internet Draft for XML Media Types. Reference: Network Working Group, Internet-Draft 'draft-murata-xml-05.txt', May 2000. By MURATA Makoto, Simon St.Laurent, and Daniel Kohn. Abstract: This document standardizes five new media types -- text/xml, application/xml, text/xml-external-parsed-entity, application/xml-external-parsed-entity, and application/xml-dtd -- for use in exchanging network entities that are related to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). This document also standardizes a convention (using the suffix '+xml') for naming media types outside of these five types when those media types represent XML entities. XML MIME entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains." Some changes from the previous version: "added XML, MIME, and this document definitions for entity. Added new invalid example. Fixed magic number by adding 'l' to UTF-16 examples. Added IANA considerations. Removed extraneous notes. Made clear that examples are not registrations. Mention the standalone declaration. Removed normative references to XML Base, XLink, and XPointer, since they are still working drafts. Fragment identifiers are still undefined. Mechanisms for embedding the base URI are still undefined. Strengthened and filled out Referencing section, and moved to section 7.1." See "XML Media/MIME Types."

  • [June 14, 2000]   Microsoft Announces XML 'Web Parts' as Reusable Components in the Digital Dashboard.    At the recent Microsoft TechEd 2000 conference, Microsoft Corp. "announced a new Internet-standards-based approach for building components, called Web Parts, that deliver content and services to digital dashboards. Web Parts are reusable components that wrap Web-based content such as XML, HTML, and scripts with a standard property schema that controls how the Web Parts are rendered in a digital dashboard. Using the Web Part XML schema, corporate developers and partners can more easily create customizable digital dashboards that bring together personal, team, corporate and external information with single-click access to analytical and collaborative tools." A digital dashboard "is a customized solution that consolidates personal, team, corporate, and external information with single-click access to analytical and collaborative tools. It is designed to integrate well with existing business systems." Microsoft has also announced "the immediate availability of the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit (DDRK) 2.0, which provides sample dashboards, the framework and tools for building Web Parts and a catalog of ready-to-use Web Parts to enable faster dashboard development. Web Parts enable developers to structure the delivery of Web-based content and services, such as e-mail and calendar functionality, customer management data, training information, or news feeds, to a user's digital dashboard using a common schema that controls how the content is presented and how the user can interact with it. Web Parts can deliver any Web-based content such as XML, HTML or script. Developers using Web Parts can build dashboards that provide a high level of end-user customization including the ability to change dashboard layout, add or remove content, or select a personalized style. Because Web Parts share a common schema they can be easily reused across dashboards, and catalogs of Web Parts can be created that allow system administrators to better manage and distribute digital dashboards throughout their organization." For details, see (1) the complete text of the announcement: "Microsoft Announces Web Parts: Internet-Standards-Based Components That Deliver Content and Services to Digital Dashboards. New Resource Kit Provides Tools and Third-Party Web Parts That Accelerate Dashboard Development." (2) "What's New in the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit 2.0."

  • [June 14, 2000]   Microsoft Releases XSL ISAPI Filter Version 2.0.    "The Microsoft XSL ISAPI Filter version 2.0 enables server-side XSL formatting for multiple device-types. It features automatic execution of XSL style sheets on the server, choosing alternate style sheets based on browser type, style-sheet caching for improved server performance, the capability to specify output encodings, and customizable error messages." Background: "Web-browsing devices are becoming increasingly more widespread and varied. Witness the variety of Internet-enabled cellular phones, handhelds, voice-enabled browsers, and television- and game-console-based browsers becoming available. What's more, different devices within a form factor may have different markup languages that it interprets. All of this makes the job of the content developer that wants to optimize presentation on each device considerably more complex. Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) provide pieces of a solution to this dilemma, whereby content developers can provide their data in XML form and then provide XSL style sheets for each different device that he or she is interested in supporting. The XSL is used to filter and transform the XML for presentation on the appropriate device. However, there are missing pieces to this story, and the Microsoft XSL Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) Filter is a tool that helps bridge this gap..."

  • [June 14, 2000]   New Web Site for RAX.    Sean McGrath (Digitome) recently reported that Rael Dornfest has taken over development and maintenance of RAX, which is now available on a new web site. RAX (Record API for XML) is characterized as a "a drop dead simple API allowing 'pull' processing of record-oriented XML. [It] provides a simple, efficient interface for processing the sort of XML often generated from databases. RAX was first described in the article "RAX: An XML Database API", by Sean McGrath. RAX consists of two very simple interfaces. RAX implementations are currently available in Python ( - by Sean McGrath) Perl (XML::RAX - by Robert Hanson), and PHP (PRAX - by Rael Dornfest)."

  • [June 14, 2000]   XHub: A Website for Creating OEB eBooks.    The Brown University Scholarly Technology Group has announced the development of a web-based environment to support the creation of OEB ebooks. This 'XHub' resource, which began in November of 1999, is now nearing completion. The Open eBook specification, based upon XML, "is intended to give content providers (e.g., publishers, and others who have content to be displayed) and tool providers minimal and common guidelines which ensure seamless fidelity, accuracy, accessibility, and presentation of electronic content over various electronic book platforms." XHub description: "At the heart of XHub is an online service that converts XML/SGML documents into OEB Publications. XHub simplifies the potentially complicated process of making an OEB ebook. Users are assisted in identifying the document set to be converted, verifying and rearranging the sequence of data files (possibly adding or subtracting files), developing OEB metadata, creating OEB 'fallback' information, making OEB stylesheet selections, and checking the output for conformance. While defaults keep simple conversions simple, XHub also supports complicated conversions and customization. Input formats for the first release are HTML and TEI; support for additional XML/SGML input formats will be added later. In addition to providing conversion services, XHub will also maintain repositories of resources related to OEB ebook production in general. For individual non-commercial users with simple ebook needs XHub will provide free access to OEB CSS stylesheets (for domain-specific 'extended' element sets), sample package files, documentation, worked problems, metadata examples, FAQs, discussion lists, and so on. For commercial users XHub will also be a source of encoding and data extraction tools, XSLT conversion templates for advanced technical element sets, parsers, viewers, validators, and other related software, all of which may be licensed for local use, adaptation, or resale. Non-commercial use of XHub services is free and commercial use, including software licensing, available on a cost recovery basis. We developed XHub as part of STG's R&D program in advanced electronic publishing because we believe that the OEB is the best practical strategy for achieving the combination of interoperability and performance necessary to make the ebook industry flourish, provide new technology of social and cultural value, and improve accessibility both to the disabled and across the digital divide. This is also why we chose the Text Encoding Initiative as one of the first input formats -- the TEI is not only increasingly used by academic publishers, but it is the preferred XML format for important cultural and educational content, but it is widely recognized as the best foundation we have for high performance document systems (providing a lingua franca for semantic interoperability) and is endorsed by the US Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Digital Library Federation as the foundation for the national digital library. Because XHub is part of STG's core research agenda -- exploring fundamental issues in advanced electronic publishing -- it benefits directly from extensive ongoing STG research into XML schemas, transcoding, and knowledge representation. STG will aggressively develop XHub, adding not only new conversion resources and software, but also additional categories of service, such as content location directories, data extraction tools, transcoding applications, metadata pooling, and annotation exchange. The Brown University Scholarly Technology Group is an applied research and development group focusing on advanced topics in XML-based electronic publishing, hypermedia, and digital libraries; In November 1999 STG co-developed the first publicly released OEB software application: an OEB document validator." For additional information, contact Allen Renear (Director, Scholarly Technology Group). See also The Open eBook Initiative."

  • [June 13, 2000]   Geography Markup Language (GML).    The OpenGIS Consortium recently published the first public release of a recommendation defining the Geography Markup Language (GML), Version 1.0. The Geography Markup Language (GML) "is an XML encoding for the transport and storage of geographic information, including both the geometry and properties of geographic features. This specification defines the mechanisms and syntax that GML uses to encode geographic information in XML. It is anticipated that GML will make a significant impact on the ability of organizations to share geographic information with one another, and to enable linked geographic datasets. The initial release of this specification is concerned with the XML encoding of what the OpenGIS Consortium (OCG) calls 'Simple Features'. . . The OpenGIS Abstract Specification defines a geographic feature as: 'A feature is an abstraction of a real world phenomenon; it is a geographic feature if it is associated with a location relative to the Earth." Thus a digital representation of the real world can be thought of as a set of features. The state of a feature is defined by a set of properties, where each property can be thought of as a {name, type, value} triple. The number of properties a feature may have, together with their names and types, are determined by its feature type. Geographic features are those with properties whose values may be a geometry. A feature collection is a collection of features that can itself be regarded as a feature. Consequently a feature collection has a feature type and thus may have properties of its own, in addition to the features it contains. . . GML follows the geometry model defined other OpenGIS specifications. For example, the traditional 0, 1 and 2-dimensional geometries defined in a two-dimensional spatial reference system (SRS) are represented by points, line strings and polygons. In addition the geometry model for simple features also allows geometries that are collections of other geometries (either homogeneous, multi point, multi line string and multi polygon, or heterogeneous, geometry collection). In all cases the 'top-most' geometry is responsible for indicating in which SRS the measurements have been made. . ." For description and references to the schemas, see "Geography Markup Language (GML)." For related GIS/XML designs, see "LandXML."

  • [June 13, 2000]   Service Interface Description Language (SIDL).    James Snell posted a request for comments on a draft for a proposed service interface description grammar. "I would like to formally submit a request for feedback/comments from the list members regarding the I have posted on the site at The Service Interface Description Language (SIDL) is an alternative to the Microsoft SDL and IBM NASSL proposals, and serves the purpose of documenting and describing the interfaces and implementations of lightweight protocol-based services such as SOAP and XML-RPC. It is my intention to provide open source reference implementations of a SIDL Parser for the COM and Java environments in the near future as well as to formalize the proposal as an XML Schema document and formal specification. . ."

  • [June 13, 2000]   IBTWSH Draft Version 6.0 Released.    John Cowan recently announced the release of the public domain IBTWSH DTD, version 6.0. "I have just released a new version of IBTWSH, the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Simple Hypertext DTD. This is an XML DTD which describes a subset of XHTML Basic for embedded use within other XML DTDs. It is by intention equivalent (within its scope) to -//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN, but is not a derived work in the copyright sense. (Brief excerpts from HTML 4.0 Transitional appear here and there.) It is often convenient for XML documents to have a bit of documentation somewhere in them. In the absence of a DTD like this one, that documentation winds up being #PCDATA only, which is a pity, because rich text adds measurably to the readability of documents. By incorporating this DTD by reference (as an external parameter entity) into another DTD, that DTD inherits the capabilities of this one. Using HTML-compatible elements and attributes allows the documentation to be passed straight through to HTML renderers. Draft 6.0 is seriously incompatible with drafts 5.0 and earlier, but it is a subset of XHTML Basic..." [XML-DEV posting]

  • [June 13, 2000]   IBM alphaWorks Releases P3P Policy Editor.    "The IBM P3P Editor provides an easy-to-use interface for creating and updating Web site privacy policies using the P3P language, a standard currently under development at the W3C. The IBM P3P Policy Editor is a visual tool for creating a Web site's privacy policy that can be interpreted by Web browsers and other user agents that support the P3P specification from the W3C. P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences Project) offers a way for users to automate the acceptance or rejection of a Web site's requests for information, based on preferences users can set from their browsers or client devices. This provides assurance to users that their privacy is protected without having to read each Web site's privacy policy. Using P3P, an organization posts an XML-formatted privacy policy (machine-readable) on their Web site that describes their privacy practices, including the type of information collected, how the information is used, and who can get access to the information. The P3P specification for declaring the types of data collected at a site can become complicated, leaving Webmasters susceptible to errors and requiring a lot of time to develop and test. The P3P Policy Editor takes the complexity out of creating the machine-readable policy by hand. The editor includes standard data types and categories that you can quickly drop into your policy. The editor provides error-checking to help you locate elements missing from your policy that are required by the specification. The machine-readable policy is intended to be interpreted only by P3P-compliant user agents. However, these policies also include the location of a privacy policy that is intended to be read by people (human-readable). The P3P Policy Editor creates an HTML-formatted version of the policy that can be used as a base for your own human-readable policy. Or, you can use this version to ensure that your organization's machine-readable policy is consistent with the human-readable one. . ." See also: "Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project."

  • [June 12, 2000]   W3C XPointer Specification Enters Candidate Recommendation Stage.    Daniel Veillard (W3C XML Linking Working Group Co-chair) recently announced the promotion of the W3C XML Pointer (XPointer) specification to 'Candidate Recommendation' status: XML Pointer Language (XPointer) Version 1.0. Reference: W3C Candidate Recommendation 7-June-2000, edited by Ron Daniel Jr. (Metacode Technologies, Inc.), Steve DeRose (Brown University Scholarly Technology Group), and Eve Maler (Sun Microsystems). Feedback from last call working draft has been analyzed, and the disposition of comments is available on-line. The XPointer specification "defines the XML Pointer Language (XPointer), the language to be used as the basis for a fragment identifier for any URI reference that locates a resource of Internet media type text/xml or application/xml. XPointer, which is based on the XML Path Language (XPath), supports addressing into the internal structures of XML documents. It allows for examination of a hierarchical document structure and choice of its internal parts based on various properties, such as element types, attribute values, character content, and relative position. . . XPointer supports addressing into the internal structures of XML documents. It allows for examination of a document's hierarchical structure and choice of its internal parts based on various properties, such as element types, attribute values, character content, and relative position. In particular, it provides for specific reference to elements, character strings, and other parts of XML documents, whether or not they bear an explicit ID attribute. The structures located with XPointer can be used as link targets or for any other application-specific purpose. This specification does not constrain what uses an application may make of locations identified by XPointers. In particular, implementation of traversal to a resource is not constrained by this specification, and whether user 'traversal' is the purpose of an XPointer at all is application-dependent. A formatted-text browser traversal might scroll to and highlight the designated location; a structure-oriented graphical viewer or a document-relationship display might do traversal in quite a different way; and a search application, parser, archival system, or expert agent might use XPointers for other purposes entirely. (The construction of linking elements in XML documents that associate arbitrary resources, including XML documents and portions thereof, is defined in a related specification, XLink.) XPointer is built on top of the XML Path Language (XPath), which is an expression language underlying the XSL Transformations (XSLT) language. XPointer's extensions to XPath allow it to: (1) Address points and ranges as well as whole nodes, (2) Locate information by string matching, and (3) Use addressing expressions in URI references as fragment identifiers (after URI-escaping)." The XML Linking Working Group intends to "provide more information including an XPointer minimal testsuite, [which] will be published on the public page for the working group at" For further reference, see (1) the XLink language with which XPointer is expected to be used, and (2) "XML Linking."

  • [May 28, 2000]   XML Schema Validator (XSV) - XML Output Version.    Henry S. Thompson recently announced the test release of the LTG 'XML Schema Validator' (XSV) which now provides XML output options. Note: [2000-06-21] The full UNICODE version, with text/xml output, is now the principal public version, at a new address [In May 2000:] "A pre-release version of XSV with full Unicode support and (consequently) XML-formatted output was made available for friendly testing at There are now three output options: (1) XML plus a REC-compliant XSLT stylesheet, suitable for use if you are using Internet Explorer 5.5 or IE5 with the new MSXML3.DLL. (2) XML plus a pre-REC Microsoft stylesheet, suitable for use if you are using an ordinary release of Internet Explorer 5. (3) XML presented as text/plain, works for any browser but not easy to read. As soon as I can manage it, I'll get server-side rendering to HTML as a fourth option. . . Please send feedback if you get unsatisfactory output: this is the main development branch, and the old text-only output will cease to be available before long." XSV has been developed by Henry S. Thompson and Richard Tobin at the HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh; the Web interface is provided by Dan Connolly (W3C). Documentation for XSV is provided on the LTG web site. See also in this connection: (1) the previous announcement for design details; (2) "XML Schemas" for description and background on the W3C XML Schema effort; (3) the reference page for online XML 'DTD' and well-formedness validation tools.

  • [May 26, 2000]   Release of IBM-SOAP Version 1.2.    Sanjiva Weerawarana posted an announcement for the release of IBM-SOAP Version 1.2. IBM-SOAP is "a Java reference implementation of the SOAP v1.1 specification. The implementation is released under the IBM Public License with full source. It implements most of the SOAP specification as well as a few extras. Specifically, it supports two encodings for data types: the SOAP encoding as defined by the SOAP specification and XMI encoding. Also, in addition to the HTTP transport defined by the SOAP specification, it supports SMTP as well using two alphaBeans from IBM alphaWorks (SMTP and POP3). IBM-SOAP's server-side support includes a generic SOAP router that can be used to SOAP-enable any Java class. An administration tool is also included to deploy new services to the router via the Web... The new version of IBM-SOAP adds support for services implemented in scripting languages, a new service manager client and support for 1-dimensional arrays. Details: "IBM-SOAP v1.2 is now available for download at the IBM alphaWorks Web site. New features include: (1) support for serialializing/de-serializing of 1-dimensional arrays using SOAP encoding style. (2) services can now be authored in scripting languages (all languages supported by BSF [] that support BSF's call operation). JavaScript (Rhino) is best supported at this time. (3) added a service manager client: can now deploy/undeploy/list/query services using a command line utility and the deployment descriptor XML file (4) added support for a literal XML encoding style. A serializer/deserializer is pre-registered for RPC parameters which supports sending and receiving parameters of type org.w3c.dom.Element without having to write any code at all. The addressbook example illustrates how this encoding style can be used to send/receive arbitrary XML." See "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [May 25, 2000]   Web Site for XML and (OO) Software Engineering.    Daniel Deveaux recently announced an updated resource for XML and software engineering. "XML4SE is a new web site dedicated to XML applications in Software Engineering that presents documents and links on XML projects related to software development activity. In particular, meta-languages that catch core information of code or models are recorded (JavaML, OOPML, XMI, UXF, etc.) A mailing list is also available; see the mailing list announcement for details. Development efforts noted on the XML4SE site include "JavaML - An XML-based Source Code Representation for Java Programs" and the Software Development Foundation. JavaML is new XML application that provides an alternative representation of Java source code; it is "natural for tools and permits easy specification of numerous software-engineering analyses by leveraging the abundance of XML tools and techniques. A robust converter built with the Jikes Java compiler framework translates from the classical Java source code representation to JavaML, and an XSLT stylesheet converts from JavaML back into the classical textual form..." The Software Development Foundation (SDS) "is an open architecture designed for developing tools for software development. Based on XML, the SDS makes it easy for most languages and other systems to incorporate its tools. The core of SDS is the Code Structure Format (CSF) which collects most interesting information about source code which can be easily utilised by tools. Included is also a documentation application SDOC which allows CSF-files to be streamlined for documentation..." In this connection, see references to the "Object-Oriented Programing Meta-Language (OOPML)." The OOPML developers propose "applying XML technology to software development in a manner akin to the basic philosophy of the literate-programming community; essentially, XML provides the technical infrastructure to enable the integrated management of all core software development information. Our approach relies on the observation that the majority of forward and reverse-engineering software tools are built around a similar internal model: a more or less sophisticated abstract syntax tree with various representations (e.g., serialized as tuples, semantic nets, trees of objects, and so on)..."

  • [May 24, 2000]   Unicode: A Primer - A Key Resource for Developers and Programmers.    Web developers and programmers now have access to an authoritative and well-written guide to Unicode, thanks to the recent publication of Unicode: A Primer. Written by Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies), Unicode: A Primer "is the first book devoted to the Unicode Standard Version 3.0 and its applications (other than the standard itself)." The endorsement of the book by Rick McGowan, a Unicode Consortium Technical Director, speaks volumes: "For developers who plan to use the Unicode Standard, this is the best companion book so far." The Unicode standard, as described by Tony Graham on his Unicode web site, "is a character encoding standard published by Unicode Consortium. Unicode is designed to include all of the major scripts of the world in a simple and consistent manner. The Unicode Standard, Version 3.0, defines 49,194 characters from over 90 scripts. It covers alphabetic, syllabic, and ideographic scripts, including Latin scripts, Greek, Cyrillic, Thai, ideographs unified from the scripts of China, Japan, and Korea, and Hangul characters used for writing Korean. The Unicode Standard also defines properties of the characters and algorithms for use in implementations of the standard. Every major operating system, many programming languages, and many applications support the Unicode Standard." The new guide to Unicode implementation is a book that needed to be written. Tony Graham is eminently qualified to be its author: he has worked intimately with Unicode and other character encoding standards since 1994, and has written several key articles on Unicode. Part I of Unicode: A Primer includes "Introducing Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646" (a first look at the Unicode Standard, ISO/IEC 10646, and the Unicode Consortium) and "Unicode Design Basis and Principles." Part II (Chapters 3-8) gets to the heart of Unicode and related materials standardized by the Unicode Consortium. It provides three views of the structure of the Unicode Standard (by character block, by the files in the Unicode Character Database, and by the ISO/IEC 10646 view of the Universal Character Set); also: summaries of the features of the UCS-4, UCS-2, UTF-16, UTF-7, UTF-8, UTF-EBCDIC, and UTF-32 encodings and of endianness, transcoding, and the Standard Compression Scheme for Unicode (SCSU); an overview of the properties that a single character can have; things you need to know when working with sequences of characters; descriptions of the principles that guided encoding of the CJK ideographs and Korean Hangul characters in the Unicode Standard; conformance requirements for the Unicode Standard and ISO/IEC 10646, plus details of how to submit new scripts. Part III explains the use of the Unicode standard, particularly in Internet applications. The author includes descriptions and sample programs demonstrating Unicode support in nine programming languages. The book also has four valuable appendices (tables; descriptions of each of the character blocks in Unicode 3.0; information about the Unicode Consortium, versions of the Unicode Standard, Unicode Technical Reports, and Unicode conferences; tables of ISO/IEC 10646 amendments, blocks, and subsets), glossary, index, and bibliography. The book's complete Table of Contents, together with links to Unicode resources, is published on the companion Web site. Publication details: Unicode: A Primer, Foster City, CA: [M&T Books, An imprint of] IDG Books Worldwide, 2000. ISBN: 0-7645-4625-2. lii + 476 pages. For related resources, see "XML and Unicode."

  • [May 24, 2000]   Quilt: An XML Query Language.    Jonathan Robie (Software AG) recently announced design and development work on 'Quilt: An XML Query Language'. "Quilt is an XML query language designed for queries on heterogeneous data sources, and drawing from the design of XQL, XML-QL, SQL, and OQL. The authors included me, Don Chamberlin (one of the two authors of SQL), and Dana Florescu (well known in the object database community, and one of the authors of XML-QL). The two papers to look at are found here: Viz., (1) "Quilt: An XML Query Language," by Jonathan Robie, Don Chamberlin, and Daniela Florescu [to be presented at XML Europe, Paris, June 2000], and (2) "Quilt: An XML Query Language for Heterogeneous Data Sources," by Chamberlin/Robie/Florescu [to be presented at WebDB 2000, Dallas, May 2000]. Quilt has no official status in the XML Query WG. The authors are all members of that WG (and one was an editor of both the Requirements WD and the Data Model WD), and we designed the language to meet the requirements of the Query WG. Since the Query WG is not yet working on concrete query languages, it is too early to say how it will respond to this proposal..." From one of the design papers: "As increasing amounts of information are stored in XML, exchanged in XML, and presented as XML through various interfaces, the ability to intelligently query XML data sources becomes increasingly important. The data model of XML is quite different from the data models of traditional databases, and traditional database languages are not well suited to querying XML sources. In addition, XML blurs the distinction between data and documents, allowing documents to be treated as data sources and traditional data sources to be treated as documents. Query languages, including XML query languages, still tend to be designed either for documents or for data. Since XML may represent a rich variety of information coming from many sources and structured in many ways, an XML query language must try to provide the same rich variety in the queries that may be formulated. Quilt is a query language for XML. It originated when the authors attempted to apply XML query languages such as XML-QL, XPath, XQL, YATL, and XSQL to a variety of use cases. We found that each of these languages had strong advantages for some of the queries we examined, but was unable to express other queries we found equally important. Therefore, we chose to take some of the best ideas from these languages, plus some ideas from SQL and OQL, integrating them with a fresh syntactic approach. Our goal was to design a small, implementable language that met the requirements specified in the W3C XML Query Working Group's XML Query Requirements. During our design work, we have adapted features from various languages, carefully assembling them to form a new design -- hence the name 'Quilt'. The resulting language supports queries that draw information from various sources and patch them together in a new form. This is another reason for the name 'Quilt'." Note also in this connection "XML Query Languages: Experiences and Exemplars." The paper "identifies essential features of an XML query language by examining four existing query languages: XML-QL, YATL, Lorel, and XQL. The first three languages come from the database community and possess striking similarities. The fourth comes from the document community and lacks some key functionality of the other three..." For related resources, see "XML and Query Languages."

  • [May 18, 2000]   May 2000 Microsoft XML Parser Technology Preview Release.    Microsoft recently announced the "newest drop of its XML parser, with better XSLT/XPath standard compliance and new SAX support... The May 2000 Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) Technology Preview is an update to the March 2000 technology preview. This latest release of MSXML provides improved XSLT/XPath standard compliance, Simple API for XML (SAX) support, and a number of bug fixes." An article from Charlie Heinemann "What's New in the May 2000 Microsoft XML Parser Technology Preview?" overviews the new features: (1) "The May 2000 MSXML Technology Preview now contains an implementation of the SAX2 specification to enable low-level parsing of XML documents. The SAX2 implementation is a push model parser, representing the second generation of the SAX specification. The SAX2 parser can be used to improve performance in scenarios such as the following: (a) High-throughput situations where the application needs to quickly scan the XML document for a few particular nodes. For example, you may scan a purchase order for the name of the customer and then just pass it on. (b) Processing large documents on the server, where creating an entire DOM tree might be too expensive. For the specific details concerning Microsoft's SAX2 implementation and for code samples, please see 'SAX2 Jumpstart for XML Developers', by Eldar A. Musayev. (2) XSLT Support: The following XSLT features are now implemented in this release. <xsl:import>, which enables the importing of style sheets; <xsl:apply-imports>, which enables the overriding of imported template rules; <xsl:number>, which inserts a formatted number into the output document; <xsl:attribute-set>, which enables the creation and use of named attribute sets. (3) The following XPath features are now implemented in this release: following axis, preceding axis, following-sibling axis, preceding-sibling axis."

  • [May 15, 2000]   SMBXML: 'An Open Standard for Small to Medium Sized Businesses'.    NetLedger, Inc. today announced an SMBXML specification designed to support business transactions within the small to medium sized business community. The web site provides references to the announcement, a FAQ document, and the specification. Description: "The purpose of SMBXML is to provide the small to medium sized business with the power and connectivity previously associated only with solutions for much larger organizations. The SMBXML standard is an open XML format for describing business transactions. Unlike previous standards, SMBXML specifically targets the needs of the small to medium sized business community. For example, a web storefront could supply the details of a sales transaction to a separate general ledger application (even if the two systems are hosted by separate ASPs), or an employee could submit an expense report for approval (and subsequent payment) using a wireless Internet device. Businesses should be able to select and deploy the Internet applications that best meet their specific needs. By using SMBXML, these applications will be able to share data seamlessly. In addition, SMBXML provides a common language for enabling trading relationships between businesses. [The developers say:] We believe that open standards provide the best means of meeting the needs of the business community. By offering SMBXML as an open standard, we hope to encourage custom software development, interoperability between applications, and choice of component applications in a total business solution." SMBXML "is defined using two separate DTDs. The top level DTD defines the high-level structure of SMBXML, including the purpose of the document and the document's sender and recipient. The second DTD defines the business objects: employees, customers, invoices, etc." From the announcement: "[NetLedger, Inc.] announced today that it has developed the first XML standard specifically for the small to medium business community: SMBXML. The new standard allows NetLedger and other ASPs to exchange information in a common language, and thus seamlessly integrate their products to deliver greatly enhanced business solutions. The SMBXML specification is available immediately at It represents a first for the small-business-accounting software industry, a first for small businesses, and a first for the ASP community at large. Because the SMBXML standard is open, NetLedger anticipates that it will significantly advance and strengthen the small-business ASP market as a whole by delivering more complete e-commerce solutions through strategic technology and business partnerships. ASPs no longer need to wrestle with proprietary data formats in order to collaborate. NetLedger's commitment to open standards extends to the system infrastructure it has deployed to manage its operations by employing Apache Web servers and the Linux operating system in its new consolidated data center. NetLedger is currently in the process of using the new SMBXML standard to enhance its own core online accounting solution by integrating with business applications and services of other ASP industry-leading partners such as Red Gorilla (online time and billing), (online accounts receivable management and outsourcing), Freeworks (online business services and office automation), (online financial services), CyberBills (online bill management) and others." For details, see the full text of the announcement: "NetLedger Announces First XML Standard for the Small Business ASP Market: SMBXML. New Open Standard Enables Seamless Integration of Online Small-Business Applications." For further description and references, see "SMBXML: An Open Standard for Small to Medium Sized Businesses."

  • [May 11, 2000]   XBRL Web Site Hosts Updated Resources.    The XBRL Web site now hosts several demonstrations which reveal the capabilities of XBRL, and a recent announcement from Charles Hoffman indicates that several more such prototypes are planned for release in the coming weeks. The demos include a 'Taxonomy Viewer Prototype' which allows you to view the AICPA Taxonomy for Commercial and Industrial Companies [US GAAP]. The Taxonomy Viewer "is a Microsoft Access database that allows a user to more easily view the taxonomy; a prototype 'Taxonomy Builder' will soon be available." The XBRL 'Financial Statement Repository' stores five financial statements which have been prepared using XBRL and placed on the web site to provide test data. "For example, if you wanted to prepare extraction and comparison prototypes to test the XBRL concept, you could use this data." The Accountant report creation demo is an Access database having several functions which import XML from a document, export to various formats including XML, HTML, RTF, and text. The Great Plains Financial Statement demo is a complete set of financial statements prepared using XBRL; it does not require XML parser on the client side. The Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is "an open specification which uses XML-based data tags to describe financial statements for both public and private companies." See description and references in "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)."

  • [May 11, 2000]   XIOP: Corba GIOP using XML1.0 +HTTP1.1.    Anders W. Tell (Financial Toolsmiths AB) recently announced work on a new protocol XIOP. "I'm working on a protocol which is not directly new, OMG GIOP. However this version uses XML 1.0 as encoding format and HTTP/1.1 as primary protocol. It is also possible to send raw CDR encoded IIOP messages. One notable feature is that all encodings (including CDR) are based on a Grove-like information model called 'Gren' -- Swedish for 'tree branch'." The XIOP Web-Site (on Sourceforge) was opened to the public 2000-04-02. The development site "is open to discussions on XIOP, an open and freely available Corba EISOP (Environment-Specific Inte-ORB Protocol), and a GIOP compliant mapping using HTTP 1,1 as communication protocol and XML 1.0 as content encoding. Use it as XML-RPC and get an standardised and open distributed object environment for free. The XIOP specification allows for different encodings to be passed over the wire, including IIOP (CDR) and XML. The encoding framework is based on 'Gren', which is a reformulation of Groves information model..." Recently, an XIOP Viewer was added to the site. The development site specification page also provides references to the XIOP documents and white papers, the multi-part specification, and rationale ("Why XIOP is valid as XML-RPC"). There is also an XIOP mailing list.

  • [May 11, 2000]   First Public Working Draft for the XML Query Data Model.    The W3C XML Query Working Group has published a first public working draft of the XML Query Data Model. Reference: W3C Working Draft 11-May-2000; edited by Mary Fernandez (AT&T Labs) and Jonathan Robie (Software AG). Document abstract: "This document defines the W3C XML Query Data Model, which is the foundation of the W3C XML Query Algebra; the XML Query Algebra will be specified in a future document. Together, these two documents [will] provide a precise semantics of the XML Query Language." Description: "Several XML data models have been developed in the W3C Activities. The XML Information Set provides a description of the information available in a well-formed XML document. The XPath Recommendation, which is used by both XSLT and XPointer, contains a data model and a mapping that relates the XPath data model to the XML Information Set (hence 'Infoset'). The Document Object Model is an API for HTML and XML documents, but it does imply an underlying abstract data model. The XML Schema Working Group is defining features, such as structures and datatypes, that extend an instance of the XML Information Set with more precise type information. The XML Query Data Model defines formally the information contained in the input to an XML Query processor; in other words, an XML Query processor evaluates a query on an instance of the XML Query Data Model. Our model is based on the XML Information Set, but it requires the following new features to meet the XML Query Working Group's requirements: (1) Support for XML Schema types, (2) Representation of Collections of Documents and of Simple and Complex Values, (3) Representation of References. In this document, we provide a precise and formal definition of how values in the XML Query Data Model are constructed and accessed; these operators are the foundation of the XML Query Algebra, and therefore, require a more formal treatment than is provided in the definitions of the XPath and Infoset data models. For comparison, we note wherever the XML Query Data Model differs from that of XPath, and we provide a formal definition of the mapping from the Infoset to the XML Query Data Model in Appendix A. . .Because XML documents are tree-structured, we define the XML Query data model using conventional terminology for trees. Various mathematical representations of trees exist. The graph-theoretic representation models a tree as a tuple (N, E, r), where N is a set of tree nodes, E is a one-to-many relation of edges from parent nodes to children nodes, and r is the distinguished root node of the tree. The tree-constructor representation models a tree by recursive application of a tree-creation function to a list of children trees. In either representation, a tree can have data associated with its nodes (node-labeled), with its edges (edge-labeled), or with both. The XPath and Infoset data models are examples of node-labeled, tree-constructor representations. The XML Query Data Model (hence 'data model') is a node-labeled, tree-constructor representation, but also includes a concept of node identity. The addition of node identity simplifies the representation of XML reference values, e.g., IDREF, XPointer, and URI values. Unlike the graph model, the data model does not support both nodes and edges as first-class concepts. We note, however, whenever a graph model may be more flexible or concise..." Comments on the draft document should be sent to the W3C mailing list, which is publicly archived. For other references on XML Query, see the XML Query Requirements document and the reference section "W3C XML Query Working Group."

  • [May 11, 2000]   Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Specification Reissued as Candidate Recommendation.    The W3C DOM Working Group has republished the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Specification Version 1.0 as a 'Candidate Recommendation', pending resolution of namespace handling issues. Reference: W3C Candidate Recommendation 10 May, 2000; []. "This specification is still in the Candidate Recommendation phase. A coordination issue has arisen, which necessitates an extended Candidate Recommendation phase. It will end when the coordination issue is resolved... The coordination issue affects the handling of namespace URIs. The resolution of the coordination issue may necessitate changes to the DOM Level 2 Core module." Abstract: The CR specification "defines the Document Object Model Level 2, a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model Level 2 builds on the Document Object Model Level 1. The DOM Level 2 is made of a set of core interfaces to create and manipulate the structure and contents of a document and a set of optional modules. These modules contain specialized interfaces dedicated to XML, HTML, an abstract view, generic stylesheets, Cascading Style Sheets, Events, traversing the document structure, and a Range object." Description: "The Document Object Model (DOM) is an application programming interface (API) for HTML and XML documents. It defines the logical structure of documents and the way a document is accessed and manipulated. In the DOM specification, the term "document" is used in the broad sense - increasingly, XML is being used as a way of representing many different kinds of information that may be stored in diverse systems, and much of this would traditionally be seen as data rather than as documents. Nevertheless, XML presents this data as documents, and the DOM may be used to manage this data. With the Document Object Model, programmers can build documents, navigate their structure, and add, modify, or delete elements and content. Anything found in an HTML or XML document can be accessed, changed, deleted, or added using the Document Object Model, with a few exceptions - in particular, the DOM interfaces for the XML internal and external subsets have not yet been specified." See the mailing list and W3C DOM Web site for details on the DOM activity.

  • [May 11, 2000]   Release of Relaxer Version 0.9.    ASAMI Tomoharu has announced the release of Relaxer Version 0.9. "Relaxer is the Java class generator that addresses a XML document complied with the XML model defined by RELAX. By using Relaxer, no tedious DOM programming is required to make an XML aware program. Relaxer maps a infoset of the XML document modeled by RELAX to Java objects. And it generates a program that interchanges XML documents, DOM tree with Java objects which is instance of the infoset. Features: (1) Xerces is used for XML Parser; (2) XBase feature for include operation [XML Base February 21, 2000]; (3) specify XBase from command line [-xmlBase option]; (4) composite mechanism [-composite option]; (5) visitor mechanism [-visitor option]; (6) enable xml:lang [-useXMLLang option]; (7) enable xml:space [-useXMLSpace option]; (8) enable xml:base [-useXMLBase option]; (9) retain element used by object generation [-xmlElement option]; (10) name style feature [-nameStyle option]. Relaxer is a free software package based on the GPL license." See the reference section "REgular LAnguage description for XML (RELAX)" and the RELAX Web site.

  • [May 11, 2000]   W3C Working Draft for The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 (P3P1.0) Specification.    W3C has released an updated version of the The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 (P3P1.0) Specification. References: W3C Working Draft 10-May-2000, edited by Massimo Marchiori (W3C/MIT). Abstract: "This is the specification of the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P). This document, along with its normative references, includes all the specification necessary for the implementation of interoperable P3P applications. [...] The P3P1.0 specification defines the syntax and semantics of P3P privacy policies, and the mechanisms for associating policies with Web resources. P3P policies consist of statements made using the P3P vocabulary for expressing privacy practices. P3P policies also reference elements of the P3P base data schema -- a standard set of data elements that all P3P user agents should be aware of. The P3P specification includes a mechanism for defining new data elements and data sets, and a simple mechanism that allows for extensions to the P3P vocabulary." The WD document "has been produced by the P3P Specification Working Group as part of the P3P Activity, and is the fourth revision of the last call draft issued the 2nd of November 02, 1999. A change log is included at the end of this document for convenience. This call addresses the comments received during the Last Call period, which ended April 30, 2000. A revised version of this specification is expected to advance toward W3C Recommendation status after two interoperable implementations have been demonstrated." P3P version 1.0 is "a protocol designed to inform Web users of the data-collection practices of Web sites. It provides a way for a Web site to encode its data-collection and data-use practices in a machine-readable XML format known as a P3P policy. The P3P specification defines: (1) A standard schema for data a Web site may wish to collect, known as the 'P3P base data schema'; (2) A standard set of uses, recipients, data categories, and other privacy disclosures; (3) An XML format for expressing a privacy policy; (4) A means of associating privacy policies with Web pages or sites; (5) A mechanism for transporting P3P policies over HTTP." Comments on the draft sent to the mailing list will be publicly archived. For background and references, see (1) the W3C Privacy Activity Statement and (2) the reference document "Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project."

  • [May 11, 2000]   Updated W3C Working Draft on XML-Signature Syntax and Processing.    An updated working draft document on XML-Signature Syntax and Processing has been issued jointly by the W3C and IETF. References: W3C Working Draft 10-May-2000; IETF Internet Draft draft-ietf-xmldsig-core-06.txt. Edited by Donald Eastlake, Joseph Reagle, and David Solo. This WD updates the 'WD-xmldsig-core-20000228' version: "this specification of the IETF/W3C XML Signature Working Group follows the XML Signature Last Call and attempts to address all last call comments sent to the list and those issues discussed at the April meeting. This version should be the last before the document is proposed as a Proposed Draft and Candidate Recommendation. Consequently, it still has a few editorial marks [underlined and/or in red] and things that must be done before it can be advanced..." Abstract: "This document specifies XML digital signature processing rules and syntax. XML Signatures provide integrity, message authentication, and/or signer authentication services for data of any type, whether located within the XML that includes the signature or elsewhere... [the document] specifies XML syntax and processing rules for creating and representing digital signatures. XML Signatures can be applied to any digital content (data object), including XML. An XML Signature may be applied to the content of one or more resources. Enveloped or enveloping signatures are over data within the same XML document as the signature; detached signatures are over data external to the signature document. This specification also defines other useful types including methods of referencing collections of resources, algorithms, and keying information and management." See "XML Digital Signature (Signed XML - IETF/W3C)."

  • [May 10, 2000]   XML All-purpose Protocol (XAP): A Proposed Protocol to Declare Server Schemas.    Jean-Marc Vanel posted an announcement for 'XAP: proposed protocol to declare server schemas' which "is complementary to the pure transport protocols such as SOAP, and even simplifies some matters..." A draft specification for the proposed 'XML All-purpose Protocol' is described in the author's web site. The XML All-purpose Protocol "could also be called XML distributed architecture. For distributed computing, I expect HTTP+XML to dominate over Corba and COM in the long term. But SOAP and XML-RPC are not enough. The need for servers to publish their schemas for queries and responses is fondamental. Moreover the publication of the schemas, and their consultation by the client, allows to simplify the subsequent messages (see here the consequences for SOAP). If you imagine how an application could navigate through Internet, searching resources, much as we humans navigate on Internet, starting with a search engine, and surfing from page to page, you can arrive to this solution: (1) servers must define precisely what they offer, and clients are free to take anywhere just what they need; (2) every message sent is XML..." Vanel asked that the proposed specification be added to "XML Protocol Comparisons" chart posted on the W3C web site. There is a draft XML Schema for XAP as well. It "specifies the interface publication aspect of XML distributed architecture... This schema is, in some way, meta-meta-data, since it specifies how to publish on the Web XML Schemas, wich in turn refer to actual data exchanged in messages between server and client." See also the 'XSLT models' (XSLT transform from an XML Schema to a HTML form, which exemplifies the possibilities of resource discovery opened by schema declaration).

  • [May 10, 2000]   FOT2PDF: A PDF Backend for DSSSL-FlowObjectTrees.    Christof Drescher (Pro Image GbR) has posted an announcment to the DSSSL-List for a first beta release of a FOT2PDF formatting backend to Jade/OpenJade. The package [1.00 beta1] is available for download. "The PDF Backend can be used free of charge for non-commercial use to produce PDF files from SGML sources. This distribution includes the following: (1) the fot2pdf-formatter as JAVA executable in fot2pdf; (2) an introduction to the usage of fot2pdf; (3) the source files which produces the introduction as an example for the usage itselfl (4) the auxiliary files hyphen.txt and fontmap.txt for the formatter. FOT2PDF requires the Java Development Kit (Java Runtime Environment 1.2 and higher) and a running Jade/OpenJade installation." See the README file for details.

  • [May 10, 2000]   ACM SIGIR 2000 Workshop On XML and Information Retrieval.    Aya Soffer published a call for papers in connection with an ACM SIGIR 2000 Workshop On XML and Information Retrieval, to be held on July 28, 2000 in Athens, Greece. "XML - the eXtensible Markup Language has recently emerged as a new standard for data representation and exchange on the Internet. It has thus become crucial to address the question of how can we efficiently query and search large corpora of XML documents. To date, most work on storing, indexing, querying, and searching documents in XML has stemmed from the database community's work on semi-structured data. An alternative approach, which has received less attention to date, is to view XML documents as a collection of text documents with additional tags and relations between these tags. In this workshop, we will explore both approaches and investigate the relationship between IR and XML. Topics may include: (1) Extending IR technologies to search XML documents and integrating XML structure in IR indexing structures; (2) Querying XML documents both on content and structure; (3) Leveraging the semantics inherent to XML for the search process; (4) Relationships between XML and other text encoding and metadata standards; (5) Definition of standard DTDs/Schemas for IR tools such as search results and clustering outputs." Submissions are due on June 05, 2000. Further information is available on the workshop web site. For resources related to XML query languages, see "XML and Query Languages." For related events: "SGML/XML Conferences, Seminars, Tutorials, Workshops."

  • [May 09, 2000]   XML 2000 Conference Call for Papers.    A Call for Papers has been issued by GCA for the XML 2000 Conference, to be held December 3 - 8, 2000 at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC. "All interested parties are invited to submit proposals for presentations at XML 2000. Papers addressing issues outlined in our tentative tracks will be of particular interest, however, other related topics will be considered. Presentations will be in 45 minute blocks of time with 30-35 minutes allowed for the presentation and 10-15 minutes allowed for questions. Additionally, a written paper tagged in XML must be submitted by September 29. XML Authoring Software will be provided." The submission deadline is June 23, 2000. The XML 2000 Conference "focuses on the maturing applications of XML on the Internet, how the new Web technologies are affecting our lives, and a vision for the future. We will explore ways to use XML, how XML is enabling business and publishing, the new challenges XML brings to personal privacy and security, the dramatic new wireless devices that are making the Web accessible to us all in ways we never dreamed, and new leading edge technologies that are following on the heels of XML. This year we are offering a wide variety of tracks to meet the needs of every attendee. XML 2000 Conference tracks include: (1) Getting Started with XML, (2) XML: Enabling Business on the Web, (3) Building an XML Web Site, (4) Publishing with XML, (5) Society and Technology, (6) Device-Independent Web Accessibility, (7) XML: The Real World, (8) XML: The Leading Edge."

  • [May 08, 2000]   Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1 Submitted to W3C.    The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a submission request including the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1. The submission includes the text of the SOAP 1.1 specification along with a SOAP Envelope schema and a SOAP Encoding schema. Reference: W3C Note 08-May-2000. By: Don Box (DevelopMentor), David Ehnebuske (IBM), Gopal Kakivaya (Microsoft), Andrew Layman (Microsoft), Noah Mendelsohn (Lotus Development Corp.), Henrik Frystyk Nielsen (Microsoft), Satish Thatte (Microsoft), and Dave Winer (UserLand Software, Inc.). The submission is from Ariba, Inc., Commerce One, Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation, DevelopMentor, Inc., Hewlett Packard Company, International Business Machines Corporation, IONA Technologies, Lotus Development Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, SAP AG, and UserLand Software Inc. The co-submitters of the specification assert that they "believe strongly in the need for standardized protocols to support interoperable interactions with remote Web-based services. Although there are a number of similar efforts underway, [they] feel the W3C is well suited to co-ordinate work in this area, and propose the formation of a new working group within the existing XML Activity group to continue the evolution of this proposal." Document abstract: "SOAP is a lightweight protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment. It is an XML based protocol that consists of three parts: an envelope that defines a framework for describing what is in a message and how to process it, a set of encoding rules for expressing instances of application-defined datatypes, and a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses. SOAP can potentially be used in combination with a variety of other protocols; however, the only bindings defined in this document describe how to use SOAP in combination with HTTP and HTTP Extension Framework." The W3C staff comment on the NOTE presents the W3C's provisional disposition. It says, in part: "SOAP is one of the existing protocols in the domain of XML based protocols. However its object serialization scheme needs to be more explicit, as in the architectural model of HTTP-NG, where inheritance or method description issues were addressed. Also we think that security considerations should have a central place in such a design, as it is always more difficult, if not impossible, to add security afterwards. W3C is currently hosting a mailing list to discuss XML protocol requirements and compare several current protocols... it encourages participants to contribute requirements and use cases that will help scope XML protocol discussions. W3C solicits input regarding what its role should be in the development of this area of work." For references, see "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [May 08, 2000]   Intel Products Support Fast, Secure XML-based Internet Transactions.    A recent company announcement from Intel describes XML-based products and services that are part of the Intel NetStructure family. "Intel Corporation today announced two new intelligent network devices designed to improve the performance and reliability of business transactions over the Internet. These innovative new products will enable timely and reliable processing of secure business-to-business (B2B) transactions at speeds up to 150 times faster than previously possible. Intel's new products will control and direct Internet transactions based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), which is rapidly becoming the universal format used by companies to share business information on the Web. By allowing different legacy computer systems to 'talk to each other,' XML permits the sharing of important business information like order entry, pricing and inventory levels - dramatically improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Leading industry experts believe XML will be the basis for all B2B Internet activity in the future. Due to ship in quantity in the third quarter of this year, the Intel NetStructure 7280 XML Director and 7210 XML Accelerator systems are already being piloted at selected B2B Internet companies. Both products accelerate and intelligently control secure XML-based Internet transactions so that B2B e-Commerce can take place faster and more reliably. The transactions may be prioritized based on any number of user-defined criteria. The new devices fit into e-Business data center racks used by hosting service providers (HSPs) and application service providers (ASPs), as well as at companies choosing to operate their own e-Business data centers. The two products are easily adapted to quickly meet changing business priorities. The Intel NetStructure 7280 XML Director is the first device of its kind to combine the acceleration of security functions and XML, control of XML transactions, and 'XML transaction roll-back' (re-submitting failed XML transactions to another server for processing) in a single device. The 7280 XML Director allows companies to carry out secure B2B XML transactions up to 150 times faster than previously possible. Most e-Business traffic management devices available today support simple load balancing based on URL or port and cannot make decisions based on multiple business parameters. Using a patent-pending rules-based engine, the 7280 XML Director can identify and classify incoming XML requests based on specific elements within the XML transactions. Once classified, the 7280 XML Director can transparently validate, prioritize and direct the most important XML requests based on criteria such as trading partner, transaction value, unit volume, time sensitivity or any other characteristic... The 7280 XML Director can also be used to identify different XML 'dialects' and direct them to specific back-end servers for processing. By identifying XML variants from different vendors - such as BizTalk from Microsoft, cXML from Ariba, CBL from Commerce One or the new emerging ebXML standard - the 7280 is capable of recognizing different XML implementations and ensuring that the appropriate server acts on the transaction. In addition, the 7280 XML Director is capable of rejecting invalid XML syntax, reducing server errors... The Intel NetStructure 7210 XML Accelerator is a network device that has the ability to intelligently read and quickly classify key XML information. The 7210 uses the same advanced rules-based engine as the 7280 XML Director to manage the data center workload based on XML requests. The device works in conjunction with Intel or third party switches, load balancers or traffic mangers to direct XML transactions to the sever best able to process the transaction." For details, see the full text of the announcement, "Intel To Introduce Groundbreaking New Products For Transacting Business Over The Web New Intel NetStructure Systems for B2B Accelerate and Prioritize XML-based e-Commerce."

  • [May 08, 2000]   REXP: Rendering Engine for XML/XSL to PDF.    Bovone Stefano has posted an announcement for an early release version of an XML/XSL formatting engine. REXP is an open source project and everyone is welcome to collaborate on its development. "REXP, a Rendering Engine from XML/XSL into PDF, is an early implementation of a Formatting Objects engine. REXP is based on FOP version 0.9.2 (now Apache open source) and has been developed by the Department of Biophysical and Electronic Engineering (D.I.B.E. - University of Genoa) and Elsag S.p.A." The distribution with open source and binary files is available from [=]. REXP documentation is also available on the Web site. REXP development is part of a larger endeavor being undertaken by the Electronic Systems and Networking Group (ESNG). "The project aims to investigate the use of XML/XSL for a hybrid mail system by Elsag S.p.A. A hybrid mail system receives electronic data as input and outputs physical letters for traditional post delivering. Printed letters are typically commercial statements from banks, insurance, utilities and public services, but the system is open to private citizens and can manage any type of documents. Elsag S.p.A. and the Electronic Systems and Networking Group of the Department of Biophysical and Electronic Engineering (DIBE) are working on the evolution of the system by studying new architectures and tools." For related tools, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [May 06, 2000]   Global Engineering Networking Initiative (GEN).    The GENIS Project (Standardisation Support for Global Engineering Networking) was created to "identify, submit and validate new standards in the area of Global Engineering Networking. GENIS will base on various results from current GEN projects and will transfer the results from GEN research projects into standardisation organisations. Therefore GENIS will contribute to the standards on three levels: (1) Domain Specific Level: domain specific standards that describe a common nomenclature for engineering information of a sector. GENIS will focus on electronics validating IEC standards. (2) Semantic Level: definition of the engineering information in a system-neutral and computer-exchangeable format. GENIS will use the XML standard to define GEN XML DTDs. (3) Operational Level: definition of functionality for accessing the engineering information. GENIS will use the CORBA standard to define the operations in CORBA IDL." Two of several related GEN projects include GENIAL and PROCAT(-GEN). GENIAL Project [ESPRIT 22.284]: "The objective of the GENIAL project is to provide a substantial contribution to the vision of marketplaces for negineering products, services and information by establishing a Common Semantic Infrastructure. This enables enterprises from different engineering sectors to combine internal knowledge with engineering knowledge accessed on-line and world-wide via GEN. GENIAL provides: A framework for the systematisation of engineering knowledge; Generic GENIAL software for the access, insertion, administration of distributed engineering information and services like product information or documentations on electronic components, building specifications, simulation or calculation programs. Electronic marketplaces using the software in the sectors civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Currently, the Common Semantic Infrastructure (CSM) consists of a set of XML DTDs for the representation of Classifications, including hierarchies of categories and category attributes, and so-called GENObjects, which are meta-data entities for products, services and documents. Besides the representation of just classifications (in order to ease search and provide a common view on GENObjects) and the objects themselves (by attribute-value pairs, keywords, and relation to other objects), GENIAL has defined a CORBA Interface for searching and retrieving GENObjects online." PROCAT-GEN Project: Telematics IE 8035 Application Area: PROCAT-GEN is "a project to create pilot applications for preparation and network delivery of multi-media product catalogues for engineering components. PROCAT-GEN is an innovative application of SGML, network and multi-media technology to bring real benefits both for the users and suppliers of product catalogues: attractive online catalogues with a much richer content and a more creative use of multi-media; faster and easier information access by using more intelligent catalogue structures; improved quality of use through integrated online services offline catalogues can not provide; improved efficiency and increased productivity of the catalogue production process by support for the catalogue lifecycle and the seamless conversion from and to electronic formats; longevity, reliability and maintainability of the catalogue data is obtained by separating the content from the actual layout and publishing format of the catalogue ; a common structured source to publish to multiple media (online, CD-ROM and paper); added value from marketing and customer support through integrated services; an open system supported by commercially available products and technology; a common method enabling to interchange data within Global Engineering Networks. Currently, the main result of PROCAT-GEN is the definition of an XML exchange format between the so-called Product Information Management System (PIMS) and the actual Online Catalogue System. The PIMS manages all product data relevant for catalogues and provides a central repository from which information is delivered to the Online Catalogue as also to systems for publishing the the data on other media like paper or CDROM. A PROCAT-GEN conformant electronic catalogue system (Online Catalogue) is able to import the catalogue from the PIMS by means of PROCAT-GEN's XML interchange format or even to re-import it in to another PIMS. This enables a distributor to use the manufacturer's catalogue data in order to add information or build up new offerings without having to reenter it again. PROCAT-GEN's XML DTD were developed with the same metadata model in mind as GENIAL uses, there a close relationship exists between both. Where GENIAL concentrates only on metadata, PROCAT extends the model further for multimedia information pertaining to catalogue entities (or objects)." For background and references on the initiative, see (1) the GEN Web site at The InnovationCenter of Siemens AG and Paderborn University, Cooperative Computing and Communication Laboratory (C-LAB), and (2) "Global Engineering Networking Initiative (GEN)."

  • [May 06, 2000]   Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) Version 1.0.    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged receipt of a 'NOTE' from the VoiceXML Forum: Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) Version 1.0. References: W3C Note 05-May-2000, ''. This public version updates a 'Release Candidate' document which was released to Forum Supporters on March 02, 2000. Authored by the VoiceXML Forum technical working group: Linda Boyer (IBM), Peter Danielsen (Lucent Technologies), Jim Ferrans (Motorola), Gerald Karam (AT&T), David Ladd (Motorola), Bruce Lucas (IBM), and Kenneth Rehor (Lucent Technologies). The submitted document "specifies VoiceXML, the Voice Extensible Markup Language. VoiceXML is designed for creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed-initiative conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications." A note on 'Implementation Scope' indicated that the VoiceXML 1.0 specification was designed for speech-based telephony applications. Appendix B supplies the VoiceXML Document Type Definition. Description: The architectural model includes "a document server (e.g., a web server) [which] processes requests from a client application, the VoiceXML Interpreter, through the VoiceXML interpreter context. The server produces VoiceXML documents in reply, which are processed by the VoiceXML Interpreter. The VoiceXML interpreter context may monitor user inputs in parallel with the VoiceXML interpreter. For example, one VoiceXML interpreter context may always listen for a special escape phrase that takes the user to a high-level personal assistant, and another may listen for escape phrases that alter user preferences like volume or text-to-speech characteristics. The implementation platform is controlled by the VoiceXML interpreter context and by the VoiceXML interpreter. For instance, in an interactive voice response application, the VoiceXML interpreter context may be responsible for detecting an incoming call, acquiring the initial VoiceXML document, and answering the call, while the VoiceXML interpreter conducts the dialog after answer. The implementation platform generates events in response to user actions (e.g., spoken or character input received, disconnect) and system events (e.g., timer expiration). Some of these events are acted upon by the VoiceXML interpreter itself, as specified by the VoiceXML document, while others are acted upon by the VoiceXML interpreter context..." The VoiceXML Forum is an industry organization founded by AT&T, IBM, Lucent and Motorola. It was established to develop and promote the Voice eXtensible Markup Language (VoiceXML), a new computer language designed to make Internet content and information accessible via voice and phone. With the backing and technology contributions of its four world-class founders, and the support of leading Internet industry players, the VoiceXML Forum has made speech-enabled applications on the Internet a reality." The W3C staff comment on the document notes that "VoiceXML appears to be a good match to the dialog requirements identified by the W3C Voice Browser working group. All submitters have indicated that they may own patents or patent applications which apply to the VoiceXML submission, but have not provided any detailed information on specific patents, or the components of VoiceXML which are covered by patents." Public comments on the NOTE may be sent via email to For background and references, see "VoiceXML Forum (Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum)."

  • [May 05, 2000]   LTG's Open Source XML Schema Validator Updated.    Henry S. Thompson has posted an announcement to the XML-DEV List referencing the [alpha] open source (GPLed) XSV (XML Schema Validator) tool, which now has an advanced interface. The web interface now supports a schema validation process via file-upload "if you are behind a firewall or have a schema to check which is not accessible via the Web." The XML Schema validator has been provided by Henry S. Thompson and Richard Tobin (Language Technology Group of the Human Communication Research Centre in the Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh); the Web interface is from Dan Connolly (W3C). Henry now writes: "You are invited to experiment with the open source Edinburgh/W3C schema validator XSV, via a webpage interface. It will schema-validate instances using schemas, and as an obvious special case, check schemas against the schema for schemas. This is an alpha release, which is undoubtedly buggy, and known not to check everything it should, but please do use it, and if you are willing, tick the box which lets us copy your schemas to build up a regression test suite." See the previous news item for other description and references. Note in this connection: (1) "XML Schemas" for description and background on the W3C XML Schema effort; (2) the reference page for online XML 'DTD' and well-formedness validation tools. Note 2000-05-28 - new test version with XML output options.

  • [May 05, 2000]   Final Release of SAX 2.0 Java (Simple API for XML).    David Megginson has announced "the final release of SAX2/Java. SAX2 extends SAX1 by adding support for Namespaces, for filter chains, and for querying and setting features and properties. You can download SAX2/Java from" Description: "SAX, the Simple API for XML, is a standard interface for event-based XML parsing, developed collaboratively by the members of the XML-DEV mailing list, currently hosted by OASIS. SAX version 2.0 was released on Friday 5 May 2000, and is free for both commercial and non-commercial use. A SAX2 companion package, SAX2-ext, is available from the [Megginson Technologies] Software page. This package adds support for reporting lexical items like comments and CDATA sections, together with additional DTD declarations." A C++ version of SAX2 is also planned. The SAX Web site provides (1) references for the source and documentation in the SAX 2.0/Java distribution, (2) SAX2 Driver and Application List [null, to be completed], (3) a history of SAX, and (4) a list of known bugs. The SAX2: Quick Start 'provides a quick-start tutorial for Java programmers who wish to use SAX2 in their programs.' A description of SAX as an "event-based API" is provided by David Megginson in a document What is an Event-Based Interface?: "A tree-based API compiles an XML document into an internal tree structure, then allows an application to navigate that tree. The Document Object Model (DOM) working group at the World-Wide Web consortium is developing a standard tree-based API for XML and HTML documents. An event-based API, on the other hand, reports parsing events (such as the start and end of elements) directly to the application through callbacks, and does not usually build an internal tree. The application implements handlers to deal with the different events, much like handling events in a graphical user interface..." Note: David Megginson's announcement says 'Thanks, everyone' but an even greater debt of gratitude is owed to David for his extraordinary leadership and tireless effort: 'Thank you, David Megginson'.

  • [May 04, 2000]   ParlML: A Common Vocabulary for Parliamentary Language.    The European Parliament's Task Force on Information and Document Managament recently issued a call for 'expressions of interest' in connection with a proposed development effort for a markup language for parliamentary texts and information. The markup language would be "ParlML: A Common Vocabulary for Parliamentary Language." The document lays out the importance for parliamentary democracies of well-structured, humanly-understandable and machine-accessible, information. Specifically, the purpose of the public call for expressions of interest "is to assess the level of interest in, and possible support for, the creation of a specific markup language for legislative and parliamentary work. On the basis of expressions lodged, a preliminary study could be undertaken by the interested partners to explore the whole range of XML standards (XML schema, DOM, XML and RDF in particular) with a view to developing a formal language definition. The advantages of such a markup language would be to: (1) facilitate the identification of equivalent actors and actions; (2) ease the access to and the exchange of, information on common themes, procedures and activities; (3) transcend the language barrier as markup could be language neutral and language-independent; (4) aid research and research institutions; (5) strengthen possibilities of legislative tracking and thus public interest in parliamentary work. Parliaments (in particular their IT, information, documentation and/or library services) are invited to respond to this call by submitting information about the extent of their own investigations into XML or indications of their interest; any agreed or projected plans; indications of development or deployment timeframes; indications of resources committed; interest in a collaborative approach; any other information, working documents or studies on possible use of XML." Questions/comments regarding this work may be directed to the Task Force Coordinator, Peter Pappamikail (DG I). Project background: in January 2000, a Task Force was set up in the European Parliament's secretariat to draw up proposals and timetable necessary for the implementation of a series of principles -- laid out in a decision of the Secretary General -- governing the production and management of documents and information in the Parliament. Further information on the establishment of the Task Force and on its mandate is provided in several online documents. The work of the Task Force on Information and Document Management is now under way. The membership will be publishing a range of its working and discussion papers, and will be soliciting feedback." See further description and references in "ParlML: A Common Vocabulary for Parliamentary Language."

  • [May 04, 2000]   XML Workshop in Amsterdam Sponsored by OASIS, W3C, and RivCom.    From a recent joint announcement: "International consortia, OASIS and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), have joined forces with XML consultancy and services company, RivCom, to host, Making the Best Use of XML within the Enterprise. Focused on the strategic introduction of XML to user organizations, this one-day workshop will be held on 15 May as part of the WWW9 Conference in Amsterdam. Workshop attendees will join XML leaders from Boeing, DataChannel, ebXML, Flash Creative Management, IBM, NATO, Sun Microsystems and others in a highly participatory event. 'While XML is becoming established as a key enabler for Internet-based enterprise information exchange and distributed computing, many user organizations are finding it difficult to know how best to adopt this emerging technology,' observed Adrian Rivers, Managing Director, RivCom. 'This workshop will help users appreciate the many roles XML can play across the whole enterprise'. 'The goal of OASIS, W3C and RivCom is to bring together leading figures from the XML world who represent user organizations, software vendors, consultancies and standards bodies,' said Stuart Robinson, Head of the W3C UK Office at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. 'This group will identify the technical and cultural issues involved in introducing XML to the enterprise and the options open to organizations in addressing these issues.' The program for the Workshop will include short presentations on the issues involved in introducing XML to the enterprise, along with candidate solutions to address these issues. These will be followed by discussion groups and plenary sessions to explore the potential and possible nature of a framework to support organizations seeking to introduce XML to the enterprise. 'Proceedings from the day will be used as input towards the development of a set of support materials for organizations setting out to establish clear strategies for the adoption of XML. These materials will be made publicly available and presented for discussion at the XML Europe 2000 conference,' said Pamela Gennusa, OASIS European representative and chair of XML Europe 2000." See further: (1) the full text of the announcement "OASIS, W3C and RivCom Offer Workshop on Applying XML Within the Enterprise" and (2) Ninth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW9). "The Web: The Next Generation." May 15 - 19, 2000. RAI International Exhibition & Congress Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • [May 04, 2000]   PassiveTeX XSL FO Processor for the W3C XSL Specification.    Sebastian Rahtz has announced the update of his PassiveTeX tool to support the March 27, 2000 working draft specification Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0. "I have updated the contents of my PassiveTeX XSL FO processor on with a version which uses the March 2000 XSL FO spec. It does not conform, but it does something with all but 17 objects, and at least recognizes all the properties. A good many properties are ignored, and for others I do not handle the full range of values. [Another] important change is that the language and hyphenate properties are now implemented. By default now 'no hyphenation', as per spec. I tested this slightly. It assumes, obviously, that your TeX setup has got the right language hyphenation patterns available. The TEI XSL stylesheets at have also been updated, in both their HTML and XSL FO incarnations. I am sure that in some places the TEI XSL FO stylesheets, and PassiveTeX, misinterpret the XSL FO specification. I will actively support and develop both PassiveTeX and the TEI stylesheets, and welcome feedback. All of this material conforms to the Debian Free Software Guidelines." See the announcement for details; see "Passive TeX" for earlier description.

  • [May 04, 2000]   Sablotron: A C++ XSLT Processor.    Petr Cimprich recently announced the release of Sablotron -- "a new open source XSLT processor written in C++ with the C and Perl API. This is a part of wider OS project, which claims to create a generic XML data distribution system... Sablotron is written in 'pure 100% C++' and is designed to be as compact and portable as possible. Thought it doesn't implement complete W3C recommendation yet, it does support a major subset and is a subject of intensive development now. Sablotron is available under the GNU license and is maintained as an Open Source project." Further documentation is provided in a manual written by Tomas Kaiser, and in a Sablotron FAQ document. The software is available for download. Sablotron development is sponsored by Ginger Alliance. Ginger Alliance "is a company providing complex communication solutions based on the XML data interchange format. Our effort is currently focused on the development of generic XML data distribution architecture called Charlie. This site is an example of XML-based web server that can be build up using the Charlie technology. All presented data are organized in XML files with it's own logical structure different from the structure of resulting HTML pages. Single pages are created on the fly by processing corresponding XSLT template and XML documents..." For related tools, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [May 03, 2000]   Visweb: An XML/XSL to SWF Converter.    A communiqué from Christian Bacher (SAXESS Software Design, Köln) reports on the recent release of VisWeb version 0.50, now available for download. Visweb is a "platform-independent XML and XSL based Shockwave/Flash encoder. The shockwave/flash format (SWF) is the most used vector graphics format on the web. It allows you to show complex but highly compressed vector graphics and animations in web browsers (netscape 4.5, IE 4.0 and higher). But generating SWF on dynamic websites is difficult, because it consists of unreadable bytecode. The solution is VisWeb: it provides a bridge between XML and the binary vector graphic format. Visweb consists of an XML/XSL based shockwave/flash generator which has an XML-interface called SWFML. SWFML represents the form of the binary shockwave/flash format and includes a couple of high level tags. The main features are: (1) Easy text generation: Visweb generates automatically the fonts into the SWF file; (2) High level shape support: Visweb supports the generation of high-level shapes like ellipses, rectangles, arcs, polygons etc... (3) Buttons and Actions support; (4) XSL support: Visweb includes a SWFML renderer for the 'formatting objects' (FOP) of XSL. Visweb makes it therefore very easy to render vector graphics via shockwave/flash. SWFML is designed to use as target format of XSL-Transformations. Combinations of XHTML and SWF can be generated for complex and high quality web sites. VisWeb uses the open source xml parser XERCES, the FOP package and the xslt processor XALAN from the Apache Software Foundation. [In this implementation] SWFML is the XML representation of SWF content. It is easy to generate using for example XSLT processors. But also graphical editors can output SWFML. Additional high level elements for easy handling are included. The SWF tags are represented as XML Tags. The unique IDs of the define tags and the refering control tags can be specified using an arbitrary string..." Examples are provided on the demo page; see also the manual. For related tools, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [May 03, 2000]   RAX: An XML Database API.    Sean McGrath (Digitome) has announced a new version of 'RAX', now supported by a RAX web site. RAX (Record API for XML) is a "simple, record-oriented API for XML which provides a simple, efficient interface for processing the sort of XML often generated from databases. RAX processes the PYX notation for parsed XML; PYX generators are freely available from (a) xmln to generate PYX using non-validating XML parse, and (b) xmlv to generate PYX using validating XML parse." Sean says: "I have added writing capabilities so you can now use RAX as a 'pull API' for read/write XML applications. Simply put, you can read records, modify them and write them out again as XML. RAX is intended to present programmers with a drop-dead easy API for processing record-oriented XML. The reference implementation or RAX is Python but it should be very easy to port it to other languages. Contributions to the evolution of RAX and contributions in other languages are hereby solicited." McGrath's RAX was recently introduced in an article "RAX: An XML Database API." Earlier, [2000-04-29] Robert Hanson posted an announcement describing a supporting Perl module XML::RAX. The module XML::RAX requires XML::Parser.

  • [May 03, 2000]   New XHTML Mailing List at eGroups.    Simon St.Laurent has announced a new mailing list "dedicated to discussing XHTML, the next generation of HTML. The list is based at eGroups Discussion of all versions of XHTML (1.0, 1.1, the upcoming 2.0) and their integration with other technologies (HTTP, CSS, MIME, XSLT, CC/PP, and more) is appropriate, as is discussion of XHTML's potential advantages and disadvantages relative to competing formats. W3C's XHTML recasts the HTML vocabulary into a stricter XML syntax, opening up new possibilities for both HTML and XML. While it's a minor change in some ways, the implications and new potentials are enormous and largely uncharted. I'm hoping that this list can bring together people from both the HTML and XML communities and shed some light on what XHTML has to offer to both communities. Webmasters, software developers, and anyone who might be interested in XHTML is welcome to join. I'm hoping that the list will be a place where developers of all levels can find the information they need to make the most of a promising new technology..." For related fora, see "SGML/XML Discussion Groups and Mailing Lists."

  • [May 03, 2000]   XML Support in Oracle JDeveloper 3.1.    Steve Muench (Oracle 'Lead XML Evangelist & Consulting Product Manager') has announced enhanced XML support in Oracle JDeveloper 3.1, now available from the Oracle Web site. Features include: (1) Color-coded syntax highlighting for XML/XSLT/XSD files; (2) XML Syntax checking to find and fix well-formedness errors fast; (3) Integrated support for running/debugging servlets, JSP, and XSQL Pages; (4) Sophisticated Java/XML-based Business Components Framework; (5) On-demand remote debugging support for Apache, Tomcat, etc.; (6) In-the-database Java debugging of Oracle JServer. [...] JDeveloper uses XML internally and enables development of XML applications. The business components for Java framework that ships with JDeveloper uses XML to store metadata about its application components. Important information is now stored in a structured document rather than in Java source code. This makes the application easier to understand and more importantly easier to customize. The application is now customizable without having access to the source code. JDeveloper 3.1 offers many features that enable developers to create business-to-consumer and business-to-business XML applications. JDeveloper can be utilized to write XML documents and XSL Stylesheets, to generate XML on the fly using the Business Components for Java Framework or the database directly and to transform XML into HTML, WML, XML or any other format." See the document describing 'JDeveloper 3.1 XML Features' for details.

  • [May 02, 2000]   XIDL: An Interface Definition Language for SOAP-RPC.    Francisco Curbera (Component Systems Group, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center) has posted an announcement for the draft release of an XIDL specification - a proposed IDL language for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). He writes: "Interface definition languages for SOAP seem to be getting more and more attention. We, at the group that developed IBM's Reference Implementation, have been working on this problem too. Since proposals are already being made, we figure out it was time to contribute our work to the discussion. Hence, we have just posted a proposed IDL language for SOAP. It is included in the download page of SOAP for Java (IBM's Reference Implementation for SOAP v1.1), at the Alphaworks site, as an independent download. Visit the Web site for IBM's SOAP 1.1 implementation and fetch the SOAP interface definition language proposal: XIDL, an Interface Definition Language for SOAP-RPC. This document provides "a short description of XIDL, an XML-based interface definition language designed with two basic goals in mind: extreme simplicity and type system independence. XIDL uses very few different elements and will be able to work with any existing type definition languages because it assumes that all types are defined externally. Moreover, XIDL can be be directly mapped into a subset of the OMG's IDL. The purpose of all these features is, of course, to foster faster adoption and and easier integration into existing code bases. The document includes a schema, a simple example, and a short description of the language... XIDL is a very small language: it includes just seven different elements and three attributes. . ."

  • [May 02, 2000]   Resin Version 1.1.1 Released.    Scott Ferguson (Caucho Technology, 'Open Source, XSL-enhanced JSP') has announced the availability of Resin version 1.1.1, now available for download. Resin is "a servlet/JSP engine with integrated XPath and XSLT support. With Resin, Servlets and JSP pages can use XSLT in two ways: using XSLT to filter the output of a servlet and using an XSLT stylesheet plus an XML template to create a JSP page (XTP). For filtering, servlets set a dummy content type, x-application/xsl, telling Resin to process the output with an XSLT stylesheet. For the second technique, Resin preprocesses *.xtp files with an stylesheet to create a JSP file. Features: (1) JSP 1.1 for Java or compiled server-side JavaScript. (2) Faster than mod_perl and mod_php and 3 times faster than Jakarta. (3) Servlet 2.2 engine. (4) Automatic servlet and bean compilation. (5) Servlet Filtering and XSL Filtering. (6) Load balancing for Apache and IIS. (7) Supports IIS, Apache, Netscape and an internal HTTP/1.1 web server. (8) XSLT and XPath 1.0 engine. (9) Open Source [We choose Open Source to bring fast servlets to a wider audience and to give customers control of critical server software; we do ask that commercial users purchase per-server licenses.]" See also the Resin overview, the reference guide, and the FAQ document. For related tools, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [May 02, 2000]   XML Spy 3.0 Beta 3 Supports XML Schema.    Alexander Falk (Icon Information-Systems) recently announced the availability of XML Spy 3.0 for Windows, including new support for XML Schema/DTD editing and validation. "It is my pleasure to announce the last scheduled beta release of XML Spy 3.0 for Windows, which is no longer only an XML editor, but has matured into a true Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for XML that includes: (1) XML editing and validation, (2) Schema/DTD editing and validation, (3) XSL editing and transformation. XML Spy 3.0b3 contains our new incremental validating parser which fully supports Document Type Definitions (DTD), Document Content Description (DCD), XML-Data Reduced (XDR), BizTalk, and already contains support for most of the new April 7 W3C XML Schema draft, which makes XML Spy the first editor that supports the new XML Schema draft from editing through schema validation to intelligent editing of XML instance documents based on the schema. The XML Schema support includes: (1) simpleType & complexType; (2) element & attribute; (3) group, sequence, choice, any; (4) all datatype facets, including user-defined patterns; (5) notation, annotation, documentation, include. [...] The editing tool provides four advanced views on your documents: an Enhanced Grid View for strucutred editing, a Database/Table view that shows repeated elements in a tabular fashion, a Text View with syntax-coloring for low-level work, and an integrated Browser View that supports both CSS and XSL style-sheets." See the web site for a detailed description of new features in XML Spy 3.0. The editor is available for download and 30-day evaluation. For schema description and references, see "XML Schemas."

  • [May 02, 2000]   Apache XML Delivery Toolkit - AxKit.    Matt Sergeant (Fastnet Software Ltd.) posted an announcement to the XSL-List [2000-04-28] concerning his Apache XML Delivery Toolkit (AxKit). The Apache XML Delivery Toolkit (AxKit) "is a suite of tools for the Apache httpd server running mod_perl, that give developers extremely flexible options for delivering XML to all kinds of browsers, from handheld systems, Braille readers, and ordinary browsers. All this can be achieved using nothing but W3C standards, although the plugin architecture provides the hooks for developers to write their own stylesheet systems, should they so desire. Two non-W3C stylesheet systems are included as examples. The toolkit provides full intelligent caching, which ensures that if any parameters in the display of the XML file change, the cache is overwritten. The toolkit also provides hooks for DOM based stylesheets to cascade. This allows (for example) the initial stylesheet to provide menu items and table of contents, while the final stylesheet formats the finished file to the desired look. It's also possible to provide multiple language support this way. . ." From a more recent description posted to the list: AxKit (Apache XML Delivery Toolkit) is a "suite of tools based on the Apache-Perl integration project, and Perl's XML processing tools, for delivering XML to clients. It has similar aims to the Cocoon project. AxKit is an extremely high performance alternative to Cocoon. I've heard some complaints of Cocoon's scalability (not many, but every now and then they pop-up on the Cocoon-users list - and I do hear this will be better with Cocoon 2). AxKit scales almost linearly with apache. My dev box runs a lot of software, so Apache is extremely constrained (with good reason - I'm behind a 64k link - so a fast web server is a low priority). ApacheBench reports 105 requests/sec for some static HTML. I get 80 requests/sec for cached converted XML files. Scale that up to a loaded Apache box, and well, you do the math... Current stylesheet systems only include XPathScript, NotXSLT (2 languages of my own invention, not perfect, but they work) and XSLT (based on Perl's XML::XSLT, with all its restrictions). Note: runs entirely on AxKit." For related tools, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [May 02, 2000]   Mediated Attribute Store Protocol (MASP) .    Mark Jones (AT&T Labs, Florham Park, NJ) recently announced the availability of a paper describing an 'XML-based protocol for a new attribute store service': Using XML in the MASP Client-Server Protocol. Mark says: "We created MASP about two years ago when we needed a client-server protocol for a new Mediated Attribute Store service that I was developing as a research prototype for some enterprise messaging applications at AT&T. Although the Mediated Attribute Store Protocol (MASP) was developed for this application, the ideas are suitably general to cover most synchronous client-server applications (and probably adaptable to asynchronous ones as well). For simplicity, we decided to use an entirely XML-based structure for the protocol. It is not built on HTTP (firewall issues were not paramount for our initial setting). Literally, the client and server sides simply open up socket connections and exchange ongoing XML "documents". The client-to-server connection passes the requests for service; the server-to-client document passes the corresponding responses. There is error handling, a limited form of attribute serialization, a generalized encoding metatag (EDATA), etc. There were some terrific side-benefits to an XML protocol in an exploratory research project, including extensibility (easy to add new commands), protocol tracing (readable trussing!) and server debugging (server diagnostics as XML comments are extensible and don't break client libraries!) The fact that it is entirely in XML means that a client platform just needs to have an XML parser available. This might be good for fairly thin clients, for example. We have adapted James Clark's parser for a C/C++ client API library. Other users have used other off-the-shelf XML parsers for MASP client libraries and applications in Java and Perl. One project is completing a JavaMail provider implementation that uses MASP. I tend to view simple XML cross-platform protocols as a kind of "poor man's CORBA" -- with a lot less hair for relatively straightforward applications." Background to the development of MASP is presented in the paper, which will be presented at the WWW9 conference: "The strength of ASCII protocols for network services such as SMTP, NNTP, and IMAP, is their relative simplicity. Debugging new implementations of such protocols is straightforward. It is convenient to be able to telnet to the appropriate port and manually enter commands to test the service or to truss the client or server and monitor the readable communication. On the other hand, an undesirable hallmark of these legacy protocols is their invention of ad hoc syntaxes for specifying requests and replies. This is particularly observed in their conventions for quoting metacharaters, dealing with line continuations, encoding binary data, handling error conditions, etc. [In this paper] we present our experience with the Mediated Attribute Store Protocol (MASP), an XML-based protocol for a new attribute store service. The simplicity of an ASCII/Unicode protocol is retained, while the above issues are resolved by a set of XML conventions and extensions for protocols. The core benefits of MASP and its implementation would carry over to the design of many client-server protocols... A full description of the MASP service is beyond the scope of this paper and is unnecessary for understanding MASP's role as a protocol, but the general goal of the service is to support an Entity-Relationship data model for querying a collection of heterogeneous data bases. The external ER schema which is advertised by the service abstracts away the actual data distribution and data models of the data in the underlying data bases. We have placed this ER framework over a number of data bases, text indexing systems, and other data access protocols."

  • [May 01, 2000]   Soap.Weblogs.Com.    The SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) developer community has been very active since the version 1.1 public release of the SOAP specification on 2000-04-26. As described in the 1.1 abstract: "SOAP is a lightweight protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment. It is an XML based protocol that consists of three parts: an envelope that defines a framework for describing what is in a message and how to process it, a set of encoding rules for expressing instances of application-defined datatypes, and a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses. SOAP can potentially be used in combination with a variety of other protocols; however, the only bindings defined in this document describe how to use SOAP in combination with HTTP and HTTP Extension Framework." Dave Winer (CEO, Userland) announced: "I started a new weblog for SOAP at SOAP is an XML-over-HTTP protocol -- an open protocol for distributed computing based on the standards of the Internet. SOAP version 1.1 was released publicly on 4/26/00. UserLand is proud to have participated along with Microsoft, DevelopMentor, IBM and Lotus, in the design of this simple protocol, that we believe will revolutionize the development of applications for the Internet. When there are news stories related to SOAP we will point to them here in the weblog]. And let this be a web-based focal point for developers who are using SOAP to build client, workstation and server applications that build on SOAP. Membership is open. There's a discussion group and email bulletins and lots of other community-organizing tools. UserLand also actively supports development in, and deployment of XML-RPC, an elegant protocol that is widely supported and deployed. UserLand played an active role in the development of both SOAP and XML-RPC. [...] The site is getting reasonably good flow: it's the top link in the permanent links section on I'm also watching the SOAP mail list hosted at, and will echo anything that's announced there, and am also pointing to messages that mark in some way, milestones for the development of SOAP. It's good that this mail list is archived. I also point to the mail list from the template on the site, so it's not in any way trying to replace the list, having a companion website is always a good idea, IMHO. One more thing, -- the SOAP weblog is fully scriptable via xml-rpc, and will soon be scriptable via SOAP. That's supported by the web app that runs the site, Manila, all our sites have this interface, which is probably the richest scripting interface built on XML and HTTP at this point in time." For other references, see "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [May 01, 2000]   IBM Releases Reference Implementation for SOAP Version 1.1.    Sanjiva Weerawarana recently posted an announcement for the release of a reference implementation of SOAP version 1.1, with full source under IPL. This reference implementation follows just a few days after the release of the version 1.1 specification for SOAP. The tool is being beveloped by Matthew J. Duftler, Sanjiva Weerawarana, and Paco Curbera (IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY), and is available from the IBM alphaWorks Web site. "We just sent our implementation of SOAP v1.1 to IBM alphaWorks. It is a mostly complete implementation architected to support: (1) doing messaging with SOAP, (2) doing RPC with SOAP, (3) multiple transport protocols, and (4) multiple encoding styles. . . We support two encodings for data types: the SOAP encoding as defined by the SOAP specification and XMI encoding. Also, in addition to the HTTP transport defined by the SOAP specification, we support SMTP as well using two alphaBeans from IBM alphaWorks (SMTP and POP3). IBM-SOAP's server-side support includes a generic SOAP router that can be used to SOAP-enable any Java class. An administration tool is also included to deploy new services to the router via the Web. ['We have an IDL for SOAP in progress and expect to release that early next week. We plan to generate the IDL from the deployment descriptor which we already have (in XML). On the client-side, we provide an API which can be used to do RPC over any of the supported transports using any of the supported encodings. The RPC over SMTP impl is about 90% done; the code to pick up the returned result via POP3 is not integrated fully yet (it's in another class). The server side for SMTP posted requests is implemented as a POP3->HTTP->SMTP bridge. Once we have the IDL is done, we plan to generate client-side stubs as well.'] The software is released under the IBM Public License with full source; we envision making this a true open-source project in the future..." For other references, see "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)." Note 2000-05-08: updated version supports JSP 1.0 compatible app servers and full RPC over SMTP.

  • [April 30, 2000]   Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Software Support from IBM alphaWorks and Other Developers.    Several recent announcements have been made for improved software tools supporting the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) specification, including updates for conformance to the March 03, 2000 working draft, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 Specification. W3C Working Draft 03-March-2000. The 2000-03-03 specification document represents the eighth working draft, now in second 'last call' review. SVG is "a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML. SVG allows for three types of graphic objects: vector graphic shapes (e.g., paths consisting of straight lines and curves), images and text. Graphical objects can be grouped, styled, transformed and composited into previously rendered objects. Text can be in any XML namespace suitable to the appplication, which enhances searchability and accessibility of the SVG graphics. The feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, filter effects, template objects and extensibility. SVG drawings can be dynamic and interactive. The Document Object Model (DOM) for SVG, which includes the full XML DOM, allows for straightforward and efficient vector graphics animation via scripting. A rich set of event handlers such as onmouseover and onclick can be assigned to any SVG graphical object. Because of its compatibility and leveraging of other Web standards, features like scripting can be done on SVG elements and other XML elements from different namespaces simultaneously within the same Web page." SVGView is a prototype Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) viewer from IBM alphaWorks. As recently announced by Mike Paolini of the IBM SVG Team, SVGView (version 0.4a) has now been updated to support the March 3rd level of the W3C SVG specification. "New features have been added in SVGView, including an interactive DOM viewer and the ability to save the current view as a JPEG file. SVGView now utilizes the Xerces level of the parser, which is included as part of the SVGView package. . . SVGView is a Java program that uses Java 2D and the XML Parser for Java to parse, process, and display SVG files on any XML-enabled Web browser. The viewer enables Web professionals working with SVG files to preview their forms or images. SVGView uses Java 2D and XML Parser for Java to parse, process, and render SVG files locally or over the Internet. The viewer passes the document to the parser, which creates the data tree structure. The parser then traverses the tree in Java 2D, which calls the appropriate functions in the Java2 API. For example, if a square needs to be drawn, the relevant Java2D function draws the square at the appropriate location. The IBM On-Line Transcoding Demo package provides a demonstration of on-line transcoding, including Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) documents to SVG and Color Graphics Metafile (CGM) documents to SVG. You can use SVGView to display the transcoded output. The minimum recommended hardware for SVGView is a Pentium 200 MHz or equivalent performance system with 48 MB memory and 10 MB free disk space. All platforms require a JavaTM 1.2.1 (Java 2) package or higher; JavaTM 1.2.2 is recommended." From among several other software tools now supporting SVG: (1) Adobe recently announced support for SVG in Adobe Illustrator Version 9.0. (2) CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences, Spatial Information Systems has released a new version of its (BSD Open Source) 'CSIRO SVG Toolkit', which supports the March 03 SVG specification; the package contains an SVG viewer, an implementation of the SVG DOM (conforming to Document Object Model Level 2), and a utility for rendering an SVG document into various image formats. (3) Jackaroo, from the Koala Development Team, is "a Conforming Static Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Viewer [which] can parse and process an SVG document fragment and render the contents of the document onto some sort of output medium such as a display or printer; written in pure Java, is free, and will be distributed with the source code." (4) Trajectory Pro is a new (preview release) Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) authoring tool from Jasc Software which "will allow you to add content rich vector graphics to your web pages with a robust set of drawing and animation tools; available for download." (5) Gill, a Gnome Illustration application, is part of the developing SVG support within the Gnome Project (GNU Network Object Model Environment.). "Gill will eventually support all of SVG; currently, it supports enough SVG to display a few test files. It does include most of the PostScript bezier imaging model, including stroking and filling, line cap style, line join style, etc." (6) The SVG in Mozilla Project is in its initial phase, under the direction of Project Editor Dean Jackson. Several key components "are are already implemented in Mozilla, so the SVG in Mozilla project has quite a head start compared to coding SVG viewer from scratch." The W3C SVG web pages cite a number of other SVG Implementations (viewers, editors, converters, server-side SVG generators). For other references, see "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)."

  • [April 29, 2000]   Open Applications Group Releases XML Schemas.    The Open Applications Group XML development team recently announced the availability of 'XDR' versions of XML schemas for business messages, together with corresponding sample XML documents. "In preparation for W3C XML schema support, the Open Applications Group has added XDR (XML-Data Reduced) schemas to the set of available XML resources available for download. The full set of schemas and sample documents for OAGIS version 6.2 is available from the Open Applications Group web site. These 'XDR' XML schemas are in interim step toward full adoption of the upcoming W3C recommendations. In prototype format, they provide additional information for data types and incorporate namespaces directly referencing online schema libraries... The DTD and XDR versions of these messages are intended to be compatible on the wire, just two different methods of describing them. The Open Applications Group is striving to get to XML Schema as soon as possible after the W3C finishes its project. In the meantime, we have received several requests to make an XDR version available until XML Schema becomes available. At that time the Open Applications Group intends to ship XML Schema as soon as possible." The schemas are for business messages defined in the Open Applications Group Interface Specification; each XML based message is fully documented from a business design standpoint in our OAGIS Specification in Section Three. The Open Applications Group is "a non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and process based XML content for eBusiness and Application Integration. It is the largest publisher of XML based content for business software interoperability in the world. Open Applications Group, Inc. members have over 5 years of extensive experience in building this industry consensus based framework for business software application interoperability and have developed a repeatable process for quickly developing high quality business content and XML representations of that content. [Its mission is] to promote fast, easy, and cost-effective eBusiness and Application Integration of software components for enterprise and supply chain functions. The Group does this by leveraging XML, best practices in integration technology and architecture, and by providing an impartial forum for all stakeholders to work together to accomplish their common goals." For description and references, see "Open Applications Group."

  • [April 28, 2000]   Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML).    ContentGuard, Inc., formerly an operating unit of Xerox, recently issued a series of announcements and launched a new Web site for its rights management technology and XML centerpiece, the 'Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML)'. Previous research and development has been done under the name "Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL)." XrML is described as an "extension of Xerox DPRL 2.0 in XML." According to published descriptions: "XrML - eXtensible rights Markup Language - provides a universal method for specifying rights and issuing conditions (licenses) associated with the use and protection of content. ContentGuard has developed and contributed XrML as an open specification licensed on a royalty-free basis to unify the Digital Rights Management industry and encourage inter-operability at an early stage. XrML facilitates the creation of an open architecture for rights management of digital content and can be easily integrated with both existing and new systems. This initiative has received significant support from all walks of the industry including technology players, content owners, publishers, eTailers and clearinghouses, and is being rapidly integrated into various applications including e-books, music and video. XrML promises to foster the rapid growth of the digital content economy. Based on pioneering research from Xerox' Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the ContentGuard solutions offer content owners more control and flexibility over the distribution and use of their content. XrML will enable eContent owners to: (1) Describe rights, fees and conditions appropriate to commerce models they select. (2) Provide standard terms for usage rights with useful, concise and easily understandable meanings. (3) Offer vendors operational definitions of trusted systems for compliance testing and evaluation. (4) Provide extensibility to new language features without compromising XrML's other goals. XrML provides an open architecture, scalability, customization, extensibility and the capacity to integrate with both existing systems and new ones as they are developed. XrML supports and accommodates other industry standards, such as SSL, public/private key encryption and the DOI initiative. [...] Microsoft Corporation and Xerox Corporation will collaborate with ContentGuard Inc. on key digital rights management (DRM) technologies. Through this work, the three companies will improve the distribution of premium digital content, including eBooks, documents, music and video, over the Internet, while protecting against unauthorized usage or redistribution. Microsoft has also joined Xerox as a shareholder in ContentGuard, Inc. To accelerate market growth, ContentGuard is announcing the royalty-free licensing of its eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML). This initiative has already received support from 20 industry leaders, including Adobe Systems, Inc., Barnes & Noble, Glassbook, Inc., Hewlett Packard Company, Lightning Printing, Inc., Microsoft, Preview Systems, Reciprocal, Inc.,, Inc., Time Warner Trade Publishing, Thomson Publishing and Xerox." See references in "Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML)." [warning]

  • [April 28, 2000]   ISO 639-2 Language Codes and XML.    Apropos of 'Language Identification' in the XML 1.0 Recommendation ('ISO639Code' and the xml:lang reserved attribute, with normative reference to ISO 639): a recent communiqué from Rebecca S. Guenther (Chair, ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee; Senior Networking and Standards Specialist, Network Development and MARC Standards Office) supplies updated "official" information on the ISO 639 standard and its maintenance/registration authority. The US Library of Congress has updated its Web site with online documents providing a copy of the entire ISO standard and listings for both the 2-character ISO 639-1 codes and the 3-character ISO 639-2 codes. The web site provides information about the services of LC as a registration authority (e.g., ISO 639-2 Change Notices; Request form for additions to language codes; Criteria for requesting new language codes; The Development of ISO 639-2; The Functions of the ISO 639-2). The site also provides several useful sorted formats for the language codes: Codes arranged alphabetically by Alpha-3 Bibliographic Code, Codes Arranged Alphabetically by Alpha-3 Terminology Code, Alpha-3 Codes Arranged Alphabetically by English Name of Language, and Alpha-3 Codes Arranged Alphabetically by French Name of Language. "International Standard ISO 639-2 was prepared jointly by (1) Technical Committees ISO/TC 37, Terminology (principles and coordination), Subcommittee SC 2, Layout of vocabularies and (2) ISO/TC 46, Information and documentation, Subcommittee SC 4, Computer applications in information and documentation. ISO 639 consists of the following parts, under the general title Codes for the representation of names of languages: Part 1: Alpha-2 code (revision of ISO 639:1988), and Part 2: Alpha-3 code. The Library of Congress has been designated the ISO 639-2/RA for the purpose of processing requests for alpha-3 language codes comprising the International Standard, Codes for the representation of names of languages -- Part 2: alpha-3 code. The ISO 639-2/RA receives and reviews applications for requesting new language codes and for the change of existing ones according to criteria indicated in the standard. It maintains an accurate list of information associated with registered language codes, processes updates of registered language codes, and distributes them on a regular basis to subscribers and other parties..." For background and bibliographic citation, see also the reference resource "Names of Languages - ISO 639."

  • [April 27, 2000]   Java Document Object Model (JDOM).    From a recent company announcement: "JDOM (Java Document Object Model) is a new technology that enables Java developers to read, change, and write XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) data much more easily than ever before. Created by Jason Hunter and Brett McLaughlin, JDOM has just been released under an open source license. The JDOM Project has a website dedicated to promoting the understanding and use of JDOM. The site includes extensive documentation on the project, the JDOM code downloadable in both source and binary form, mailing lists, and information about related Java and XML projects. The O'Reilly Network will assist by marketing the site and eventually, selling ads on the site... JDOM is a way to represent an XML document for easy and efficient reading, manipulation, and writing. It has a straightforward API, is a lightweight and fast, and is optimized for the Java programmer. It's an alternative to DOM and SAX, although it integrates well with both DOM and SAX. JDOM documents can be built from XML files, DOM trees, SAX events, or any other source. JDOM documents can be converted to XML files, DOM trees, SAX events, or any other destination. This ability proves useful, for example, when integrating with a program that expects SAX events. JDOM can parse an XML file, let the programmer easily and efficiently manipulate the document, then fire SAX events to the second program directly - no conversion to a serialized format is necessary... JDOM is an XML technology optimized for the Java developer. All previous programming libraries and APIs (application programming interfaces) designed to interact with XML have been intended to work with multiple languages, which causes inefficiencies for Java programmers. JDOM uses the power of the Java language to make interacting with XML simpler and faster... JDOM is an open source API which provides an alternative to the more complicated APIs such as the Document Object Model (DOM) and the Simple API for XML (SAX). Unlike DOM and SAX, JDOM is optimized for the Java programmer, using standard Java programming idioms and taking advantage of Java language features. The result is a document model that is lightweight and powerful, and lets developers build from any source, including DOM and SAX parsers. JDOM's open source license is the least restrictive license available, enabling developers to use JDOM in creating new products without requiring them to release their own products as open source. This is the license model used by the Apache Project, which created the Apache server... JDOMTM is both Java-centric and Java-optimized. It behaves like Java, it uses Java collections, it is completely natural API for current Java developers, and it provides a low-cost entry point for using XML. While JDOM is 100% compliant with existing standards such as the Simple API for XML (SAX) and the Document Object Model (DOM), it is not an abstraction layer or enhancement to those APIs. Rather, it seeks to provide a robust, light-weight means of reading and writing XML data without the complex and memory-consumptive options that current API offerings provide..."

  • [April 27, 2000]   XSV: W3C/HCRC Language Technology Group Schema Validator.    The W3C Web site now hosts an alpha 'XML Schema Validator', referenced from a document entitled 'W3C/HCRC Language Technology Group Schema Validator'. The XML Schema validator has been provided by Henry S. Thompson and Richard Tobin (Language Technology Group of the Human Communication Research Centre in the Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh); the Web interface is from Dan Connolly. XSV (XML Schema Validator) is "an open source (GPLed) work-in-progress attempt at a conformant schema-aware processor, as defined by XML Schema Part 1: Structures." Documentation on the current status of XSV is provided on the LTG Web site. The easiest way to use the Schema Validator is to enter one or more URL in the forms interface: 'if you enter more than one URL, the 2nd etc. will be used to schema-validate the first.' The form provides a check-box to check when you want to attempt schema-validation even if the schema(s) have errors. Additionally, one may download the (Python) sources from the W3C public CVS repository. Note that the developers have characterized the XML Schema Validator [version '2000-04-27'] as an alpha test of a service for a "work-in-progress" W3C working draft specification. Also, the developers need XML schemas to provide a regression testing pool: alpha testers who are willing to allow a copy of their input to be logged and copied offline for this purpose are asked to click the checkbox signifying permission. Note: also now the announcement of 2000-05-05 posted to XML-DEV: "You are invited to experiment with the open source Edinburgh/W3C schema validator XSV, via a webpage interface. It will schema-validate instances using schemas, and as an obvious special case, check schemas against the schema for schemas. This is an alpha release, which is undoubtedly buggy, and known not to check everything it should, but please do use it, and if you are willing, tick the box which lets us copy your schemas to build up a regression test suite." For related resources, see further: (1) "XML Schemas" for description and background on the W3C XML Schema effort; (2) the reference page for online XML 'DTD' and well-formedness validation tools.

  • [April 24, 2000]   Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 Specification (P3P1.0).    As part of the P3P Activity, the P3P Specification Working Group has published a third revised 'last call' working draft for The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 (P3P1.0) Specification. Reference: W3C Working Draft 24-April-2000, edited by Massimo Marchiori. The W3C specification for the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), along with its normative references, "includes all the specification necessary for the implementation of interoperable P3P applications. This last call Working Draft includes an extension mechanism that can be used to extend the P3P vocabulary. The Working Group is particularly interested in feedback on how to improve this mechanism as well as examples of extensions that people would like to propose. These examples may be useful for improving the design of the extension mechanism. In addition, the Working Group may consider incorporating some of these ideas into the P3P vocabulary so that they need not be introduced later as extensions." The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) "enables Web sites to express their privacy practices in a standard format that can be retrieved automatically and interpreted easily by user agents. P3P user agents will allow users to be informed of site practices (in both machine- and human-readable formats) and to automate decision-making based on these practices when appropriate. Thus users need not read the privacy policies at every site they visit. P3P version 1.0 is a protocol designed to inform Web users of the data-collection practices of Web sites. It provides a way for a Web site to encode its data-collection and data-use practices in a machine-readable XML format known as a P3P policy. The P3P specification defines: (1) A standard schema for data a Web site may wish to collect, known as the 'P3P base data schema' (2) A standard set of uses, recipients, data categories, and other privacy disclosures (3) An XML format for expressing a privacy policy (4) A means of associating privacy policies with Web pages or sites (5) A mechanism for transporting P3P policies over HTTP. P3P policies use an XML encoding of the P3P vocabulary to identify the legal entity making the representation of privacy practices in a policy, enumerate the types of data or data elements collected, and explain how the data will be used. In addition, policies identify the data recipients, and make a variety of other disclosures including information about dispute resolution, and the address of a site's human-readable privacy policy."

  • [April 21, 2000]   Template Definition Language (TDL).    Experimental research is being done with an XML-based electronic patient record (EPR) template to assist in the creation and sharing of medical knowledge by clinical processionals. The research is being carried out at Department of Medical Informatics, University Hospital, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, and Division of Medical Informatics Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan, together with a TDL Working Group (one of the special research interest groups in the Japanese Association of Medical Informatics). The principals report that the Template Definition Language (TDL) has been developed "to share knowledge of how to construct an electronic patient record (EPR) template, based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). TDL has been designed to be independent of EPR platforms or databases. Our research of TDL was conducted through the evaluation of the description of various templates in currently available EPRs and through comparisons with some electronic clinical guidelines. We conclude that TDL is sufficient for the objective but still needs improvement of the algorithm for describing dynamic changes. [...] To achieve the objective of sharing knowledge, we developed a simple platform-independent language for describing the contents and structures of templates and named it Template Definition Language (TDL). Using the TDL editor and translator, physicians can generate templates by themselves. In [a published] paper we examine the first and second step of this process." In the TDL design, "the user's data entry or other user actions should trigger the action, not only showing messages on the screen, but also changing the screen design. The description of the rule should represent judgment criteria on changes of the template after being triggered. Data from the patient database may be required as parameters of the rule. The Arden Syntax for Medical Logic Modules (ASTM E 31.15) is one of the most appropriate and suitable standards that meets these requirements. In MLM the input is usually a set of patient data from the database, and the output is messages to the users. Therefore MLM should be extended to carry out a TDL-defined action. Chaining of multiple MLMs together, which is not well supported by the current MLM, is required. A script can be described in the extensible style language (XSL) document for XML. The ECMA Script standard provides the basis for the XSL scripting language, and the script is the standardized specification of JavaScript. Control of the screen and processing of the data entered by users is expressed with the ECMA Script. However, because handling data from a patient database is difficult, the adoption of the ECMA Script to describe the rule would require an XSL document to be added to the TDL document. We are expecting a new version of Arden Syntax and will decide whether it can be used in TDL. [...] Until now, there was nothing available for the exchange of the contents and structure of a template other than free-format paper documents. There was no standard expression and there existed even confusion of the terms concerning templates. Our version of TDL has solved this problem. It can describe the contents and structure of a template, which may be exchanged between institutions, vendors and platforms. Standardization of ATOM items (title, value, and other attributes) of templates is part of the value of TDL. Ideally, these ATOM items should be standardized, but this takes time and requires further discussion. We do not aim for standardization of the templates. TDL itself does not regulate the contents of templates. Rather, TDL differentiates between various kinds of templates, even those having the same title (including problem), and makes apparent the differences between medical practices. TDL will also provoke discussions on such issues." For references, see "Template Definition Language (TDL)."

  • [April 21, 2000]   StarDOM - Transforming Scientific Data into XML.    StarDOM has been created by Jens Linge and Lutz Ehrlich of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany. "StarDOM is a software package to transform data provided in the Self Defining Text Archival and Retrieval (STAR) format into XML. The Self-Defining Text Archival and Retrieval (STAR) format has become a standard in structural biology. Several scientific databases (e.g., PDB, CCDC, ICDD, BioMagResBank) use the STAR format to store structural, crystallographic diffraction and NMR data. A growing number of programs (e.g., CNS, NMRView, MODELFREE) can utilize the STAR format for their respective data output. The transform is achieved by transferring the data tree inherent in a STAR file to a [W3C] Document Object Model. This opens new possibilities for visual editing, archiving, parsing and structured queries of structural biology data. The strategy allows interactive navigation by using the Document Object Model representation of the data as well as easy access by XML query languages. As an example application, the entire BioMagResBank has been transformed into XML format [conforming to the StarDOM XML DTD]. Using an XML query language, statistical queries on the collected NMR data sets can be constructed with very little effort... The core functionality of StarDOM is implemented in a package written in the Python programming language. It relies on an implementation of the Document Object Model (DOM). Currently, there are two DOM implementations freely availabe for noncommercial purposes: 4DOM is the implementation of FourThought which adheres closely to the W3C DOM recommendation, whereas the implementation provided by the Python XML-special interest group (XML-SIG) lends itself to easier programmatic manipulation of the DOM objects. StarDOM is written in a way which allows the use of either package. As the 4DOM implementation can be used to access DOM objects as CORBA servers, the additional effort in programming might be worth it if you plan to create distributed data repositories." For details, see: (1) the the StarDOM Web site and (2) the reference document, "StarDOM - Transforming Scientific Data into XML."

  • [April 21, 2000]   XML Schema Compilation Project.    Curt Arnold recently announced a 'schema compiler' effort, supported by a developers' mailing list. The XML Schema compiler project has been created to build reference implementations of schema evaluation and simplification in XSLT. The public is "invited to join a project to an open-source XSLT-based compiler for XML Schema. The XML Schema "compiler" project intends to provide reference implementations (and potentially other) of schema processing to: (1) produce analysis of errors in the source schema; (2) produce a compiled form of the schema that contains the expansion of inclusions, imports, complexType derivations, etc, in a form that closely related to the information set necessary for a parser to validate a conforming document. The compiled form should help reduce the potential for hacking by attacking resources used in the schema definition. (3) support transliteration (as much as possible) of XML schema constraints to other validation mechanisms such as Schematron or RELAX; (4) support generation of documentation for schemas; (5) provide a forum to discuss schema related issues; (6) provide feedback to the W3C XML Schema working group; and (7) assist the development of schema-aware (and/or compiled schema-aware) parsers." Project XSDComp is accessible on SourceForge. For schema description and references, see "XML Schemas."

  • [April 20, 2000]   W3C Working Draft for A P3P Preference Exchange Language (APPEL).    As part of the P3P Activity, the W3C P3P Preference Interchange Language Working Group has published a working draft specification for A P3P Preference Exchange Language (APPEL). Reference: W3C Working Draft 20-April-2000, edited by Marc Langheinrich (ETH Zurich). This WD updates a previous draft of 1999-08-14. The new document complements the P3P 1.0 specification [The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 (P3P1.0) Specification], published as W3C Working Draft-04 April-2000. P3P version 1.0 "is a protocol designed to inform Web users of the data-collection practices of Web sites. It provides a way for a Web site to encode its data-collection and data-use practices in a machine-readable XML format known as a P3P policy." The APPEL working draft specifies "a language for describing collections of preferences regarding P3P policies between P3P agents. Using this language, a user can express her preferences in a set of preference-rules (called a ruleset), which can then be used by her user agent to make automated or semi-automated decisions regarding the acceptability of machine-readable privacy policies from P3P enabled Web sites. This version of the APPEL language relies on ordered rules. The Working Group is particulary interested in feedback on how to improve this mechanism in terms of better supporting merging and editing of rulesets. The Working Group has considered a number of different approaches to developing a P3P preference interchange language and has decided to document one approach and solicit feedback on it. The group may consider other approaches, including more general-purpose languages (for example, XML or RDF query languages). Much of the underlying logic is based on PICSRules. We hope in time that this will merely be an application of XML (XML-Data) rules or query languages..."

  • [April 19, 2000]   XMLWriter 0.1 for Java.    David Megginson has announced the release of XMLWriter 0.1 for Java. "I am pleased to announce the release of XMLWriter 0.1 for Java. This is a SAX2 filter class that can both serialize its events to an XML document and pass them on for further processing. XMLWriter is free (public domain, in fact) and requires the SAX2/Java prerelease announced today [2000-04-19]. XMLWriter should be suitable for use as a general-purpose streaming XML writer in Java applications, and it includes full Namespace support (including the abilities to select what prefixes to use and what Namespaces to declare on the root element). Because the class is a filter, you can use it to take a snapshot of any point in a SAX2 filter chain, as well as serializing the final result to XML (this may be important for auditing as well). To try out the XMLWriter, try compiling and running it on the supplied XHTML sample..." The XMLWriter software is available for download.

  • [April 19, 2000]   HTMLHelp for W3C XML Schema Working Draft Specification.    Curt Arnold has announced the publication of an "HTMLHelp file for the 7-April-2000 XML Schema Working Draft, available at the AEA Technology Web site. This help file has been generated from the 'schema for schemas' appearing in the 7-April-2000 XML Schema W3C Working Draft. There is minimal narration in this help file; however it should be useful for a quick reference and a roadmap to the concrete schema language. The help file does not attempt to document the context-specific variants of elements (for example, the element may not have a name attribute when it is not an immediate child of a element). If you like excessive narration, still available is the help file to an alternative December 17th working [XML Schema] draft where I tried to discuss some of the issues that I had with that draft. Some of the issues have been reflected in later drafts, others have been deferred to later, however some still seem like pressing issues to me, specifically complexType derivation by restriction. Please send any comments on this help file to" For other documentation and citations, see the XML Schema reference collection.

  • [April 19, 2000]   Unicorn XSLT Processor.    Alexey Gokhberg (Unicorn Enterprises SA, Switzerland) reports on the availability of the company's 'XSLT Processor'. "Unicorn XSLT processor implements XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 1.0. The final W3C recommendation of 16 November 1999 (REC-xslt-19991116) is implemented. The current product version is 1.00.00. It should be considered an alpha release. The product is implemented in C++ and is currently running under Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. The recent binary distribution is available for downloading from the Unicorn Web site. UXT is currently using non-validating parser which does not process external DTD sets and external parsed entities. This may impose certain limitation on usability of those XSLT features that rely on DTD information stored in the external subset, though the features themselves are supported by UXT. The UXT XML parser supports UTF-8 and UTF-16 encodings. Relative URI are supported as required by REC-xslt-19991116. Fragment identifiers are not supported. The UXT processor may be started from the command line using the following command syntax, with exactly three arguments: uxt <source_document> <xslt_stylesheet> <result_document>..." See the README file for other details. For related software, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."

  • [April 19, 2000]   RELAX Developer's Mailing List.    K. Kawaguchi recently posted an announcement inviting participation in the new 'RELDEVE' mailing list. RELDEVE [] is an unmoderated mailing list for those who are intereseted in RELAX schema language. The list '' is also available for Japanese. RELAX is a language for describing tag sets of XML; it is based on hedge automata. The list announcement from MURATA Makoto (Chair of the INSTAC XML SWG) supplies additional information. See: (1) the RELAX Web site and (2) "REgular LAnguage description for XML (RELAX)." Other XML-related discussion groups are referenced in the main 'Lists' document.

  • [April 18, 2000]   XML Europe 2000 Conference and Exposition.    The Graphic Communications Association (GCA) has released updated information on the upcoming XML Europe 2000 Conference and Exposition, to be held June 12 - 16, 2000 at the Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris, France. XML Europe 2000 marks the 18th GCA conference to be held in Europe. Chaired by Pamela Gennusa, XML Europe is "the most comprehensive XML event in Europe, including tutorials, sessions for executives and business users, over 40 exhibitors, and this year, featuring two full tracks for developers." Online registration is now open for this GCA-sponsored event at and will continue through 26-May-2000. "Full- and half-day tutorials will help XML newcomers and will provide opportunities for experts to explore key subjects in more depth. Up to six concurrent tracks running throughout the conference's four days, as well as the 18 concurrent tutorials held on Monday 12 June, will examine the many faces of XML and related standards. Experts in a range of technical and industry areas will discuss traditional uses of these standards (documents, data, etc.) and newer applications such as eBusiness and the use of XML to describe software processes. The conference will focus in part on core technologies. Delegates can learn more on the status of standards promulgated by ISO, W3C, OASIS and IDEAlliance. Examples include the DOM, Schemas, Topic Maps, XSL, XLink and XPointer. A particular area of interest will be progress on the vocabulary and registration work undertaken by There are also applications based on core technologies, including how XML is being applied to specific vertical industries (education, finance, health, insurance, news services, publishing, and travel) and to topics that affect many industries, such as eBusiness, graphics, knowledge management, and software engineering." An outline of events is provided in the conference overview and in the full conference program. For other references and description, see (1) the text of the announcement "Aah XML (and Paris) in June: GCA Announces Details of XML Europe", or (2) "XML Europe: Time for Tough Decisions. 125 Presentations, 40 Exhibitors, 18 Tutorials Make Self-Scheduling A Challenge", and (3) the main conference entry.

  • [April 18, 2000]   XML Protocols Shakedown: WWW9 Panel on XML and Protocols.    Janet Daly (W3C) has posted a schedule for the the WWW9 XML and Protocols Panel and Discussion. This meeting, chaired by W3C's Dan Connolly, will be held on 17-May-2000 in conjunction with the Ninth International World Wide Web Conference at the RAI Convention Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Description: "The Internet and Web communities are bubbling over with proposals for the use of XML in network protocols and distributed applications - XML-RPC, SOAP, XMI, WebDAV, ICE and IOTP are only a few examples. The goals of this panel is to review these and other proposals and identify their common threads, while taking into account (1) the wishes of developers for lean, lightweight protocols, and (2) the commercial needs for robust technologies that will support the full weight and demands of business-to-business ecommerce systems. The panelists hope to engage the audience in the evaluation of a range of proposals, and continue discussion that separates out the needs for common, interrelated standards." Background to this discussion may be found in the archives of the W3C's 'xml-dist-app' mailing list; this forum is a spin-off of a lunch discussion at XML '99 about the use of XML in distributed applications, network protocols, and messaging systems. See also in this connection: (1) "WWW9 XML-Protocol Agenda Discussions," provided by Eric Prud'hommeaux, (2) "XML Protocol Comparisons", and (3) the main conference entry.

  • [April 18, 2000]   MathML and Math on the Web.    A communiqué from Neil Soiffer announces the organization of a first MathML conference: "The first-ever MathML conference, MathML and Math on the Web, will be held October 20-21, 2000 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The conference will present current research and applications involving MathML, an XML application for describing mathematical notation and capturing both its structure and its content. The primary goal of MathML is to enable mathematics to be served, received, and processed on the World Wide Web, just as HTML has enabled this functionality for text. Authors are requested to submit abstracts of their proposed talks by email to Candidate topics for presentation include: Authoring or displaying MathML, Nonvisual renderers of MathML, Applications that use MathML for import or export or as an archival format, Converters to and from MathML, Business-to-business applications that use MathML, Case studies of MathML usage, MathML in education, Extending MathML, MathML and related standards, Mathematical computation on the Web, Categorizing, indexing, or searching mathematics, Fonts for mathematical characters. The deadline for submission of abstracts is June 2, 2000. Notification of acceptances will be sent out on or before June 23, 2000. MathML and Math on the Web is being sponsored by Wolfram Research, IBM, the American Mathematical Society (AMS), Waterloo Maple, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Additional conference details and submission guidelines are available at" For other references, see (1) the W3C Web site "Mathematical Markup Language (MathML)" and (2) the main conference entry.

  • [April 18, 2000]   ECOOP Workshop on XML and Object Technology.    The first ECOOP Workshop on XML and Object Technology will be held on June 12, 2000, in Sophia Antipolis, France. The workshop is being offered in association with ECOOP 2000 [14th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Sophia Antipolis and Cannes, France June 12 - 16, 2000]. The aim of the workshop is "to discuss how object-oriented technology can be exploited in data management solutions for XML and which issues require new developments and further investigation. ... Companies and organizations are today massively using the Web as the main information distribution means both at the internal and external level. Such a widespread use of the Web has pushed the rapid development of suitable standards for information representation. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is currently the most relevant standardization effort in the area of data exchange trough markup languages. XML has many similarities with object-oriented data models and languages. However, whereas the object-oriented technology has reached a great level of maturity, XML is still in its infancy..." See the main conference entry.

  • [April 18, 2000]   SD 2000 East Call for Abstracts.    Elliotte Rusty Harold recently posted a call for abstracts in connection with SD 2000 East, XML Track. Software Development East 2000 will be held October 29 - November 02, 2000 at the Washington D.C. Convention Center, Washington, D.C., USA. "The audience for this show is very developer heavy. Attendees tend to be programmers working in the trenches to implement solutions. The evaluation forms tell us they want meaty, technical talks that show by example how to use XML/Java/C++/etc. Thus in the XML track we're looking for talks that pick one aspect of XML (e.g. schemas, XLinks, DOM, etc.) and explain and demonstrate it in as much detail as is feasible in 90 minutes.

    Our audience is not very patient with vague presentations that hype technologies without actually showing them in action. In particular, we really don't need more broad, overview introductions to XML and why it's cool. What we do need are presentations on specific topics like SOAP, Internationalization, or Processing XML with Python that spend maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the time explaining why that particular technology is useful, (not why XML in general is useful, assume the audience already knows that) and the rest of the time actually showing the audience how to use the technology you're presenting. The deadline for abstracts is May 01, 2000." See the main conference entry.

  • [April 18, 2000]   W3C Working Draft for the XForms Data Model - 'Next Generation Web Forms'.    The W3C has released an initial working draft specification for the XForms 1.0: Data Model, complementing the XForms Requirements document published on March 29, 2000. Reference: W3C Working Draft 06-April-2000, edited by Micah Dubinko (Cardiff Software), Stacy Silvester (Cardiff Software), Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer (Stack Overflow), and Dave Raggett (W3C/HP). Part of the HTML Activity, XForms is being developed within the HTML working group. Document abstract: "This document presents a proposal for explicitly representing data models for XForms, the next generation of Web forms. Apart from other mechanisms described in this document, it is based upon the framework provided by XML Schema. While XML Schemas are used to define XML grammars, the XForms data model is intended to capture the device-independent data model and logic of form-based Web applications. Although both specifications address different problems, they overlap in the definition of simple datatypes. Therefore, the datatypes defined in this specification are a close match to the datatypes found in XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes. In some cases, however, the XForms datatypes differ from the ones in XML Schema, due to different usage scenarios and target audiences. In Appendix A, an XSLT filter will be provided for translating the XForms data model into the corresponding syntax defined in the XML Schema specifications. A later specification will focus on the user interface aspects of XForms." Additional description of 'XForms - the next generation of Web forms' can be found on the W3C web site. In this connection, note the recent announcement from Stack Overflow: "Mozquito Commits Itself to the Implementation Of W3C's New XForms Specification." For description and references, see: "XML and Forms."

  • [April 18, 2000]   XML Standard for Extraction, Transformation, and Transport (ETT) Meta Data.    Informix Corporation recently announced the development of a metadata DTD designed for use in the data warehousing industry. From the announcement: "Informix Corporation, a technology leader in software infrastructure for the i.Economy, today announced the industry's first XML Document Type Definition (DTD) for Extraction, Transformation, and Transport (ETT) meta data. Informix's XML DTD will enable more complete meta data sharing, easing business-to-business collaboration and facilitating the integration of disparate tools within the enterprise. This announcement builds on Informix's industry-leading open meta data strategy, and addresses the need for a published XML standard for ETT meta data. XML transactions rely on DTDs, the schemata that define the structure of XML documents. When DTDs do not match, messages cannot always be shared. Informix's XML DTD for ETT meta data will allow users to read and write XML meta data based on the DTD, maximizing XML's potential as a universal language for meta data transfer. 'Informix is committed to providing our customers with leading data management capabilities,' said Mikael Wipperfeld, vice president marketing at Informix Corporation. 'Our goal is to eliminate the problem of disconnected meta data environments. By supporting XML as a standard meta data schema, we are giving our customers the ability to combine best-of-breed tools across the enterprise, providing them with the critical components for competing in the business-to-business arena.' Ardent DataStage Suite from Informix supports reading and writing ETT meta data through this DTD, enabling industry standards-based meta data exchange with any other product that supports XML meta data interchange. Ardent DataStage Suite provides complete data warehouse meta data management and integration that offers broad support for sharing meta data between third-party data warehouse products. Using DataStage Suite for meta data management enables users to achieve a more accurate understanding of data, providing a better basis for business decisions." For details, see the full text of the announcement, "Informix Provides First XML Standard for ETT Meta Data. Ardent DataStage Leads Data Warehousing Industry With New Meta Data Capabilities."

  • [April 18, 2000]   Investment Research Markup Language (IRML)., Inc. has developed an initial specification for a proposed open-architecture 'Investment Research Markup Language (IRML)' standard which would benefit all facets of financial information technology -- "business-to-business, business-to-consumer, sell-side firms, buy-side firms, corporations and individuals." From the announcement: ", Inc., a leading Internet financial e-marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of financial services and information, announced today its initiation and sponsorship of the Investment Research Markup Language Organization,, an industry association comprised of key members from all facets of the global financial services industry. will provide a forum where all participants in the Investment Research community can come together to develop a nonproprietary, industry-wide standard for the creation and exchange of Investment Research using XML technology. proposes a phased approach to adopting the new technology. Immediately, firms will be able to distribute Investment Research products as they create them today but include additional meta data files (including earnings estimates, recommendations, etc) in an XML format. This will allow firms an entry point for using XML and working with IRML. Early adoption of XML will allow firms to better leverage their existing research creation and/or retrieval processes, without having to re-engineer their entire research creation process. The approach espoused by is intended to be beneficial to both producers and consumers of Investment Research. These benefits include lower distribution and production costs, expanded flexibility within firms' IT infrastructures and powerful tools for retrieval and manipulation of information components. With XML standards in place for Investment Research, firms will be able to create on-demand, decision critical research, tailored to each prospective client, enabling enhanced, targeted client communications. will present its proposed specification of the IRML standard as the starting point for the discussion that will lead to the creation of a truly industry owned standard. The initial IRML schema is the result of many months of development and testing by, which utilized over 2 million documents from its data repository in conjunction with community input. The inaugural meeting will be held in June, in New York City." For details, see also the full text of the announcement, " Sponsors the First Industry Owned Research Markup Language Organization, Announces Organization's Inaugural Meeting for Development of XML Standards."

  • [April 17, 2000]   XML Japanese Profile.    The W3C has acknowledged a submission request from Xerox, Panasonic, Toshiba, GLOCOM, Academia Sinica, Alis Technologies, and Sun Microsystems proposing an XML Japanese Profile. Reference: W3C Note 14-April-2000, edited by MURATA Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems Co., Ltd). The document has been made available for discussion as a W3C NOTE. Abstract: "XML Japanese Profile addresses the issues of using Japanese characters in XML documents. In particular, ambiguities in converting existing Japanese charsets to Unicode are clearly pointed out." According to the W3C staff comment, "the submission provides advice on how to encode and transfer Japanese data in XML. The main concern is to avoid conversion problems between legacy encodings such as shift_jis, euc-jp, and iso-2022-jp and Unicode/ISO 10646- based encodings such as UTF-8 and UTF-16. The problems appear in three areas. The first is the the 7-bit codepoints 0x5C (backslash or yen) and 0x7e (tilde or overline). The second is a series of about ten symbols that are mapped differently by different converters on different systems. The third is the presence or absence of vendor-specific extensions. The bulk of the characters, in particular all standard kanji and all letters, are fortunately not affected by these problems. The submission provides advice on how to avoid conversion problems, in order of priority: (1) Use UTF-8 or UTF-16 from the start. (2) Use numeric character references. (3) Define named character entities. (4) Label the data more precisely. While such conversion problems are not very important for HTML pages viewed directly in a browser, they become very serious in the context of automatic data exchange and digital signatures. Ideally, the various vendors and consortia that defined the various incompatible conversion tables would agree to converge to a single conversion table." The document XML Japanese Profile "was originally published [as JIS TR X 0015] by the Japanese Standards Association (JSA) in the Japanese language. It is not a standard but rather a technical report, which is intended to encourage public discussion, promote consensus among relevant parties, and eventually become a Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS), if appropriate. JIS TR X 0015 was developed by the XML special working group (XML SWG) of Information Technology Research and Standardization Center (INSTAC), JSA." This specification was created by first translating JIS TR X 0015 and then revising it on the basis of comments from some I18N experts. The original specification will be accordingly revised and republished by JSA in the near future. The XML SWG intends to keep this document and JIS TR X 0015 in sync."

  • [April 14, 2000]   W3C XML Schema 1.0 Published as a Last Call Working Draft Specification.    The W3C XML Schema Working Group has released a last-call public working draft specification for XML Schema 1.0, published in three parts: XML Schema Part 0: Primer, XML Schema Part 1: Structures, and XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes. Reference: W3C Working Draft, 7-April-2000. The last call review period is expected to end on 12-May-2000. Primer: XML Schema Part 0: Primer, edited by David C. Fallside (IBM), "is a non-normative document intended to provide an easily readable description of the XML Schema facilities and is oriented towards quickly understanding how to create schemas using the XML Schema language. XML Schema Part 1: Structures and XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes provide the complete normative description of the XML Schema definition language, and the primer describes the language features through numerous examples which are complemented by extensive references to the normative texts. . . [the document] provides an easily approachable description of the XML Schema definition language, and should be used alongside the formal descriptions of the language contained in Parts 1 and 2 of the XML Schema specification. The intended audience of this document includes application developers whose programs read and write schema documents, and schema authors who need to know about the features of the language, especially features that provide functionality above and beyond what is provided by DTDs. The text assumes that you have a basic understanding of XML 1.0 and XML-Namespaces. Each major section of the primer introduces new features of the language, and describes the features in the context of concrete examples." Structures: The XML Schema: Structures document has been edited by Henry S. Thompson (University of Edinburgh), David Beech (Oracle Corp.), Murray Maloney (Commerce One), and Noah Mendelsohn (Lotus Development Corporation). It "specifies the XML Schema definition language, which offers facilities for describing the structure and constraining the contents of XML 1.0 documents. The purpose of an XML Schema: Structures schema is to define and describe a class of XML documents by using schema components to constrain and document the meaning, usage and relationships of their constituent parts: datatypes, elements and their content and attributes and their values. Schemas may also provide for the specification of additional document information, such as default values for attributes and elements. Schemas have facilities for self-documentation. Thus, XML Schema: Structures can be used to define, describe and catalogue XML vocabularies for classes of XML documents. The schema language, which is itself represented in XML 1.0, provides a superset of the capabilities found in XML 1.0 document type definitions (DTDs). This Structures specification depends on Datatypes. This working draft incorporates all Working Group decisions through 2000-04-06. Datatypes: XML Schema: Datatypes has been edited by Paul V. Biron (Kaiser Permanente, for Health Level Seven) and Ashok Malhotra (IBM). It is "part 2 of a two-part draft of the specification for the XML Schema definition language. This Datatypes document proposes facilities for defining datatypes to be used in XML Schemas and other XML specifications. The datatype language, which is itself represented in XML 1.0, provides a superset of the capabilities found in XML 1.0 document type definitions (DTDs) for specifying datatypes on elements and attributes. [Rationale/goals:] The limited datatyping facilities in XML have prevented validating XML processors from supplying the rigorous type checking required in these situations. The result has been that individual applications writers have had to implement type checking in an ad hoc manner. This specification addresses the need of both document authors and applications writers for a robust, extensible datatype system for XML which could be incorporated into XML processors. As discussed below, these datatypes could be used in other XML-related standards as well. The specification is informed by the XML Schema Requirements document, which states that the XML Schema Language must: (1) provide for primitive data typing, including byte, date, integer, sequence, SQL & Java primitive data types, etc.; (2) define a type system that is adequate for import/export from database systems (e.g., relational, object, OLAP); (3) distinguish requirements relating to lexical data representation vs. those governing an underlying information set; and (4) allow creation of user-defined datatypes, such as datatypes that are derived from existing datatypes and which may constrain certain of its properties (e.g., range, precision, length, format)." For additional background and references, see "XML Schema Definition Language - W3C XML Schema Working Group."

  • [April 14, 2000]   Introduction to CSS3.    The W3C has issued an initial worrking document which explains modularization of the CSS3 specification and its test suite: CSS3 Introduction. Reference: W3C Working Draft, 14-April-2000, edited by Eric A. Meyer. This working draft doeument has been produced by CSS & FP working group, which is part of the W3C Style activity. Abstract: "The members of the CSS&FP Working Group have decided to modularize the CSS specification. This modularization will help to clarify the relationships between the different parts of the specification, and reduce the size of the complete document. It will also allow to build specific tests on a per module basis and will help implementors in deciding which portions of CSS to support. Furthermore, the modular nature of the specification will make it possible for individual modules to be updated as needed, thus allowing for a more flexible and timely evolution of the specification as a whole. This document lists all the modules to be contained in the future CSS3 specification. It will eventually become the introduction to CSS3." According to the 'Modules Overview' table, all modules must contain a 'Conformance: Requirements and Recommendations' section. Any module whose table row is backed with green is considered part of the CSS Core. The listed deadlines (backed in red) represent the time at which a module should be ready for Working Draft publication. There are also columns which indicate a module's participation in each of three 'profiles': HTML Basic, CSS3, and SVG." The modules identified include: Introduction; Syntax / grammar; Selectors; Values & units; Value assignment / cascade / inheritance; Box model / vertical; Positioning; Color / gamma / color profiles; Background; Line box model; Text & font / bidi / vertical alignment; Ruby; Generated content / markers; Replaced content; Paged media; User interface; WebFonts; ACSS; SMIL; Tables; Columns; SVG; Math; BECSS; Test Suite. For other information, see (1) the W3C web site and (2) "Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3."

  • [April 14, 2000]   W3C Working Draft on CSS3 Selectors.    As part of a design effort to modularize the CSS specification, the W3C's CSS&FP Working Group [Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting Properties Working Group] has released a new working draft on CSS3 Selectors: CSS3 Module: W3C Selectors. The proposed modularization, together with the externalization of the general syntax of CSS is designed to reduce the size of the specification and allow new types of specifications to use selectors and/or CSS general syntax. For instance behaviours or tree transformations." Reference: W3C Working Draft 10-April-2000, edited by Tantek Çelik, Daniel Glazman, Peter Linss, and John Williams. Abstract: "CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. To bind style properties to elements in the document, it uses selectors, which are patterns that match to elements. This draft describes the selectors that are proposed for CSS level 3. It includes and extends the selectors of CSS level 2. [...] A W3C selector represents a structure. This structure can be understood for instance as a condition (e.g. in a CSS rule) that determines which elements in the document tree are matched by this selector, or as a flat description of the HTML or XML fragment corresponding to that structure. W3C selectors may range from simple element names to rich contextual representations. . .This document is a draft of one of the modules for the upcoming CSS3 specification. It not only describes the selectors that already exist in CSS1 and CSS2, but also proposes new selectors for CSS3 as well as for other languages that may need them. The Working Group doesn't expect that all implementations of CSS3 will have to implement all types of selectors. Instead, there will probably be a small number of variants of CSS3, so-called 'profiles'. For example, it may be that only the profile for non-interactive user agents will include all of the proposed selectors." The current draft is the result of the merging of relevant parts of the following Working Drafts: (1) "CSS3 Module: W3C Selectors" [August 1999], (2) "CSS Namespace Enhancements [June 1999], (3) "User Interface for CSS3" [September 1999]. For related CSS3 modules, see "Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3."

  • [April 14, 2000]   Paperhub Introduces PML as Industry Standard Markup Language for Paper and Printing.    Paperhub recently announced the development of a new XML-based markup language 'PML' for to be used by all participants in the paper and print marketplace. This "paper, printing, and publishing markup language called PML is a new protocol for Internet-based commerce between buyers and sellers of paper and printing products. The production of PML comes as a result of Paperhub's partnership with webMethods and Appleton Papers to develop and implement integrated, end-to-end e-commerce solutions for paper industry members. Based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), the emerging Internet standard for data sharing between applications, PML will enable Web-based integration of a range of transaction services and catalogs to facilitate efficient, cost effective system-to-system transactions. By enabling communication across diverse application platforms, the PML standard serves initiatives for both static commerce, such as catalog and purchase orders, as well as dynamic commerce, such as exchanges and contract negotiations. . . Paperhub will produce an e-marketplace solution for the paper industry that will significantly cut transaction costs and reduce sales cycles, resulting in more efficient inventory levels and ultimately affecting a company's bottom line. webMethods will provide a backbone to deliver PML, other existing XML standards, and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) connectivity. Paperhub intends to present PML to the B2B Standards Committee, a technical committee of the Graphic Communications Association (GCA), as a foundation for what may ultimately become a GCA industry standard. The B2B Standards Committee works to define an improved business process and data model for information sharing within the graphic communications industry through the development of open, vendor-neutral interoperability standards." For other details, see the full text of the announcement, "Paperhub Introduces Industry Standard Markup Language for Paper and Printing. New Open Standard Protocol Facilitates E-commerce Applications for Printers, Mills and Merchants."

  • [April 13, 2000]   SML-DEV's Minimal XML.    Don Park recently announced the availability of a Minimal XML specification and a Java Minimal XML parser, with performance test utilities. Basically, Minimal XML is XML without: Attributes, CDATA Sections, Comments, Document Type Declarations, Empty-Element Tags, Entity References, Mixed Contents, Predefined Entities, Processing Instructions, Prolog, and XML Declaration. This work is part of the SML-DEV project. SML-DEV is "a group of over 75 XML experts working to create simple XML standards and to simplify existing XML standards. Currently active SML-DEV projects are: Minimal XML (aka SML), 'a minimal subset of XML for data-centric XML applications' and Common XML, 'common usage guidelines for XML'." Minimal XML is "a subset of XML 1.0, including features essential for data interchange applications, and excluding non-essential features that are arcane, legacy-related, problematic for data interchange applications, or redundant. [The goals are to provide:] (1) A subset that allows easily implemented parsers that are much faster and smaller than full XML parsers. (2) A subset with simpler information model that can easily be mapped to other information models. (3) A subset that is much easier to learn, teach, and use. Minimal XML documents must be encoded in either UTF-8 or UTF-16. Minimal XML parsers must support both UTF-8 and UTF-16 character encoding formats." Don writes: "Min, Java Minimal XML parser, is released. This version will parse Minimal XML (aka SML) as specified in the preliminary spec at It supports SAX 1.0 and JAXP (Java API for XML Parsers). You can download the distribution ZIP file at It includes binary and source code JAR files and JavaDoc API documentation. There is also a utility class for converting XML files into MinXML files. You can just use the minimize.bat batch file like this once you have the binary JAR in your CLASSPATH... On my Celeron laptop, it zips through Minimal XML files at around 6 megabytes of UTF-8 data per second and over 10 megabytes of UTF-16 data per second. Sun's XML parser parses at about 3 megabytes/sec on UTF-8 and 4 megabytes per second on UTF-16. Min used to report events via a custom API called MAX (Minimal API for XML :) but I switched to SAX despite about 10% performance penalty because people would have to rewrite code to use Min. I might release a MAX version later... Because performance testing seems to be what most of you are doing after downloading Min, I have written a Java class for testing parsing performance of Min and other XML parsers. It is included in the version 1.0A3 of Min which is available for downloading now."

  • [April 13, 2000]   Release of XMLspec DTD Version 2.1.    Eve L. Maler has posted an announcement for an updated version of the 'XMLspec DTD' (Version 2.1) and its documentation, Guide to the W3C XML Specification ("XMLspec") DTD, Version 2.1. Viz., "-//W3C//DTD Specification V2.1//EN" "". All changes in version 2.1 (since V2.0) are backwards compatible. This XML DTD "is for W3C specifications and other technical reports. It is based in part on the TEI Lite and Sweb DTDs. The DTD is intended for the production of technical reports, creation and modification of content, review of content, and proof of concept of XML publishing. Although the DTD has come to be called 'XMLspec,' it is intended for W3C working drafts, notes, recommendations, and all other document types that fall under the category of 'technical reports.' The DTD is responsible for covering three main aspects of XML technical reports: (1) Basic W3C technical report structure and content, including paragraphs, lists, cross-references, and so on, (2) Markup structures specific to the XML-related family of W3C technical reports, such as EBNF productions, validity constraints, and element and attribute names, (3) Proper headers and metadata for W3C technical reports." To follow: "Though the documentation [Guide to the W3C XML Specification] is accurate with respect to version 2.1, it's getting long in the tooth; when I do Version 3.0 I'll try to overhaul it and add lots of examples. I do plan a V3.0 that will have some backwards-incompatible changes; I will distribute it with an XSLT stylesheet to upgrade legacy documents. Ben Trafford and Chris Maden are working on a canonical XSLT stylesheet for converting XMLspec documents to HTML; it will cover all markup and will use approved W3C style."

  • [April 13, 2000]   Validator for RELAX.    K. Kawaguchi (Swift, Inc.) posted an announcement for the availability of a "RELAX Verifier for Java", with documentation on company Web site, "The 'RELAX Verifier for Java' is a 100% pure Java package that validates XML instance with the given RELAX grammer. This product is licensed [as OpenSource] under the terms of Apache Software License. That means you can use it freely for commercial purposes. Swift, Inc. offers billed-support for this product." The package is now available for download. RELAX (REgular LAnguage description for XML) "is a specification for describing XML-based languages. XHTML 1.0, for example, can be described in RELAX. A description written in RELAX is called a RELAX grammar. An XML document can be verified against a RELAX grammar... RELAX is a combination of (1) features of DTD, and (2) rich datatypes of XML Schema represented in the XML syntax. RELAX also has some other mechanisms, but they have been eliminated from the conformance level "classic". RELAX helps migration from DTD to XML Schema. You can assume that RELAX is DTD combined with datatype information in the XML instance syntax and start to use RELAX right now. When XML Schema is available, migration from RELAX to XML Schema will be possible without loss of datatype information." For additional references, see the RELAX Web site and the reference section in "XML Schemas." Note: A public mailing list for RELAX in English has been created.

  • [April 13, 2000]   ALURe (Aggregation and Logging of User Requests) XML Specification.    In draft as of 2000-04-12, the ALURe (Aggregation and Logging of User Requests for assistance) XML Specification proposes "a specific implementation of XML that allows any Web-based 'user assistance' product or system to log information on specific problems that customers have. ALURe is the grammar used for describing how a user negotiates an application's on-line User Assistance System and is defined using the XML... eHelp Corporation is in the process of proposing a W3C NOTE on the implementation of XML for the aggregation and logging of user requests for assistance on the Web." The draft version of the specification is available in HTML or PDF format. The XML DTD is supplied in section 6.1 of the draft specification. "The ALUReXML Specification improves the usability of complex and e-commerce Web sites and lowers abandonment rates by allowing the integration of effective and highly functional user assistance. These user assistance systems will provide feedback about their usage to site developers and managers in an open format that can be easily accessed, supported and used by a wide variety of Web design, management and reporting tools. [Rationale:] As Web sites grow increasingly complex, becoming more like applications than print publications, they are also becoming more difficult to use. This increase in complexity coupled with the larger numbers of non-technical users on the Web, is causing severe difficulties with the usability of many Web sites. The ALURe concept brings together a group of leading technology companies with a shared interest in promoting user assistance standards for the Web. The ultimate goal of ALURe partners is to improve the usability of complex and e-commerce Web sites by adding effective and highly functional user assistance systems to these sites." For further description, see the web site and the reference page "ALURe (Aggregation and Logging of User Requests) XML Specification."

  • [April 12, 2000]   Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), together with Reuters and thirty-some other organizations, recently announced that they "have joined forces to create an XML-based specification for the preparation and exchange of financial reports and data." The XML specification is 'XBRL'. "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), formerly code-named XFRML, is an open specification which uses XML-based data tags to describe financial statements for both public and private companies." From the main announcement: "The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) announced today that as one of several sponsors of the international XBRL Project Committee, it is helping to develop and launch XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). XBRL for Financial Statements, formerly code named XFRML, is a free, new XML-based specification that uses accepted financial reporting standards and practices to exchange financial statements across all software and technologies, including the Internet. The AICPA has been working with several companies for more than a year to develop the XBRL framework. The Institute spearheaded this initiative because as the U.S. standards-setting body for the accounting profession (along with the Financial Accounting Standards Board), it has the infrastructure, knowledge, training and credibility necessary to secure adoption of XBRL by participants in the financial information supply chain. The AICPA also represents some of the primary users and preparers of financial statements for both public and private companies. Members of the XBRL Project Committee represent the global financial, accounting and software and communities from around the world. XBRL for Financial Statements, developed by the Committee as the first product in a future family of XBRL-based products, is currently under review for comments by any interested party with the financial information supply chain and is anticipated to reach the market in July 2000. XBRL streamlines the financial information supply chain that includes public and private companies, the accounting profession, data aggregators, the investment community and all other users of financial statements. XBRL offers several key benefits: technology independence, full interoperability, efficient preparation of financial statements and reliable extraction of financial information. Information is entered only once, allowing that same information to be rendered in any form, such as a printed financial statement, an HTML document for the company's Web site, an EDGAR filing document with the SEC, a raw XML file or other specialized reporting formats such as credit reports or loan documents. More than 80% of major US public companies provide some type of financial disclosure on the Internet. Investors and users of the Internet need accurate and reliable financial information that can be delivered promptly to help them make informed financial decisions. XBRL meets these needs and is particularly important in delivering financial information via the Internet, including at a company's Web site. XBRL leverages efficiencies of Internet as today's primary source of financial information by making Web browser searches more accurate and relevant for all users of financial information. . ." For additional details, see (1) the reference page "Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)" and (2) the full text of the announcement, "AICPA Leads Global XBRL Initiative to Facilitate the Exchange of Financial Statements Across All Technologies, Including the Internet. United Effort Brings Global Financial, Accounting and Software Communities Together to Create First XML-Based Specification Developed for Financial Statements."

  • [April 12, 2000]   XML Base Architectures in SP.    Steven R. Newcomb (TechnoTeacher) recently reported [quietly] on the availability of support for XML Base Architectures in James Clark's SP. "You can now use SP to validate the conformance of XML documents to base architectures (meta-DTDs). TechnoTeacher has created a version of SP with full industrial-strength support for the alternative PI-based 'Base Architecture Declaration' syntax. The enhancement builds on pioneering work done by Luis Martinez while he was working at TechnoTeacher, and it has recently been brought up to industrial strength by Peter Newcomb. Because of urgent need in certain industrial quarters (mortgage, healthcare, etc.), we've placed binaries of this version of SP at our FTP site: There are builds for Linux, Solaris, and Windows. There is also an announcement at (" As explained in the note, this version of SP supports the 'INHERITABLE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURES' of Amendment 1 to ISO/IEC 10744:1997: (ISO/IEC SC34 document N1985). "This amendment provides an XML-friendly PI-based syntax for declaring the use of SGML and XML inheritable architectures (this is the element subtyping paradigm that is also variously known as 'meta-DTDs', 'SGML architectures', 'architectural forms' or 'AFs', 'base architectures', 'client architectures', etc.)..." For additional background and references, see the text of the announcement and "Architectural Forms and SGML/XML Architectures."

  • [April 11, 2000]   Gene Expression Markup Language (GEML).    A communiqué from Michael Hoffman of Rosetta Inpharmatics reports on the development of GEML - an open-standard XML format for DNA microarray and gene expression data. The Gene Expression Markup Language (GEML) "is a file format for storing DNA microarray and gene expression data for chip patterns and chip scans (profiles). GEML is an open-standard XML format which enables exchanging data between a variety of gene expression systems including web-based genome databases. GEML stores which data collection methodology was used, without making assumptions about the meaning of a measurement. This enables possible normalization, integration, and comparison of data across methodologies. GEML handles profile data whether or not a specific pattern is referenced and whether or not the scans include raw image data or refer to image files. This format also handles absolute or relative intensity measurements. GEML is independent of any particular database schema. This data standard is designed to separate data reporting and collection from methodology used. The profile_type attribute enables keeping track, in the data file, of which methodology was used, enabling normalization across methodologies and thus comparison of data which was collected by a variety of methodologies. Expression analysis data is generated by a variety of sources and is usually stored in the form of disk files. Industry-wide standards for the formats of such files do not exist, so there are now many different formats, with different representations of data and different types of information stored. For example, some data file formats for chip scans reference a specific pattern, while others do not. Similarly, some data file formats for chip scans can contain the raw image data or can reference one or more image files, while others cannot. The GEML format is designed to be broadly applicable and to support easy exchange of data among these various other formats. GEML is a published, documented standard offered expressly for the purpose of data interchange among gene expression systems and tools. This data file format has the following advantages: (1) Independent of any particular database schema. (2) Keeps track of which data collection methodology was used, enabling normalization, integration, and comparison of data across methodologies. (3) Extensible through the ability to specify additional name/value pairs. (4) Is XML-based. GEML supports translating from file formats for various genomics systems and related data collection methodologies. GEML is a free, public-domain, open-standard XML DTD. GEML was created and is licensed in order to define a single, distinct GEML format and avoid proliferation of incompatible variations." For references, see "Gene Expression Markup Language (GEML)."

  • [April 11, 2000]   Layered Object Transport Protocol (LOTP) Architecture.    Current work from Eric Prud'hommeaux: LOTP Architecture. The draft LOTP (Layered Object Transport Protocol) Architecture document "describes the design goals, structure, and functionality of LOTP. This includes interrelations between the Core, Transfer Adapters, and modules. This is a living document. While, some effort will be made to maintain the anchors from version to version, it is impossible to guarantee anchor or information persistence over the life of this document. LOTP is still in experimental stages. It may evolved into an deployed generalized XML protocol or it may be used as a learning experience for designing another protocol. It is drawn largely from SOAP and I'd like to see the LOTP advantages ported back to SOAP. I use a separate name and namespace for the LOTP protocol to prevent collisions with the current SOAP protocol... LOTP uses standard XML tools and data formats wherever possible. Use of these tools helps provide interroperability with other XML applications and probably faster code deployment through reuse of standard XML utility libraries. XML schema provides a standard way to describe data primitives and structures." Eric wrote (xml-dist-app) "I've started writing up the LOTP toy I've been playing with (discussed in email). You can take a peek at the architecture description to get an idea what plan I'm on. I'll drop it into the matrix after a couple days of serious brain dump. In the mean time, feel free to support/dispute the design. I'll put quotes and references in the discussion document..."

  • [April 11, 2000]   Microsoft Releases BizTalk Server 2000.    From a recent announcement: "Microsoft Corporation today announced public availability of the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview. Building on the BizTalk initiative announced last year, this preview release provides the next step in Microsoft's comprehensive solution for Internet application integration via industry-standard XML. Internet application integration embraces a single integration methodology for both traditional enterprise application integration scenarios inside the organization and business-to-business e-commerce scenarios between trading partners over the Internet. BizTalk Server 2000 will unite in a single product secure and reliable delivery, routing and transformation of business documents, as well as development tools and application adapters to XML-enable existing applications. The BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview is available immediately for download at no cost. BizTalk Server 2000 will offer a broad set of infrastructure capabilities and tools to simplify and speed Internet application integration: (1) Reliable document interchange supports delivery and content-driven rules-based routing of multiple document types, including XML, EDI (EDIFACT and X12), flat files and other custom formats. (2) Multiple network transport support permits delivery across a variety of transports including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, SMB (file transfer), Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ) and Microsoft Exchange. (3) Robust security is provided by encryption, digital signatures and public key infrastructure (PKI) that ensures the secure transmission of sensitive business information over the Internet. (4) Graphical modeling and development tools provided by the BizTalk Editor enable easy creation and editing of XML documents as well as conversion of other formats into XML. The BizTalk Mapper provides a rich graphical design surface for XML transformations, including automatic generation of XSLT. (5) Application adapters in the adapter architecture enable direct XML integration with existing business systems. This release includes out-of-the-box support for SAP R/3 systems and EDI, and an extensible architecture to provide XML integration for other line-of-business applications. (6) Tracking and analysis tools perform analytics and generate custom reports on business processes, including support for Microsoft Office data analysis tools. (7) Management and administration tools configure trading partner agreements and content-driven rules-based routing through the graphical BizDesk interface. (8) Programmability in the extensible architecture allows developers to add custom translators, parsers and security components as well as programmatically manage trading partner relationships... Announced in March 1999 with the goal of letting software speak the language of business, BizTalk makes it easy to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet across industries and between business systems. Developed with broad industry participation, the BizTalk Framework provides a technical road map for describing business processes in industry-standard XML. BizTalk Server 2000 technology preview represents Microsoft's second-generation software solution supporting the BizTalk Framework and supplants the earlier BizTalk JumpStart Kit with a significantly expanded set of capabilities and an industrial-strength infrastructure." For other information, see (1) the full text of the announcement, "Microsoft Debuts BizTalk Server 2000. Technology Preview Demonstrates Comprehensive Solution For Internet Application Integration." and (2) "BizTalk Framework."

  • [April 11, 2000]   MusiXML.    A communiqué from Gerd Castan describes an experimental implementation of MusiXML -- a music notation format that is based on XML. Gerd writes: "I made an experimental implementation that uses XML schema (draft of 25-February-2000); it works with Oracle's experimental parser implementation in java (version 0.9 alpha) [It represents] a non trivial hands-on application of XML schema. MusiXML could be helpful for others who need examples [of XSchema]." The MusiXML web page references the XML DTD and a corresponding example instance. There is also an XML schema and an example instance. Other markup-notation schemes for music notation are referenced in "XML and Music."

  • [April 10, 2000]   FlowML: A Format for Virtual Orchestras.    Bert Schiettecatte (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) reports on the development of an XML-based format for musical notations - 'FlowML'. "FlowML is a format for storing audio synthesis diagrams, as used in various software synthesizers. It offers a way to store synthesis instruments as a graph of reusable synthesis blocks (defined in the format specification). It differs from existing languages for audio synthesis like CSound, because it is not a programming language, but a data format. The format is also interesting for hardware synthesizer companies, it would allow prototyping of synthesizers at no cost." FlowML is described in an online document which proposes this "format for storing synthesis diagrams and their supporting mechanisms. Such a standard format is necessary to allow exchange of virtual musical instruments between several (non-)realtime software synthesizers, and to publish synthesis diagrams on the WWW." See also the music notation format MusiXML, from Gerd Castan (MusiXML Schema and DTD). Other markup-notation schemes for music notation are referenced in "XML and Music." We have also heard news that SMDL (Standard Music Description Language) editing activity is (actively!) underway; contact Steve Newcomb and Eliot Kimber.

  • [April 05, 2000]   Extensible Telephony Markup Language (XTML).    The Extensible Telephony Markup Language (XTML) is "an XML-based service description language and associated service execution framework that is designed to provide a unified approach for the delivery of next-generation enhanced telecommunications services." It is formally described in the XML Schema language, and informally in a technical paper from Pactolus Communications Inc., "XTML: Extensible Telephony Markup Language. A Unified Framework for Delivering Next-Generation Enhanced Telecommunications Services." Related research and development is being done in connection with IETF's IPTEL Call Processing Language (CPL), VoiceXML, and Telephony Markup Language (TML)." XTML provides the foundation of the Rapid-FLEX platform, developed by Pactolus Communications. [Background:] "The telecommunication space provides a challenging problem to solve. Whereas the internet space has benefited from the standardization of a single subscriber interface -- the HTML-based browser, and a single communication protocol (HTTP) -- standardization at this level is not possible in the telecommunications arena. Telecommunications solutions must allow subscribers to communicate over an ever-expanding variety of physical and network interfaces (landline, cell phone, pager, browser, Palm Pilot, etc). For the foreseeable future, enhanced services platforms will need to be able to 'speak' a variety protocols and support a burgeoning portfolio of services. In such an environment, open service delivery frameworks are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success. In addition to openness, these service delivery frameworks must be extensible, in order to support the increasing variety of networks and interfaces required. An open, but static, service description language and delivery framework will never be able to satisfy the market demand, because the capabilities of emerging technologies will quickly outstrip the ability of a static language to describe them. XTML is designed to solve this problem." XTML is "an open, extensible service description language and execution framework that provides a standard way of describing and delivering next-generation, network-based communications services. It provides a standard, XML-based core language that all service developers can use to describe any communication service running over any network. It provides the open extensibility features required that allow vendors or groups to extend the language to describe the capabilities of new technologies, protocols or interfaces in agreed-upon ways. These innovations can then be deployed on any application server that conforms to the XTML interface specification. The goal of XTML is to define an open, unified, and extensible enhanced services architecture that can be broadly adopted by vendors in the enhanced services market, thereby accelerating market growth and delivering significantly increased value to service providers: (1) With XTML, service providers are not locked into a single-vendor solution. With an open XTML standard, a service provider could buy an XTML application server from one vendor, enhanced service applications from a second vendor, and an XTML development environment from a third. (2) With XTML, solution providers have a much larger market to sell to. A solution provider that develops a compelling new application can deliver it to a broader market of open platforms rather than to a single, proprietary platform. Similarly, a solution provider that develops an XTML server extension can deliver it to any conforming XTML application server. In short, XTML is designed to bring the power of Internet-style market forces to the enhanced telecommunications market. The standardization of a common service description and delivery framework that can meet all needs and support product innovation will revolutionize the enhanced services market and push it to the next stage of growth. [...] The XTML language specification consists of a base schema plus any number of extension schemas. The XTML base schema focuses on the service-independent aspects of the language-constructs such as services, sessions, variables, functions, events, and transitions. These constructs will be a part of every service, because they are the fundamental building actions that are required to describe any finite state machine. Since they are service-independent, they are therefore relatively static." XTML "explicitly recognizes the need to define a core language, while allowing informal 'dialects' or extensions to be dynamically defined in response to the changing problem domain. It clearly defines and separates the aspects of service description that are relatively static and common to all network-based personal communication services, from the more dynamic aspects that correspond to specific technologies, protocols, or application domains. It allows third parties to fundamentally extend the dynamic aspects of the language, while ensuring that these extensions are fully described and can be implemented on any open XTML server. XTML therefore addresses the service provider challenge in a way that VoiceXML and CPL can not: (1) it supports the full range of services that providers wish to offer, (2) it enables service providers a choice of open service delivery platforms, and (3) it can be easily extended to provide new features and leverage new technologies and market opportunities." For additional description, see "Extensible Telephony Markup Language (XTML)."

  • [April 04, 2000]   Arbortext Releases Java Catalog Classes for Resolution of Public Identifiers.    Arbortext, Inc., "a leading provider of Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based e-Content software, announced today the immediate availability of open source Java-based code to support public identifier resolution in XML documents. This code will enable XML processors to resolve public identifiers which increases the flexibility and interoperability of XML documents." The code has been developed by Norman Walsh and Paul Grosso. Norm said: "The use of system identifiers alone, without the ability to provide some sort of indirection for resolving them, is a frequent source of confusion, downtime and irritation for users who share XML documents across diverse systems or enterprises. By making this code public, making it easy to integrate into applications, and by basing it on an existing, open standard, we hope that it will find its way into most -- if not all -- of the major XML parsers. If that happens, sharing XML documents with colleagues, business partners and other users will become easier, simpler and much more robust." The newly-released Java classes from ArborText "implement the OASIS Entity Management Catalog format [('OASIS Technical Resolution 9401:1997 (Amendment 2 to TR 9401)')] as well as an XML Catalog format for resolving XML public identifiers into accessible files or resources on a user's system or throughout the Web. These classes can easily be incorporated into most Java-based XML processors, thereby giving the users of these processors all the benefits of public identifier use. As XML processors incorporate this code, users will be able to utilize public identifiers in XML documents with the confidence that they will be able to move those documents from one system to another and around the Web knowing that they will also be able to refer to the appropriate external file or Web page. These classes can easily be plugged into any SAX Parser." Available to everyone at no cost, these Java classes can be immediately downloaded from the ArborText web site. The distribution includes examples of Catalog support with both Xerces and XT. Norm Walsh has provided a tutorial background to the problem of XML system and public identifiers in "If You Can Name It, You Can Claim It!" [Column 'Standard Deviations from Norm', Issue 3, 04-April-2000]. "The fact that XML requires me to supply system identifiers for external references, and the fact that these identifiers are required to be Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) is a frequent source of considerable irritation. In this column, we'll explore how you can use OASIS Catalog files (or their XML equivalent) to avoid these difficulties. Using Catalog files became a lot easier earlier this month when Arbortext released its Java Catalog classes to the XML community. Using these classes, it's simple to add Catalog support to your favorite Java parser. (Equivalent support for parsers in other languages should be fairly easy to construct from the free and Open Source of the Java classes, although Arbortext has no immediate plans to undertake this effort.) You can download the classes or view the JavaDoc API Documentation online." For additional details, see the full text of the ArborText announcement: "Arbortext Makes Java Catalog Classes Available For Use by XML Processors. Open Source Code Enables XML Processors to Resolve Public Identifiers." For information on public identifiers, see: "Catalogs, Formal Public Identifiers, Formal System Identifiers."

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: