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 19, 2001
SGML and XML News. July - September 2001

Related News:   [XML Industry News] -   [XML Articles] -   Current SGML/XML News -   [News 2001 Q2] -   [News 2001 Q1] -   [News 2000 Q4] -   [News 2000 Q3] -   [News 2000 Q2] -   [News 2000 Q1] -   [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]

  • [September 27, 2001]   NACS XML Data Interchange (NAXML) Supports Back Office and Point-of-Sale Integration.    A technology standards project sponsored by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is developing XML DTDs and schemas to support electronic business document exchange within the convenience store industry. Several pilot projects have been started to test the NAXML specifications for lottery systems, fuel sales, food service transactions, and other retail activities. Version 3.1 of a guidelines document has been produced through the work of the NACS Point of Sale Back Office Task Force: NACS POS/Back Office Interface Guidelines. Common Data Elements and XML Data Interchange. The specification "addresses concerns expressed by the retail community related to the ability to pick back office solutions independently of POS solutions and yet have the two exchange data in an efficient electronic manner. Since early in the standards meetings sponsored by NACS, there has been retailer input and direction regarding their interest in BO/POS integration..." Sample XML DTDs and schemas are available from the web sites. The NACS standards development project is designed to "allow retailers, suppliers, and solution providers to seamlessly exchange financial settlement, ordering, invoicing, and accounting information. The working committees are formalizing models for a range of electronic transactions on general merchandise and supplies, motor fuels, lottery invoicing, and product activity, including general invoicing, purchase orders, credit card reconciliation, electronic fund transfer settlement, and payment remittance." NACS is an international trade association representing 2,300 retail and 1,700 supplier company members. [Full context]

  • [September 27, 2001]   Adobe Offers Software Developer Kit Supporting Job Definition Format (JDF).    Adobe Systems has announced the immediate availability of an SDK for the XML-based Job Definition Format (JDF). From the announcement: Adobe is releasing "the first software development kit for the Job Definition Format (JDF), an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based specification used to capture, manage and communicate job ticket information throughout a business process or printing workflow. Operating within the standards of the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP/4), the Adobe JDF Software Developer Kit (SDK) is a development toolkit designed to simplify and standardize the development of JDF-compatible workflow solutions for developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Adobe JDF SDK is used by OEMs and independent software vendors (ISVs) to speed implementation of Internet and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)-based workflow systems, services and solutions. Based on XML, the toolkit will enable developers to build systems that allow end users to better collaborate and specify print jobs within the context of the job itself. In addition to a more collaborative and efficient workflow, JDF implementations give service providers the added ability to automate production, printing and billing processes." [Full context]

  • [September 24, 2001]   Consortium Creates UML/XML-Based 'ArapXML' to Support General Ledger Integration on the Internet.    Several accounting firms are collaborating on the design of UML models and XML notation for ArapXML, formulated in response to an OMG RFP issued earlier in 2001: Account Receivable - Account Payable AR/AP Facility. Request For Proposal. The Project "includes research, discussion, documenting use cases and requirements, and finally, publishing XML and UML specifications. ArapXML is a pure document format for representing General Ledger data as simply, completely, and efficiently as possible. It contains no security features, method calls, etc. It is equally usable with Java, linux, or COM, or scripting languages. ArapXML enables exchange of transactions based on classic double-entry accounting. It is designed for individuals and companies who use software or services from multiple vendors to conduct business. ArapXML is based on UML models. It consists almost entirely of a subset, or synonyms, of ebXML core component vocabulary. It is interoperable with established e-commerce vocabularies such as EDI. ArapXML applies an objective approach to determine the integration needs of small business and individuals as well as large companies, by reference to accounting history, accounting patterns, and existing software. ArapXML aggregates receivables and payables from multiple systems or BSPs, whenever the decision is made to manage and settle them at a single place. This activity can be performed by the owner using an existing local application, as well as a web-based GL or payments and settlements provider. The ArapXML schema is not biased in favor of web-based accounting ASPs or BSPs. It exports as well as imports." [Full context]

  • [September 24, 2001]   Intuit Enables Application Integration with QuickBooks Extensible Markup Language (qbXML).    Preliminary XML DTDs have been published through the Intuit Developer Network as part of Intuit's effort to open up its APIs to third-party developers. Intuit's QuickBooks Extensible Markup Language (qbXML) is a language "at the core of a new framework that allows electronic exchange, creation and management of accounting and other business data." Following the design maxim 'Never Enter Data Twice (NED2)', Intuit is constructing the XML specification for third-party applications to use to exchange data with QuickBooks. "With qbXML, software developers will be empowered to build specialized vertical applications and horizontal productivity applications that mine, enrich and share this data. Data integration will be supported with both Web applications and Windows desktop applications. A pre-release, open version of QuickBooks has been made available to participants in the QuickBooks SDK Beta program. The next major release of the US version of QuickBooks, QuickBooks 2002, will be accessible through the qbXML API, and is expected to be released in late fall 2001." [Full context]

  • [September 20, 2001]   IFX Forum Announces Last-Call Version of the IFX Specification.    The Interactive Financial Exchange (IFX) Forum has released version 1.2 of the IFX Specification for review, and welcomes public comment through October 11, 2001. IFX version 1.2 "provides an XML-based communication protocol that enables the exchange of information among financial institutions, financial institutions and their customers, and financial institutions and their service providers. This latest version features a wide range of functions that allow financial institutions and associated service providers to access account information, download credit card statements, transfer funds, process consumer and business payments, enable bill presentment, and improve customer service. The IFX specification supports a broad range of client devices, such as any standard Web browser software, personal computers with personal financial manager (PFM) software, voice response units (VRUs) that provide bank by phone services, automated teller machines (ATMs), consumer handheld devices, or mobile telephones with data capabilities." [Full context]

  • [September 20, 2001]   CommerceNet and UN/CEFACT eBusiness Transition Working Group (eBTWG) Holds Inaugural Meeting.    An announcement from CommerceNet and the UN/CEFACT eBusiness Transition Working Group (eBTWG) describes the first meeting of the working group in San Francisco on October 8-12, 2001. During its initial five-day meeting, "eBTWG will continue UN/CEFACT and OASIS' efforts to further the development of XML standards for electronic business. The working group's first order of business is to pinpoint the specific work necessary to advance ebXML development as related to Business Processes, Core Components and eBusiness Architecture. For the opening meeting, eBTWG has identified three working project teams. In the coming weeks, more project teams will be added to the October agenda. The first three project teams will focus on core areas of ebXML development. The project teams include: (1) The Core Components Specifications Project Team, which is charged with producing a consolidated ebXML Core Components Technical Specification that incorporates the material in the ebXML Discovery and Analysis, Naming Convention and Context technical reports. (2) The Business Collaboration Patterns and Monitored Commitments Specification, which will be responsible for defining and showing through example, what businesses can reasonably expect and what the underlying technology must support within a fully compliant ebXML business relationship. (3) The eBusiness Architecture Specification, which will ensure that electronic business initiatives are technically and practically implementable and that the eBusiness architecture meets the requirements of businesses on a global scale." The eBTWG Executives have also announced the approval of an XML Business Document Library (XBDL) Project which "is to provide a migration path for established legacy EDI semantics and associated business process artifact dictionaries containing codes, elements and message semantics to a Standard Library of XML business grammatical components." [Full context]

  • [September 20, 2001]   ICE Authoring Group Previews Information and Content Exchange Specification 2.0.    Members of the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Authoring Group have issued an invitation to preview plans for the ICE 2.0 specification, now under design. The meeting will be held on September 26, 2001 at the Marriott Hotel near the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA. ICE is "an XML-based communications protocol optimized for managing the regular exchange of content and data among business partners. The first version of the ICE specification was released in 1998 and has enjoyed considerable support. An updated version ICE 1.1 was also released and it too has been incorporated into products produced by companies including Vignette, Kinecta, Interwoven, Oracle, HP, and Active Data Exchange. A reference implementation toolkit for ICE called ICE CUBES is being developed on SourceForge. Some of the current plans for ICE 2.0 include: (1) Exploration of ICE-based syndication as a Web Service; (2) Integration of the latest standards such as XML Schemas, XML Namespaces, UDDI, SOAP, PRISM, and RDF; (3) Elegant metadata implementations including PRISM an RDF; (4) Well-defined protocol extension mechanism; (5) Development of a framework for a public catalog; (6) New transport layers such as HTTP/S, SMTP, NNTP, and WAP." [Full context]

  • [September 19, 2001]   Version 2.0 Working Draft for Financial Products Markup Language (FpML).    A communiqué from Steven Lord (Chair, FpML Interest Rate Product Working Group) announces the release of a version 2.0 Working Draft for the FpML specification. The Financial Products Markup Language (FpML) "is an XML-based protocol enabling e-commerce activities in the field of financial derivatives. The development of the standard, controlled by, will ultimately allow the electronic integration of a range of services, from electronic trading and confirmations to portfolio specification for risk analysis. All types of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives will, over time, be incorporated into the standard, although the current focus of FpML Version 2.0 is interest rate derivatives. The FpML IRD Products Working Group has been working complete definitions for the following new products and features: (1) Interest Rate Cap, (2) Interest Rate Floor, (3) Interest Rate Swaption (European, Bermudan and American Styles; Cash and Physical Settlement), (4) Extendible and Cancelable Interest Rate Swap Provisions, (5) Mandatory and Optional Early Termination Provisions for Interest Rate Swaps, and (6) FX Resetable Cross-Currency Swap..." The new "work in progress" FpML Version 2.0 specification extends the standard to include interest rate options (Swaptions, Caps/Floors), and extends the coverage of swaps (FX Resetables, Cancellables, Early Termination Provisions). The developers intend to release a Last Call Working Draft will be published in November 2001, incorporating feedback received in the interim. [Full context]

  • [September 18, 2001]   Global Document Annotation Initiative (GDA).    A research project coordinated through the Tokyo Cyber Assist Research Center has developed an XML vocabulary and DTD for linguistic annotation of web documents. The Global Document Annotation Initiative research team has proposed this XML-based tag set to help computing machines "automatically infer the underlying semantic/pragmatic structure of documents. The tag set is being developed so as to be easy to embed into TEI, EAGLES, and HTML vocabularies. The GDA tag set is designed so that the GDA-annotation reduces the ambiguity in mapping a document to a sort of entity-relation graph (or semantic network) representing the underlying semantic structure. The tag set does not directly encode such graphs, though it should be straightforward to encode them with RDF or related tag sets such as DAML. A chief goal of the GDA iniative is to support AI applications such as machine translation, information retrieval, information filtering, data mining, consultation, expert systems, and so on." [Full context]

  • [September 14, 2001]   RosettaNet E-Business Standards Consortium Releases Validated RNIF 2.0 Specification.    The RosettaNet Consortium has announced the completion of an "official validation for second major release of its implementation framework core specification, which provides the foundational processes and message packaging requirements for supply chain partners to conduct e-business using RosettaNet standards. Validation of version 2.0 of the RosettaNet Implementation Framework (RNIF) provides greater impetus for companies to migrate from RNIF 1.1 to 2.0, and will help prepare them for the future release of RosettaNet products and services designed to measure their own readiness and compliance with RosettaNet standards. RosettaNet Partners who participated in the six-month RNIF 2.0 Validation Program include: IONA, Peregrine Systems, PTC, TIBCO Software, Viacore, Vitria and webMethods. RNIF provides exchange protocols for quick and efficient implementation of RosettaNet PIPs. Through the efforts of RosettaNet's Validation Partners, players active in the B2B space are assured that RNIF 2.0 has been put through its paces and is capable of addressing the implementation requirements of companies within the high technology supply chain. RNIF version 2.0 supports intermediaries such as e-marketplaces and exchanges, accommodates complex multi-document business messages, and contains additional provisions for authenticity, privacy and non-repudiation. The new implementation framework supports complex business messages; companies can now send binary documents with their XML-based RosettaNet business messages." [Full context]

  • [September 14, 2001]   BizTalk Server 2000 CIDX Software Development Kit Supports XML/RosettaNet Chemical Industry Protocols.    Microsoft has announced the development of a BizTalk Server 2000 CIDX Software Development Kit (SDK) which "extends the library of document schemas shipped with BizTalk Server to include support for the documents most commonly requested by chemical industry customers, implementing support for CIDX Chem eStandards. The BizTalk SDK is to provide chemical companies with a powerful solution enabling rapid integration of applications, platforms and businesses within and across organizational boundaries, using the chemical industry's core XML protocols developed by the Chemical Industry Data Exchange (CIDX)." The CIDX eStandards are "uniform standards for data exchange developed specifically for the buying, selling and delivery of chemicals based upon XML and RosettaNet specifications. The RosettaNet components used and applied in the Chem eStandards are the RosettaNet Implementation Framework (RNIF) and general guidelines regarding XML message and common data dictionary design; the Chem eStandards thus leverage the transport, envelope and security aspects of RINF. Chem eStandards DTDs developed so far deal with envelope and security, customer, catalog and RFQ, purchase order, logistics, financials, forecasting, and exchange interactions." According to the Microsoft announcement, the CIDX SDK "provides Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) mapping documents that will enable customers to quickly map from CIDX transactions to SAP intermediate documents. Also included are a sample utility demonstrating an approach for automating the configuration of BizTalk and a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to implement support for a CIDX OrderCreate transaction. A prototype of the CIDX SDK was originally developed by Microsoft Consulting Services for Air Products and Chemicals Inc." The CIDX Standards Development teams are finalizing the Chem eStandards version 2.0.2 for publication. The 1363-page specification for version 2.0 is available online, together with a separate distribution for the forty-seven (47) XML DTDs. [Full context]

  • [September 13, 2001]   W3C XForms 1.0 Specification Nears Completion.    Members of the W3C XForms Working Group have released a revised working draft of the XForms 1.0 specification. Designed to be "more flexible than previous HTML and XHTML form technologies, the new generation of Web forms called XForms separates purpose, presentation, and data. The current design of Web forms doesn't separate the purpose from the presentation of a form. XForms, in contrast, are comprised of separate sections that describe what the form does, and how the form is to be presented. This allows for flexible presentation options, making it possible for classic XHTML form controls, as well as other form control sets such as WML, to be leveraged. W3C XForms are the response to the public demand for better web forms with richer interactions, and the new design represents the creation of a new platform-independent markup language for online interaction between an XForms Processor and a remote entity. XForms are thus the successor to XHTML forms, and benefit from the lessons learned in the years of HTML forms implementation experience." The current WD is expected to be the last before the publication of a 'last call' Working Draft; it supercedes the previous working draft of 2001-06-08 and "incorporates new material agreed upon at the Amsterdam face to face meeting and ongoing feedback from the general public." Appendix A of the specification contains the W3C XML Schema for XForms. [Full context]

  • [September 13, 2001]   Altova Releases Comprehensive Tool Suite for Advanced XML Application Development.    A posting from Alexander Falk announces the final production release of the XML Spy 4.0 Suite, "a comprehensive product-line of easy-to-use software tools, facilitating all aspects of XML application development. The XML Spy 4.0 Suite consists of the XML Spy 4.0 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), the XML Spy 4.0 XSLT Designer, and the XML Spy 4.0 Document Editor, a comprehensive tool-set for all XML application development. The XML Spy 4.0 Integrated Development Environment is a solution for developing XML-based applications, making it easy to create and manage XML documents, stylesheets, and schemas. The XSLT Designer is an innovative new approach to automate writing of complex XSLT Stylesheets using an intuitive, drag-and-drop user interface. The XML Spy 4.0 Document Editor is available as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application; it offers a word-processor style free-flow WYSISYG editor for XML documents, empowering non-technical users to create and edit XML documents." A 30-day evaluation version is available for download. [Full context]

  • [September 13, 2001]   XML Scripture Encoding Model (XSEM) Presented to the OSIS Initiative.    A communiqué from Dennis Drescher and Eric Albright (SIL) announces the Level 1 Release of an XML Scripture Encoding Model (XSEM), developed by SIL to replace a "Standard Format Markers (SFM)" markup system which has been in use for about 20 years. Whereas the SFM notation reflected an essentially a flat record/field markup model, XSEM is based substantially upon the TEI DTD and employs a hierarchical model with advanced linking mechanisms. The XSEM markup model is designed as XML, and the application will be deployed with the next generation of editing software and publishing systems in SIL. The XSEM canonical source is "an XML Schema that is compliant with the latest W3C recommendation for the XML Schema standard," but the principal notation used in the distribution is an XML DTD (generated from the Schema source using XSLT). The demonstration materials are available as downloadable packages (.ZIP, .BIN, .HQX, .TGZ formats) and include sample XML text, XML DTDs, documentation, XSLT stylesheets, as well as output in HTML, PDF, EBook, and WML formats. The developers of XSEM have submitted the XML DTD as input to the Open Scriptural Information Standard (OSIS) Initiative, sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Bible Society (ABS). [Full context]

  • [September 12, 2001]   OASIS Technical Committee Proposed for Universal Business Language (UBL).    A call for participation has been issued in connection with a proposed OASIS Technical Committee for a Universal Business Language (UBL). The new Universal Business Language is proposed as "a synthesis of existing XML business document libraries. Work would begin with xCBL 3.0 as the starting point and to develop the standard UBL library by mutually agreed-upon changes to xCBL 3.0 based on industry experience with other XML business libraries and with similar technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange. The TC will endeavor to develop UBL in light of standards/specifications issued by UN/CEFACT, ISO, IEC, ITU, W3C, IETF, OASIS, and such other standards bodies and organizations as the UBL TC may deem relevant. It would harmonize UBL as far as practical with the ebXML specifications approved in Vienna (May 2001), with the work of the Joint Core Components initiative (a joint project of ANSI ASC X12 and the UN/EDIFACT Working Group), and with the work of other appropriate business information bodies. The primary deliverable of the UBL TC is a coordinated set of XML grammatical components that will allow trading partners to unambiguously identify the business documents to be exchanged in a particular business context." The new OASIS TC is to be chaired by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems), and is projected to be completed within 1-2 years. [Full context]

  • [September 12, 2001]   XML Pointer Language (XPointer) Published as a W3C Candidate Recommendation.    The W3C XML Linking Working Group has announced the release of XML Pointer Language (XPointer) Version 1.0 as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. The CR replaces the second last-call Working Draft version of January 08, 2001, and is open for public comment through March 4, 2002. 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) be used in URI references to address into resources; (2) address points and ranges as well as whole nodes; (3) locate information by string matching. XPointer supports addressing into the internal structures of XML documents and external parsed entities. 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 XML information, whether or not they bear an explicit ID attribute. The specification defines XPointer as the language to be used as the basis for a fragment identifier for any URI reference that locates a resource whose Internet media type is one of text/xml, application/xml, text/xml-external-parsed-entity, or application/xml-external-parsed-entity." [Full context]

  • [September 07, 2001]   W3C Presents a First Public Release of the XML Schema Test Collection.    A posting from Henry S. Thompson announces a "first public release of the W3C XML Schema Test Collection, made possible by a substantial contribution of tests from Microsoft. Both positive and negative expected outcomes are tested with respect to a range of core XML Schema features. [The tests are presented] in a standard form which tabulates (without ratifying) the test materials, together with a brief description, and the outcomes for each one expected by the contributor. The document also includes the first of what the W3C team hopes will be many outcome tabulations for a publically available XML Schema processor... the column labelled 'Expected' means the outcome expected by the contributor [not necessarily what's expected by the W3C WG]. For the test file(s) present which has/have extension .xsd, its/their conformance to the XML Schema REC's definition of valid XML representations of XML Schemas is what is at issue. When a test file with extension .xml is present as well, its schema-validity is at issue as well." Thompson reports that the W3C team already has in hand an additional contribution of tests from NIST; these will be added soon to augment the 100+ tests from Microsoft. Contributions from other sources are strongly encouraged. The test materials are available for download from the W3C web site as a single package, distributed under the W3C Document License. [Full context]

  • [September 05, 2001]   Software Component Testing Meets XML.    A research team at the UWA Software Component Laboratory (SCL) is developing a suite of tools in the 'Component Test Bed' to assist component developers "quickly and easily generate and manage test data sets for components." Software tools in the SCL Component Test Bed "allow authors to package and test software subsystems as components which may be sold through the Software Component Server. The CTB may be used by software developers who have no formal training in software testing. It provides a check list that the developer may follow to ensure that a component is thoroughly tested prior to submission to the server. It also creates an XML-based test database, consisting of test patterns which may be bundled with the components that are sold." In support of this work, the team has developed an XML-based test specification that aims to be (1) standard and portable; (2) simple and easy to learn; (3) devoid of language-specific features; (4) equally able to work with object-oriented systems, simple functions, and complex components such as distributed objects or Enterprise JavaBeans; (5) efficient at handling the repetitive nature of many test sets; (6) capable of offering widely available and easily produced test-generation tools that do not require proprietary software; (7) free of proprietary-software requirements for interpreting and running the tests; and (8) able to support regression testing." Sample DTDs and instances from the project are available online, along with design documents and technical reports. [Full context]

  • [September 05, 2001]   Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 Specification Advances to W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 specification as a W3C Recommendation, "representing cross-industry agreement on an XML-based language that allows authors to create two dimensional vector graphics. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its widespread adoption." From the W3C announcement: "Web designers have requirements for graphics formats which display well on a range of different devices, screen sizes, and printer resolutions. They need rich graphical capabilities, good internationalization, responsive animation and interactive behavior in a way that takes advantage of the growing XML infrastructure used in e-commerce, publishing, and business to business communication. [SVG brings] the XML advantage to vector graphics and benefits all industries which depend on rich graphics delivery -- advertising, electronic commerce, process control, mapping, financial services, and education. Web designers demand vendor-neutral, cross-platform interoperability. W3C's Extensible Markup Language (XML) has become the universal format for document and data interchange on the Web. SVG 1.0 enables the textual content of graphics -- from logos to diagrams -- to be searched, indexed, and displayed in multiple languages. This is a significant benefit for both accessibility and internationalization. SVG 1.0 builds on other W3C specifications such as the Document Object Model (DOM), which allows for easy server-side generation and dynamic, client-side modification of graphics and text. SVG 1.0 also benefits from W3C technologies such as CSS and XSL style sheets, RDF metadata, XML Linking, and SMIL Animation, which also advanced to Recommendation today." [Full context]

  • [September 04, 2001]   DTDinst Tool Converts XML DTDs into XML Instance Format.    A posting from James Clark announces the availability of a DTD converter 'DTDinst' which converts XML DTDs into XML instance format. "The XML instance can be in either a format specific to DTDinst or can be in RELAX NG format." The DTDinst-specific output format is documented in RELAX NG non-XML syntax and in RELAX NG format. The key feature of DTDinst "is its handling of parameter entities: it is able to reliably turn parameter entity declarations and references into a variety of higher-level semantic constructs. It can do this even in the presence of arbitrarily deep nesting of parameter entity references within parameter entity declarations. At the same time, it accurately follows XML 1.0 rules on parameter entity expansion, so that any valid XML 1.0 DTD can be handled. If a parameter entity is used in a way that does not correspond to any of the higher-level semantics constructs supported by DTDinst, then references to that parameter entity will be expanded in the DTDinst output. DTDinst is available as a precompiled JAR file; the source is also available." Clark provides an XSLT stylesheet that "converts DTDinst format to RELAX NG; it has many more limitations than the converter builtin to DTDinst, but it may be useful as a basis for XSLT-based processing of DTDinst format." James writes: "Feedback is welcome, especially on any DTDs it doesn't handle well and on additional features that you would like to see..." [Full context]

  • [August 31, 2001]   XPathLog and LoPiX: a Logical Approach to XML and XML Data Integration.    Researchers at the Institut für Informatik, Universität Freiburg are developing the XPathLog/LoPiX project as a continuation and migration of F-Logic/Florid to XML. The LoPiX system "is an implementation of the XML querying and data manipulation language XPathLog; it is free for evaluation, research and teaching purposes. XPathLogic is a logic which is interpreted with respect to XML documents. Its Horn fragment, XPathLog, provides a logic-based language for manipulating and integrating XML data. Due to many similarities between the F-Logic and XPath languages, F-Logic is a natural candidate for a migration to XML/XPath: The XPathLog language is a crossbreed between XPath and F-Logic, i.e., it extends XPath with variable bindings to an XML querying and data manipulation language. XPathLog assigns a declarative constructive semantics to XPath expressions for specifying database updates. The LoPiX system which implements XPathLog is based on the Florid system. The research on data integration is now continued with LoPiX. One of the main results -- apart from the fact that XPathLog/LoPiX is the first implementation of updates in an XML database language, is that the DOM/XML Query Data Model is not suitable for updating and integrating XML data. Instead, XPathLog/LoPiX use the XTreeGraph data model which allows for representing multiple, overlapping XML trees in an internal database. Result trees are then defined as views over the XTreeGraph database." [Full context]

  • [August 31, 2001]   Baltimore Technologies Releases RDFExpert as a Web-Powered Expert System for Generic Inference Tasks.    A posting from Graham Klyne (Baltimore Technologies) announces the availability of a prototype work-in-progess RDF-driven expert system shell. The RDFExpert software uses Brian McBride's JENA API and parser. Distributed as a single ZIP archive containing a number of Java .jar files, the application provides "a simple expert system shell that uses RDF for all of its input: knowledge base, inference rules and elements of the resolution strategy employed. It supports forward and backward chaining. The tool uses a special vocabulary to build arbitrary n-place predicate facts and rules. Other RDF statements are interpreted as binary facts (i.e., predicates with constant arguments). There is also a representation for n-place predicates that generalizes the normal RDF representation of binary facts." The RDFExpert web site provides a manual, sample test cases, and an overview document which outlines the influences, capabilities and future directions of a research project entitled the RDFExpert' undertaken at the strategic research department of Baltimore Technologies. Graham writes: "Craig Pugsley has been working on an experimental expert system shell that uses RDF for all of its input data (knowledge base, rules and 'control'). We can now use it to read arbitrary RDF from the web and perform inferences on that data. We have been exercising this capability using RDFweb/webwho data. A simple example query we have run is to list RDFweb people with a common interest... It is very much an experimental/prototype piece of software, and all the usual caveats apply about being provided as-is, without warranty, etc. Further developments under consideration for the tool include support for an inference rule format compatible with RuleML work; forward chaining from a designated set of facts; rules containing variable predicate names; extension of resolution strategy component to provide greater control over fact resolution process." [Full context]

  • [August 30, 2001]   Standards Bodies Face Growing Demand for Enhanced Language Identifier Systems.    Proposals are now being floated within several user communities for increasing the number of standardized language codes beyond the 200-400 range found in current ISO standards. A new work item approved by ISO earlier in 2001, for example, addresses the need for an International Standard with mechanisms for encoding language variation in terms of time, geography, dialectal variation, writing system, and so forth. An initial proposal calls for codes supporting representation of the language along at least five axes: "geog (geographical specification), script (writing system), temp (temporal specification), socli (sociolinguistic specification), and style (stylistic specification)." Other draft proposals call for adoption of schemes that identify 7,000 or even 70,000 languages and dialects. As the mass of networked digital information grows ever larger and becomes easily accessible, demand increases for a taxonomy of human languages adequate to support language data classification, categorization, and linguistic annotation. It is now widely recognized that the ISO standards providing "codes for the representation of names of languages" (ISO 639, ISO/FDIS 639-1, ISO 639-2) are inadequate to meet the application requirements being levied by users in new domains. The concern for better language description facility is now felt as urgent among digital librarians and archivists seeking to classify and linguistically annotate materials representing minority languages; others now worry about the emergence of de facto standards which conflict with the work of registered standards bodies. Language identification is of critical importance to markup since the use of language codes to assist in machine processing of text is documented in a wide range of specifications, including markup metalanguages (SGML, XML) and most markup language applications. Seeking to raise interest in this topic and awareness of its importance for markup language design, I have prepared a reference document "Language Identifiers in the Markup Context" with summaries of the major standards and emerging initiatives. [Full context]

  • [August 29, 2001]   Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0 Published as W3C Proposed Recommendation.    The W3C XSL Working Group has published Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0 as a W3C Proposed Recommendation, indicating that "the specification is stable and that implementation experience has been gathered showing that the features of the specification can be implemented." The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) "is a language for expressing stylesheets [which] builds on the prior work on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2) and the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL). Apart from a stylesheet, a processor "could not possibly know how to render the content of an XML document other than as an undifferentiated string of characters. XSL provides a comprehensive model and a vocabulary for writing such stylesheets using XML syntax. Given a class of arbitrarily structured XML documents or data files, designers use an XSL stylesheet to express their intentions about how that structured content should be presented; that is, how the source content should be styled, laid out, and paginated onto some presentation medium, such as a window in a Web browser or a hand-held device, or a set of physical pages in a catalog, report, pamphlet, or book." The PR review period for XSL Version 1.0 which began on 28-August-2001 lasts through 25-September-2001, during which time the W3C Advisory Committee representatives return comments; following the review the W3C Director will announce the document's disposition (W3C Recommendation, Working Draft). [Full context]

  • [August 27, 2001]   New W3C Working Draft: XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Functions and Operators Version 1.0.    W3C has published a new working draft document which describes constructors, operators, and functions that are used in XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0. The draft "was produced through the efforts of a joint task force of the W3C XML Query Working Group and the W3C XML Schema Working Group and a second joint task force of the W3C XML Query Working Group and the W3C XSL Working Group. The specification defines basic operators and functions on the datatypes defined in XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes for use in XQuery, XPath, and other related XML standards. It also discusses operators and functions on nodes and node sequences as defined in the XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model for use in XQuery, XPath, and other related XML standards. Where XML Schema Part 2 defines a number of primitive and derived datatypes, collectively known as built-in datatypes, the new working draft defines operations on those datatypes. The document defines a number of constructors and other functions that apply to one or more data types; each constructor and function is defined by specifying its signature, a description of each of its arguments, and its semantics. In addition, examples are given of many constructors and functions to illustrate their use. The WD is generally unconcerned with the specific syntax with which the constructors, operators, and functions will be used, and focuses instead on defining the semantics of them as precisely as feasible." [Full context]

  • [August 25, 2001]   Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) Advances Toward Version 1.0 Release.    Working groups in the Financial Information Services Division (FISD) of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) have prepared beta versions of XML schemas and DTDs in the Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) project. The latest MDDL 0.92 release includes also MDDL samples, MDDL Content Model diagrams, and a Glossary of Terms. MDDL is being developed actively in preparation of its inaugural release at the World Financial Information Conference on November 2, 2001. The goal in the MDDL project is to "define a publicly available standard that provides a generic XML-based interchange format on the fields needed to describe financial instruments (including identifiers and current/historical values), corporate events (including specific corporate and instrument information affecting value and tradability), and market-related information (including economic and industrial indicators). The goal is to promote data interoperability. MDDL is an open standard; anyone interested in the work of MDDL is free to participate. MDDL will focus on broad field definitions for market data content, applicable to multiple classes. The initial focus of MDDL will be end-of-day and snapshot applications that can be extended to historical, streaming and interpretative and vendor-specific data models as appropriate. An MDDL Steering Committee provides oversight of MDDL, operational management of the standards development process and external relations. A Technical Working Group has been established to define the structural model of the data including the architecture, structure and rules of MDDL. A Vocabulary Working Group defines the scope of the MDDL standard and identifies the specific data sets to be covered." [Full context]

  • [August 24, 2001]   XSLTDoc Tool Generates XSLT Stylesheet Documentation.    A posting from Fabrice Desré (France Telecom R&D/DMI/GRI) announces the availability of an XSLT stylesheet documentation generator tool. XSLTDoc is itself "an XSLT stylesheet that analyzes another stylesheet, builds clean documentation on it, and also makes some sanity checks. The stylesheet has been developed and tested with xsltproc, part of the 'libxslt' XSLT C library for Gnome. The documentation generated will: (1) show global parameters; (2) show global variables; (3) list all the templates; (4) for each template it shows parameters, variables, templates called via <apply-templates/> from the current one, and templates called via <call-template/> from the current one, checking parameters; (4) builds a cross-reference matrix of called templates; it emits warnings if a named template is never used; (5) in several situations, it tries to show the relevant comments. The supporting web site for XSLTDoc provides an online demo; one may submit a stylesheet and get the result online via a Web browser. A current limitation of the tool is that stylesheets using <xsl:include/> or <xsl:import/> cannot be analyzed." The author plans to support additional semantic checks (à la XSL Lint) and provide DocBook output so it will be easy to make non-HTML documentation. [Full context]

  • [August 24, 2001]   Toronto XML Server (ToX) Provides Repository for Real and Virtual XML Documents.    ToX (The Toronto XML Engine) is a research project of the Database Group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. The Toronto XML Server is "a repository for XML data and metadata, which supports real and virtual XML documents. Real documents are stored as files or mapped into relational or object databases, depending on their structuredness; indices are defined according to the storage method used. Virtual documents can be remote documents, defined as arbitrary WebOQL queries, or views, defined as queries over documents registered in the system. The system catalog contains metadata for the documents, especially their schemata, used for query processing and optimization. Queries can range over both the catalog and the documents, and multiple query languages are supported." [Full context]

  • [August 24, 2001]   IETF/W3C XML-Signature Syntax and Processing Specification Advanced to Proposed Recommendation.    Public comment is invited through September 17, 2001 on the Proposed Recommendation release of XML-Signature Syntax and Processing. Issued by the IETF/W3C XML Signature Working Group as a joint IETF and W3C draft, the XML digital signature specification provides for integrity, message authentication, and signer authentication services. The PR 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 element. More specifically, this specification defines an XML signature element type and an XML signature application; conformance requirements for each are specified by way of schema definitions and prose respectively. This specification also includes other useful types that identify methods for referencing collections of resources, algorithms, and keying and management information. The XML Signature is a method of associating a key with referenced data (octets); it does not normatively specify how keys are associated with persons or institutions, nor the meaning of the data being referenced and signed. Consequently, while this specification is an important component of secure XML applications, it itself is not sufficient to address all application security/trust concerns, particularly with respect to using signed XML (or other data formats) as a basis of human-to-human communication and agreement. Such an application must specify additional key, algorithm, processing and rendering requirements." [Full context]

  • [August 23, 2001]   ActiveState's XSLT Cookbook Project Supports Publication of XSLT Code Snippet Recipes.    A posting from Paul Prescod (ActiveState) announces a 'community run' collaborative website called the XSLT Cookbook Project. The designers invite contributions to XSLT lore in the form of code, comments, and ratings for recipes. This dynamic collection "will allow programmers to be more productive with XSLT, and will provide a dynamic space for the rapid content development of a cookbook. The XSLT Cookbook is a new project based on a very successful experiment of ActiveState and O'Reilly called the Python Cookbook. The idea of an online Cookbook is to get people to contribute 'recipes' that other people can then take and use in their programs -- in this case, XSLT snippets to be used in stylesheets and transformations... The XSLT Cookbook is not a FAQ because it only deals with snippets of code and discussions around them. It doesn't talk about implementation issues or deep language semantics or anything other than snippets of code; unlike a FAQ, the Cookbook is completely community run. The Cookbook is also very different than a collection of code in a library such as EXSLT or the XSLT Standard Library. The nice thing about a library is that you directly plug in using import/include. The Cookbook is for the code that cannot be so nicely packaged; XPath expressions are a perfect example..." [Full context]

  • [August 22, 2001]   WIPO Publishes XML DTDs for the Electronic Patent Cooperation Treaty Application.    Revision 3 of the WIPO 'Draft Legal Framework and Technical Standard' for electronic patent filings under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has been released for public comment. This revision includes XML DTDs for the E-PCT Standard. WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva] is an "international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit" through the development of IP protection regulations. Part 7 of the PCT Instructions Relating to The Electronic Filing and Processing of International Applications has been revised with 'XML DTDs for the E-PCT Standard' in Annex F, Appendix I, and is open for comment until August 24, 2001. The working group envisions that additional revised drafts will be issued prior to finalization and promulgation of the standard. The appendix "presents the XML DTDs used for the electronic exchange of international application documents as defined in Annex F and contains details of the methodology adopted in drafting these DTDs. The immediate goal of the specification is to support E-PCT applications, but the Trilateral Offices intends to use it as the basis for their own national electronic applications for a variety of industrial-property types and recommend that it would be the basis for an eventual WIPO standard for use by other Offices. Thus the DTDs created for E-PCT will be constructed in components for element definitions and from which the Trilateral Offices and others can derive elements and DTDs for their needs in a consistent and compatible manner. The other DTDs that will eventually be required will also be based on the component DTD architecture." Ten provisional XML DTDs are presented in graphical [PNG] and plain text format: E-PCT dossier, Request form, Application body, Declaration, Amendment request, Power of attorney, Fee sheet, Biological deposit, Receiving Office information, and Package header. [Full context]

  • [August 22, 2001]   Uniform Code Council Releases EAN.UCC XML Schemas for eCommerce.    XML Schemas first announced in June 2001 have now been published by the Uniform Code Council and are publicly available for download. This initial distribution "contains Version 1.0 of the global voluntary standards for the exchange of electronic business documents using Extensible Markup Language (XML) within the EAN.UCC System. The EAN.UCC System, created by the Uniform Code Council (UCC), with EAN International (EAN), includes the specifications, standards, and guidelines for eCommerce. The EAN.UCC System enables companies of any size, industry, or geography to communicate in the Global Language of Business. This publication was developed through a consensus of interested parties conforming to the global UCC Standards Management Process. The schema development was based on Business Process Models and the principles of simple electronic business (Simpl-eb), in order to simplify the business processes independent from syntax and technology. It includes the following information: Core Party, Core Item, FMCG Item Extension, Core Order, Request for Payment, Allowance-Charge Extension, Payment Terms Extension, Simple Despatch Advice, Party Banking Information, Party Pallet System, Simple Invoice Extension, and Relationship Dependent Data." [Full context]

  • [August 22, 2001]   Meaning Definition Language (MDL) Proposed to Bridge XML Structure and Meaning.    A design team at Charteris plc has developed a 'Meaning Definition Language' (MDL) as a "bridge between XML structure and meaning, expressed precisely in XML. MDL defines how the structures of an XML document (elements, attributes and XPaths) convey meanings (about objects, properties and associations). The purpose of the Meaning Definition Language (MDL) is thus to define what XML documents mean and how they express that meaning. MDL defines what a document can mean in terms of a UML class model or RDF Schema, and defines how to extract the meaning, in terms of XPath. MDL is a simple language with many applications, such as: (1) validating that an XML language can convey its intended meaning, (2) automated translation of documents between XML languages, (3) automated retrieval of information on the Semantic Web, (4) supporting meaning-level XML query languages, and (5) programming APIs to XML at the level of meaning, independent of document structure. MDL will enable tools and users to interface to XML at the level of meaning rather than structure. MDL-based automated XML translation and a meaning-level query language are already supported." [Full context]

  • [August 22, 2001]   Open GIS Consortium Publishes Data Model for Coordinate Reference Systems and Coordinate Transformations.    A 121-page document Recommended Definition Data for Coordinate Reference Systems and Coordinate Transformations has been made available for public review by the Open GIS Consortium. The recommendation paper provides a data model which "harmonizes and improves the relevant XML work previously done by OGC. This OGC standard data model for coordinate reference systems and coordinate transformation definition data is intended for initial use with OGC's OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML) and Coordinate Transformation (CT) Implementation Specifications. That is, each of these two specifications is expected to use a subset and/or superset of the Definition Data described in the Recommendation Paper. The data model was developed using object-oriented analysis and design principles and is recorded in XML format. Future revisions of this specification will convert the current XML Document Type Definitions (DTD) to XML Schema." Section 6 supplies the normative XML data model; Annex D provides the uncommented XML DTDs; Annex E offers XML examples; Informative Annex G documents correspondences between the XML DTD and UML. OGC is "an international industry consortium of over 200 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications." [Full context]

  • [August 17, 2001]   W3C Launches Conformance and Quality Assurance Activity.    W3C has announced a new Conformance and Quality Assurance Activity designed "to solidify and extend current W3C quality practices regarding specification editing, validation tools and test suites, and coordination efforts within W3C." The activity will be supervised by Karl Dubost, W3C Conformance Manager. A W3C QA Interest Group has been formed as well as a QA Working Group. The QA activity will "work on the quality of W3C specifications, promote the development of good validators, test tools, and harnesses for implementers, and think ahead to additional steps. The main objective of the QA Working Group is to foster the development of usable and useful test suites endorsed by the W3C, which share a common look and feel, and ensure that the validating tools of the W3C are fully operational, useful and educational. The working group will seek to (1) improve the quality of W3C specifications with respect to conformance statement, test assertions, tutorial/examples, formal representation of languages, etc.), by conducting reviews of specifications and producing guidelines for specification writers; optionally, the WG can work on specification improvement, but this is not a required deliverable; (2) develop a common framework/harness for developing and running tests and a process for maintaining/adding/removing tests from test suites; reviewing existing test tools (3) ensure coordination with W3C Working Groups developing specifications (formal channel, appeal); (4) coordinate works with internal W3C horizontal groups: WAI, I18N, TAG, and Communications Team." [Full context]

  • [August 16, 2001]   Wrox Press Publishes Major Reference Tool for XML Schemas.    Wrox Press has published a full-length volume on XML Schemas in its 'Programmer to Programmer' Series. Professional XML Schemas has been authored by Kurt Cagle, Jon Duckett, Oliver Griffin, Stephen Mohr, Francis Norton, Nikola Ozu, Ian Stokes-Rees, Jeni Tennison, and Kevin Williams. Professional XML Schemas "exhaustively details the W3C XML Schema language, and teaches the new syntax in an intuitive and logical way. [It documents] how to declare elements and attributes, how to create complex content models, how to work with multiple namespaces, and how to use XML Schemas in real-world situations. A number of practical case studies illustrate the design and creation of schemas in the diverse worlds of relational databases, document management, and e-commerce applications." The book covers all major aspects of schema application, including: "(1) A complete guide to XML Schema Syntax; (2) Using XML Schema built-in types, and deriving new types; (3) Working with XML Schemas and XML Namespaces; (4) Creating identity and uniqueness constraints; (5) Good schema design, illustrated in a number of different areas; (6) Working with schemas and XSLT; (7) Writing XML Schemas for working with SOAP; (8) Integrating Schematron and XML Schemas." Reference tools in appendices include Schema Element and Attribute Reference, Schema Datatypes Reference, UML Reference, Tools and Parsers, and Bibliography and Further Reading. [Full context]

  • [August 16, 2001]   W3C Web Ontology Working Group Formed to Extend the 'Semantic Reach' of XML/RDF Metadata Efforts.    A posting from Dan Connolly to the W3C 'www-rdf-logic' mailing list announces the formation of a new Web Ontology Working Group within W3C. The Web Ontology (WebOnt) Working Group has been chartered to design a web ontology language "that builds on current web languges that allow the specification of classes and subclasses, properties and subproperties (such as RDFS), but which extends these constructs to allow more complex relationships between entities including: means to limit the properties of classes with respect to number and type, means to infer that items with various properties are members of a particular class, a well-defined model of property inheritance, and similar semantic extensions to the base languages. The web ontology language must support the development and linking of ontologies together, in a web-like manner. The products of this working group must be supported by a formal semantics allowing language designers, tool builders, and other 'experts' to be able to precisely understand the meaning and 'legal' inferences for expressions in the language. The language will use the XML syntax and datatypes whereever possible, and will be designed for maximum compatibility with XML and RDF language conventions." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   RELAX NG Version 0.9 Released for Two-Month Review and Implementation Period.    James Clark (OASIS RELAX NG Technical Committee Chair) has posted an announcement for the release of the RELAX NG Version 0.9 specification. The technical committee has "allocated a period of two months for public comment and implementation. At the end of this period, the team plans to resolve all comments received and release RELAX NG version 1.0." A RELAX NG Tutorial has also been published as an OASIS Committee Specification. Appendices in this tutorial document provide summary comparisons of RELAX NG with XML DTDs, RELAX Core, and TREX. RELAX NG is "a simple schema language for XML, based on RELAX and TREX. A RELAX NG schema specifies a pattern for the structure and content of an XML document; a RELAX NG schema thus identifies a class of XML documents consisting of those documents that match the pattern... The key features of RELAX NG are that it is simple, easy to learn, uses XML syntax, does not change the information set of an XML document, supports XML namespaces, treats attributes uniformly with elements so far as possible, has unrestricted support for unordered content, has unrestricted support for mixed content, has a solid theoretical basis, and can partner with a separate datatyping language. RELAX NG itself performs only validation: it does not change the infoset of an XML document. Most of the features of XML 1.0 DTDs that are not supported by RELAX NG involve modification to the infoset. In XML 1.0, validation and infoset modification are combined in a monolithic XML processor. It is a goal of the [RELAX NG] specification to provide a clean separation between validation and infoset modification, so that a wide variety of implementation scenarios are possible." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   Library Application Profile Published as a DCMI Working Draft.    Members of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative's DC-Libraries Application Profile working group have completed an initial DCMI public working draft for a Library Application Profile. Edited by Rebecca Guenther of the US Library of Congress, the document proposes a possible application profile that clarifies the use of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set in libraries and library-related applications and projects. The concept of application profiles ('mixing and matching metadata schemas') "has emerged within the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative as a way to declare which elements from which namespaces are used in a particular application or project. Application profiles are defined as schemas which consist of data elements drawn from one or more namespaces, combined together by implementors, and optimised for a particular local application. The DCMI-Libraries Working Group has explored various uses of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set in library and related applications and has has envisioned the following possible uses: (1) to serve as an interchange format between various systems using different metadata standards/formats; (2) to use for harvesting metadata from data sources within and outside of the library domain; (3) to support simple creation of library catalog records for resources within a variety of systems (e.g., using MARC equivalents of Dublin Core elements); (4) to expose MARC data to other communities (through a conversion to DC); (5) to allow for acquiring resource discovery metadata from non-library creators using Dublin Core." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   World Wide Web Consortium Publishes SMIL 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium recently announced the publication of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation, reflecting the director's judgment that the specification "has significant support for a technical report from the Advisory Committee, the Team, W3C Working groups, and the public; SMIL 2.0 is a stable document and may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference from another document." The SMIL 2.0 specification defines an XML-based language that authors can use to write interactive multimedia presentations. Version 2.0 includes approximately one hundred predefined transition effects, and support for hierarchical layout and animation. In addition to full incorporation of the successful SMIL 1.0 features, SMIL 2.0 Modules provide functionalities including animation; content control; layout; linking; media objects; metainformation; structure; timing and synchronization; time manipulations; and transition effects. This gives authors the ability to create sophisticated animation, event-based interaction with a presentation, and graceful transition effects." Two design goals have been followed: "(1) providing an XML-based language that allows authors to describe the temporal behavior of a multimedia presentation, associate hyperlinks with media objects and describe the layout of the presentation on a screen. (2) allowing re-use of SMIL syntax and semantics in other XML-based languages, in particular those who need to represent timing and synchronization. For example, SMIL 2.0 components are used for integrating timing into XHTML and into SVG. The strategy adopted in SMIL 2.0 for integrating its functionality with other XML-based languages is based on the concepts of modularization and profiling." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   Updated XML Query Language Demo from Microsoft Supports Latest XQuery Specification.    The XML Query Language tool announced by Microsoft in May 2001 has been updated to be conformant to the June 07, 2001 W3C Working Draft specification for XQuery 1.0: An XML Query Language. The development team has also provided a new managed class library containing XQuery classes "that can be programmed against using the beta 2 release of the .Net Frameworks SDK. These classes allow one to run XQuery queries over arbitrary XML documents." Description: "The purpose of the XQuery demo is to enable you to experience the XQuery language and provide feedback on the implementation. Microsoft is committed to supporting the XQuery working group's progress; we will continue to revise this page and the downloadable class library as the XQuery specification develops... Since the demo page is a website, we provide a set of predefined XML documents and disallow the use of user-specified documents for security reasons. In order to execute queries over an arbitrary collection of XML documents you can download the XQuery Demo class library... The demo is implemented in C# and is currently only available via the website. The demo is not meant to give you any indication on how and where XQuery will be implemented in Microsoft products. Its main use is to familiarize the public with XQuery and to gather feedback and requirements for both the W3C working group and our own implementation effort." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   Java XPath Engine 'Jaxen' Supports XPath Expression Evaluation via JDOM, dom4j, EXML, and W3C-DOM.    A posting from Bob McWhirter announces the availability of Jaxen Version 1.0-beta-4. With development hosted on SourceForge, the Jaxen project is developing a Java XPath Engine. Jaxen is "a universal object model walker, capable of evaluating XPath expressions across multiple models." The current version provides support for parsing and evaluating XPath expressions against JDOM, dom4j, EXML, and W3C-DOM documents. Beta version 4 has better public API for each support model, and includes numerous bugfixes. According to the developers' description, "Jaxen itself is based upon SAXPath, which is an event-based model for parsing XPath expressions. Since Jaxen works against an adaptor which provides InfoSet access to arbitrary object models, it should be possible to build even larger tools in terms of Jaxen, to work with multiple models. For example, an XQL engine could be developed, which would automagically work with all models already supported by Jaxen. Jaxen may be perceived to be better than other XPath technologies since it provides a single cohesive API for evaluating XPaths against multiple object models. Learn the Jaxen API, and apply it to dom4j, JDOM, EXML or DOM trees in exactly the same way..." [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   New Online RDF Validation Service from W3C Supports Data Model Visualization.    W3C has announced the availability of an online validation service for RDF (Resource Description Framework) documents. The new RDF validation service "is based on version 1.0.3 of the Another RDF Parser (ARP). ARP was created and is maintained by Jeremy Carroll at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bristol." The RDF validation service at W3C was created and is maintained by Art Barstow of HP, visiting W3C Fellow at MIT. One may use the online validation service by entering a URI or copying an RDF/XML document into the text field of the HTML forms interface; a 3-tuple (triple) representation of the corresponding data model as well as a graphical visualization of the data model will be displayed. The graph is generated using the GraphViz open source graph drawing software from AT&T Labs. The servlet uses ARP, and thus depends on Xerces and SAX2 as documented at the ARP home page. The servlet source code is available from the W3C website. [Full context]

  • [August 15, 2001]   Redfoot Version 0.9.9 Supports Improved Modularization and 'RedCode' Language for Combining Python and XHTML.    A posting from James Tauber and Daniel Krech announces the release of Redfoot version 0.9.9, with improvements designed to make it easier to write applications on top of Redfoot. Redfoot is a "framework for distributed RDF-based applications, written in Python. It includes an RDF database, a query API for RDF with numerous higher-level query functions, an RDF parser and serializer, a simple HTTP server providing a Web interface for viewing and editing RDF, and the beginnings of a peer-to-peer architecture for communication between different RDF databases. The developers plan to enhance Redfoot to include a complete peer-to-peer architecture for discovery of RDF statements, an inference engine, and connectors for mapping non-RDF data into RDF triples. The current 0.9.9 version available from the Sourceforge CVS repository represents a complete rewrite from the ground up, and has a much cleaner architecture that will support the continuing development of Redfoot well into 1.x and beyond. Version 0.9.9 should be viewed as a beta for version 1.0, to be released in the first half of September 2001. This release supports a cleaner notion of modules, with the beginnings of modules like RSS and authentication; it offers improvements to the 'RedCode' language for combining Python and XHTML." [Full context]

  • [August 14, 2001]   Sun Microsystems Releases Java Classes for XML Entity and URI Resolution.    A posting from Norman Walsh (Sun Microsystems) announces the release of a set of Java classes originally written to implement the OASIS XML Catalogs Committee Specification for SAX entityResolver() and JAXP URIResolver(). These classes "greatly simplify the task of using Catalog files to perform entity resolution. You can use these classes directly 'out of the box' with their applications (such as Xalan and Saxon) or customize them to suit your particular needs. Developers will also be interested in the included JavaDoc API Documentation. The distribution package includes Java classes, JavaDoc API documentation, and step-by-step instructions explaining how to use and customize the resolver components." The Preview Version 0.2 requires JDK 1.2 or later. The package with binaries and sample code is available for download from the Sun XML Developer Connection. [Full context]

  • [August 13, 2001]   XML.HOUSE.GOV Web Site Hosts XML DTDs for United States Congress.    A new web site 'XML.HOUSE.GOV' for XML and Legislative Documents has been opened to the public, providing a number of XML DTDs for bills, resolutions, house membership, etc. The purpose of the new web site is "to provide information related to the ongoing work of the U.S. House of Representatives in relation to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Under the direction of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Committee on Administration, the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House have worked together with the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office to create Document Type Definition files (DTDs) for use in the creation of legislative documents using XML. The DTDs may be redistributed and/or modified freely provided that any derivative works bear some notice that they are derived from it, and any modified versions bear some notice that they have been modified. As this is an ongoing project, it is important to note that the DTDs presented on the web site have not been finalized, and may change over time; any documents or programs created with these DTDs should be treated as beta material and not used in a production capacity. A date has not been set for producing legislative material with XML." [Full context]

  • [August 11, 2001]   IBM alphaWorks Releases Web Services Invocation Framework (WSIF).    The XML development team at IBM alphaWorks has released a 'Web Services Invocation Framework' described as "a tool that provides a standard API for invoking services described in Web Services Description Language (WSDL), no matter how or where the services are provided. The WSIF architecture allows new bindings to be added at runtime. WSIF enables developers to interact with representations of Web services instead of working directly with the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) APIs, which is the usual programming model. With WSIF, developers can work with the same programming model regardless of how the Web service is implemented and accessed. The WSIF architecture also allows stub-less invocation of Web services: no stub is generated, and the services can be dynamically invoked. WSIF is based on WSDL4J model 'JSR 110', but in simple usage cases, WSDL4J representation is hidden from the user by portType compiler. Currently, WSIF supports a subset of WSDL SOAP binding (it implements the RPC-oriented part) and very simple Java binding that will be improved in future releases of WSIF." [Full context]

  • [August 11, 2001]   W3C Publishes SVG Requirements Specifications.    The W3C SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) Working Group has released two working draft documents specifying requirements for the next phase of SVG development. SVG is "a language for defining 2D graphics that uses XML syntax to describe graphical elements that may be rendered in a resolution-independent manner. The SVG 1.0 specification, currently at Proposed Recommendation status, defines the visual representation of the elements which can be used in a stand-alone SVG file or included in another XML document within the SVG namespace. The next step in the SVG process will be the development of two specifications, SVG 1.1 and SVG 2.0. SVG 1.1 will include a modularized version of SVG 1.0, and new features driven by the requirements of an SVG profile for mobile devices. Parallel to the development of SVG 1.1, the SVG Working Group will develop a number of profiles for SVG (e.g., full SVG, SVG Tiny, SVG. Basic and possibly a printing profile). SVG 2.0 will include the additional SVG 1.1 features, and other new features of value to the SVG community." SVG 1.1/2.0 Requirements "lists the design principles and requirements for future versions of the SVG language, in particular versions 1.1 and 2.0, to be developed by the W3C." SVG Mobile Requirements outlines design principles and requirements for the creation of a mobile profile of the SVG specification." The SVG Working Group intends to release a first draft of the 'future' SVG specification in October 2001. [Full context]

  • [August 09, 2001]   Web3D Consortium Announces Launch of X3D Open Standard for Web Three-Dimensional Technology.    An announcement from the Web3D Consortium describes the launch of the X3D Open Web3D Standard as "a new-generation successor to VRML to bring rich and compelling 3D graphics to the Web for a wide variety of applications and devices." Demonstrations of commecial X3D browser applications will be shown at the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2001 exhibition in Los Angeles. The X3D working group created the foundation for the X3D initiative by defining the X3D Core specification, capturing the geometry and behaviorial features of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language in XML. The working groups and supporting companies continue to define, implement, and promote the XML bindings for X3D. The X3D standard "is being developed under the Web3D Consortium's standardization process that provides full and open access to the specification for interested companies and eventual submission to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for ratification to provide long-term stability for Web3D content and applications." [Full context]

  • [August 07, 2001]   Telecommunications Markup Language Application Supports DSL Service Provisioning OSS Interconnection.    An announcement from ATIS' Standards Committee T1 describes the completion of an initial standards formulation for tML (Telecommunications Markup Language). Committee T1 "is sponsored by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and accredited by the American National Standards Institute to create network interconnections and interoperability standards for the United States. This initial tML standard application provides support for DSL Service Provisioning OSS Interconnection". Telecommunications Markup Language is a telecom-specific XML application "which is expected to become the standard for OSS transactions. Just as other industries, such as the automobile industry, have their own XML derivatives for communications among trading partners for e-commerce, so too will the telecommunications industry via tML. T1M1's DSL specific work is based on DSL Forum's DSL Service Flow Through Provisioning requirements (Common order sharing, Standard order deployment, Common Customer information records). The expected benefits of using tML include lower OSS development costs, lower operating costs, more flexible systems integration, and improved time to market... Several schemas are involved with this first application. The most reusable schemas are targeted to be part of a family of tML-Base schemas within the overall tML family of schemas. The DSL Service Provisioning schema will be considered part of the overall tML family of schemas." [Full context]

  • [August 07, 2001]   Websign Markup Language Supports Ubiquitous, Location-Aware Computing.    Researchers in Hewlett-Packard's CoolTown research program are developing a "Websign" application for wireless devices which combines the advantages of wireless technology and ubiquitous computing "to provide a transparent linkage between the physical world and resources available on the Web." The websign technology "uses commonly available Internet-enabled wireless devices such as PDAs or smart phones equipped with client software, a positioning system such as GPS, and a digital compass to visualize services for physical entities. Devices sense physical entities in the environment and map them to a Web browser. When the user requests new information, the mobile device connects to a Web server and downloads and caches XML descriptions of websigns in a wide surrounding area. Websigns essentially bind location coordinates, control parameters such as access range, and a service represented by a URL. The Websign Markup Language (WsML), an XML application, is used to express the binding semantics: the Web servers host WsML for mobile devices to download over a cellular wireless connection. Mobile devices can also host WsML for other peer-to-peer devices. Typically, peer devices can communicate over short-range radio networks such as Bluetooth or send WsML embedded in text-message-over systems such as Short Message Service." WsML, similar to Geography Markup Language (GML), "provides a compact format for transmitting binding information over a low-bandwidth wireless network." [Full context]

  • [August 03, 2001]   MIT Press Publishes Markup Languages: Theory and Practice Volume 2, Number 3.    The latest issue of Markup Languages: Theory and Practice by MIT Press has been published, carrying a number of high-quality refereed technical articles. For the reader's convenience, I have prepared an annotated Table of Contents document with abstracts, excerpts, and additional references. Articles in MLTP Volume 2, Number 3 [pages 205-335] include: "Managing XML Documents in an Integrated Digital Library" [David A. Smith, Anne Mahoney, Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox]; "Meaning and Interpretation of Markup" [C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Claus Huitfeldt, Allen Renear]; "Managing Web Relationships With Document Structures" [Michael Priestley]; "An XML Messaging Architecture for Border Management Systems" [Andy Adler, James MacLean, Alan Boate]; "Navigable Topic Maps for Overlaying Multiple Acquired Semantic Classifications" [Helka Folch, Benoît Habert, Saadi Lahlou]; "Beyond Schemas: Schema Adjuncts and the Outside World" [Scott Vorthmann, Jonathan Robie]; "Using UML to Define XML Document Types" [W. Eliot Kimber, John Heintz]; "Using Java for XML Processing: Review of Java and XML and Java and XML" [Keith W. Boone]; "Review of DocBook - The Definitive Guide" [Normand Montour]. Edited by C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen (W3C) and B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies), Markup Languages: Theory and Practice is a "peer-reviewed journal devoted to research, development, and practical applications of text markup for computer processing, management, manipulation, and display. Specific areas of interest include: new syntaxes for generic markup languages; refinements to existing markup languages; theory of formal languages as applied to document markup; systems for mark-up; uses of markup for printing, hypertext, electronic display, content analysis, information reuse and repurposing, search and retrieval, and interchange; shared applications of markup languages; and techniques and methodologies for developing markup languages and applications of markup languages." [Full context]

  • [August 03, 2001]   W3C Publishes Working Draft CSS3 Modules for Fonts and Box Model.    Two new CSS3 working drafts have been released by the W3C CSS working group editors as part of the W3C Style Activity. CSS3 Module: The Box Model "describes the layout of textual documents in visual media. The box model builds on the inline text model, which describes how text is laid out on a line, including treatment of superscripts and bidirectional ('bidi') text. The flow can be horizontal, which is typical for most languages, but in level 3 of CSS, flows can also be vertical; this is typical for the Uighur script and often used for ideographic scripts." The working draft document CSS3 Module: Fonts "presents a set of properties allowing font specification by a user agent as well as additional font decoration properties like font effects, emphasis, smoothing, etc. While the font specification is identical to the similar section in CSS 2, the font decoration properties are new to CSS3. This new module only addresses the font specification part; all other considerations are covered by the Web Font module which addresses: font selection, font characteristics, and font matching algorithm. In addition, this modules specifies various font decoration effects that are glyph related like 3D effect, outline, smoothing and emphasis. These decoration effects are differentiated from the text-decoration through their closer relationship with fonts and their glyphs." [Full context]

  • [August 02, 2001]   NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) Draft Standard on Library Lending Transactions.    The NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol Committee (CICP) has released a Twelfth Draft of ANSI/NISO Z39.83-200x (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) as a NISO Draft Standard for Trial Use. The accompanying NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol DTD defines the schema for transaction initiation and response messages which together comprise the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol. The NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) "defines a repertoire of messages and associated rules of syntax and semantics for use by applications to: (1) perform the functions necessary to lend items; (2) provide controlled ac-cess to electronic resources; and, (3) facilitate co-operative management of these functions. The standard specifically addresses conditions in which the application or applications that initiate the lending of items or control of access must acquire or transmit information about the user, agency, items, and/or access that is essential to successful conclusion of the function. The protocol also addresses the use of an agency's circulation application to manage access by a user to electronic resources such as electronic books, serials, and sound recordings." [Full context]

  • [August 01, 2001]   IBM alphaWorks Releases Voice Toolkit.    The XML development team at IBM alphaWorks labs has released a beta version of a 'Voice Toolkit' to assist in the creation of voice applications "in less time, using a VoiceXML application development environment. The Voice Toolkit features grammar and VoiceXML editors so that application developers do not need to know the internals of voice technology. The Voice Toolkit Beta includes: (1) An integrated development environment (IDE) - runs on the desktop and enables the multi-step process of creating speech applications; (2) A VoiceXML editor - provides content assistance and integrated pronunciation development; (3) A Grammar editor - enables syntax-checking and integrated pronunciation development for generating JSGF grammars for VoiceXML applications. The grammar editor includes grammar creation for SRCL/BNF grammars and it provides conversion capability between SRCL/BNF and JSGF; (4) A pronunciation builder - generates a pronunciation from spelling; and it lets you manually create pronunciations; (5) A basic audio recorder - allows the creation of audio files from spoken text and the playing of previously-recorded audio files; (6) VoiceXML Reusable Dialog Components - pre-written VoiceXML code for use as building blocks for application functions." [Full context]

  • [August 01, 2001]   Sun Microsystems Releases Java 'Multi-Schema XML Validator'.    A posting from Kohsuke KAWAGUCHI (Sun Microsystems) announces the availability of a 'Sun Multi-Schema XML Validator.' The Sun Multi-Schema XML Validator (MSV) is "a Java technology tool to validate XML documents against XML schemata. MSV supports RELAX NG, RELAX Namespace, RELAX Core, TREX, XML DTDs, and a subset of W3C XML Schema Part 1. The validator can be used as a command-line tool (to validate XML documents against a schema or DTD) or as a library (to validate documents or to manipulate schemas from inside a Java application). The distribution includes binaries, sample source code, and detailed documentation." [Full context]

  • [August 01, 2001]   WAP Forum Releases Public Review Specifications for Wireless Application Protocol Version 2.0.    The WAP Forum has announced the availability of WAP 2.0 for public review. "This next generation of the WAP specification helps content developers deliver a richer and more secure experience to mobile Internet service subscribers. WAP 2.0 is a significant evolutionary step in the worldwide standard and will allow application developers to create compelling mobile content using the same tools and techniques they are already familiar with using for other Internet applications. As WAP continues convergence with Internet specifications, WAP 2.0 builds upon the latest Internet standards: XHTML, TCP/IP, HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1), and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Utilizing standards developed by the W3C, WAP adopts XHTML and CSS Mobile Profile as part of WML 2.0 (while maintaining backwards compatibility with WML 1.x), to reduce the time necessary to create and test applications and manipulate content for various devices. At the protocol level WAP 2.0 adopts IETF specifications Supporting XHTML, WAP 2.0 reduces development costs, allowing developers to write applications for both PC and WAP clients, using a common subset of language elements and development tools. XHTML's modular architecture also enables developers to quickly and easily build applications that can adapt to changes in the hardware environment. WAP 2.0 also gives developers the ability to create applications utilizing enhanced style features. Through the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), developers can separate style attributes for one or more XML documents from the actual code, reducing the size of the markup code in browser memory." [Full context]

  • [August 01, 2001]   Text Encoding Initiative Consortium Releases P4 Draft Guidelines in XML and SGML.    TEI editors Lou Burnard and Steve DeRose have announced the official release of version 4 draft Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange. The third edition of the Guidelines known as 'P3' has been edited by participants in the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium (TEI-C); the third edition "has been heavily used since its released in April of 1994 for developing richly encoded and highly portable electronic editions of major works in philosophy, linguistics, history, literary studies, and many other disciplines. The fourth edition, 'P4' will be fully compatible with XML, as well as remaining compatible with SGML (XML's predecessor and the syntactic basis for P3). XML-compatible versions of the TEI DTDs have been available for some time by means of an automatic generation process using the TEI 'pizza chef' tool on the project's website. The first stage in the production of P4 has been to remove the need for this process; accordingly, a preliminary set of dual-capability XML or SGML DTDs was made available for testing at the ACH-ALLC Conference in New York in June. The next stage was to apply a series of systematic changes to the associated documentation, which is now complete: the results may be read online." The TEI editors invite participation in public review of the new P4 draft Guidelines. [Full context]

  • [July 24, 2001]   American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) XML Workgroup Publishes Draft Guidelines.    The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) XML Workgroup, formed to develop guidelines and standardized terminology for internet based steel transactions, has released a set of XML-based specifications for business transactions in the steel industry. The workgroup has released draft versions of the AISI guidelines "with the intent of gathering input from interested parties; a stated objective of the workgroup is to ensure a convergence path with other standards bodies." Phase One activities in the XML project have included: (1) a data requirements review and element mapping for the Shipping Notice, Material Release, Inventory Advice, Material Receipt, Test Report, Customer Purchase Order, Service Order, and Vendor Order transactions; (2) construction of an XML steel industry glossary of terms for document usage; (3) Construction of DTDs for reviewed transactions. The published Overview document provides a discussion of methodology, document organization, XML DTD, and the data dictionary, while remaining documents are transaction-based and provide the structure and content requirements of each transaction's payload section. The primary objective of the AISI XML Workgroup is to develop standardized XML terminology to be used throughout steel related transactions documents. The task to be completed involves the translation of existing X.12 based transaction documents to XML. This process will simultaneously create a Steel XML Glossary, which can then be used throughout the industry and by developers of internet based applications for the industry." [Full context]

  • [July 24, 2001]   Webdav Access Control Protocol Group Publishes Last-Call Specification.    The Webdav Access Control Protocol Group, chartered to develop a remote access control protocol, has released a final last-call specification for public review. Version 06 of the WebDAV Access Control Protocol defines "a set of methods, headers, and message bodies that define Access Control extensions to the WebDAV Distributed Authoring Protocol. This protocol permits a client to remotely read and modify access control lists that instruct a server whether to grant or deny operations upon a resource (such as HTTP method invocations) by a given principal." The relevant XML Document Type Definition is presented in an Appendix. The goal of the WebDAV access control extensions "is to provide an interoperable mechanism for handling discretionary access control for content in WebDAV servers... The underlying principle of access control is that who you are determines how you can access a resource. The 'who you are' is defined by a 'principal' identifier; users, client software, servers, and groups of the previous have principal identifiers. The 'how' is determined by a single 'access control list' (ACL) associated with a resource. An ACL contains a set of 'access control entries' (ACEs), where each ACE specifies a principal and a set of privileges that are either granted or denied to that principal." [Full context]

  • [July 23, 2001]   IBM alphaWorks Offers IBM UDDI Registry.    A UDDI registry has been made available from IBM's alphaWorks web site. The IBM UDDI Registry is "a UDDI-compliant registry for Web services in a private intranet environment. The IBM UDDI Registry supports multiple users in various department- or company-wide scenarios. It also supports the 20 SOAP-based APIs defined by version one of the UDDI specifications, and it provides persistence for published entities through a relational database. Also provided is a Web-based graphical user interface that supports publishing and querying of businesses, services, and other UDDI-compliant entities without programming... The IBM UDDI Registry supports the UDDI Version 1 specifications for schema and API. This includes support for XML and SOAP. Additional technologies are offered as part of the implementation, such as UDDI4J, which is IBM's library for accessing a UDDI-compliant registry from Java. Developers can publish and manage their Web services described using WSDL with the IBM UDDI Registry." [Full context]

  • [July 21, 2001]   Microsoft Releases MSXML Parser 4.0 Beta 2.    Microsoft has announced the release of a technology preview 'Beta 2' version of MSXML Parser 4.0, offering "a faster SAX and XSLT, complete XSD," and other enhancements. "The July 2001 release of the Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) 4.0 Technology Preview is a preliminary release of MSXML 4.0. This technology preview has a number of improvements compared to the April release: (1) XSD validation with SAX; (2) XSD validation with DOM, using the schemaLocation attribute; (3) Schema Object Model (SOM) to access schema information in DOM and SAX; (4) Substantially faster XSLT engine -- tests show about x4, and for some scenarios x8, acceleration, except the known serious performance bug for xsl:keys; (5) New and substantially faster SAX parser, which is also available in DOM with the NewParser property -- use dom.setProperty('NewParser', true); (6) Old, non-conformant technologies are removed: Old XSL with XSLPattern; uuid namespaces for XDR; proprietary XmlParser object; normalize-line-breaks property in SAX. Corresponding standard technologies [XSLT 1.0, XPath 1.0, http-based namespaces for XDR, SAX2] have been available since MSXML 3.0; (7) True side-by-side functionality, which ensures that MSXML 4.0 can work without any collision with previous or future versions of MSXML. As a result, replace mode is removed completely. XmlInst.exe will not work with this release. Version-independent ProgIDs, such as DOMDOcument, are also removed. You should use DOMDOcument.4.0 to get 4.0 functionality. The release uses Windows Installer 2.0." [Full context]

  • [July 21, 2001]   Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 Advances to W3C Proposed Recommendation.    Work in the W3C Document Formats Domain includes a new release of the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0 Specification as a W3C Proposed Recommendation. The document "defines the features and syntax for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), a language for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics in XML. SVG vector graphics are scalable to different display resolutions, so that for example printed output uses the full resolution of the printer and can be displayed at the same size on screens of different resolutions. Most existing XML grammars represent either textual information, or represent raw data such as financial information. They typically provide only rudimentary graphical capabilities, often less capable than the HTML 'img' element. SVG fills a gap in the market by providing a rich, structured description of vector and mixed vector/raster graphics; it can be used standalone, or as an XML namespace with other grammars." The release includes a revised XML DTD, SVG test suite, SVG implementation report, and list of changes in the specification since the CR version. The "substantial implementation experience with generators, viewers and transcoders based on the SVG specification and the amount of SVG content that has been developed to date encouraged the Working Group to ask the W3C Director to advance this document to Proposed Recommendation status." [Full context]

  • [July 18, 2001]   'Regular Fragmentations' Tool for Fragmenting Textual Content Into XML Elements.    Simon St.Laurent (O'Reilly & Associates) has released a Java SAX Filter called 'Regular Fragmentations' which uses regular expressions to fragment content into XML elements. "Regular fragmentations are an approach to processing textual content as if it had been represented as more finely-grained markup. The XML Schema Dataypes specification, for instance, offers a number of lexically compound types among its primitive types, requiring developers to rely on extension functions or XML Schema processing to manipulate them with XSLT. Regular fragmentations allow developers to specify the application of regular expression to element content (attribute content coming soon!) using an XML-based rules syntax. An open source SAXFilter implementation allows the use of regular fragmentations in a wide variety of XML processing environments... XML developers are constantly faced with questions about how fine-grained their data structures should be, and the difficult problem of dealing with cases where other people chose coarse-grained structures. While tools like XSLT can do an excellent job retrieving needles from haystacks, it's much easier to extract needles that are labelled and cleanly separated from the surrounding content. The com.simonstl.fragment package allows developers to specify rules using regular expressions which are applied to element content during the parsing process. While the document is parsed, those rules are applied to the textual content of the specified elements and new child elements are created, adding extra markup information to the document." [Full context]

  • [July 18, 2001]   Baltimore Technologies Releases XKMS X-BULK Specification for Digital Certificates.    Baltimore Technologies and its industry partners recently published a working draft XML Key Management Specification Bulk Operation (X-BULK). The new specification "extends the XKMS [XML Key Management Specification] protocol to encompass the bulk registration operations necessary for interfacing with such systems as smart card management systems. X-BULK is defined in terms of structures expressed in the [W3C] XML Schema Language and Web Services Description Language (WSDL). The specification enables the bulk issuance of digital certificates on devices such as smart cards, cable modems and next-generation wireless SIM cards. XKMS is designed to simplify the integration of enhanced Internet security features such as authentication, encryption and digital signatures into Web applications. The ability to have these features embedded in Internet applications and devices, and therefore `invisible' to the user, will be a key factor in mass adoption of the technology. However, proprietary interfaces between device factories and PKIs are currently limiting the ability for devices to be manufactured with digital certificates. The X-BULK extension to XKMS will eliminate these proprietary interfaces and replace them with an open, industry-backed interface. This will result in much speedier implementation times for financial institutions, wireless operators, enterprises and governments who are actively rolling out smart cards with PKI to enable a host of value added services aimed at increasing revenue and decreasing administration costs." [Full context]

  • [July 18, 2001]   W3C Releases CSS3 Modules for Inheritance, Values, and Units.    The W3C CSS Working Group has published two new CSS3 modules as working drafts. CSS3 Module: Cascading and Inheritance "describes how values are assigned to properties. CSS allows several style sheets to influence the rendering of a document, and the process of combining these style sheets is called 'cascading'. If no value can be found through cascading, a value can be inherited from the parent element or the property's initial value is used." This working draft contains nothing new conceptually, but constitutes a redraft of relevant portions of CSS level 2 as a CSS3 module; "all the properties and features described which also exist in CSS level 2 are intended to be backwards compatible." The working draft for CSS3 Module: Values and Units "describes the various values and units that CSS properties accept. Also, it describes how 'specified values', which is what a style sheet contains, are processed into 'computed values' and 'actual values'. There are five main types of values in CSS: (1) keywords -- e.g., "pitch-range: inherit"; (2) numbers -- e.g., "orphans: 3"; (3) numbers with unit identifiers -- e.g., "border-width: 0.2em"; (4) strings -- e.g., "content: 'Figure: '"; (5) functions -- e.g., "background: url("; (6) special cases -- e.g., "color: #F00" and "font-size: Helvetica". Most properties accepts values from several of the above types. Some properties accept space- or comma-separated lists of values. Each CSS property has a formal definition of what types of values it accepts which can be found in the description of the property..." [Full context]

  • [July 17, 2001]   Proposal for Basic Semantic Web Language (BSWL).    Sean B. Palmer has announced a new proposal for a stripped down RDF-in-XML syntax called "BSWL" or the "Basic Semantic Web Language." The abstract syntax of this proposed language "is indeed very simple, consisting only of a set of three elements and a handful of attributes. The elements are: (1) <t> , denoting a triple; (2) <po>, denoting a predicate an object pair; (3) and <o>, denoting an object. Each of these elements has a range of attributes that associate a URI with a particular part of the content..." The proposed syntax features advantages over RDF M&S [Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification], including: "(1) Simpler syntax - no typed or anonymous nodes, allows one to form triples simply by nesting QNames; (2) Has a special syntax for referring to XML QNames; (3) Forces you to use xml:lang as part of the model, so it isn't lost; (4) Allows you to nest triples so that the subject of the former triple becomes the object of the latter triple; (5) Is possible to convert back into RDF M&S, and vice versa -- once RDF Core decide what to do about anonymous nodes; (6) Files using abbreviated BSWL tend to be shorter than RDF M&S." [Full context]

  • [July 17, 2001]   Idoox Releases Beta Framework for SOAP Web Services from JavaScript.    A posting from Zdenek Svoboda (Idoox) announces the first beta release of their SOAP JavaScript Client, which "enables the scripting of Web Services using JavaScript. JavaScript serves as a powerful scripting language for flexible Web Service automation. WASP JavaScript may be used directly in a browser without any useless server-side HTTP invocations. It also allows the scripting of Web Services with server-side JavaScript code. The JavaScript Client package is a part of Idoox's WASP (Web Applications and Services Platform) and may be downloaded for free through the Idoox Early Access Program. The Idoox JavaScript Client currently supports MS IE 5.x and higher with MSXML 3.0 installed. Developers may use the WSDL2Java compiler to generate all neccessary HTML and JavaScript sources from the Web Service WSDL file. Idoox WASP JavaScript has been tested for support with Mozilla browsers and standalone JavaScript engines (Rhino). Principal features include: (1) SOAP 1.1 and WSDL 1.1 support; (2) Automated JavaScript, HTML and XML/XSL code generation from WSDL; (3) Easy customization of generated code through XSL stylesheets; (4) Reasonable subset of XML Schema support and Namespaces; (5) SOAP message tracking." [Full context]

  • [July 17, 2001]   MarrowSoft Xselerator XSLT Editor 2.0.    A posting from Mark Tracy announces the availability of MarrowSoft Xselerator XSLT Editor 2.0, with a free 30-day evaluation version. Xselerator is a fully functional XSL/XSLT IDE and debugger which "incorporates XSL/XSLT/XML editing, transformation, testing, and debugging... basically it's got everything an XSLT Editor should have plus a bit more. Editing functionality supports (1) a clear and easy to use IDE, (2) XSL/XSLT element and attribute intuitive (like Intellisense or code insight) drop-downs, (3) Automatic tag completion -- in XSL/XSLT tag completion follows model and, optionally, fills element with mandatory attributes, (4) HTML element and attribute intuitive drop-downs, (5) Full XSL, XSLT, XML and HTML color syntax highlighting -- fully customizable, (6) All the usual editor capabilities (cut, copy, paste, find, replace) plus special 'Copy as RTF' and 'Copy as HTML' features allowing syntax highlighting to be preserved when copying and pasting to word-processors, html editors and newsgroups etc. The XSLT debugger has full stepping capability, breakpoints on both XSLT and input XML, conditional breakpoints, view template call stack, watch values -- including full XPath expression watches, and support for MSXML3 transformations. The software supports transformation testing, wizards, XPath query analyzer, project files management, etc." [Full context]

  • [July 12, 2001]   IBM's XML Parser for Java (XML4J) Supports W3C XML Schema Recommendation.    IBM alphaWorks has released an updated version of the XML Parser for Java (XML4J) which supports the W3C XML Schema specification and includes other enhancements. XML4J version 3.2.0 is distributed as source code and as a binary; it is covered by the standard Apache 1.1 license. XML4J now incorporates the following: "(1) W3C XML Schema Recommendation 1.0 support; (2) SAX 1.0 and SAX 2.0 support; (3) Support for DOM Level 1, DOM Level 2, and for some features of DOM Level 3 Core Working Draft; (4) JAXP 1.1 support." The IBM XML applications development team has also released an improved version of the 'XML Schema Quality Checker' tool. Version 1.85 of the XML Schema Quality Checker fixes 15 bugs present in the previous version, and improves usability under Solaris 2.7 and Windows 98. IBM's XML Schema Quality Checker "is a program which takes as input an XML Schema written in the W3C XML schema language and diagnoses improper uses of the schema language; where the appropriate action to correct the schema is not obvious, the diagnostic message may include a suggestion about how to make the fix." [Full context]

  • [July 12, 2001]   Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) Group and OAGI to Collaborate on XML Specifications.    Recent announcements from the Open Applications Group, Inc. (OAGI), the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) Group, and Drummond Group describe collaborative efforts to design XML-based specifications for use in the automotive retail industry. Drummond will facilitate the creation of "a set of XML-based Infrastructure specifications and protocols for the Open Applications Group Inc. (OAGI) and the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) consortium. OAGI and STAR have partnered to lead a series of specification building projects focused on automotive distribution business processes and the messaging infrastructure supporting them. Drummond Group will lead the messaging infrastructure development effort for this group. The Open Applications Group, Inc. announced they have been selected by the STAR consortium as their development partner for their next generation business language and data messaging architecture. The two organizations have formed a collaborative initiative to design XML (Extensible Markup Language) based messages conforming to and extending the OAGIS specification. The STAR/XML project will enhance current systems, making them more timely, easier to use, and more automated. The STAR/XML initiative will use the standard collaborations and messages from the OAGIS specification and will also build new collaborations and messages specifically for the STAR constituency. In addition, OAGI architects and technologists, working with domain experts from the auto industry, will design a standardized infrastructure to streamline business data flowing between auto dealerships, manufacturers and other auto distribution 'value chain' companies. This infrastructure will be Internet based and utilize elements of the recently approved ebXML specification, which is a B2B protocol recently approved by the United Nations. The results of this initiative will enable STAR members to conduct business in real time by communicating data in common terms using standardized business processes." [Full context]

  • [July 11, 2001]   VICS Board of Directors Approves CPFR XML Messaging Standard.    The Board of Directors for the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association (VICS) recently approved the VICS CPFR XML Messaging Model as a specification which "establishes voluntary guidelines for XML message exchange among systems that implement the VICS Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) principles. The CPFR XML Messaging specification has been developed in cooperation with retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and other software and professional services providers. The guidelines "define a process to exchange, compare and alert trading partners to changes in key supply chain data to reduce inventory and improve customer service. CPFR is a process that touches many functional areas of the supply chain, including product activity, supply chain performance, forecasts, promotions, and product profile information. Various other efforts are responsible for standardizing XML messages in these areas, and the VICS CPFR XML specification has been integrated with the broader set of EAN/UCC XML specifications endorsed by the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) to ensure full coverage of CPFR process without creating overlapping or redundant message formats. The existing core EAN/UCC messages for item synchronization, party (trading partner) synchronization, purchase order, invoice, despatch (shipment notice) and other information have been augmented with the CPFR product activity, forecast and other transactions. The CPFR XML Messaging model uses class diagrams from the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to represent CPFR entities as a set of object classes. The CPFR XML Messaging model includes an XML Schema [XSD] mapping that provides a concrete syntax for messages, to encourage interoperability." [Full context]

  • [July 09, 2001]   W3C Publishes XML Protocol Abstract Model and Glossary.    An initial draft specification XML Protocol Abstract Model has been published by the W3C XML Protocol Working Group. The draft document has been developed "in order to provide a useful framework for the evaluation of candidate protocols and for reasoning about the development of the protocol itself." According to the WD, "the challenge of crafting a protocol specification is to create a description of behaviour that is not tied to any particular approach to implementation. There is a need to abstract away from some of the messy implementation details of buffer management, data representation and specific APIs. However, in order to describe the behaviour of a protocol one has to establish a set of (useful) concepts that can be used in that description. An abstract model is one way to establish a consistent set of concepts. An abstract model is a tool for the description of complex behaviour -- it is not a template for an implementation... although it should not stray so far away from reality that it is impossible to recognise how the required behaviours would be implemented... As the XML Protocol Working Group labored on the XML Protocol Requirements document and the emerging specification, they also set out to describe how such a technology might ultimately be designed at an abstract level. The resulting Working Draft, the XML Protocol Abstract Model, also provides a shared vocabulary for both members of the Working Group, and other developers already at work on applications that make use of earlier versions of SOAP. Section 2 of the working draft presents an overview of the abstract model; Section 3 presents a model for the services provided by the XML protocol layer to XML protocol applications; Section 4 presents a model for the extensible processing of XML protocol messages; Section 5 presents a model for the binding of XML protocol to underlying protocol layers." [Full context]

  • [July 09, 2001]   W3C Releases First Public Working Draft for SOAP Version 1.2.    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published a first working draft specification for SOAP Version 1.2. The working draft has been produced by the XML Protocol Working Group (WG), part of the W3C XML Protocol Activity. "Version 1.2 implements XML schemas and namespaces, clarifies ambiguities, and provides a refined processing model. SOAP version 1.2 is a lightweight protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment. It is an XML based protocol that consists of four 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 data types, a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses and a binding convention for exchanging messages using an underlying protocol. 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 the experimental HTTP Extension Framework." The Working Group has also "produced an abstract model and a glossary of terms and concepts used by the Working Group, together with a new issues list that describes issues and concerns raised by mapping its requirements and the XMLP abstract model against the SOAP/1.1." Section D.1 supplies 'SOAP Specification Changes' in tabular format; Section D.2 XML with 'Schema Changes' documents the envelope and encoding schemas which have been updated to be compliant with the XML Schema Recomendation. [Full context]

  • [July 06, 2001]   New Release of XML Schema Validator (XSV).    A posting from Henry S. Thompson (HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh) announces an update of the W3C/LTG XML Schema Validator tool. The Validator for XML Schema REC (20010502) version is "an open source work-in-progress attempt at a conformant schema-aware processor, as defined by XML Schema Part 1: Structures, May 2, 2001 (REC) version. XSV has been developed by Henry S. Thompson and Richard Tobin of the Language Technology Group of the Human Communication Research Centre in the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh." The new release [XSV 1.197/1.99 of 2001/07/06 10:02:16] is available interactively online from the W3C web site. The '2001/07/06' release provides bug fixes and better handling of attribute defaults. Python source code and Win32 binaries have also been updated. The online version of the tool provides two HTML forms: (1) one for checking a schema which is accessible via the Web, and/or schema-validating an instance with a schema of your own, (2) another for file upload if you are behind a firewall or have a schema to check which is not accessible via the Web. Four styles of output may be selected (verbose/concise; styled for different generations of HTML browsers). [Full context]

  • [July 06, 2001]   SWIFT and FPL Agree to Develop Securities Standard 'ISO 15022 XML' in ISO Working Group 10.    FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) and SWIFT have "announced an agreement under which the two organizations will seek convergence of their respective messaging protocols." SWIFT has been developing a financial message design rules specification as an XML standard "swiftML for Business Messages." SWIFT is "an industry owned co-operative supplying secure messaging services and interface software to over 7,000 financial institutions in 192 countries; SWIFT carried 1.2 billion messages in 2000." Through the FIX Organization, FIX Protocol, Ltd. has been developing the public-domain Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol as "a messaging standard developed specifically for the real-time electronic exchange of securities transactions. FIX is a globally recognized messaging standard that enables the electronic communication of pre-trade and trade messages between financial institutions, primarily investment managers, broker/dealers, ECNs and stock exchanges." The new agreement between SWIFT and FPL, "which centers on the adoption of ISO 15022 XML as a common industry standard, will, for the first time, provide a tangible link between the front and back office operations of securities institutions. This link will enable the seamless flow of data across the entire transaction chain. Under the terms of the agreement, FPL and SWIFT will actively support the efforts of the ISO Working Group 10, which aims to evolve the current ISO 15022 scheme for securities message types to a single standard, expressed in XML. The agreement leverages the expertise of FPL in the pre-trade/trade domain and SWIFT in the post-trade domain. Both organizations will work to develop mapping documentation to support the industry's migration to ISO 15022 XML and the coexistence of FIX, ISO 15022 and ISO 15022 XML. ISO 15022 XML is expected to be available by early 2002." [Full context]

  • [July 06, 2001]   Software AG Releases XQuery Prototype 'QuiP'.    A posting from Jonathan Robie announces the availability of 'QuiP, a W3C XQuery Prototype'. QuiP is Software AG's prototype implementation of XQuery, the W3C XML query language. "QuiP can be used either with text-based XML files or for queries against a Tamino database. QuiP is designed to make it easy to learn and use the XQuery language." QuiP is available on Windows 32 bit platforms, and requires a Java virtual machine version 1.3; it may be downloaded for free. "The QuiP distribution is a good way to get a hands-on grasp of the XQuery language: it conforms to the 7-June-2001 draft of XQuery, and it includes a large number of sample queries and data files, syntax diagrams in the online help, and a GUI. There is also a developer forum that you can use to post comments on the prototype or on the XQuery language; follow the link from the downloads page. In addition to the GUI tool, there is also a command-line version of QuiP. The script file RunQuip.cmd is an example that shows how the command-line interface can be used." [Full context]

  • [July 06, 2001]   Updated XEP Rendering Engine Supports Enhanced XSL FO Formatting.    A posting from Nikolai Grigoriev (RenderX) announces the availability of a new evaluation version of XEP. The XEP application from RenderX is "an engine that converts XSL FO documents to a printable form (PDF or PostScript). XEP conforms to the W3C Candidate Recommendation for XSL, 21-November-2000. It can take the input from a file, a byte stream, or a parsed XML document, via industry-standard SAX1/SAX2 interfaces. XEP is a native-mode XSL FO processor: the whole procedure of calculating the layout of every page is performed inside, without recurring to any third-party formatting engines like nroff, TeX or whatever else. XEP builds an exact internal representation of page layouts and then outputs it to the desired media using only the simplest graphic primitives. Therefore, it is relatively easy to add more output formats to the system. Moreover, the internal layout representation can be output in an XML-based layout description format; this gives you an extra flexibility in storing / manipulating formatted documents. This format is documented in the commercial version, to give XEP's users a possibility to implement custom output handlers." Improvements in XEP version 2.5 are listed in the announcement. These include, for example: "(1) support for proportional-column-width(); (2) support for 'orphans' ('widows' are still unsupported); (3) support for 'fo:character'; (4) support for PNG graphics; (5) some limited support for SVG graphics; (6) more consistent support of absolutely positioned block containers; (7) line-breaking algorithm has been reworked to handle CJK scripts; (8) GUI-based setup program [for Sun JDK/JRE]. Changes specific to PDF Generator include (1) support for TrueType/OpenType fonts; (2) support for PDF bookmarks (via proprietary extensions); (3) support for setting PDF document info fields inside an XSL FO document, via proprietary extensions." [Full context]

  • [July 05, 2001]   Initial Release of a RELAX NG Working Draft Specification.    James Clark has announced the release of an initial working draft specification for RELAX NG. Edited by James Clark and Makoto MURATA for the OASIS TC, this working draft is not [yet] an official committee work product; comments are invited. The document presents "the definitive specification of RELAX NG, a simple schema language for XML, based on RELAX and TREX. A RELAX NG schema specifies a pattern for the structure and content of an XML document. The WD specifies (1) when an XML document is a correct RELAX NG schema, and (2) when an XML document is valid with respect to a correct RELAX NG schema. Section 2 describes the RELAX NG data model, which is the abstraction of an XML document used throughout the rest of the document. Section 3 describes the syntax of a RELAX NG schema; any correct RELAX NG schema must conform to this syntax. Section 4 describes a sequence of transformations that are applied to simplify a RELAX NG schema; applying the transformations also involves checking certain restrictions that must be satisfied by a correct RELAX NG schema. Section 5 describes the syntax that results from applying the transformations; this simple syntax is a subset of the full syntax. Section 6 describes the semantics of a correct RELAX NG schema that uses the simple syntax; the semantics specify when an element is valid with respect to a RELAX NG schema. Section 7 describes restrictions in terms of the simple syntax; a correct RELAX NG schema must be such that, after transformation into the simple form, it satisfies these restrictions. Finally, Section 8 describes conformance requirements for RELAX NG validators." Appendix A supplies the proposed RELAX NG schema for RELAX NG. [Full context]

  • [July 05, 2001]   XML Schema for 'Beta' Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS).    A posting from Jerome McDonough (Digital Library Development Team Leader, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University) announces the release of a beta version of the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) XML schema. METS "provides an XML-based framework for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata for a digital library object. It can be used both as a standardized mechanism for exchanging digital library objects between repositories, and as an encoding mechanism for local storage, retrieval and display of digital library objects. METS has been developed as an initiatve of the Digital Library Federation and is being maintained in the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the US Library of Congress." The development team solicits feedback from the library community regarding the design of the METS XML schema. Comments on the XML schema should be sent to the Listserver by August 31, 2001 in anticipation of a review meeting in September. Interested parties may subscribe to the METS Forum, an unmoderated computer forum open to members of the METS development community. [Full context]

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: