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Last modified: January 21, 2005
SGML and XML News October - December 2004

Quick News: Bookmark 'News Headlines' or subscribe to an XML RSS channel [RSS 0.91], also HTML-ized. See Clippings for news in the making.

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  • [December 31, 2004]   Science Commons Develops Legal and Technical Tools for Sharing Scientific Innovation.    The Creative Commons Project has announced the January 1, 2005 launch of the Science Commons as an exploratory project to "apply the philosophies and activities of Creative Commons in the realm of science." Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization building technical and legal tools that that offer a flexible copyright for creative work. Building upon the legal principles of traditional copyright which know only about "all rights reserved," Creative Commons licenses and tools support an alternative "some rights reserved" framework for authors, artists, and scientists to share resources on the Internet and to search for shared resources based upon encoded metadata. The Creative Commons open source tools for embedding licenses, publishing resources, and searching for shared resources are based upon XML and RDF standards. The licensing and distribution model makes it unnecessary to involve commercial intermediaries and proprietary DRM software. The mission of the new Science Commons is "to encourage scientific innovation by making it easier for scientists, universities, and industries to use literature, data, and other scientific intellectual property and to share their knowledge with others. Science Commons works within current copyright and patent law to promote legal and technical mechanisms that remove barriers to sharing." Creation of the Science Commons endeavor is based upon the recognition that the sciences "depend on access to and use of factual data. Powered by developments in electronic storage and computational capability, scientific inquiry is becoming more data-intensive in almost every discipline. Whether the field is meteorology, genomics, medicine, or high-energy physics, research depends on the availability of multiple databases, from multiple public and private sources, and their openness to easy recombination, search and processing." [Full context]

  • [December 29, 2004]   Last Call for W3C Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL).    W3C has published a Last Call Working Draft for Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0, inviting public comment and discussion through 31-January-2005. WS-CDL is "an XML-based language that describes peer-to-peer collaborations of parties by defining, from a global viewpoint, their common and complementary observable behavior, where ordered message exchanges result in accomplishing a common business goal. The specification is targeted for composing interoperable, peer-to-peer collaborations between any type of party regardless of the supporting platform or programming model used by the implementation of the hosting environment." The W3C Web Services Choreography Working Group addressed two issues in connection with the Last Call WD but "does not believe that the resolution will result in a substantive change: (1) no recommendation can now be given for accessing and modifying members of lists and arrays; (2) a proposal for extending choreographies (specifying a choreography by defining how it is based on another choreography) is not yet finalized, but this is not expected to have a major impact on the architecture. A key notion in the W3C Web Services Choreography specification is that a contract contains a "global definition of the common ordering conditions and constraints under which messages are exchanged is produced that describes from a global viewpoint the common and complementary observable behavior of all the parties involved. Each party can then use the global definition to build and test solutions that conform to it. The global definition approach separates the process being followed by an individual business or system within a 'domain of control' from the definition of the sequence in which each business or system exchanges information with others. This means that, as long as the 'observable' sequence does not change, the rules and logic followed within the domain of control can change at will." The WS-CDL specification depends upon other W3C Recommendations, including XML 1.0, XML-Namespaces, XML-Schema 1.0, and XPath 1.0. Support for including and referencing service definitions given in WSDL 2.0 is also a normative part of the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification. [Full context]

  • [December 24, 2004]   OASIS Technical Committee Advances Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) Specification.    OASIS has announced the approval of its Business Transaction Protocol Version 1.1 as a Committee Draft. BTP Version 1.1 represents a revision of the Version 1.0 specification in the light of feedback and implementation experience. The Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) is a carrier-neutral protocol designed "to allow coordination of application work between multiple autonomous, cooperating participants. It defines protocol exchanges to ensure the overall application achieves a consistent result. This consistency may be defined a priori: all the work is confirmed or none is (an atomic business transaction or atom); or it can be determined by application intervention in the selection of the work to be confirmed (a cohesive business transaction or cohesion)." The OASIS Business Transaction Protocol specification defines the protocol "in terms of abstract messages schematized in XML. It defines communications protocol bindings to SOAP, but also allows the transport of BTP messages over other communication protocols. BTP is based on a permissive and minimal approach where constraints on implementation choices are avoided. The protocol also tries to avoid unnecessary dependencies on other standards, with the aim of lowering the hurdle to implementation." BTP "provides the means to associate and coordinate the requests, responses, and outcomes for distributed applications elements. At a most simple level BTP allows a set of remote calls to be grouped together and the outcomes tied together. It allows for all or nothing outcome, mixed outcome, service alternative recognition and selection, time qualification, and exception reporting." [Full context]

  • [December 21, 2004]   W3C Launches Patents and Standards Interest Group With Patent Policy Activity.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the creation of a new W3C Patents and Standards Interest Group as part of its re-chartered Patent Policy Activity. The Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) is the successor to the W3C Patent Policy Working Group (PPWG) which was active during the formation of the W3C Royalty-Free Patent Policy. The goal of the Patent Policy Activity is to "enable W3C to implement and successfully operate the W3C Patent Policy which was put into place in February 2004." This Patent Policy "governs the handling of patents in the process of producing Web standards. The goal of the policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis." While the work of developing and implementing the W3C Patent Policy is complete, the W3C Team believes "it is important that the W3C community have an organized way to monitor application of the Policy as well as remain informed about relevant development in the legal and standards environment." Background to the formation of the W3C PSIG is provided in the Charter, which activates the Interest Group through 1-December-2007: "In May 2003, the W3C Director, on the advice of the W3C Membership, approved the W3C Patent Policy as the governing document for patent matters in W3C Recommendations. The policy affirms and strengthens the basic business model that has driven innovation on the Web from its inception. The availability of an interoperable, unencumbered Web infrastructure provides an expanding foundation for innovative applications, profitable commerce, and the free flow of information and ideas, on a commercial and non-commercial basis." The W3C Patent Policy Working Group "which developed the policy over a more than three year period completed its work by assisting the W3C Team with the implementation of the policy. This Patents and Standards Interest Group is [now] formed in order to provide an ongoing forum for discussion of general issues regarding implementation of the policy and to exchange views of other related matters of importance." The PSIG "issues neither Recommendations nor other binding policy documents. The PSIG may be called upon to offer advice on patent policy matters, but not on issues related to specific W3C Recommendations or individual Working Groups." It is scoped to "exchange views and flag issues regarding the W3C Patent Policy [and] may recommend to the W3C Team and Advisory Committee any actions that it feels are worthy of consideration." The W3C Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) and Patent Policy Activity are organized as part of the W3C Technology and Society Domain, which provides "technical building blocks that help address critical public policy issues on the Web." [Full context]

  • [December 20, 2004]   XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 Published as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the release of XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 as a final W3C Recommendation. Produced by members of the W3C XML Core Working Group, XInclude "provides a generic method for merging XML documents into a single composite document. Using existing XML constructs (elements, attributes and URI references), XInclude contributes to efficient content management at the enterprise level." The W3C announcement describes XInclude 1.0 as useful "in environments without DTD (Document Type Definition) support, which are more common since the adoption of XML schemas. Unlike the mechanism used in DTDs, i.e., XML external entities, XInclude gives the content author a fallback mechanism in cases where the external document cannot be retrieved, for whatever reason. XInclude allows an application to leverage the syntax in existing XML constructs... and allows an author to choose how to include another XML document in new composite content, either as markup or text. In addition, no XML entity declarations, which were required in the older method when using DTDs, are required for XInclude." XInclude 1.0 takes advantage of the XML Information Set (Infoset), published as a Second Edition W3C Recommendation in February 2004. Because it merges XML information sets, XInclude "can be used with any version of XML, as well as other existing XML-related specifications, such as the XML-family components XML Schema and XSLT, as well as with XML applications such as the popular Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and VoiceXML 2.0 specifications. XInclude 1.0 also takes advantage of the XPointer Framework and can be used to include sub-resources, such as fragments of XML documents, that are identified by a separate xpointer attribute." XInclude "differs from the linking features described in the W3C's XML Linking Language (XLink), which "specifically links with the attribute value show='embed'. Such links provide a media-type independent syntax for indicating that a resource is to be embedded graphically within the display of the document. XLink does not specify a specific processing model, but simply facilitates the detection of links and recognition of associated metadata by a higher level application. XInclude, on the other hand, specifies a media-type specific (XML-to-XML) transformation; it defines a specific processing model for merging information sets. XInclude processing occurs at a low level, often by a generic XInclude processor which makes the resulting information set available to higher level applications." [Full context]

  • [December 17, 2004]   IDA eProcurement XML Schemas Initiative Announces Review of Data Models and Schemas.    The IDA (Interchange of Data Between Administrations) has announced a public survey tool for an eProcurement XML Study related to the revision of data models and XML schemas for e-procurement systems. Evaluation of the IDA XML schemas by eProcurement experts follows publication of IDA working documents earlier in 2004, where four phases were covered: ordering, invoicing, tendering, and awarding. IDA intends to produce another release of the data models and XML schemas, and solicits public input that will affect major design decisions. A posting from Pim van der Eijk (OASIS) reports that "there is an ongoing dialogue between IDA and some people in OASIS/UBL. We are encouraging organizations in the IDA community and their contractors to work with(in) the UBL TC to make sure the UBL schemas meet European requirements for public procurement. Several of the leading European public e-procument systems already use UBL and are eager to see it more widely adopted." In keeping with the IDA's requirements for an integrated information model, "the structure of the current XML schemas is extensible. Other phases that have not yet been modelled, such as eCatalogue exchanges, harmonisation and modelling of administrative information, may easily be integrated in a second step." In order to test the XML schemas and data models across European Member States, "pilot projects at national level are under consideration, involving Member States as well as software vendors. Moreover, in cooperation with CEN/ISSS and UN/CEFACT, the XML schemas are currently being reviewed by eProcurement experts to make these compatible with international standards and further improve and enhance their scope for standardisation. This process should involve constant exchange and feedback with national initiatives." IDA is a "European programme using information and communication technologies to support exchange of information between administrations. Its objective is to improve Community decision-making, facilitate operation of the internal market and accelerate policy implementation. In the public procurement area, interactive services have been identified as key to reducing borders and contributing to the enforcement of the single European Market and the competitiveness of European businesses." In 2003 and 2004 IDA funded an eProcurement XML Schemas Initiative as a study "in order to define and promote pan-European guidelines for data exchange in the public e-procurement domain, using common and standard data description syntax (XML schemas). This study is in line with the new legislative framework for electronic public procurement in the European Union." [Full context]

  • [December 15, 2004]   'Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One' Released as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the publication of Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One as a W3C Recommendation. The document was developed by the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG), edited by Ian Jacobs (W3C) and Norman Walsh (Sun Microsystems). The W3C Technical Architecture Group began its work in 2001, chartered to "document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary." According to Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, and co-Chair of the TAG the document "emphasizes what characteristics of the Web must be preserved when inventing new technology, [taking] notice where the current systems don't work well, and as a result show weakness." The TAG's charter understands "Web architecture" to refer to "the underlying principles that should be adhered to by all Web components, whether developed inside or outside W3C. The architecture captures principles that affect such things as understandability, interoperability, scalability, accessibility, and internationalization." The Architecture of the World Wide Web is presented in seven principal sections. Individual entries are categorized as belonging to Principles, Constraints, or Good Practice Notes. Following an Introduction, the section on 'Identification' discusses Benefits of URIs, URI/Resource Relationships, URI Comparisons, URI Schemes, URI Opacity, Fragment Identifiers, and Future Directions for Identifiers. Section 3 on 'Interaction' covers Using a URI to Access a Resource, Representation Types and Internet Media Types, Inconsistencies between Representation Data and Metadata, and Safe Interactions, and Representation Management. The Architecture document's Section 4 on 'Data Formats' treats Binary and Textual Data Formats; Versioning and Extensibility; Separation of Content, Presentation, and Interaction; Hypertext; XML-Based Data Formats, and Future Directions for Data Formats. The final Sections 5-7 contain General Architecture Principles (Orthogonal Specifications; Extensibility Error Handling Protocol-based Interoperability), Glossary, and References. The TAG has also prepared a standalone Summary of 'Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One', which presents the Architecture Document's principles, constraints, and good practice notes in an abbreviated format. Each entry has a title, the type of entry (principles, constraints, or good practice note), designation of the section of the Architecture Document where it is discussed, followed by the entry text. [Full context]

  • [December 13, 2004]   OASIS WSDM TC Approves Web Services Distributed Management Specs for Public Review.    Committee drafts for OASIS Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) TC specifications have been released for public review. Comments are solicited from all interested parties through January 10, 2005. The public review is open to all potential users, developers and stakeholders, intended to improve the interoperability and quality of the WSDM specifications. The WSDM Technical Committee has produced two companion specifications for Web Services Distributed Management. Management Using Web Services (MUWS) defines how management of any resource can be accessed via Web services protocols. Management of Web Services (WSDM-MOWS), based on the concepts and definitions expressed in MUWS, addresses the management of the Web services endpoints using Web services protocols. The Management Using Web Services (MUWS) 1.0 specification, in two parts, "defines how to express the following manageability capabilities: identity, metrics, resource state, status, configuration, name correlation, and relationships. MUWS defines standard descriptive techniques for each of these including required base properties, operations, and notifications, as well as required metadata for each of these to aid introspection. MUWS 1.0 also defines standard management event formats to enhance interoperability and correlateability. It defines how to provide secure management. In addition MUWS 1.0 defines recommendations and interfaces for advertising and discovering resources." OASIS sponsor level members supporting development of the specification through representation on the WSDM Technical Committee include: Actional Corporation; BEA Systems, Inc; BMC Software; Computer Associates; Dell; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; IBM; Novell; Oracle; Tibco; and webMethods, Inc. [Full context]

  • [December 10, 2004]   New National Weather Service Policy Supports Open Internet-Based Standards.    On December 1, 2004, the U.S. NOAA National Weather Service published a Final Version of the Policy on Partnerships in the Provision of Environmental Information, providing formal basis for distribution of weather information, climate information, forecasts, and warnings in XML format to the public. The National Weather Service (NWS) operates under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the U.S. Dept of Commerce. The new NOAA Policy responds to recommendations contained in the National Research Council's Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services document and to terms specified in OMB Circular No. A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources." The new Policy takes into account 1,473 comments on the provisional Policy draft released in January 2004. Section 5 of the NOAA Policy, "Commitment to Open Internet-Based Standards for Information Sharing," addresses the need to move away from "community-unique data formats" used previously to distribute NOAA environmental information: "for those not already using them, learning and developing programs to access these community-unique formats is a formidable task, both in learning about the formats and in creating custom code to process them, since few resources are available. The use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other open standards lowers the barriers to entry in the commercial marketplace, as pointed out in [the] comment from the Center for Democracy and Technology." NWS "provides access to gridded forecasts of sensible weather elements (e.g., cloud cover, maximum temperature) through the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). NDFD contains a seamless mosaic of digital forecasts from NWS field offices working in collaboration with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)." Experimentally, NWS now publishes data conforming to the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) Extensible Markup Language (XML). NDFD XML "provides users the ability, using a machine-to-machine paradigm, to retrieve the XML-wrapped data via the Internet. This web service is provided using the SOAP protocol. The weather parameters contained in NDFD XML are the same as those in the NDFD." These features, some further parameterized, include: Maximum Temperature; Minimum Temperature; 3 hourly Temperature; Dewpoint Temperature; 12 hour Probability of Precipitation; Liquid Precipitation Amounts - Quantitative Precipitation Forecast; Snowfall Amounts; Cloud Cover Amounts; Wind Direction; Wind Speed; Sensible Weather; Wave Heights. A Digital Weather Markup Language (DWML) Specification provides a new XML language which is being developed "to initially support the exchange of the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) data. However, the specification has been written with enough flexibility to accommodate other environmental science applications. Appendix E provides a definition of DWML types based on restrictions appropriate to NDFD data. [Full context]

  • [December 08, 2004]   W3C Publishes Three Initial Working Drafts for Web Services Addressing.    The W3C Web Services Addressing Working Group has released its first three Working Drafts for the Web Services Addressing specification, which provides transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages. W3C chartered the new Web Services Addressing Working Group in October 2004 as part of the W3C Web Services Activity, under the W3C Architecture Domain. In August 2004 a revised Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification was presented to W3C as a Member Submission by BEA, IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems. WS-Addressing "defines XML elements to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end endpoint identification in messages. The specification enables messaging systems to support message transmission through networks that include processing nodes such as endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways in a transport-neutral manner." In keeping with terms of the WG Charter, the Member Submission document has been separated into three separate specifications: Core, SOAP Binding, and WSDL Binding. The new Web Services Addressing Core "defines a set of abstract properties and an XML Infoset representation thereof to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end identification of endpoints in messages." In this version the dependency upon on WS-Policy has been removed, along with references to WS-Trust and WS-SecurityPolicy. The Web Services Addressing - WSDL Binding specification "defines how the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing Core are described using WSDL." Part 3, the Web Services Addressing SOAP Binding, defines the binding of the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing Core to SOAP Messages. "When a message needs to be addressed to the endpoint, the information contained in the endpoint reference is mapped to the message according to a transformation that is dependent on the protocol and data representation used to send the message. Protocol-specific mappings (or bindings) will define how the information in the endpoint reference is copied to message and protocol fields." [Full context]

  • [December 06, 2004]   IDA Releases European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European E-Government Services.    The European Commission's Interchange of Data Between Administrations (IDA) released a Final Version 1.0 of its European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European E-Government Services, approved by the Telematics Between Administrations Committee (TAC) Steering Committee. Publication of the EIF document follows a ten-month period of review and feedback by Members States, industry representatives, and stakeholders within the institutions. IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) is "a Community Programme managed by the European Commission's Enterprise Directorate General. IDA supports the implementation of EU legislation, from internal market regulations to consumer and health policies, by facilitating the exchange of information between public administrations across Europe through the use of information technology." The European Interoperability Framework document "provides recommendations and defines generic standards with regard to organizational, semantic, and technical aspects of interoperability, offering a comprehensive set of principles for European cooperation in eGovernment. EIF augments regional and national interoperability programs: "national administrations have developed or are in the process of developing Governmental Interoperability Frameworks for efficient communication between themselves as well as with citizens and businesses; IDA is complementing this work by adding the pan-European dimension." The European Interoperability Framework "supports the European Union's strategy of providing user-centred eGovernment services by facilitating, at a pan-European level, the interoperability of services and systems between public administrations, as well as between administrations and the public (citizens, businesses). It is an action of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, under the eGovernment heading." The EIF document considers "interoperability" in three dimensions, and categorizes the seventeen Recommendations according to this taxonomy: organizational interoperability, semantic interoperability, and technical interoperability. The "semantic" Recommendation 9 identifies XML as playing a key role in formalizing definitions for exchange of data elements: "Initiatives at pan-European level [designed] to develop common semantics on the basis of XML should be performed in a coordinated way and should consider cooperation with the existing standardisation bodies. In particular, the XML vocabularies should be developed whilst taking into account the agreed core/specific eGovernment data elements. Specific European schemas and definitions should be made available to all pan-European stakeholders through common infrastructures." Basic principles for ICT interoperablity are sketched in Recommendation 2: "The following principles, of a general nature, should be considered for any eGovernment services to be set up at a pan-European level: Accessibility; Multilingualism; Security; Privacy; Subsidiarity; Use of Open Standards; Assess the Benefits of Open Source Software; Use of Multilateral Solutions." [Full context]

  • [December 02, 2004]   Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Provide Progress Report on Technical Collaboration Agreement.    On December 1, 2004, Microsoft Corporation and Sun Microsystems held a joint on-the-record open teleconference to report on the status of collaborative efforts toward interoperable computing solutions based upon terms of a Technical Collaboration Agreement concluded by the two companies in April 2004. The companies confirmed their commitment to address the needs of their mutual customers, endeavoring to improve "interoperability across product lines, which in turn will reduce costs, improve reliability and enable customers to focus more on their core business instead of on IT integration initiatives." The meeting was opened with a statement from by With Greg Papadopoulos (Chief Technology Officer, Sun Microsystems), who has provided a summary Question and Answer document on the Sun web site. He was joined by Hank Vigil (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Consumer Strategy and Partnerships), Andrew Layman (Director of Distributed Systems Interoperability, Microsoft), and John Shewchuck (Distributed Systems Architect, Microsoft). "Through outreach and dialogue with customers, the companies recognize that accelerating the use of Web services for interoperability between our platforms is a top customer request. To that end, working with other partner companies, Sun and Microsoft have co-authored four important Web services specifications in the last six months. These are WS-Addressing (submitted to W3C), WS-Eventing, WS-MetadataExchange and WS-Management." [Full context]

  • [December 01, 2004]   OWL Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) Specification Submitted to W3C.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a multi-part OWL-S Member Submission from France Telecom, Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab at the University of Maryland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Network Inference, Nokia, SRI International, Stanford University, Toshiba Corporation, and University of Southampton. The OWL Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) specification represents "the first W3C member Submission in the area of Semantic Web Services, where Semantic Web technologies are applied to the challenges offered in the Web services arena." The submitters have requested that W3C consider OWL-S as input for work in a new Semantic Web Services working group at W3C. The W3C OWL Web Ontology Language, approved as a W3C Recommendation in February 2004, is "intended to be used when the information contained in documents needs to be processed by applications, as opposed to situations where the content only needs to be presented to humans. OWL can be used to explicitly represent the meaning of terms in vocabularies and the relationships between those terms." An earlier version of the OWL-S specification was released for public review by members of the OWL Services Coalition in January 2004. Previous releases of this language were known as DAML-S, and were built upon DAML+OIL , the predecessor of OWL. The OWL-S Member Submission proposes a framework based on the W3C OWL Web Ontology Language, designed "to help users and agents search, discover, invoke, compose and monitor Web services. It includes eight (8) ontologies written in OWL as an extensible core. In OWL-S, information used for Web service automation is exchanged in RDF — the same language the rest of the web is beginning to use for expressing data. Details of the OWL-S work have already been discussed extensively in the W3C Semantic Web Services Interest Group and the Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI)." OWL-S, according to the Submission abstract, is "an OWL-based Web service ontology, which supplies a core set of markup language constructs for describing the properties and capabilities of Web services in unambiguous, computer-intepretable form. OWL-S markup of Web services will facilitate fuller automation of Web service tasks, such as Web service discovery, execution, composition and interoperation." [Full context]

  • [November 30, 2004]   RM4GS Open Source Middleware Supports Reliable Messaging for Grid Services.    Messaging software which implements the OASIS WS-Reliability 1.1 Standard has been released for public use by the joint developers, Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., and NEC Corporation. The software may be downloaded from the website of the Information-Technology Promotion Agency, Japan. RM4GS (Reliable Messaging for Grid Services) has been made publicly available in a desire to "help speed the widespread adoption of software products that incorporate the [WS-Reliability] reliable messaging function, thereby making it possible for customers to develop highly reliable web services systems in shorter time frames and at lower cost." RM4GS, as a reliable messaging implementation for web services, is compliant with WS-Reliability 1.1 and supports reliability functions specified in that specification. It has been developed entirely with "100% pure Java," and provides interworking with EJB: "RM4GS is implemented as a resource adapter defined in JCA (J2EE Connector Architecture) specification and can work with EJB; received messages can be handled by MDB (Message Driven Bean)." RM4GS also supports extensibility: it "adopts a layer structure with internal interface [so] its functions can be extended by adoption or change of components in every layer." Software documentation says that each RM4GS instance supports the following components and functions: (1) P2P Asynchronous Communication API Adapter; (2) MSM [Message Service Manager] for asynchronous messaging functions; (3) MSH [Message Service Handler], which provides a packaging function for specific communication protocol format. MSH is located at the lowest layer and work with an underlying protocol handler such as SOAP handler. The P2P component "provides an API for asynchronous communication, with both sending message functions and receiving message functions. Since it provides asynchronous semantics, the sending application can work independently from the receiving application. Thus the API call from the sending application for sending a message will complete before the receiving application receives the message." [Full context]

  • [November 24, 2004]   CommerceNet Proposes Collecting Contributions to Purchase Key Web Services Patents.    The CommerceNet Consortium held a meeting at its Mountain View, California office on November 22, 2004 to discuss the CommerceOne bankruptcy auction of patents that cover key facets of commerce related Internet transactions. A proposal was discussed for collective acquisition of CommerceOne patents on Web Services technology, announced by Commerce One on November 17, 2004. A number of technologists and legal experts have expressed concern that the winner of the auction "might use the patents mainly to impede other companies or to press competitors to pay licensing fees for practices already common in Internet commerce" in what Jack Russo, an intellectual property attorney in Palo Alto, calls "patent terrorism." Commerce One, a "provider of solutions for automating and integrating business processes across networks of customers, suppliers, and partners," filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in October 2004. The company announced that it would "conduct an auction to sell its patents and patent applications relating to Web services." CommerceNet asserted that the patents "cover basic technology for facilitating network transactions by identifying a transaction in terms of input and output documents. If obtained by an intellectual property licensing organization, it is expected that the patents would likely be broadly asserted against companies completing transactions using web service interface descriptions (WSDL), service registries (UDDI), and documents composed from XML building blocks." According to some. this would be contrary to the original purpose of CommerceOne which was to provide an open framework to facilitate transactions. The proposal for CommerceNet to acquire the CommerceOne patent portfolio out of bankruptcy was discussed by a number of attorneys at the November 22, 2004 meeting. The core idea would be for companies potentially threatened by aggressive "patent terrorism" to pool resources thorough the leadership of CommerceNet or some other non-profit entity to enable successful bidding for the patents against competitors having no natural or historical interest in the patented technology. [Full context]

  • [November 23, 2004]   IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Respond to TAC Recommendation on Open Document Exchange Format.    The Telematics Between Administrations Committee (TAC) reports that it has received positive responses from Sun, Microsoft, and IBM relative to the IDA Expert Group recommendations on adoption of an Open Document Exchange Format. In May 2004 the Telematics Between Administrations Committee of the EC's IDA Community Programme announced its approval of the Expert Group's conclusions and recommendations on open document formats, with special focus upon XML formats in OpenOffice.Org and WordML. IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) is "a Community Programme managed by the European Commission's Enterprise Directorate General. IDA supports the implementation of EU legislation, from internal market regulations to consumer and health policies, by facilitating the exchange of information between public administrations across Europe through the use of information technology." IDA said the positive responses from the three companies "represent a significant step on the way to establishing fully interoperable and seamlessly connected public administrations throughout Europe and enable seamless and transparent transactions between EU public administrations, citizens and businesses." A White Paper from OpenForum Europe on "Open Document Formats for Public Administrations across Europe" has also been published on the IDA web site. The OFE recommends in this document that "the European Commission and member states move towards the use of open document formats as a matter of principle; that support should be required in the tendering process for such open formats in software procured by public administrations; that software vendors should define the open format as a user default in software used by public administrations; and that administrations should ensure that vendors implement ODF as defaults in their applications sold to government." The document further recommends that "public administrations across Europe evaluate the OASIS OpenOffice XML formats as a standard", and that Microsoft should be "encouraged to consider the donation of schemas to OASIS." [Full context]

  • [November 19, 2004]   W3C Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) Workshop Addresses Web Access from Mobile Devices.    A W3C "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop is being held November 18-19, 2004 in Barcelona, Spain. The Workshop has been sponsored by W3C Members HP, Orange, Vodafone and Volantis, and is colocated with an OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) meeting. W3C has published the full program for the "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop, together with a collection of forty-some position papers submitted for presentation and discussion. Workshop attendees will discuss "how a W3C initiative could help to make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy and convenient as Web access from a desktop device." The Workshop program reflects W3C's recognition that "even though many of today's mobile phones include Web browsers, accessing the Web from a mobile device has not become as popular as expected. Users often find that their favorite Web sites are not accessible or not as easy to use on their mobile phone as on their desktop device. Content providers sometimes are not able to build Web sites that work well on all types and configurations of mobile phones offering Web access." W3C is therefore considering a proposal to start a "Mobile Web Initiative" (MWI) to address these and related issues. The purpose of the Barcelona Workshop is to get community input and feedback on the MWI proposal, looking at current issues concerning mobile Web access and how they should be addressed. Some initial ideas for achieving W3C's goal include "developing best practices documents, providing support infrastructures for mobile developers, organizing training programs for Web content providers, and creating validation and conformance testing services for Web-access from mobile devices. These activities would complement current W3C efforts in developing Web standards that support the expanding Web, including mobile devices (e.g., multimodal interaction, mobile profiles, device independence). [Full context]

  • [November 15, 2004]   WS-Reliability Version 1.1 Approved as an OASIS Standard.    The OASIS membership has voted to ratify WS-Reliability 1.1 as an OASIS Standard. Other approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WSS, XACML, and XCBF. The WS-Reliability specification has been produced by members of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee. OASIS Sponsor Member companies supporting development of the WSRM specification include Booz Allen Hamilton; Cyclone Commerce; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; NEC Corporation; Novell; Oracle; SeeBeyond Technology Corporation; Sun Microsystems. WS-Reliability "provides a method to guarantee message delivery over the Internet, enabling companies to conduct reliable business-to-business trading or collaboration using Web services. It defines a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging SOAP messages with guaranteed delivery, no duplicates, and guaranteed message ordering. WS-Reliability is defined as SOAP header extensions and is independent of the underlying protocol, but the specification also provides a binding to HTTP." WS-Reliability defines reliability "in the context of current Web Services standards and is designed for use in combination with other complementary protocols. It builds upon previous development experiences, for example, the ebXML Message Service Specification (ebMS)." WS-Reliability also defines how to use reliability in compliance with WS-I Basic Profile 1.1. Both WS-Reliability and ebMS "have same messaging reliability contracts as objectives: guaranteed delivery, no duplicate delivery, ordered delivery, and combinations of these. However, WS-Reliability has improved on scalability and performance by generalizing the use of sequence numbers, and can accommodate different security and access conditions on each party, as this is more frequently the case with a Web service and its clients, compared to more symmetrical access conditions in messaging. The reliability contract is more application-oriented in WS-Reliability, where acknowledgment is on final delivery, in contrast to 'on receipt' by the message handler in ebMS." A Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging) specification from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO Software covers much of the same territory as WS-Reliability. [Full context]

  • [November 10, 2004]   Election Markup Language (EML) Recommended to Member States by Council of Europe.    The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has issued a Recommendation to its forty-six (46) member states on standards for e-voting. The Recommendation of the Council includes reference to Legal Standards, Operational Standards, and Technical Requirements. It "emphasises the need for new voting methods to meet the principles of universal and equal suffrage, free and secret ballots and for the systems to be secure, transparent and accountable. It covers issues such as electoral lists, information to voters, and vote counting." Among the Technical Requirements articulated in Appendix III of the Recommendation, "Interoperability" (Clauses 66-68) the document stipulates that "Open standards shall be used to ensure that the various technical components or services of an e-voting system, possibly derived from a variety of sources, interoperate. At present, the Election Markup Language (EML) standard is such an open standard and in order to guarantee interoperability, EML shall be used whenever possible for e-election and e-referendum applications. The decision of when to adopt EML is a matter for member states. The EML standard valid at the time of adoption of this recommendation, and supporting documentation are available on the Council of Europe website. In cases which imply specific election or referendum data requirements, a localisation procedure shall be used to accommodate these needs. This would allow for extending or restricting the information to be provided, whilst still remaining compatible with the generic version of EML. The recommended procedure is to use structured schema languages and pattern languages." The Election Markup Language referenced in the Recommendation is being developed within the OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee. The OASIS EVS TC was chartered in May 2001 to "develop a standard for the structured interchange of data among hardware, software, and service providers who engage in any aspect of providing election or voter services to public or private organizations." Election Markup Language in Working Draft Version 4 has been aligned with the work of the Council of Europe (CoE) Working Group on e-voting. According to a communiqué from John Borras (e-Government Unit, UK Cabinet Office), the EML version 4 draft "accommodates all the perceived requirements" from the forty-some CoE countries, "including referenda, as well as lots of lessons learnt from the UK pilots," so this version meets a very comprehensive set of requirements. [Full context]

  • [November 09, 2004]   Final Committee Draft of ISO Schematron Released for Public Review.    A communiqué from Rick Jelliffe describes the availability of a ISO FCD (Final Committee Draft) for ISO/IEC 19757-3 Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) — Part 3: Rule-Based Validation — Schematron. Schematron is a language for making assertions about patterns found in XML documents, and serves as a schema language for XML. As Part 3 of the multi-part ISO/IEC 19757 (DSDL) standard, it defines "requirements for Schematron schemas and specifies when an XML document matches the patterns specified by a Schematron schema." This Final Committee [Review] Draft of ISO Schematron incorporates feedback from national standards bodies and from implementers. It is available online in PDF, HTML, and RTF formats. Improvements "include an annex on multilingual schemas, further treatment of abstract patterns, and validated schemas. The predicate logic used to specify Schematron formally has also been reworked. The specification remains very small, at about 35 pages including front matter, schemas and non-normative annexes." This FCD draft has been made publicly available for comment, for identification of spelling errors, and as an aid implementers and users until the final International Standard is published in paper by ISO and other nations that adopt Schematron as a national standard, expected in 2005. This text is suitable as the interim reference for organizations adopting Schematron. The editors encourage all Schematron implementers to check the draft standard and to add support for it for 2005. According to the Overview, "the Schematron differs in basic concept from other schema languages in that it not based on grammars but on finding tree patterns in the parsed document. This approach allows many kinds of structures to be represented which are inconvenient and difficult in grammar-based schema languages. If you know XPath or the XSLT expression language, you can start to use The Schematron immediately. It allows you to develop and mix two kinds of schemas: (1) Report elements allow you to diagnose which variant of a language you are dealing with; (2) Assert elements allow you to confirm that the document conforms to a particular schema." [Full context]

  • [November 08, 2004]   Universal Business Language (UBL) Version 1.0 Approved as an OASIS Standard.    OASIS has announced the approval of the Universal Business Language (UBL) Version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard. UBL "defines a common XML library of business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, as well as reusable data components from which an unlimited number of other documents can be constructed. UBL is the first standard implementation of the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification." Developed within the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee and numerous subcommitteees, UBL "is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents. UBL is designed to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices, eliminating the re-keying of data in existing fax- and paper-based supply chains and providing an entry point into electronic commerce for small and medium-sized businesses." The UBL Library has been designed "as an implementation of ebXML Core Components Technical Specification 2.01, based on a conceptual model of information components known as Business Information Entities (BIEs). These core components are assembled into specific document models such as Order and Invoice. These document assembly models are then transformed in accordance with UBL Naming and Design Rules into W3C XSD schema syntax. This approach facilitates the creation of UBL-based document types beyond those specified in this 1.0 release. UBL schemas thus are modular, reusable, and extensible in XML-aware ways." Jon Bosak, Co-Chair of the OASIS UBL TC, cites "agreement on a common set of business-to-business document standards" as an essential element in successful electronic commerce: "UBL provides the world with standard electronic versions of traditional business documents designed to integrate with established commercial and legal practices. Using UBL, businesses of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of electronic commerce." According to TC Co-Chair Mark Crawford, the core components methodology implemented in UBL "is embodied in the soon to be announced ISO 15000-5 ebXML Core Components Standard. This methodology, in addition to being used by UBL, is also being followed by other international standards bodies such as UN/CEFACT. This approach has also been adopted by the Department of the Navy and several Presidential Management Agenda initiatives." UBL design benefited from liaison relationships with many collateral standards efforts and industry groups. It was "developed in harmony with ebXML OASIS Standards and in light of recommendations and standards issued by ISO, IEC, ITU, UNECE, W3C, IETF, and other relevant standards bodies and organizations. Industry groups including ACORD (insurance), ARTS (retail sales), CompTIA EIDX Leadership Group (electronics), HL7 (health care), NACS (convenience stores), RosettaNet (supply chain), UIG (utilities), VCA (prescription eyewear), and XBRL (accounting) all provided input on UBL." [Full context]

  • [November 05, 2004]   W3C Publishes Updated XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery Working Draft Specifications.    Six revised working drafts have been published by the W3C XSL Working Group and XML Query Working Group as part of the W3C XML Activity. The XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 2.0 specification of 2004-11-05 has been published "to mark the conclusion of the Last Call process for XSLT 2.0," addressing some 109 comments received in response to the Last Call version of 2003-11-12. The XSL Working Group believes that the development of XSLT 2.0 is now complete, and has released the new working draft to ensure that the agreed-upon changes have been made correctly. Following the current Last Call review period, the specification is expected to advance to a Candidate Recommendation, though modifications "may be required to align this document with the specifications on which it is dependent, notably the XPath and Serialization specifications." XSLT Version 2.0 defines the syntax and semantics of the XSL Transformations language designed for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. "XSLT 2.0 is designed to be used in conjunction with XPath 2.0 and shares the same data model as XPath 2.0, which is defined in XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model. XSLT Version 2.0 uses the library of functions and operators defined in the XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Functions and Operators Working Draft. XSLT 2.0 also includes optional facilities to serialize the results of a transformation, by means of an interface to the serialization component described in XSLT 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 Serialization. A transformation in the XSLT language "is expressed in the form of a stylesheet, whose syntax is well-formed XML conforming to the Namespaces in XML Recommendation. A stylesheet generally includes elements that are defined by XSLT as well as elements that are not defined by XSLT. The term stylesheet reflects the fact that one of the important roles of XSLT is to add styling information to an XML source document, by transforming it into a document consisting of XSL formatting objects, or into another presentation-oriented format such as HTML, XHTML, or SVG. However, XSLT is used for a wide range of transformation tasks, not exclusively for formatting and presentation applications." The XML Path Language (XPath) 2.0 Working Draft produced jointly by the W3C XSL Working Group and the XML Query Working Group defines "an expression language that allows the processing of values conforming to the data model defined in XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model. The data model provides a tree representation of XML documents as well as atomic values such as integers, strings, and booleans, and sequences that may contain both references to nodes in an XML document and atomic values. The result of an XPath expression may be a selection of nodes from the input documents, or an atomic value, or more generally, any sequence allowed by the data model. The name of the language derives from its most distinctive feature, the path expression, which provides a means of hierarchic addressing of the nodes in an XML tree." [Full context]

  • [November 03, 2004]   First Public Working Draft for Timed Text Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP).    W3C has published a First Public Working Draft for Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 — Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP). The draft has been produced by members of the Timed Text (TT) Working Group as part of the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Activity. The W3C Timed Text Working Group was chartered in January 2003 to "develop an XML-based format used for the representation of streamed text synchronized with other timed media, like audio and video. A typical application is real time captioning of movies on the Web (e.g., integrated in SMIL)." The W3C Timed Text specification is intended to cover "all necessary aspects of timed text on the Web. Typical applications of timed text are the real time subtitling of foreign-language movies on the Web, captioning for people lacking audio devices or having hearing impairments, karaoke, scrolling news items or teleprompter applications." The Timed Text (TT) authoring format is a "content type that represents timed text media for the purpose of interchange among authoring systems." Goals for W3C design activity are presented in the second version of the Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases and Requirements document. Timed text is there defined as "textual information that is intrinsically or extrinsically associated with timing information." The authoring format "simplifies the creation and distribution of synchronized text for use with a multitude of devices, such as multimedia players, caption, subtitle, and teletext encoders and decoders, character generators, LED displays, and other text display devices." The Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP) Working Draft document specifies a vocabulary and semantics for a distribution format exchange profile (DFXP) of the timed text authoring format. The distribution format exchange profile is intended to be used for the purpose of transcoding or exchanging timed text information among legacy distribution content formats presently in use for subtitling and captioning functions. It provides a standardized representation for a particular subset of textual information with which stylistic, layout, and timing semantics are associated by an author or an authoring system for the purpose of interchange and potential presentation." A posting from the WG Chair clarifies that the primary intent of the DFXP is "to support interchange among the common features of certain existing distribution formats, such as 3GPP Timed Text, QuickText (Apple), RealText (RealNetworks), SAMI (Microsoft), World Standard Teletext (WST), EIA-608, and EIA-708. Although the DFXP is designed as an authoring format, it is not precluded from being used as a distribution format in its own right, e.g., by implementing native support for the DFXP in a SMIL or other multimedia user agent." [Full context]

  • [October 29, 2004]   Digital Artefacts Europe Contributes Open Source Implementation for ebXML Core Components.    An announcement from Diego Ballve of Digital Artefacts Europe describes the donation of an ebXML Core Components vocabulary management implementation to the open-source community through the freebXML initiative. The freebXML CC project on SourceForge includes a set of tools developed to facilitate the work of domain experts managing data dictionaries. The the project is now available under LGPL terms for use by the open-source community, and will be further developed under the freebXML umbrella. Core Components are defined in the UN/CEFACT Core Components Technical Specification as Part 8 of the ebXML Framework. The UN/CEFACT Plenary voted in May 2004 to submit the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification to ISO TC154 as Part 8 of ISO 15000. The specification is now in process for ISO fast track approval, and will join other parts of ISO/TS 15000 Electronic business eXtensible Markup Language (ebXML), including Collaboration-protocol profile and agreement specification (ebCPP), Message service specification (ebMS), Registry information model specification (ebRIM), and Registry services specification (ebRS). The ebXML Core Components technical specification (CCTS) "presents a methodology for developing a common set of semantic building blocks that represent the general types of business data in use today and provides for the creation of new business vocabularies and restructuring of existing business vocabularies. It provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information to support and enhance information interoperability across multiple business situations." Several organizations and standards bodies now base their data structures and information exchanges on the syntax-neutral Core Components model. The The freebXML CC implementation "is based on the ebXML Core Components specification and comprises a developer API as well as an end user GUI. Where the freebXML CC API gives the developer a chance to use Core Components without concern for the implementation itself, the freebXML CC GUI will allow domain experts with reasonable awareness of the Core Components specification to model their vocabularies and manage their data dictionaries using this methodology with minimum effort." freebXML CC "uses the ebXML Registry to store vocabulary data. More specifically, it uses the freebXML Registry through the Java API for XML Registries (JAXR). Currently the freebXML CC API is in production use state, while the GUI is still a prototype. The API maps Core Component concepts to ebXML Registry Information Model concepts through JAXR API, abstracting details about the Registry itself and providing simplified query and life cycle management features focused on Core Components and Vocabularies." [Full context]

  • [October 29, 2004]   Microsoft Releases Revised Version of Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WS-Discovery).    Microsoft has published an updated version of the Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WS-Discovery) specification initially released in February 2004. The revised version includes webMethods, Inc. as a named Co-Developer, joining BEA Systems, Canon, Intel, and Microsoft. The revised IPR declaration deviates from a recent trend under which the WS-* specifications are licensed Royalty-Free. The updated WS-Discovery specification states that the Co-Developers "each agree to grant you a license, under reasonable, non-discriminatory terms and conditions, to their respective essential Licensed Claims, which reasonable, non-discriminatory terms and conditions may include, for example, the payment of royalties and an affirmation of the obligation to grant reciprocal licenses under any of the licensee's patents that are necessary to implement the Specification." WS-Discovery belongs to the WS-* suite of 'Composable Architecture' specifications which "relies on other Web service specifications to provide secure, reliable, and/or transacted message delivery and to express Web service and client policy." The revised version of WS-Discovery incorporates changes based upon a WS-Discovery Feedback Workshop held in San Jose on May 19, 2004. The WS-Discovery specification "defines a multicast discovery protocol to locate services. By default, probes are sent to a multicast group, and target services that match return a response directly to the requester. To scale to a large number of endpoints, the protocol defines the multicast suppression behavior if a discovery proxy is available on the network. To minimize the need for polling, target services that wish to be discovered send an announcement when they join and leave the network." The term "discovery" is used by the WS-Discovery specification in reference to advertising and finding devices or services on a network. This is in contrast to "discovery" in the sense of accessing a directory (e.g., UDDI) or inspection of a device or service (e.g., WS-MetadataExchange). It offers a "flexible, scalable, extensible, and lightweight mechanism for service discovery based upon simple messaging (Hello, Bye, Probe, Probe Match, Resolve, Resolve Match)." [Full context]

  • [October 28, 2004]   W3C Announces Last Call Working Draft for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2.    The W3C SVG Working Group has released a Last Call Working Draft for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2 and invites public comment through November 24, 2004. After examining feedback on this draft, the Working Group plans to submit the specification for consideration as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. The SVG language "delivers accessible, dynamic, and reusable vector graphics, text, and images to the Web in XML. The SVG Version 1.2 Working Draft document also describes a set of APIs for building graphics-based applications. Key features include shapes, text and embedded raster graphics, with many different painting styles. It supports scripting through languages such as ECMAScript and has comprehensive support for animation. SVG is used in many business areas including Web graphics, animation, user interfaces, graphics interchange, print and hardcopy output, mobile applications and high-quality design." SVG Version 1.1 "is a W3C Recommendation and forms the core of the current SVG developments. W3C has also developed SVG Mobile Profiles: SVG Basic and SVG Tiny are targetted to resource-limited devices and are part of the 3GPP platform for third generation mobile phones. SVG Print is a set of guidelines to produce final-form documents in XML suitible for archiving and printing." SVG 1.2 represents an "extension to SVG 1.1 that provides features requested by the implementor and content design communities, believed to be in conformance with the Architecture of the World Wide Web. It is a modularized XML language for describing two-dimensional graphics with animation and interactivity. Validation for SVG 1.2 is supported through use of the RelaxNG schema presented in WD Appendix F. The SVG version 1.2 Last Call Working Draft does not present a complete language description, but documents the changes from SVG version 1.1. It covers, for example: Flowing text and graphics; Multiple pages; Text enhancements; Streaming; Progressive rendering; Vector effects; Rendering model; Painting enhancements; Media; Animation; Extended links; Application development; Events and Scripting; Non-graphical enhancements. [Full context]

  • [October 27, 2004]   Trusted Mobile Platform Specifications Released for Industry Review.    A set of Trusted Mobile Platform specifications defining security features for mobile devices has been released for public review by the authors and promoters from IBM, Intel, and NTT DoCoMo. Trusted Mobile Platform (TMP) is described as a comprehensive end-to-end security architecture for mobile wireless platforms. The specification "can help make advanced mobile-commerce services such as electronic tickets and e-wallets for online purchases more secure and help protect against viruses and other software attacks." The Trusted Mobile Platform has been published as a set of three separate specifications. The Protocol Specification Document defines a set of protocols that enable the Trusted Mobile Platform to communicate with other platforms more securely. The TMP Software Architecture Description "identifies security-related elements in the software stack that enable the underlying security hardware and would be common across all platforms based on the Hardware Architecture Description." The Hardware Architecture Description document "defines a set of essential hardware components required to build mobile platforms that support a rich set of services for enhancing the platform's trust." The TMP specifications address a number of security and privacy concerns: "(1) How can data exchanged over the air be protected from eavesdropping? (2) How can the user be certain that information received from a service is authentic and has not been changed since it was created? (3) How is the device protected from malicious downloaded programs such as viruses?" According to the announcement, components defined in the TMP specifications "function together to limit the potential damage from malicious applications and to enable a rich set of security services. Through tamper-resistant modules and by enabling domain separation, a trusted platform will be able to protect data from potential viruses spreading from one application to the next. In addition, the authorization and management protocols provide companies with higher levels of security for wireless delivery of new software to employees." The TMP Protocol document does not define a new collection of mobile security protpcols per se, but "investigates available and emerging open standards by identifying specific areas that are currently missing to support trusted mobile devices. Trusted Mobile Platform builds on well established, strong security techniques and applies them to the hardware and software architectures to define a trusted execution environment that protects the device both at boot time and during runtime." The 103-page Trusted Mobile Platform Protocol Specification Document "describes protocols that allow the security state of a device to be shared with other devices in the network, enabling device level trust to be extended into the larger network." [Full context]

  • [October 22, 2004]   ASHRAE Releases BACnet Web Services Interface Specification for Public Review.    A public review draft has been released for the BSR/ASHRAE Web Services Addendum to the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2004 (BacNet). The Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet) specification is an American national standard (ANSI), a European pre-standard, and an ISO global standard. The BACnet data communication protocol provides a set of rules governing the exchange of data over a computer network. The rules govern, for example, "what kind of cable to use, or to how to form a particular request or command in a standard way. What makes BACnet special is that the rules relate specifically to the needs of building automation and control equipment, i.e., they cover things like how to ask for the value of a temperature, define a fan operating schedule, or send a pump status alarm." According to the ASHRAE announcement, potential uses of the Addendum's Web Services technology include "simplifying access to building energy and performance data for inclusion in spreadsheets and other management reports; accessing equipment run-time data for use by maintenance management systems; allowing tenant control of space temperature setpoints; coupling of room scheduling with ventilation and comfort control, etc." Creation of the new Web Services Interface Addendum was motivated by a recognition that Web services "is emerging as the predominant technology for the integration of a wide variety of enterprise information. The addendum therefore defines a standard means of using Web services to integrate facility data from disparate data sources, including BACnet networks, with a variety of business enterprise applications." The BACnet XML Working Group "is working on defining applications of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) relevant to BACnet systems. It is also working on Web service definitions that will allow data exchange between building automation and control systems and various enterprise management systems. In June 2004, after months of intense effort by the Web Services Task Team of the BACnet/XML Working Group, SSPC 135 unanimously voted to recommend public review of the WS addendum to BACnet-2004. [Full context]

  • [October 21, 2004]   Liberty Alliance Federated Identity Consortium Gains Momentum with New Members.    The Liberty Alliance Project has announced the addition of eight new members, including Adobe Systems, DAI-Labor, Deny All, International Business Machines (IBM), M-Tech Information Technology, OpenNetwork Technologies, Senforce Technologies, and Telewest Broadband. There are now 162 active Liberty Alliance members. Liberty Alliance is a global consortium developing an open federated identity standard and business tools for implementing federated identity and identity-based Web services. The Liberty Alliance federated network identity solution "supports all current and emerging network devices, offering businesses, governments, employees and consumers a convenient and secure way to control identity information as a key component in e-commerce, personalized data services, and web-based services." The new members include leading identity management, application security, mobile and wireless security, telecommunications and research companies, as well as a world-leading digital imaging, design and document technology company. Adobe Systems, joining the Liberty Alliance as a sponsor member, "plans to bring Liberty's benefits down to the document level. Working with the Liberty Alliance, Adobe will strengthen document security by adding federated identities, making it easier for businesses to employ document services for meeting compliance and regulatory mandates to protect individual privacy." IBM's decision to join the Liberty Alliance is of special significance given the company's prominent identity management software solutions, including the Tivoli Identity Manager. In June 2004 IBM announced that it had successfully passed the Liberty Alliance conformance test with support for the Liberty 1.1 standards in the Tivoli Access Manager software family. The Liberty Alliance has also announced the appointment of Donal O'Shea as the consortium's Executive Director. The Executive Director position "has been created to focus on three areas: (1) to ensure that Liberty's purpose is clearly and widely communicated; (2) to broaden Liberty's global membership; (3) to increase end-user participation in the development of future specifications and business guidelines." [Full context]

  • [October 20, 2004]   Open Standards Alliance Formed at Inaugural Meeting on Open Source and Open Standards.    A new organization called the Open Standards Alliance became active on September 14, 2004 at the close of an inaugural meeting convened under the title "Open Source, Open Standards: Maximising Utility While Managing Exposure." Organized by John Terpstra and underwritten by Sun Microsystems, the "Open Source, Open Standards" conference brought together "a team of open source experts, standardization consultants, and information and communications technology specialists to discuss practical strategies for strengthening open source growth." Some seventy-five people attended the event, where invited presentations were given by "prime movers from standards-setting organisations such as W3C, ECMA, ETSI, and OMG, along with representatives from a broad spectrum of industry, including banking and finance, software development, manufacturing, public service, government, universities, law, and representatives from key Open Source organisations such as OSSI and the Free Standards Group." According to the published conference report, "the meeting placed great importance on the necessity of collaboration between the open source software community and bodies that have a vested interest in open public standards. The meeting coalesced around Lawrence Rosen's observation that traditional IP protective measures, including licensing, are based on an underlying notion that a consumer or user is always a licensee. The Open Source paradigm challenges that traditional perception with the principle that every licensee is a potential licensor. Therefore, a successful standardisation process for Open Source software must accommodate this fact. Potential sub-licensing is the principle that lies at the heart of the value proposition that open source software provides to the end user." The Conference Wrap-Up presented by Conference Chair John H. Terpstra reinforced the notion of sub-licensing as the most significant value proposition of Open Source: sub-licensing is a key determinant and central principle. Therefore "an Open Standard must guarantee entitlement to sublicense to a new licensor under terms of original license." Conference attendees reached a consensus that "open standards are the natural concomitant of Open Source software, and a necessary preservative of the ability of organisations to use Open Source and proprietary software." The Open Standards Alliance launched at the conclusion of the conference is being constituted as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization "aimed at bridging the gap between standards bodies, software developers and software users (consumers)." Funding is being sought to create a reference base for open standards and software applications that meet the definition of "open" as determined by members in a subsequent meeting. [Full context]

  • [October 15, 2004]   W3C Releases Revised Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0 (WS-CDL).    W3C has issued a second published Working Draft of Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0, produced by the Web Services Choreography Working Group as part of the W3C Web Services Activity. This release is expected to be the last version before Last Call Working Draft. The Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL) is "an XML-based language that describes peer-to-peer collaborations of parties by defining, from a global viewpoint, their common and complementary observable behavior; where ordered message exchanges result in accomplishing a common business goal." The Choreography specification is motivated by a recognition that "the future of E-Business applications requires the ability to perform long-lived, peer-to-peer collaborations between the participating services, within or across the trusted domains of an organization. The Web Services Choreography specification is targeted for composing interoperable, peer-to-peer collaborations between any type of party regardless of the supporting platform or programming model used by the implementation of the hosting environment. The WS-CDL specification depends upon other W3C Recommendations, including XML 1.0, XML-Namespaces, XML-Schema 1.0, and XPath 1.0. Support for including and referencing service definitions given in WSDL 2.0 is also a normative part of the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification. Web Services Choreography Description Language as a choreography language is not an executable business process description language nor an implementation language, as a choreography language meeting the W3C model definition does not depend on a specific business process implementation language. A WS-CDL document as defined in the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification is "simply a set of definitions: each definition is a named construct that can be referenced; there is a package element at the root, and the individual Choreography type definitions inside. A WS-CDL Choreography Package aggregates a set of Choreography type definitions, provides a namespace for the definitions and through the use of XInclude, syntactically includes Choreography type definitions that are defined in other Choreography Packages." [Full context]

  • [October 13, 2004]   Open Applications Group Publishes WS-I Compliant WSDL Files for OAGIS.    An announcement from the Open Applications Group (OAGi) describes the release of a complete library of OAGIS WSDL files, including WSDL for all of the XML definitions in OAGIS Version 8.0 and in the XML Schema version of OAGIS 7.2.1. The WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) files are described as non-normative, but can be can be used with OAGIS for deployment in a Web services environment. The Open Applications Group is a "non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and processes based on XML content for eBusiness and Application Integration." The principal notion in OAGIS is the BOD (Business Object Document), supporting a common horizontal message architecture. BODs are "the business messages or business documents that are exchanged between software applications or components; between companies; across supply chains; and between supply chains. BODs are used widely for business-to-business and application-to-application integration in e-commerce, purchasing, manufacturing, logistics, human resource management, and financal services. The BOD Message Architecture is independent of the communication mechanism: it can be used with simple transport protocols such as HTTP and SMTP, but it also can be used in more complex transport protocols such as SOAP, ebXML Transport and Routing, or any other Enterprise Application integration system." The Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) Version 8.0 release contains some 200 XML BODs, with over 300 XML schemas and over 400 example XML instances. It includes a set of example scenarios, each of which describe the choreography or business process that OAGIS maybe used. Complete with hyperlinked HTML documentation, OAGIS v8.0 adds support for long tag names, XML Schemas, XSL, and XPath. XSL (specifically XPath) is used to capture the required fields and other constraints that can be applied to the BODs; XPath is also used to apply the action of the Verb on particular Components of the Noun with in the BOD. The new WSDL distribution for OAGIS Version 8.0 is a standalone ZIP archive containing 60 WSDL files that are intended to be loaded into the main OAGIS 8.0 SP3 file system. The OAGIS 7.2.1 distribution as a zip file contains an enhanced version of the OAGIS 7.2.1 BODs in XSD format in addition to sample WSDL schemas for OAGIS 7.2.1. The OAGIS WSDL definitions are intended to conform to the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. [Full context]

  • [October 11, 2004]   Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL) Supports Unified Clinical and Genomic Record.    A novel use of XML is being used in IBM's Genomics Messaging System (GMS) research as part of the Integrated Medical Records (IMR) middleware project. The focus of the GMS design is the "representation, transmission, and storage of patient genomic information, particularly in the construction of the unified clinical and genomic record, and exploring the standards required. GMS is a proposed specification for an approach with an emphasis on a specific language for embedding supporting information and management functions in streams of DNA data." According to the project description from IBM Haifa Labs web site, "the core function of the GMS software is to prepare the genomic information, compress and encrypt it, transmit (or store) it, and decompress and decrypt on receipt (or recovery from storage). This core function, however, is merely the underlying data-representation structure of a larger system, which has the potential to cover many features of clinical bioinformatics. The Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL) defines a data stream for information storage and transmission. This language "is highly condensed using Shannon-information-theoretic principles: each command and data element is represented by an 8-bit byte, including bytes that represent the bases of the DNA itself, at various optional levels of compression, down to four base pairs per byte. The language provides basic support features for annotation of the DNA by the clinical genomicist." The primary function of the Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL), as discussed in a recent issue of the Journal of Proteome Research includes: (1) retaining content of the source clinical documents as are required, and to combine patient DNA sequences or fragments; (2) allowing the expert to add annotation to the DNA and clinical data prior to its storage or transmission; (3) enabling addition of passwords and file protections; (4) providing tools for levels of reversible and irreversible scrubbing (anonymization) of the patient ID; (5) preventing the addition of erroneous DNA and other lab data to the wrong patient record; (6) enabling several forms of compression and encryption at various levels, which can be supplemented by standard methods applied to the final files; (7) selecting methods of portrayal of the final information by the receiver, including choice of what can be seen; (8) allowing a special form of XML-compliant staggered bracketing to encode DNA and protein features which, unlike valid XML tags, can overlap." [Full context]

  • [October 08, 2004]   AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Release Web Services for Management (WS-Management).    A new Web Services for Management (WS-Management) specification edited by Alan Geller (Microsoft) has been published. This initial joint publication of the specification names Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Dell, Intel and Sun Microsystems as co-developers. The WS-Management specification describes a general SOAP-based protocol for managing systems such as PCs, servers, devices, Web services and other applications, and other manageable entities. According to Microsoft's announcement, WS-Management "reshapes the concept of distributed management. A key distributed application area is the management of systems and devices. Web services offer a strong foundation for building robust and interoperable systems management solutions. Designed to scale from small footprint controllers to enterprise class servers while maintaining security, WS-Management will help to create a common way of surfacing management-related operations and events within connected systems." Key terms in the WS-Management systems management model include a System as a top-level managed entity composed of one or more Resource Instances; a Resource Instance, also called a Resource or an Instance, is a single manageable item such as a disk drive or a running process. A Resource Service is a Web service that provides access to a single category of manageable items, such as disk drives or running processes, that share the same operations and representation schema. An Agent is application that provides management services for a System by exposing a set of Resource Services. A Manager is a Web service that is used to manage one or more Systems by sending messages to and/or receiving messages from an Agent for that System." The WS-Management specification is designed to satisfy basic requirements of systems management in terms of web services. It is intended to "(1) constrain Web services protocols and formats so Web services can be implemented in management agents with a small footprint, in both hardware and software; (2) define minimum requirements for compliance without constraining richer implementations; (3) ensure composability with other Web services specifications, such as WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-AtomicTransactions; (4) minimize additional mechanism beyond the current Web service architecture." Namespaces are declared in the WS-Management document for other WS-* specifications, including WS-MetadataExchange, WS-Addressing, WS-Eventing, WS-Enumeration, and WS-Transfer. [Full context]

  • [October 07, 2004]   W3C Announces Formation of New Web Services Addressing Working Group.    W3C has chartered a new Web Services Addressing Working Group as part of the W3C Web Services Activity, under the W3C Architecture Domain. The TC Chair is Mark Nottingham (BEA), while Hugo Haas and Philippe Le Hégaret have been designated as W3C Team Contacts. The charter extends through 28-February-2006. The goal of the new Working Group is to produce a W3C Recommendation for Web Services Addressing by "refining the W3C Member Submission WS-Addressing based on consideration of the importance of this component in the Web Services architecture, implementation experience, and interoperability feedback. WS-Addressing defines how message headers direct messages to a service or agent, provides an XML format for exchanging endpoint references, and defines mechanisms to direct replies or faults to a specific location." In particular, the Web Services Addressing Working Group has been chartered to "standardize the mechanisms for referencing and addressing Web services by refining WS-Addressing, which includes four principal components of the W3C's Web Services Architecture specification. These referencing and addressing mechanisms are (1) a means by which message headers are used to direct messages to a Web service or agent; (2) abstract message properties (message identifier; a URI for the destination address; a URI designating the action to be taken at the destination; correlation with other message[s]; the nature of the relationship with those messages) (3) an appropriate XML Infoset definition; (4) abstract properties to identify subsequent destinations in the message exchange, including the reply destination and the fault destination." The XML Infoset required for "communicating the information necessary to generate appropriate headers to direct messages to a service or an agent includes a URI designating the destination address; service specific message headers; interaction specific message headers; WSDL definitions relevant to this service; additional metadata as required." According to the WG Charter, these components "must be extensible to enable other mechanisms such as new kinds of relationships between correlated messages, policies, or service semantics to be built upon Web Services Addressing. The components must also be usable independently of the SOAP or WSDL version in use." Additionally, the WG will define SOAP 1.1 and WSDL 1.1 bindings (defined for backward compatibility only). It will define (1) a binding of all abstract message properties to SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 headers, (2) the use of these abstract message properties in the context of all WSDL 1.1 or WSDL 2.0 Message Exchange Patterns, including the asynchronous use of these MEPs; in particular, the relationship between message properties and WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0 service descriptions will be provided if applicable, and (3) a security model for using and communicating these abstract properties." [Full context]

  • [October 06, 2004]   Legal Information Institute Releases Complete United States Code in XML Format.    Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute has announced the release of a new online edition of the United States Code, including all the Federal law passed by Congress currently in force. For the first time, the project team is also releasing the underlying XML version as a dataset for use in research. The data set has been generated from the most recent official version made available by the US House of Representatives. The United States Code "is the official compilation of the Federal statutes of a general and permanent nature; by Federal statute, the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives is the publisher and compiler of the Code, and the Counsel is an appointee of the Speaker of the House." Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the Legal Information Institute (LII), suggests that this edition of the United States Code represents perhaps the largest body of legislation ever made available online in XML format for use by researchers interested in legal text. One of the goals of the US Code project is to stimulate interest on the part of the research community in working with legal text, and to survey the uses to which people put XML versions of legislation. According to the LII's USC Bell Code Browsing Environment User Guide, the Institite is sponsoring a "continuing effort to render the United States Code as an open-source multi-use XML data set. An important part has been to develop an environment to make the raw data, and emerging interpretations of it, as visible as possible in an analytical mode. As this is primarily a laboratory artifact, not many user friendliness features have been implemented; the emphasis has been utility for someone who knows the project." The US Code supplied to the Legal Information Institute "is marked up for typesetting; the project team uses this specialized markup to help discover the structure to motivate more generalized XML elements. In a preliminary micro-translation, the control-code based input is rendered in a quite literal readable format, which is then stored as a file with the same scope as the input (title or appendix) as well as fragmented along data-natural boundaries and rendered as static HTML for easy viewing." The U.S. Code XML data is licensed under a Creative Commons License. [Full context]

  • [October 05, 2004]   OASIS Extensible Access Control Markup Language TC Approves XACML 2.0 Specifications.    Members of the OASIS Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) Technical Committee have approved several Version 2.0 documents as Committee Drafts. The approved CD documents are available for public review through November 4, 2004. The motivation behind XACML is to express the well-established ideas in the field of access- control policy (e.g., rules, policies, policy sets, subjects, decision requests, authorization decisions,) using an extension language of XML. According to the Core specification, "there is a pressing need for a common language for expressing security policy. If implemented throughout an enterprise, a common policy language allows the enterprise to manage the enforcement of all the elements of its security policy in all the components of its information systems. Managing security policy may include some or all of the following steps: writing, reviewing, testing, approving, issuing, combining, analyzing, modifying, withdrawing, retrieving and enforcing policy." The XACML specification thus "enables the use of arbitrary attributes in policies, role-based access control, security labels, time/date-based policies, indexable policies, 'deny' policies, and dynamic policies — all without requiring changes to the applications that use XACML. Adoption of XACML across vendor and product platforms should provide the opportunity for organizations to perform access and access policy audits directly across such systems." The XACML 2.0 Specification Set includes a normative subset of eleven documents, including four XML Schemas and seven prose specifications. The complete distribution for public review is a ZIP archive with sixty-some files, including non-normative formats and examples. Version 2.0 provides profiles for SAML 2.0, XML Digital Signature, Privacy Policy, Hierarchical/Multiple Resources, and Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The principal features of XACML are documented in the core Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) Version 2.0 specification, supported by the Core Policy Schema and Core Context Schema. This document provides the model descriptions for data-flow, XACML context (canonical representation of a decision request and an authorization decision), and policy language (rule, policy, policy set). [Full context]

Earlier News July - September 2004

  • [September 30, 2004]   W3C Issues XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 as a Proposed Recommendation.    Members of the W3C XML Core Working Group have produced a Proposed Recommendation version of XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 as part of the W3C XML Activity. A Proposed Recommendation is the penultimate stage in W3C standards ratification, indicating that the specification "is a mature technical report that, after wide review for technical soundness and implementability, W3C has sent to the W3C Advisory Committee for final endorsement." XInclude specifies "a processing model and syntax for general purpose inclusion. Inclusion is accomplished by merging a number of XML information sets into a single composite infoset. Specification of the XML documents (infosets) to be merged and control over the merging process is expressed in XML-friendly syntax (elements, attributes, URI references)." The specification Introduction explains the differences between the XInclude mechanism and other markup-based mechanisms which support inclusion, transclusion, and content-merging facilities by linking and other constructs. "Many programming languages provide an inclusion mechanism to facilitate modularity, and markup languages also often have need of such a mechanism. The XInclude specification uses the standard XML syntax defined for elements, attributes, and URI references in the design of a generic inclusion mechanism. It supports merging of XML documents based upon a document's information items as represented given by the documents' XML Information Set (Infoset). The XInclude specification provides a "media-type specific (XML into XML) transformation. It defines a specific processing model for merging information sets. XInclude processing occurs at a low level, often by a generic XInclude processor which makes the resulting information set available to higher level applications." Release of the XInclude Proposed Recommendation includes an XInclude Implementation Report and XML Inclusions (XInclude) Conformance Test Suites, developed jointly with NIST, Red Hat Network, FourThought, and the University of Edinburgh. The Implementation Report is based upon tests using software from Markup Technology, Elliotte Rusty Harold's XOM (XML object model), and libxml (XML C parser and toolkit developed for the Gnome project). [Full context]

  • [September 29, 2004]   RSA Security Announces Support for OMA DRM 2.0 and Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL).    An announcement from RSA Security Inc. describes the company's plans to "offer a standards-based solution for digital rights management (DRM) that represents a consumer-friendly alternative to the DRM methods currently deployed by several major digital content providers." The RSA Security DRM solution will leverage open standards such as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) DRM 2.0 and the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Version 1.1. The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Digital Rights Management technology based upon XML "enables the distribution and consumption of digital content in a controlled manner, where content is distributed and consumed on authenticated devices per the usage rights expressed by the content owners. OMA DRM work addresses the various technical aspects of this system by providing appropriate specifications for content formats, protocols, and rights expression languages." The OMA DRM Rights Expression Language (REL) V2.0 is defined as a mobile profile of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). ODRL is an XML-based rights expression language free of licensing restrictions, providing a lightweight formal mechanism for specifying rights independently of the content type and transport mechanism. RSA Security's DRM solution uses the OMA model which "adds the much needed concept of consumer identity protection — something currently missing from today's DRM technologies. This DRM solution will enable several fundamental requirements for broad-based adoption and usage of both PC-based and mobile content services, including (1) an open, flexible platform built on widely-supported standards; (2) content portability through rights portability; (3) a frictionless digital content experience through transparency to consumers; (4) new revenue opportunities for content owners through support of legal peer-to-peer distribution and subscription services; (5) rights protection that can span all playback devices including mobile phones, personal computers, portable digital music players, car audio systems, and PDAs." RSA observes that the number of competing DRM implementations are problematic for users, saying that the current infighting between major content providers over technology is creating roadblocks between consumers and their content: "Apple Computer's iTunes application program uses Apple's homegrown FairPlay technology, Yahoo! and Microsoft's services use Microsoft DRM technology, and Sony's Connect service has its its own DRM technology." A superior approach, and the one advocated by RSA, is a "common DRM technology standard that is free for anyone to implement and allows both consumers and the entertainment industry to achieve common ground on a solution that works." In the model proposed by RSA Security, "both content and usage rights would be downloaded as 'rights objects' from a download service onto a user's device. Objects would be encrypted using strong encryption technology, like RSA BSAFE software." [Full context]

  • [September 29, 2004]   OASIS Forms Four Technical Committees to Advance Data Center Markup Language (DCML).    The Data Center Markup Language (DCML) Organization recently transitioned its technical activities to OASIS under a new DCML Member Section and has now formed technical committees to continue work on the DCML specification. A Call for Participation and accompanying TC Proposal has been issued for each of the four new OASIS DCML technical committees. The Data Center Markup Language (DCML) is "an XML-based specification for representing the contents of data centers and information used in managing those contents. The goal of the OASIS DCML technical committees is to support the development of a holistic set of standards related to the automated management of data center infrastructure. The TCs will promote the use of utility computing by providing a standard way to represent the IT environment and enabling data center automation and system management solutions to easily exchange information about the environment under management." A new OASIS DCML Framework TC has been chartered to "create a data model and format for exchanging information about the contents of data centers and other IT resources, and the information used in managing those contents. The OASIS DCML Framework TC will continue work on the DCML Framework specification produced by the DCML organization. An OASIS DCML Applications and Services TC has been formed to extend the [proposed] OASIS DCML Framework Specification by defining extensions to represent Applications and Services and the information necessary to manage these components. The new OASIS DCML Server TC has been chartered to "define extensions to the DCML Framework specification to facilitate the representation and management of information about servers. 'Server' refers to a logical or physical compute resource in the datacenter. An OASIS DCML Network TC has been chartered to "design a data model and XML-based format for the exchange of information about networking elements in a data center. [Full context]

  • [September 28, 2004]   W3C Publishes InkML and EMMA Working Drafts for the Multimodal Interaction Framework.    The W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group has published revised Working Drafts for EMMA: Extensible MultiModal Annotation Markup Language and Ink Markup Language as part of the W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity. The W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity involves technical work to extend the Web user interface "to allow multiple modes of interaction (aural, visual and tactile), offering users the means to provide input using their voice or their hands via a key pad, keyboard, mouse, or stylus. For output, users will be able to listen to spoken prompts and audio, and to view information on graphical displays. The Multimodal Interaction Working Group is producing specifications intended to be implementable on a royalty-free basis." The Ink Markup Language "serves as the data format for representing ink entered with an electronic pen or stylus. The markup allows for the input and processing of handwriting, gestures, sketches, music and other notational languages in Web-based (and non Web-based) applications. It provides a common format for the exchange of ink data between components such as handwriting and gesture recognizers, signature verifiers, and other ink-aware modules." The updated EMMA: Extensible MultiModal Annotation Markup Language is also part of the W3C's set of specifications for multi-modal systems designed to enable access to the Web using multi-modal interaction. EMMA "provides details of an XML markup language for describing the interpretation of user input. Examples of interpretation of user input are a transcription into words of a raw signal, for instance derived from speech, pen or keystroke input, a set of attribute/value pairs describing their meaning, or a set of attribute/value pairs describing a gesture. The interpretation of the user's input is expected to be generated by signal interpretation processes, such as speech and ink recognition, semantic interpreters, and other types of processors for use by components that act on the user's inputs such as interaction managers." [Full context]

  • [September 21, 2004]   Revised WS-MetadataExchange Specification Supported by CA, Sun, and webMethods.    Microsoft has announced the release of a second public version of Web Services Metadata Exchange (WSMetadataExchange), adding new functionality and broader industry support. The September 2004 version of WSMetadataExchange is co-authored by Computer Associates International, Sun Microsystems, and webMethods, together with authors named on the previous version of March 2004 (BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft Corporation, and SAP AG). WSMetadataExchange is designed to define a bootstrap mechanism for metadata-driven message exchange, including XML Schema, WSDL, and WS-Policy. It is also intended to "support future versions of known metadata formats, allowing new metadata formats to be added. It is supposed to leverage other Web service specifications for secure, reliable, transacted message delivery. The design supports both SOAP 1.1 and and SOAP 1.2 Envelopes, and enables description in WSDL 1.1." The protocol binding by default is SOAP 1.1 over HTTP, and adherence to constraints expressed by the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 is recommended as a means of bootstrapping communication. The previous version of WSMetadataExchange defined a Get Policy request, Get WSDL request, and Get Schema request as methods for retrieving metadata. These have been generalized in the updated specification to provide more flexible endpoint metadata access and to support versioning. Metadata retrieval is now implemented in WSMetadataExchange by 'Get Metadata' and 'Get': "to retrieve a service's metadata, a requester may send a Get Metadata request message to an endpoint. To retrieve a referenced Metadata Section, a requester may send a Get request message to a Metadata Reference. 'Get' fetches a one-time snapshot of the metadata, according to the metadata type (@Dialect) and identifier specified in the Metadata Section. To facilitate intelligent intermediaries, all implementations of the Get operation must be 'safe', as defined in RFC 2616; specifically, safe operations are required to have no significant semantic side-effects on the service, including such actions as the acquisition of long-lived locks." A new appendix for "Dialect URI Definitions" has been added, defining several values for @Dialect; "other specifications are expected to define values for @Dialect for other metadata formats and/or versions." [Full context]

  • [September 20, 2004]   Arbortext Version 5.1 Supports Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).    Arbortext, Inc. has announced the Version 5.1 release of its enterprise publishing software with enhanced support of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) specification. Arbortext's XML-based single-source publishing architecture "helps companies capture their information in a single media-independent form and automatically publish from XML to multiple media types, including Web, print, CD-ROM and wireless devices." Arbortext's software is applicable especially to the production of catalogs, datasheets, operating instructions, user guides, service manuals, training courses, technical journals, reference publications and other complex documents. The Arbortext Version 5.1 release features several enhancements for DITA. The Darwin Information Typing Architecture was originally designed by IBM, and is now under development in the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains. This allows groups to create very specific, targeted document type definitions using a process called specialization, while still sharing common output transforms and design rules developed for more general types and domains. Five new document types have been added for DITA support in Arbortext Version 5.1 (Topic, Task, Reference, Concept, and Ditabase) these types enable authors to create content based on the DITA methodology. Arbortext now also provides custom table support: "also referred to as semantic tables, Arbortext 5.1 supports custom tables, which not only conforms to DITA's table models (simpletable, choicetable) and properties, but also allows users to select their own tags to be displayed and edited in a tabular form." The Arbortext Version 5.1 software includes 'Conref' support: "Conref is DITA's inclusion method used to include content from another file, which enables efficient reuse of information." Enhanced specialization support is also feature in the Arbortext release: "With the ability to use a single stylesheet to control the style of Topic, Task, Concept, Reference and other DITA applications, users can quickly expand their publishing applications as well as easily incorporate content produced in other DITA-aware systems." [Full context]

  • [September 17, 2004]   WS-Enumeration and WS-Transfer Published as Web Services Messaging Specifications.    Two new Web Services messaging specifications have been published under terms of co-development and joint authorship by BEA Systems, Computer Associates, Microsoft, Sonic Software, and Systinet. The documents have been released as-is, for review and evaluation only, with no further warrantees or representations. Web Service Enumeration (WS-Enumeration) "describes a general SOAP-based protocol for enumerating a sequence of XML elements that is suitable for traversing logs, message queues, or other linear information models. It brings enumeration capabilities to the WS-* suite of specifications, enabling an application to ask for items from a list of data that is held by a Web service. In this way, WS-Enumeration is useful for reading event logs, message queues, or other data collections." WS-Enumeration recognizes that "there are numerous applications for which a simple single-request/single-reply metaphor is insufficient for transferring large data sets over SOAP. Applications that do not fit into this simple paradigm include streaming, traversal, query, and enumeration. In its simplest form, WS-Enumeration defines a single operation, Pull, which allows a data source, in the context of a specific enumeration, to produce a sequence of XML elements in the body of a SOAP message. Each subsequent Pull operation returns the next N elements in the aggregate sequence. The Web Service Transfer (WS-Transfer) specification "describes a general SOAP-based protocol for accessing XML representations of Web service-based resources. It enables state transfer over SOAP by defining how to invoke a simple set of familiar verbs (Get, Post, Put, and Delete) using SOAP. An application protocol may be constructed to perform these operations over resources." WS-Transfer "defines two types of entities: (1) Resources, which are entities addressable by an endpoint reference that provide an XML representation; (2) Resource factories, which are Web services that can create a new resource from an XML representation. Specifically, it defines two operations for sending and receiving the representation of a given resource and two operations for creating and deleting a resource and its corresponding representation." [Full context]

  • [September 16, 2004]   Ecma International Approves Standard ECMA-269 With Enhanced SALT-Based Voice Services.    Ecma International, producer of standards for information and communication technology (ICT) and consumer electronics (CE), has announced the approval of Standard ECMA-269: Services for Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications (CSTA) Phase III as an official standard. ECMA-269 together with a series of related publications, provides "a complete toolbox for developing a wide range of enterprise CSTA applications taking advantage of Internet technologies such as XML, SIP, and speech recognition and processing." CSTA specifies an Applications Interface and Protocols for monitoring and controlling calls and devices in a communications network. These calls and devices may support various media and can reside in various network environments such as IP, Switched Circuit Networks, and mobile networks. CSTA however, abstracts various details of underlying signalling protocols (e.g., SIP/H.323) and networks for the applications. The revised third edition of ECMA-323, XML Protocol for Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications (CSTA) Phase III, specifies a set of XML schemas for this 6th edition of Phase III Services for CSTA. The second edition of ECMA-348, Web Services Description Language (WSDL) for CSTA Phase III specifies a set of WSDL schemas for the approved 6th edition of Phase III Services for CSTA. Ecma CSTA "supports a range of application landscapes, from basic first party call control to advanced third party call control with the same standardised model. CSTA exposes advanced communication platform features to application developers without burdening them with underlying protocol specifics. All of the Standards and Technical Reports in the CSTA suite "are based on practical experience of ECMA member companies and each one represents a pragmatic and widely-based consensus." [Full context]

  • [September 14, 2004]   IBM Contributes XML-Based Speech Software to Apache and Eclipse Open Source Projects.    At the SpeechTEK 2004 Conference IBM announced a major contribution of software to open source initiatives at the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation. The new software projects are intended to "spur the availability of speech-enabled applications by making it easier and more attractive for developers to build and add speech recognition capability in a standardized way. Supported by more than 20 key industry players from speech vendors to platform providers, the initiative is aimed at ending the battles over competing, proprietary specifications." An Eclipse Voice Tools Project will "focus on Voice Application tools in the JSP/J2EE space, based on W3C standards, so that these standards become dominant in voice application development. It will depend on and extend the XML and Web development capabilities of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project, providing a set of Eclipse plugins that will provide development tools for W3C Standards/Recommendations for Voice application markup." Under the project proposal, the Voice Tools will initially "consist of editors for VoiceXML, the XML Form of SRGS (Speech Recognition Grammar Specification), and CCXML (Call Control eXtensible Markup Language). Implementations of other tools that implement W3C voice standards, such as the LexiconML (Pronunciation Markup Language), will be added as the standards solidify and the Voice Tools Eclipse community grows." IBM is also contributing its Reusable Dialog Components (RDCs) technology to the Apache Software Foundation. RDCs are "pre-built speech software components, or building blocks that handle basic functions such as date, time, currency, locations (major cities, states, zip codes). They are often-used functions in speech-enabled infrastructure applications. For example, these RDCs allow a caller to book a flight using an auto-agent over the phone. Multiple reusable dialog components can be aggregated to provide higher levels of user functionality." [Full context]

  • [September 10, 2004]   OASIS WSRM TC Releases Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-Reliability) Version 1.1.    The OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging Technical Committee has published a milestone version of its Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-Reliability) specification, including a prose document and four supporting XML schemas. WS-Reliability is a "SOAP-based specification that fulfills reliable messaging requirements critical to some applications of Web Services. It is needed because SOAP over HTTP is not sufficient when an application-level messaging protocol must also guarantee some level of reliability and security. Reliable Messaging in this context refers to "act of processing the set of transport-agnostic SOAP Features defined by WS-Reliability, which results in a protocol supporting quality of service features such as guaranteed delivery, duplicate message elimination, and message ordering. Reliable messaging requires the definition and enforcement of contracts between (1) The Sending and Receiving message processors — contracts about the wire protocol, (2) The messaging service provider and the users of the messaging service — contracts about quality of service." WS-Reliability supports message reliability by defining: (1) Guaranteed message delivery, or At-Least-Once delivery semantics; (2) Guaranteed message duplicate elimination, or At-Most-Once delivery semantics; (3) Guaranteed message delivery and duplicate elimination, or Exactly-Once delivery semantics; (4) Guaranteed message ordering for delivery within a group of messages. The WS-Reliability specification "defines reliability in the context of current Web Services standards and has been designed for use in combination with complementary protocols. [Full context]

  • [September 08, 2004]   Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.0 Advances to W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has published Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. SSML 1.0 elevates the role of high-quality synthesized speech in Web interactions and represents a fundamental specification in the W3C Speech Interface Framework. SSML Version 1.0 has been produced by members of the W3C Voice Browser Working Group as part of the the Voice Browser Activity within W3C's Interaction Domain. W3C's Voice Browser WG seeks to "develop standards to enable access to the Web using spoken interaction. The Speech Synthesis Markup Language Specification is one of these standards and is designed to provide a rich, XML-based markup language for assisting the generation of synthetic speech in Web and other applications. The essential role of the markup language is to provide authors of synthesizable content a standard way to control aspects of speech such as pronunciation, volume, pitch, rate, etc. across different synthesis-capable platforms." The W3C announcement describes SSML 1.0 as a specification "built for integration with other Web technologies and to promote interoperability across different synthesis-capable platforms. Companion W3C Recommendations like VoiceXML 2.0 and Speech Recognition Grammar Specification (SRGS) published by the W3C Voice Browser Working Group help define "a suite of markup languages covering dialog, speech synthesis, speech recognition, call control and other aspects of interactive voice response applications. Application designers for mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and a host of emerging technologies use SSML 1.0 to achieve both coarse- and fine-grain control of important aspects of speech synthesis." Specifications produced by the W3C Voice Browser Working Group "bring the advantages of Web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications. Speech Synthesis Markup Language, Speech Recognition Grammar Specification, and Call Control XML are core technologies for describing speech synthesis, recognition grammars, and call control constructs respectively. VoiceXML is a dialog markup language that leverages the other specifications for creating dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF key (touch tone) input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed initiative conversations." In the Voice Browser Working Group, W3C is working "to expand access to the Web to allow people to interact via key pads, spoken commands, listening to prerecorded speech, synthetic speech and music. This will allow any telephone to be used to access appropriately designed Web-based services, and will be a boon to people with visual impairments or needing Web access while keeping their hands and eyes free for other things. It will also allow effective interaction with display-based Web content in the cases where the mouse and keyboard may be missing or inconvenient." [Full context]

  • [September 07, 2004]   Sonic Software and VeriSign Join as Authors on Revised WS-Policy Specifications.    Updated versions of Web Services Policy Framework (WS-Policy) and Web Services Policy Attachment (WS-PolicyAttachment) have been released, incorporating feedback from recent workshops. The September 2004 public draft releases are "provided for review and evaluation only"; the authors "hope to solicit your contributions and suggestions in the near future." The updated versions of WS-Policy and WS-PolicyAttachment are said to "refine the semantics for how to compare two policies to determine a base level of compatibility and expand on how policy is associated with Web services." Both WS-Policy and WS-PolicyAttachment are reckoned among the WS-* Metadata Specifications, according to Microsoft's classification scheme, along with WSDL, UDDI, WS-PolicyAssertions, WS-SecurityPolicy, WS-Discovery, and WS-MetadataExchange. Sonic Software and VeriSign are now listed as joint authors on the two specifications, together with BEA, IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG. The goal of WS-Policy is "to provide the mechanisms needed to enable Web services applications to specify policy information. Specifically, WS-Policy defines: (1) An XML Infoset called a policy expression that contains domain-specific, Web Service policy information; (2) A core set of constructs to indicate how choices and/or combinations of domain-specific policy assertions apply in a Web services environment. WS-Policy is designed to work with the general Web services framework, including WSDL service descriptions (Web Services Description Language Version 1.1) and UDDI service registrations, including UDDI Version 2.04 API, UDDI Version 2.03 Data Structure Reference, and UDDI Version 3.0. Where WS-Policy defines an abstract model and an XML-based expression grammar for policies, the Web Services Policy Attachment (WS-PolicyAttachment) defines "two general-purpose mechanisms for associating such policies with the subjects to which they apply. WS-PolicyAttachment also defines how these general-purpose mechanisms may be used to associate WS-Policy with WSDL and UDDI descriptions. Specifically it defines how to reference policies from WSDL definitions, how to associate policies with deployed Web service endpoints, and how to associate policies with UDDI entities." [Full context]

  • [September 03, 2004]   Apache Software Foundation Rejects Microsoft Patent License Agreement for Sender ID.    An open letter from Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to the IETF MTA Authorization Records in DNS (MARID) Working Group announces the decision of ASF projects not to implement or deploy the IETF Sender ID specification under terms required by Microsoft's Patent License Agreement. The letter from Apache also expresses concern that "no company should be permitted IP rights over core Internet infrastructure" and urges the IETF to "revamp its IPR policies to ensure that the core Internet infrastructure remain unencumbered." The IETF Sender ID specification as governed by the Microsoft Patent License Agreement includes an Internet Draft Sender ID: Authenticating E-Mail and companion I-D Purported Responsible Address in E-Mail Messages. The Sender ID specification defines mechanisms by which SMTP mail servers can determine "what email address is allegedly responsible for most proximately introducing a message into the Internet mail system, and whether that introduction is authorized by the owner of the domain contained in that email address." The PRA document defines an algorithm applicable to a given an e-mail message by which one "can extract the identity of the party that appears to have most proximately caused that message to be delivered." Microsoft has hoped for broad implementation of the Sender ID specification, said in its promotional web site to "address the widespread problem of domain spoofing. Domain spoofing refers specifically to the use of someone else's domain name when sending a message, and is part of the larger spoofing problem, the practice of forging the sender's address on e-mail messages. Eliminating domain spoofing will help legitimate senders protect their domain names and reputations, and help recipients more effectively identify and filter junk e-mail." However, legal review of the Microsoft Patent License Agreement by Larry Rosen (General Counsel, the Open Source Initiative) and others has determined that the license terms are "generally incompatible with open source, contrary to the practice of open Internet standards, and specifically incompatible with the Apache License 2.0." [Full context]

  • [September 02, 2004]   dbXML 2.0 Production Release Provides Open Source Native XML Database.    A communiqué from Tom Bradford reports on the recent production release of dbXML Version 2.0 by the dbXML Group. dbXML is a Native XML Database "capable of storing and indexing collections of XML documents in both native and mapped forms for highly efficient querying, transformation, and retrieval. In addition to these capabilities, the server may also be extended to provide business logic in the form of scripts, classes and triggers." New features in the dbXML Version 2.0 release include journaling transactions, XSLT transformations, full text indexing and full text querying, pluggable security models, a new command line system, new client/server APIs, SSL connection support, JSP Tag Library support, and embedded database APIs. dbXML 2.0 as an open source project governed by the terms of the GNU General Public License. This version of dbXML is basically "a complete rewrite of the dbXML 1.0 code, which forked into the Apache Xindice project. dbXML was developed using the Java 2 Standard Edition version 1.4, and should operate properly on all platforms to which J2SE 1.4 has been ported." The dbXML Group also "provides commercial licenses for situations where utilization under the terms of the GPL are inappropriate. Those using or deploying dbXML in a commercial environment may wish to consider contacting the group to discuss commercial licensing and support." [Full context]

  • [September 01, 2004]   W3C Publishes Initial Working Draft for SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL).    A First Public Working Draft of SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL) has been released by members of the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group and the CSS Working Group. The sXBL language defines the presentation and interactive behavior of elements outside the SVG namepace. sXBL is intended to be used to enable XML vocabularies (sometimes called tag sets) "to be implemented in terms of SVG markup elements. For instance, a tag set describing a flowchart could be mapped to low-level SVG path and text elements, possibly including interactivity and animation." sXML is thus "an SVG-specific first version of a more general-purpose XBL specification. In the future, a general-purpose and modularly-defined XBL specification will be developed which will replace this initial Working Draft specification; it will define additional features that are necessary to support scenarios beyond SVG, such as integration into web browsers that support CSS. Once a general-purpose XBL is defined, sXBL will become an SVG-specific subset or profile of the larger XBL specification." The feature set in sXBL represents a "repackaging and generalization of the Rendering Custom Content (RCC) feature described in previous SVG 1.2 specifications. Features that were formerly in RCC have been factored out into sXBL as a separate specification, reformulated for more general applicability for possible future use with other markup languages and moved into an XBL-specific namespace." Refactoring of RCC into sXBL is meant to ensure that RCC/sXBL would be forward-looking and can "develop into a future modularly-defined and general-purpose XBL specification which met the needs of multiple XML markup languages, not just SVG." Although refactoring has involved renaming of elements and major changes in syntax, "the resulting sXBL feature set performs the same operations and satisfies the same requirements as RCC. Sometimes it is possible to migrate RCC-based widget definitions to XBL-based widget definitions after some global search and replace string substitutions." Members of the XBL task force consider this sXBL specification "nearly ready for Last Call" and explicitly invite comments on the specification. "After evaluating public feedback on this draft, the next public draft might be a Last Call working draft." [Full context]

  • [August 31, 2004]   BEA, CA, IBM, Microsoft, Sun, and Tibco Release Updated WS-Eventing Specification.    A revised version of the Web Services Eventing (WS-Eventing) specification has been published by BEA Systems Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., International Business Machines Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Inc, Sun Microsystems, Inc, and TIBCO Software Inc. This draft version provided for public review and evaluation updates the earlier draft of WS-Eventing released by BEA, Microsoft, and TIBCO in January 2004. The WS-Eventing specification describes a protocol that allows Web services to subscribe to or accept subscriptions for event notification messages. It defines a single delivery mode, Push Mode, which is simple asynchronous messaging. WS-Eventing is designed as part of the WS-* composable architecture , viz., intended to to be composed with other WS-* specifications "to provide a rich set of tools to provide security in the Web services environment; the specification specifically relies on other Web service specifications to provide secure, reliable, and/or transacted message delivery and to express Web service and client policy." WS-Eventing "defines a protocol for one Web service (called a 'subscriber') to register interest (called a 'subscription') with another Web service (called an 'event source') in receiving messages about events (called 'notifications' or 'event messages'). The subscriber may manage the subscription by interacting with a Web service (called the 'subscription manager') designated by the event source." While many mechanisms are available by which event sources may deliver events to event sinks, the WS-Eventing specification "provides an extensible way for subscribers to identify the delivery mechanism they prefer. While asynchronous, pushed delivery is defined in WS-Eventing, the intent is that there should be no limitation or restriction on the delivery mechanisms capable of being supported by this specification." [Full context]

  • [August 30, 2004]   Data Center Markup Language (DCML) Organization Transitions to OASIS Member Section.    The DCML Organization has announced a decision to move its technical and marketing activities to OASIS, organized as a new OASIS Member Section. DCML is "an open coalition of vendors and users working to advance utility computing through the development and adoption of the XML-based Data Center Markup Language." Data Center Markup Language (DCML) is an open, vendor-neutral language used "to describe data center environments, dependencies between data center components and the policies governing management and construction of those environments. DCML provides a structured data format to describe, construct, replicate, recover and communicate about data center environments. DCML encompasses a wide array of data center elements, including UNIX, Linux, Windows and other servers, software infrastructure and applications, network components, and storage components." A version 1.1 Data Center Markup Language Framework Specification has already been published by members of the DCML Organization, which includes over 20 of the world's leading software, service provider, and systems vendors. The current DCML Framework Specification "defines the DCML data oriented framework for use by all DCML sub-specifications and DCML compliant management systems and tools. It utilizes a data oriented approach to solve the problem of large scale systems management, particularly in a data center environment. DCML stitches together multiple management systems and tools to form a unified management view of the environment." Transitioning the activities of the DCML Organization to an OASIS DCML Member Section is designed to "promote the use of utility computing by providing a standard way to represent the IT environment and enabling data center automation and system management solutions to easily exchange information about the environment under management. The OASIS DCML Member Section will be managed by a Steering Committee made up of the existing DCML board of directors that includes Louis Blatt of Computer Associates, Darrel Thomas of EDS, and Sharmila Shahani of Opsware Inc." [Full context]

  • [August 25, 2004]   UN/CEFACT Applied Technologies Group Releases XML Naming and Design Rules Specification.    The Applied Technologies Group (ATG) of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has announced the release of a UN/CEFACT XML Naming and Design Rules (NDR) specification for public review. The UN/CEFACT — XML Naming and Design Rules "describes and specifies the rules and guidelines that will be applied by UN/CEFACT when developing XML schema specifications. It provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information expressed as XML schema components to support and enhance information interoperability across multiple business situations." According to the design goals, the XML Naming and Design Rules specification "can be employed wherever business information is being shared or exchanged amongst and between enterprises, governmental agencies, and/or other organisations in an open and worldwide environment using the XML schema language for defining the content of the information exchange. This specification will form the basis for standards development work of technical experts developing XML schema specifications based on information models developed in accordance with the UN/CEFACT — Core Components Technical Specification — Part 8 of the ebXML Technical Framework (ISO 15000-5 Candidate)." Included in this specification is a "normative schema for the XML expression of ebXML Core Component Types (CCTs) and Unqualified Data Types (UDTs). These two schemas can be used by anyone interested in fostering international standardization of the use of ebXML core components." The NDR document has been developed "in accordance with the UN/CEFACT/TRADE/22 Open Development Process (ODP) for Technical Specifications and has been approved by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Applied Techniques Group (ATG) for promulgation for public review in accordance with Step 5 of the ODP." [Full context]

  • [August 24, 2004]   Beta Release of Encoded Archival Context (EAC) for Name Authority Control.    Members of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Encoded Archival Context (EAC) have released a Beta version of the EAC XML DTDs, Schemas, Tag Library, and other documentation, requesting feedback from projects that implement this specification on an experimental basis. The Encoded Archival Context specification provides a formal method of "encoding descriptions of persons, corporate bodies, and families responsible for the creation of records and other resources, where such descriptions provide context for understanding and interpreting the records and resources." Edited by Daniel V. Pitti (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia), this proposed metadata standard complements other standard formalisms governing name authority control for personal and corporate entities. EAC data are designed for use in federated database applications and collaborative research across a broad range of domains, including prosopographical research and genealogical studies. The designers intend that intellectual content of EAC records comply with the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. EAC is also "complementary to the UNIMARC/Authorities format, combining bibliographic authority records and archival authority records, which give information both about the creator and the context of creation of archival material." The authoritative version of EAC Beta is in the form of an XML DTD. Alternatively, a W3C Schema and a Relax NG Schema are available for use. The EAC Tag Library provides a structural overview and definitions and descriptions of elements and attributes. The EAC is intended to be the second of three apparatus that "together form a complete archival description and access system. The Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Version 2002, used for encoding the description of records, is the first of these apparatus. The third apparatus, for the description of functions and activities performed by creating entities, is under discussion." The XML DTD and the Tag Library documentation "have been developed in cooperation and with support from the LEAF project. [Full context]

  • [August 23, 2004]   IDEAlliance PRISM Working Group Issues Request for Comment on Metadata Specification.    The IDEAlliance PRISM Working Group has issued a request for comment on the Version 1.2 PRISM: Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata specification for a 45-day review and comment period. PRISM "defines a set of XML metadata vocabularies that assist in automating repetitive tasks that are used in accessing, managing, tracking and repurposing content. The PRISM Specification and the PRISM Aggregator DTD, which is an application of the PRISM Specification, provide tools for interoperability so that organizations can easily and automatically syndicate, acquire, exchange and find magazine and mainstream journal articles, catalogs, images, and other types of content across multiple repositories." The PRISM specification "recommends the use of certain existing standards, such as XML, RDF, the Dublin Core, and various ISO specifications for locations, languages, and date/time formats. Additionally, it defines a small number of XML namespaces and controlled vocabularies of values." The Version 1.2 PRISM specification will replace the PRISM Vesion 1.1 specification published in 2002, featuring updates and additions resulting from the growing number of production implementations. Supporting specifications include an RSS (RDF Site Summary) 1.0 module for PRISM 1.2 and an RDF schema for PRISM 1.2. These documents were developed by Nature Publishing Group and are said to be applicable to multiple publishing domains, including scientific, educational, or trade. The PRISM working group is a joint effort of representatives from publishers and vendors organized under IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance, Inc). [Full context]

  • [August 20, 2004]   Health Level Seven Releases Updated Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Specification.    Members of the Health Level Seven (HL7) Structured Documents Technical Committee have announced the publication of a revised HL7 Clinical Document Architecture specification. CDA Release 2.0 currently being balloted within the HL7 committee and is available for public review. The HL7 Clinical Document Architecture is an XML-based document markup standard that specifies the structure and semantics of clinical documents for the purpose of exchange. Known earlier as the Patient Record Architecture (PRA), CDA "provides an exchange model for clinical documents such as discharge summaries and progress notes, and brings the healthcare industry closer to the realization of an electronic medical record. By leveraging the use of XML, the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) and coded vocabularies, the CDA makes documents both machine-readable (so they are easily parsed and processed electronically) and human-readable so they can be easily retrieved and used by the people who need them. CDA documents can be displayed using XML-aware Web browsers or wireless applications such as cell phones..." The HL7 CDA was designed to "give priority to delivery of patient care. It provides cost effective implementation across as wide a spectrum of systems as possible. It supports exchange of human-readable documents between users, including those with different levels of technical sophistication, and promotes longevity of all information encoded according to this architecture. CDA enables a wide range of post-exchange processing applications and is compatible with a wide range of document creation applications." A CDA document is a defined and complete information object that can exist outside of a messaging context and/or can be a MIME-encoded payload within an HL7 message; thus, the CDA complements HL7 messaging specifications. The CDA specification prescribes XML markup for CDA Documents: CDA instances must valid against the CDA Schema and may be subject to additional validation, as described in the conformance section. "There is no prohibition against multiple schema languages (e.g., W3C, DTD, RELAXNG), as long as conforming instances are compatible. The CDA Schema conforms to the HL7 Version 3 Implementation Technology Specification (ITS). This Schema describes the style of XML markup of CDA instances for the purpose of exchange and thus cannot be understood outside the context of this defining specification including the normative R-MIM and Hierarchical Description. Semantic interoperability of CDA instances requires use and knowledge of the CDA Schema, R-MIM and HD as well as the corresponding RIM." The CDA Release 2.0 distribution includes a prose document in HTML, XML schemas, data dictionary, and sample CDA documents. [Full context]

  • [August 19, 2004]   OASIS Security Services TC Releases Approved SAML 2.0 Committee Drafts for Review.    Version 2.0 Committee Draft specifications for Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) have been approved for public review by the OASIS Security Services Technical Committee. SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) "defines the syntax and processing semantics of assertions made about a subject by a system entity. In the course of making, or relying upon such assertions, SAML system entities may use other protocols to communicate either regarding an assertion itself, or the subject of an assertion. The specification defines both the structure of SAML assertions, and an associated set of protocols, in addition to the processing rules involved in managing a SAML system. SAML assertions and protocol messages are encoded in XML and use XML namespaces." SAML assertions "are typically embedded in other structures for transport, such as HTTP POST requests or XML-encoded SOAP messages. The SAML bindings specification provides frameworks for the embedding and transport of SAML protocol messages. The SAML profiles specification provides a baseline set of profiles for the use of SAML assertions and protocols to accomplish specific use cases or achieve interoperability when using SAML features." The OASIS SAML Version 2.0 effort "addresses issues and enhancement requests that have arisen from experience with real-world SAML implementations and with standards architectures that use SAML, such as the OASIS WSS and XACML work. It adds support for features that were deferred from previous versions of SAML for schedule reasons, such as session support, the exchange of metadata to ensure more interoperable interactions, and collection of credentials. It seeks convergence on a unified technology approach for identity federation by integrating the specifications contributed by the Liberty Alliance." SAML is a flexible and extensible protocol designed to be used by other by other standards.The Liberty Alliance, the Internet2 Shibboleth project, and OASIS Web Services Security (WS-Security) have all adopted SAML as a technological underpinning to varying degrees. Public review of the SAML Version 2.0 Committee Draft documents begins on 2004-08-19 and ends 2004-09-19. Comments may be submitted to the TC using the online comment forms. [Full context]

  • [August 18, 2004]   IESG Announces Last Call Review for IETF Internet Drafts on URIs and IRIs.    Recent 'Last Call' postings from the Internet Engineering Steering Group announce the IESG's intention to make decisions on the approval of two URI-related IETF Internet Drafts within the next few weeks. The Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) draft is being considered for approval as an IETF Proposed Standard. The IESG solicits final comments on the proposed action by 2004-09-08. Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax is under consideration for approval as an IETF Full Standard. Comments on this Internet Draft are invited through 2004-09-13. The IRI document defines a new protocol element named the Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI) "as a complement to the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)." URIs are composed of sequence of characters chosen from a limited subset of the repertoire of US-ASCII characters. The IRI design is motivated by a need to accommodate non-English languages in which natural scripts use characters other than simply 'A-Z' to compose URIs. An IRI is a "sequence of characters from the Universal Character Set (Unicode/ISO 10646). A mapping from IRIs to URIs is defined, which means that IRIs can be used instead of URIs where appropriate to identify resources. The approach of defining a new protocol element was chosen, instead of extending or changing the definition of URIs, to allow a clear distinction and to avoid incompatibilities with existing software. Guidelines for the use and deployment of IRIs in various protocols, formats, and software components that now deal with URIs are provided." The World Wide Web, according to W3C's Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) Activity Statement, is a "universal, all-encompassing space containing all Internet resources referenced by Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). The Web is dominated today by relatively few technologies, including the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Perhaps more fundamental than either HTTP or HTML are the URIs, which are simple text strings that refer to Internet resources. URIs may refer to documents, resources, to people, and indirectly to anything. Document formats and protocols may come and go, but URIs will remain as the glue that binds the Web together." The new URI Generic Syntax document, if approved, will update IETF RFC 1738 and obsolete RFCs 2732, 2396, 1808. A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is "a compact sequence of characters for identifying an abstract or physical resource. The Generic Syntax specification "defines the generic URI syntax and a process for resolving URI references that might be in relative form, along with guidelines and security considerations for the use of URIs on the Internet. The URI syntax defines a grammar that is a superset of all valid URIs, such that an implementation can parse the common components of a URI reference without knowing the scheme-specific requirements of every possible identifier." [Full context]

  • [August 13, 2004]   OASIS Web Services Security TC Prepares Additional WSS Profiles.    Members of the OASIS Web Services Security Technical Committee are completing new work in the form of WSS profile specifications. The five profiles under development and review will complement the documents published as WSS 1.0 in April 2004. The OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) specification is an approved OASIS Standard that "builds upon existing security technologies such as XML Digital Signature, XML Encryption and X.509 Certificates to deliver an industry standard way of securing Web services message exchanges. Providing a framework within which authentication and authorization take place, WSS lets user apply existing security technology and infrastructure in a Web services environment. WSS handles complex confidentiality and integrity for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) messages, providing a general-purpose mechanism for associating security tokens with message content. Designed to be extensible, WSS supports multiple security token formats." The WSS SAML Token Profile approved as an OASIS Committee Draft in July 2004 describes how to use Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) Version 1.1 assertions with the Web Services Security (WSS): SOAP Message Security specification. It defines how SAML assertions are carried in and referenced from <wsse:security> headers and describes how SAML assertions are used with XML Signature to bind the statements of the assertions (i.e., the claims) to a SOAP message. The Rights Expression Language (REL) Token Profile is a Committee Draft which describes the use of ISO/IEC 21000-5 Rights Expressions with respect to the SOAP Message Security 1.0 specification. SOAP Messages with Attachments (SwA) Profile 1.0 is an OASIS TC Working Draft which defines how to use the OASIS Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security standard with SOAP Messages with Attachments (SwA). It "describes how a web service consumer can secure SOAP attachments using SOAP Message Security for attachment integrity, confidentiality and origin authentication, and how a receiver may process such a message." The Kerberos Token Profile 1.0 Working Draft document "defines how to encode Kerberos tickets and attach them to SOAP messages. It also specifies how to add signatures and encryption to the SOAP message, in 50 accordance with WS-Security, which uses and references the Kerberos tokens." The WSS TC's Minimalist Profile (MProf) "defines a subset of OASIS WSS: SOAP Message Security features. The subset is "intended to minimize the resource requirements of its implementation and maximize the performance, while keeping the interoperability with the base specification." [Full context]

  • [August 11, 2004]   WS-I Board of Directors Releases Three WS-I Approval Draft Profiles for Review.    Board Approval Drafts have been issued for WS-I Basic Profile Version 1.1, WS-I Simple SOAP Binding Profile Version 1.0, and WS-I Attachments Profile Version 1.0. In the WS-I (Web Services Interoperability Organization) specification development process, a Board Approval Draft is a draft that "has been approved for publication by the Board of Directors, and is submitted for consideration by the Membership, and for public comment; it is a work in progress, and should not be considered as final; other documents may supersede this document." According to an overview from Christopher Ferris (IBM; co-editor on two of the Approval Drafts), the approved documents "are now before the WS-I membership for review" and are expected to reach final approval later in August 2004. Once approved by the WS-I membership, the documents becomes WS-I Final Material. Testing Tools and Sample Application implementations for these profiles will enter their own approval cycles in the near future." The WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 consists of "a set of non-proprietary Web services specifications, along with clarifications, refinements, interpretations and amplifications of those specifications which promote interoperability." The WS-I Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 "is derived from those Basic Profile 1.0 requirements related to the serialization of the envelope and its representation in the message, incorporating any errata to date. These requirements have been factored out of the Basic Profile 1.1 to enable other Profiles to be composable with it." Attachments Profile Version 1.0 profile "complements the WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 to add support for conveying interoperable SOAP Messages with Attachments-based attachments with SOAP messages." The overview provided by Ferris clarifies that WS-I "did not choose to produce multiple profiles arbitrarily. The initial intent was to add support for SOAP with Attachments to the Basic Profile 1.0 and to call the new profile Basic Profile 1.1. However, for a variety of reasons this approach proved to be infeasible. The three new profiles address both the need to address the customer requirement to provide guidance on the interoperable use of attachments today and the need to accommodate future bindings for technologies such as the W3C XML Protocol WG's MTOM and XOP." In essence, "the Basic Profile was re-architected to enable the composition of profiles that supported multiple bindings such as SOAP over HTTP, SOAP Messages with Attachments over HTTP and eventually MTOM/XOP over HTTP. It is conceivable that there might be other bindings in the future. The binding-specific requirements have been separated into their own profiles, each with its own conformance claim, and the testing tools have been modified to enable composition of the Test Assertion Documents (TAD) such that conformance to a set of relevant profiles can be measured." [Full context]

  • [August 10, 2004]   WS-Addressing Specification Presented to W3C as a Member Submission.    The Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification has been presented to W3C as a Member Submission by BEA, IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems. WS-Addressing provides transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages. Specifically, the specification defines XML elements to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end endpoint identification in messages. The specification enables messaging systems to support message transmission through networks that include processing nodes such as endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways in a transport-neutral manner." The endpoint references defined in the specification serve to "identify the message destination; the message information headers allow the specification of endpoint references within messages, along with a way to relate messages to each other." The authors of the submission request that the W3C Consortium "start a Working Group whose mission is to produce a W3C Recommendation for Web Services Addressing by refining WS-Addressing based on consideration of the importance of this component in the Web services architecture, implementation experience, and interoperability feedback." The five companies identified as copyright holders have agreed to "offer licenses according to the W3C Royalty-Free licensing requirements for any portion of the Submission that is subsequently incorporated in a W3C Recommendation." According to the W3C Staff Comment, the new submission on the topic of Web services references and message delivery highlights the community's interest in this area; the W3C is considering creating a Working Group to address this important area of the Web services architecture." W3C invites feedback on this technology contribution. [Full context]

  • [August 06, 2004]   W3C Public Workshop on Semantic Web and Life Sciences Features OWL, RDF, and LSID.    W3C has announced a call for participation in a public W3C Workshop on Semantic Web for Life Sciences, to be held October 27-28, 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Position papers published in advance of the Workshop will form the basis of the discussion. Workshop attendees will discuss "how Semantic Web technologies such as RDF, OWL and the Life Sciences Identifier (LSID) help to manage modern life sciences research, enable disease understanding, and accelerate the development of therapies." The workshop is free and open to the public, but will be limited to 100 participants; companies, government agencies, or individuals wishing to participate must submit a position paper by September 6, 2004. The scope of the workshop includes technology considerations and application use cases including new features or applications of Resource Description Framework (RDF), the Web Ontology Language (OWL), or OMG Life Sciences Identifiers Specification (LSID). Workshop papers may also address technical implementation problems with RDF/OWL/LSID, or requirements unmet by these specifications, including Semantic Web Advanced Development questions that have arisen as a result of SW-LS implementation. Proposals regarding intellectual property issues arising from SW-LS (Semantic Web and Life Sciences) adoption will also be considered. Technology papers are expected to "propose a new application of RDF/OWL/LSID in Life Sciences or identify a technical problem, explaining how the new feature or application might be achieved technically, or how the technical problem might be addressed. New features proposed may enable RDF/OWL/LSID to function better in new application contexts such as knowledge aggregation, scientifically relevant search or pharmaceutical decision support." [Full context]

  • [August 04, 2004]   W3C Issues Last Call Working Drafts for WSDL Version 2.0 Specifications.    W3C Last Call Working Draft documents have been released for the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) specification Version 2.0. The documents have been authored by members of the Web Services Description Working Group, produced as part of the W3C Web Services Activity. The WSDL 2.0 Core Language (Part 1) document describes the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0, "an XML language for describing Web services. This Part 1 specification defines the core language which can be used to describe Web services based on an abstract model of what the service offers. It also defines criteria for a conformant processor of this language. WSDL enables one to separate the description of the abstract functionality offered by a service from concrete details of a service description such as 'how' and 'where' that functionality is offered." The WSDL 2.0 Predefined Extensions (Part 2) document "describes extensions for the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0 . These extensions include Message Exchange Patterns (MEPs), features, SOAP modules, and bindings of features. The Working Group has discussed and approved these extensions, and recommends their use with WSDL. The WSDL Version 2.0 Bindings (Part 3) specification describes how to use WSDL in conjunction with SOAP 1.2 Part 1: Messaging Framework.MIME, and and HTTP/1.1, as well as other versions of HTTP. This Bindings specification depends on WSDL Version 2.0 Core Language. The W3C Web Services Description Working Group received three formal objections from Working Group participants against portions of the WSDL 2.0 specification draft. The WG especially invites feedback on these minority opinions as part of the Last Call review. The three objections pertain to compositors, feature and properties, and requiring unique GEDs or required feature to distinguish operations. The Web Services Description Working Group welcomes public comment on the WSDL Version 2.0 drafts through October 4, 2004. [Full context]

  • [August 03, 2004]   US Securities and Exchange Commission Evaluates XBRL for SEC Financial Data Filing.    Announcements from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and XBRL-US describe a new initiative of the SEC regulatory body to assess the benefits of XML-tagged data and consider a proposal to accept voluntary supplemental filings of financial data using the XML-based Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). The goal of using XML-tagged financial reporting data is to provide "greater context for data through standard definitions, enabling investors and other marketplace participants to analyze data from different sources and to support automatic exchange of financial information across various software platforms, including web services." XBRL is a "royalty-free, open specification for software that uses XML data tags to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. It supports all members of the financial information supply chain by utilizing a standards-based method with which users can prepare, publish in a variety of formats, exchange and analyze financial statements and the information they contain. XBRL is being developed by an international non-profit consortium of approximately 250 major companies, organisations and government agencies." SEC's new initiative is being developed by the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, Office of the Chief Accountant, Division of Investment Management, and Office of Information Technology. The initiative is aimed at determining "the benefits of tagging to reporting quality and efficiency, the implications of tagging data for filers, investors, the Commission and other market participants, and the compatibility of existing tag definitions with current disclosure requirements." In its own announcement, XBRL-US expressed confidence in the SEC initiative "to leverage this private sector collaboration consisting of companies, financial data providers, accounting firms, standard setters, investors and all participants in the business information supply chain." [Full context]

  • [August 02, 2004]   Web3D Consortium Forms Working Group to Develop X3D Binary File Format Encoding.    The Web3D Consortium and Sun Microsystems have announced the creation of a new X3D Binary Format Working Group. X3D is an "Open Standards XML-enabled 3D file format to enable real-time communication of 3D data across all applications and network applications. It has a rich set of features for use in engineering and scientific visualization, CAD and Architecture, Medical visualization, Training and simulation, multimedia, entertainment, educational, and more." Other development initiatives within the Web3D Consortium include an X3D GeoSpatial Working Group, X3D Programmable Shaders WG, Web3D Consortium Medical Working Group (MedX3D), CAD3D Working Group, and Visual Simulation (XMSF) WG, and Humanoid Animation WG. The Consortium's new X3D Binary Format Working Group has been chartered to "develop both an encoding of X3D to enable advanced compression of 3D data to shorten the transmission time of models and scenes across a network and a data encryption scheme to protect sensitive model information. The working group is open to any member of the Web3D Consortium and has already received significant contributions, including patented, advanced geometry compression technology from Sun." The X3D Binary Format "will be extensible through the use of a pluggable architecture to enable specialized compression techniques on a per-node or per-geometry type basis. This flexibility can be used to deploy highly efficient mesh compression regimes that are ideally suited to a particular model. X3D's encryption scheme will leverage the XML encryption work at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), further strengthening the ongoing liaison between the two standards bodies." The X3D binary format is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005, and will be an open, royalty-free specification. X3D itself is "an open standard that has no royalties associated with it; the Web3D Consortium has a strict policy about not requiring any IP encumbered technologies to be required, and a long-standing agreement with ISO to release the X3D specifications fee-free to the public." The X3D Consortium is currently "advancing X3D as an integrated 3D graphics and multimedia framework in the ISO process for Information technology — Computer graphics and image processing." [Full context]

  • [July 30, 2004]   W3C and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Cooperate on Mobile Web Specifications.    A joint announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) describes approval of a formalized relationship that "will enable both organizations to collaborate on specifications for mobile access to the Web." The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines how the two organizations may "collaboratively engage in exchange of technical information and contributions. The result will benefit developers, product and service providers and others, by providing standardized technology at their disposal to accelerate the development and deployment of new mobile applications and services." The MOU is motivated by a goal of rapidly developing the Mobile Web Access infrastructure and providing for interoperability as a key feature of future mobile applications. The agreement "will further solidify the foundation for faster development, adoption, and standardization of new features and functions for mobile devices that connect to the Web." The W3C-OMA agreement establishes specific guidelines regarding the sharing of documents and the participation by observers in designated meetings. Observers are those persons "representing their respective parties from either the Open Mobile Alliance or W3C, who may attend the other party's meetings. Observers may only act as liaison officers and may not bind either the host organization or any other member organization. An observer may be permitted to attend and participate in the other party's relevant specification/expert groups, technical body or relevant subordinate technical groups/bodies," subject to applicable terms. [Full context]

  • [July 30, 2004]   OASIS Members Form International Health Continuum Technical Committee.    OASIS has announced the creation of a new International Health Continuum Technical Committee as a "forum for companies on the Healthcare continuum internationally to voice their needs and requirements with respect to XML and Web Services." OASIS member sponsors of the IHC TC include CommerceNet, BT, National Insurance Administration of Norway, ReadiMinds, Webify Solutions, and SeeBeyond. DeLeys Brandman (CommerceNet Consortium) is the TC Convener and Proposed TC Chair. A principal motivation for the TC activity is that many standards organizations are working to standardize transactions in the healthcare vertical space but "little attention is being paid to the continuum of health, viz., to horizontal standards allowing all related verticals to interoperate through the use of web services tools and technologies." A secondary motivation identified by the TC proposers is the problem of competing international standards in vertical healthcare industry domains. "International healthcare standards may diverge toward regional preferences. A goal of the committee will be to promote international healthcare standards interoperability regardless of geographic location. This is particularly important to OASIS membership since many are global organizations who will not want standards to be regional or national." Initial goals of the OASIS TC include the creation of a healthcare interoperability report providing a process map of healthcare processes, a list of existing standards for addressing the processes, and gap analysis. The TC will also create liaisons with each of the major health continuum standards organizations. [Full context]

  • [July 28, 2004]   FIATECH AEX Project Publishes XML Schemas for Construction and Buildings Industry.    The Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) Project management has announced the public release of Version 1.0 XML schemas for the exchange of information about capital facilities equipment and operations. The schemas cover both project and technical information, and "are designed to be used to support multi-party collaboration work processes for the entire life cycle, including design, procurement, delivery, installation, operations and maintenance of facility equipment." FIATECH is a non-profit consortium "focused on fast-track development and deployment of technologies to substantially improve how capital projects and facilities are designed, engineered, built and maintained." The AEX Project was chartered to "provide the technology needed to enable both internal and external automated information exchanges among the multiple software systems and collaborating companies associated with design, procurement, fabrication, delivery, installation, operation and maintenance of engineered equipment items." The AEX Version 1.0 public release includes a user guide that summarizes the business drivers and provides an overview of the schema architecture; it supplies descriptions of the XML schemas and includes a tutorial for getting started with software implementations. The ZIP archive with 67 files provides a complete set of schema definitions, example files, and documentation for Public Release 1.0 of the AEX project, complete with a large mp3 narration file for the Schema Architecture presentation. Production of the AEX Version 1.0 schemas represents a joint industry effort involving over twenty-five organizations. Key technology contributions were made by the AIChE Design Institute for Physical Properties (DIPPR) 991 Project, ePlantData, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). FIATECH, DIPPR, and ePlantData initiated this open industry cooperative under an umbrella name of Capital Facilities Industry XML (cfiXML). The collaborative goal was to "achieve a pragmatic industry consensus around the use of XML technology to achieve the noted economic benefits for capital facilities equipment and material properties." The XML schemas are governed by open source licenses and are freely available for anyone to use. [Full context]

  • [July 22, 2004]   W3C HTML Working Group Publishes Updated XHTML 2.0 Draft and XHTML FAQ.    Members of the W3C HTML Working Group have released a sixth XHTML 2.0 Working Draft and a new HTML and XHTML Frequently Answered Questions. XHTML 2 is a "general purpose markup language designed for representing documents for a wide range of purposes across the World Wide Web. A modularized language without presentation elements, XHTML 2 takes HTML back to its roots in document structuring." XHTML 2 supplies a "generally useful set of markup elements with the possibility of extension using the class attribute on the span and div elements in combination with stylesheets, and attributes from the metadata attributes collection." The current Working Draft version includes an early implementation of XHTML 2.0 in RELAX NG. The Working Group intends to include implementations in DTD and/or XML Schema form in subsequent versions "once the content of the language stabilizes." Although XHTML 2.0 is a next generation markup language, its functionality is expected to remain similar to that of XHTML 1.1. "However, the markup language may be altered semantically and syntactically to conform to the requirements of related XML standards such as XML Base and XML Schema. The objective of these changes is to ensure that XHTML 2.0 can be readily supported by XML browsers that have no arcane knowledge of XHTML semantics such as linking, image maps, forms, etc." [Full context]

  • [July 21, 2004]   HL7 Announces ANSI Approval of Several Health Level Seven V3 Specifications.    Several Health Level Seven Version 3 (V3) Specifications have been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), giving them normative status as American national standards. The HL7 Version 3 project "represents a new approach to clinical information exchange. It is built from the ground up around a single object model (Reference Information Model - RIM) and a rigorous UML-based methodology that ties model to messages and finally to the message's expression in XML syntax." Among the ANSI-approved HL7 documents is the XML Implementation Technology Specification — Data Types, Release 1. It "defines the V3 data types that will be used by all of HL7 V3 and onwards; it also defines the representation of HL7 V3 data types in XML, including the schema necessary to derive XML schemas for HL7 V3 Hierarchical Message Descriptions (HMD)." Other HL7 specifications approved by ANSI cover UML Implementation Technology (UML Data Types specification that binds the V3 data types to the UML/OCL kernel types to allow for formally correct OCL constraints), Scheduling, Claims and Reimbursements, Reference Information Model (RIM), Shared Messages, and Refinement, Constraint and Localization to Version 3 Messages. The HL7 Board believes that the use of XML represents a primary value in Version 3. XML's "transparent representation of complex data and its extensibility is creating widespread acceptance throughout the IT industry. Version 3 fully supports the expressive capability of XML. It supports generation of XML schemas with the logical information relationships and element names that directly relate to the HL7 models — and hence to the concepts that analysts and programmers will have to grasp to relate Version 3 messages to their own information systems or to use them in new ways for Web browsing, XML repositories, etc." [Full context]

  • [July 20, 2004]   Ecma International Approves ECMAScript for XML (E4X) Specification.    Ecma International has announced unanimous approval of the ECMAScript for XML (E4X) International Standard by the Ecma General Assembly. The ECMA-357 ECMAScript for XML (E4X) Specification "defines the syntax and semantics of ECMAScript for XML (E4X), a set of programming language extensions adding native XML support to ECMAScript. ECMAScript (ECMA-262 / ISO/IEC 16262) is one of the most widely used programming languages." E4X "adds native XML datatypes to the ECMAScript language, extends the semantics of familiar ECMAScript operators for manipulating XML objects and adds a small set of new operators for common XML operations, such as searching and filtering. It also adds support for XML literals, namespaces, qualified names and other mechanisms to facilitate XML processing." The E4X International Standard "provides a simple, familiar, XML programming model that flattens the XML learning curve by leveraging the existing skills and knowledge of one of the largest developer communities worldwide. It reuses familiar programming language concepts, operators and syntax for manipulating XML data, meaning software developers can start creating, navigating and manipulating XML with little to no additional knowledge. E4X reduces code complexity, time to market and revision cycles; decreases XML footprint requirements; and enables looser coupling between code and external data." The ECMAScript group is currently working on "significant enhancements for future editions of the ECMAScript language, including mechanisms for defining XML types using the XML Schema language and support for classes." [Full context]

  • [July 19, 2004]   W3C Member Submission from IBM and Novell: Solution Installation Schema.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a Solution Installation Schema as a W3C Member Submission from IBM and Novell. InstallShield Software and Zero G Software are co-authors of the submission. The two-part submission includes Installable Unit Deployment Descriptor Specification Version 1.0 and Installable Unit Package Format Specification Version 1.0. The purpose of the specification is "to define the schema of an XML document describing the characteristics of an installable unit (IU) of software that are relevant for its deployment, configuration and maintenance. The XML schema is referred to as the Installable Unit Deployment Descriptor or IUDD schema." According to the IUDD document abstract, IUDDs are intended to "describe the aggregation of installable units at all levels of the software stack, including middleware products aggregated together into a platform; and user solutions composed of application-level artifacts which run on such a platform. The XML schema is flexible enough to support the definition of atomic units of software (Smallest Installable Units) as well as complex, multi-platform, heterogeneous solutions. A solution is any combination of products, components or application artifacts addressing a particular user requirement. The top-level aggregation is the root installable unit. In addition to the installable units that comprise a solution, the IUDD also describes the logical topology of targets onto which the solution can be deployed." An installable unit is "a logical component that can be selected for installation. An installable unit package (or packaged installable unit) contains files to be installed, files that implement change management operations, and a set of manifest files which include a deployment descriptor that describes the install characteristics of the installable unit, and a media descriptor that describes the binding (or physical locations) of the files." [Full context]

  • [July 16, 2004]   Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.0 Advances to Proposed Recommendation.    The W3C Voice Browser Working Group has released Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Version 1.0 as a Proposed Recommendation. Based upon wide review for technical soundness and implementability, the WG believes that SSML 1.0 is a now mature technical report. The Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) is part of the W3C Speech Interface Framework. The specification is designed "to provide a rich, XML-based markup language for assisting the generation of synthetic speech in Web and other applications. The essential role of the markup language is to provide authors of synthesizable content a standard way to control aspects of speech such as pronunciation, volume, pitch, rate, etc. across different synthesis-capable platforms." Related specifications in the W3C Speech Interface Framework include the Speech Recognition Grammar (SRGS), Call Control (CCXML), VoiceXML 2.0, VoiceXML 2.1, Semantic Interpretation, and Dialog Markup ("V3"). "SSML is part of a larger set of markup specifications for voice browsers developed through the open processes of the W3C. It is based upon the JSGF and/or JSML specifications, which are owned by Sun Microsystems, Inc. A related initiative to establish a standard system for marking up text input is SABLE, which tried to integrate many different XML-based markups for speech synthesis into a new one. The activity carried out in SABLE was also used as the main starting point for defining the Speech Synthesis Markup Requirements for Voice Markup Languages. Since then, SABLE itself has not undergone any further development." "The intended use of SSML is to improve the quality of synthesized content. Different markup elements impact different stages of the synthesis process. The markup may be produced either automatically, for instance via XSLT or CSS3 from an XHTML document, or by human authoring. Markup may be present within a complete SSML document or as part of a fragment embedded in another language, although no interactions with other languages are specified as part of SSML itself. Most of the markup included in SSML is suitable for use by the majority of content developers. However, some advanced features like phoneme and prosody (e.g., for speech contour design) may require specialized knowledge." [Full context]

  • [July 15, 2004]   OASIS Security Services TC Releases SAML 2.0 Documents for Public Review.    The OASIS Security Services Technical Committee (SSTC) has announced the release of a set of SAML Version 2.0 specifications in advance of TC ballot for approval at Committee Draft level. The Technical Committee is actively soliciting external input on these SAML draft documents; public comment and implementor feedback is invited through August 2, 2004. SAML is an XML framework for exchanging authentication and authorization information. SAML "provides a standard XML schema for specifying authentication, attribute, and authorization decision statements, and it additionally specifies a web services-based request/reply protocol for exchanging these statements." The SAML Version 2.0 review distribution includes five draft specifications and corresponding XML Schemas. Assertions and Protocols defines the syntax and semantics for XML-encoded assertions about authentication, attributes, and authorization, and for the protocols that convey this information. A Bindings specification defines protocol bindings for the use of SAML assertions and request-response messages in communications protocols and frameworks. A SAML 2.0 Profiles draft defines profiles for the use of SAML assertions and request-response messages in communications protocols and frameworks, as well as attribute syntax for use in attribute statements. The Metadata document defines an extensible metadata format for SAML system entities, organized by roles that reflect SAML profiles. Such roles include that of Identity Provider, Service Provider, Affiliation, Attribute Authority, Attribute Requester, and Policy Decision Point. The Authentication Context specification defines a syntax for the definition of authentication context declarations and an initial list of authentication context classes for use with SAML. The OASIS SSTC believes these five key SAML v2.0 specifications are feature-complete, but is prepared to revise the working drafts in response to comments. The SAML v2.0 specification set includes other documents that are non-normative or less crucial for initial implementation. These documents are publicly accessible and will be brought into the formal review process at a later date. Conformance, Security and Privacy Considerations, Baseline Identities and Attributes, Trust Models, SAML V1.x and Liberty ID-FF V1.2 Migration Paths, X.509 Attribute Sharing Profile, Glossary, Implementation Guidelines, Technical Overview, and Executive Overview are among these additional drafts. [Full context]

  • [July 12, 2004]   W3C Releases Public Working Draft for Full-Text Searching of XML Text and Documents.    W3C has published an initial Public Working Draft for XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Full-Text. Created as a joint specification by the W3C XML Query Working Group and the XSL Working Group as part of the XML Activity, this new draft specification defines a language that extends XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 with full-text search capabilities. As defined by the draft, "full-text queries are performed on text which has been tokenized, i.e., broken into a sequence of words, units of punctuation, and spaces." New full-text search facility is implemented by extending the XQuery and XPath languages to support a new "FTContainsExpr" expression and a new "ft:score" function. Expressions of the type FTSelection are composed of:(1) words or combinations of words that are the search strings to be found as matches; (2) Match options such as case sensitivity or an indication to use stop words; (3) Boolean operators that allow composition of an FTSelection from simpler FTSelections; (4) Positional constraints such as indication of match distance or window. The new Full-Text Working Draft endeavors to meet search requirements specified in an updated companion draft XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Full-Text Use Cases. This document provides use cases designed to "illustrate important applications of full-text querying within an XML query language. Each use case exercises a specific functionality relevant to full-text querying. An XML Schema and sample input data are provided; each use case specifies a query applied to the input data, a solution in XQuery, a solution in XPath (when possible), and the expected results." Full-text query designed as an extension of XQuery and XPath will support several kinds of searches not possible using simple substring matching. It allows precision querying of XML documents containing "highly-structured data (numbers, dates), unstructured data (untagged free-flowing text), and semi-structured data (text with embedded tags). Language-based query and token-based searches are also supported; for example, find all the news items that contain a word with the same linguistic stem as the English word "mouse" — which finds occurrences of both "mouse" and "mice" together with possessive forms. [Full context]

  • [July 09, 2004]   DCMI Usage Board Announces Approval of Metadata Terms for Digital Rights Declaration.    The Usage Board of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) has announced approval of the rights-related terms "License" and "Rights Holder." The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is "an open forum engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models." The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a standard for cross-domain information resource description, implemented in markup languages perhaps more widely than any other metadata specification. Version 1.1 has been endorsed as ISO Standard 15836-2003, NISO Standard Z39.85-2001, and CEN Workshop Agreement CWA 13874. The new DCMI term "license" is an element-refinement for "rights" and provides for reference of a legal document giving official permission to do something with the resource. The DCMI recommended best practice is to identify the license using a URI. Examples of such licenses can be found at the Creative Commons web site. The new term "rightsHolder" identifies a Rights Holder as a person or organization owning or managing rights over the resource. The DCMI Recommended best practice for this element is to use the URI or name of the Rights Holder to indicate the entity. The proposal for adding new DCMI rights terms articulates a goal of supporting standard practice concerning rights declarations on the Internet. The design especially recognized that "the recent emergence of the Creative Commons as a clearinghouse for rights declarations affords an opportunity to improve standard practice, particularly for resources that have been developed with the intention of cost-free distribution, but whose creators wish to formally declare various rights." The authors believe that both Creative Commons proponents and Dublin Core adopters "will benefit by having a clear approach to formal rights declaration in a widely adopted metadata framework on the Internet." A growing collection of open source software tools supports the creation of Creative Commons machine-readable licenses and embedding of license metadata within digital objects. [Full context]

  • [July 07, 2004]   WHAT Working Group Issues Call For Comments on Web Forms 2.0.    A draft specification for Web Forms 2.0 has been released by members of the Web Hypertext Application Technology (WHAT) Working Group. This initial call-for-comments draft of Web Forms 2.0 "defines an extension to the forms features found in HTML 4.01's Forms chapter. Web Forms 2.0 applies to both HTML and XHTML user agents, and provides new strongly-typed input fields, new attributes for defining constraints, a repeating model for declarative repeating of form sections, new DOM interfaces, new DOM events for validation and dependency tracking, and XML submission and initialization of forms. The specification also standardises and codifies existing practice in areas that have not been previously documented. HTML4, XHTML1.1, and the DOM are thus extended in a manner that has a clear migration path from existing HTML forms, leveraging the knowledge authors have built up with their experience with HTML so far." The Web Hypertext Applications Technology Working Group is described as "a loose, unofficial, and open collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and interested parties. The group aims to develop specifications based on HTML and related technologies to ease the deployment of interoperable Web Applications, with the intention of submitting the results to a standards organisation. A public mailing list for the WHAT working group is hosted at ''. The Web Forms 2.0 specification "clarifies and extends the semantics put forth in HTML 4.01 for form controls and form submission. It is expected to be implemented in ordinary HTML user agents alongside existing forms technology, and indeed, some of the features described in this draft have been implemented by user agents as ad-hoc, non-standard extensions for many years due to strong market need. The specification can also be viewed as an extension to [XHTML1]. In particular, some of the features added in this module only apply to XHTML documents; for example, features allowing mixed namespaces." This initial call-for-comments draft of Web Forms 2.0 "defines an extension to the forms features found in HTML 4.01's Forms chapter. Web Forms 2.0 applies to both HTML and XHTML user agents, and provides new strongly-typed input fields, new attributes for defining constraints, a repeating model for declarative repeating of form sections, new DOM interfaces, new DOM events for validation and dependency tracking, and XML submission and initialization of forms. The specification also standardises and codifies existing practice in areas that have not been previously documented." [Full context]

  • [July 06, 2004]   IPTC Working Group Releases EventsML 1.0 Business Requirements Document.    A fourth Working Draft of EventsML 1.0 Business Requirements has been produced by members of the IPTC EventsML Working Group. 'EventsML' is the provisional name for a new IPTC standard designed for effective interchange of newsworthy event information. The objective of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) EventsML Working Group is to "create an XML format to be used in notifications of news worthy events such as press conferences for distributions to news media and others users who have an interest in the information for internal or external purposes." This IPTC standard for describing newsworthy events and associated coverage will address: (1) "Event publishing: communication of information about events, including associated media; (2) Event planning: managing the coverage of breaking news or upcoming newsworthy events, including support for gathering associated media; (3) Event coverage: communication of information about coverage of events by news organizations, often referred to as a 'Daybook'. The proposed standard would include linkage between resulting news packages and event coverage information." Use cases documented in the draft include Planned Event Coverage, News Agency Daybook, Sports League Publishes a Season Schedule, Urgent Breaking News, and Urgent Breaking News. The EventsML specification is intended to be useful to organizations outside the IPTC. A proposed requirement is that it be compatible with other IPTC standards, and that it reuse existing external standards where possible. EventsML should interoperate easily with existing IPTC standards, specifically with the IPTC Subject Reference System, NewsML, SportsML, and NITF." The vCard and vCalendar standards are explicitly identified as specifications which should inform EventsML in terms of interoperability. The designers believe it may be possible to implement most or all of the EventsML requirements using NewsML. The EventsML Working Group responsible for the EventsML 1.0 Business Requirements draft is one of IPTC's activities organized under a Specialised Content Working Party. Chaired by Geoffrey Haynes (The Associated Press) and Henrik Stadler (Tidningarnas Telegrambyra), the IPTC Specialised Content Working Party oversees "maintenance and development of standards for specialised content in close relation to IPTC's open news standards NITF and NewsML," including SportsML, ProgramGuideML, and EventsML. The EventsML Project Team Leads are Johan Lindgren (TT) and Dominic Chan (Canadian Newswire). [Full context]

  • [July 02, 2004]   W3C Working Draft on Mobile SVG Profiles Defines Features for Cellphones.    The W3C SVG Working Group has issued an invitation for public comment on a third Working Draft of Mobile SVG Profiles: SVG Tiny and SVG Basic, Version 1.2, released as part of the W3C Graphics Activity. The SVG Tiny 1.2 mobile profile is a subset of features in SVG 1.2, defined to be suitable for displaying vector graphics on small devices such as cellphones. Whereas the W3C SVG Mobile 1.1 defined two profiles (SVG Tiny and SVG Basic), the SVG Mobile 1.2 specification only defines one profile: SVG Tiny 1.2. According to a note from Dean Jackson, W3C SVG Working Group Team, the most important changes are the decision to design just an "SVG Tiny 1.2 profile, new definitions for text wrapping, gradients, scripting, non-scaling strokes, and the ability to place graphics in client space without being affected by zoom and pan (e.g., legends on maps)." SVG Tiny 1.2 Document Fragments must conform to the SVG Tiny 1.2 Relax NG schema, now supplied as Appendix D in the Working Draft. A new normative Appendix E supplies the SVG Tiny Conformance Criteria, covering Fragment Conformance, User Agent Conformance, Dynamic SVGT User Agent Conformance, and SVGT User Agent Compatibility Issues. From the Working Draft's twenty main sections, nine (9) sections contain updated information relevant to SVG Mobile 1.2, including: Document Structure; Coordinate Systems, Transformations and Units; Text; Painting: Filling, Stroking and Marker Symbols; Gradients and Patterns; Interactivity; Linking; Scripting; and Animation. SVGT content "can be in the form of stand-alone SVG Documents or document fragments embedded within a parent XML document. SVGT 1.2 supports Multiple Pages, Streaming, Progressive Rendering, the 'audio' Element and the 'Video' element." SVGT "allows interactivity with declarative animation and with the integration of XMLEvents, as described in SVG 1.2. Linking into specific views of the SVG document is supported by a subset of the svgView fragment identifier as defined in SVG 1.1. SVGT supports scripting through the integration of XML Events, as defined in SVG 1.2. SVGT allows the language features to support animation through scripting; it will support the UDOM as defined in the SVG 1.2 draft." [Full context]

  • [July 01, 2004]   W3C Sponsors Workshop on Constraints and Capabilities for Web Services.    W3C has issued a Call for Participation in connection with the public October 12-13, 2004 Workshop on Constraints and Capabilities for Web Services. The Workshop will be hosted at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, California. The Workshop is public, but it is restricted to 60 places. Program Chairs include Mark Nottingham (BEA) and Philippe Le Hégaret (W3C). The Workshop is being held to discuss the establishment of a framework for the expression of constraints and capabilities regarding security, reliable messaging, message serialization or other policy, and the association with Web services, in order to promote interoperability and scalability. Position papers are required for participation by individuals and organizations. Some of the papers submitted will be selected for presentation at the Workshop. Position papers are due August 27, 2004 and should follow the prescribed guidelines for requirementes, case studies, and XHTML/HTML/PDF format. Topics suitable for position papers include (for example): specific problem domains (security, privacy, reliable messaging, internationalization); processing models for constraints and capabilities on requester and provider agents; machine readable constraints on the allowable actions or states of an agent; policy management (merging, delegation, cancel, request, revocation, priorities, preferences, meta-policies); abstract vs. concrete constraints and capabilities; communicating policy decisions to other parties; policy subjects and identity; intermediaries and policy; etc. The Workshop organizers recognize that the domain of Web Services constraints and capabilities has the potential interactions with many existing efforts, including: the WS-Policy Framework and Attachment specifications; the Semantic Web; rule languages; P3P and EPAL; XACML and WSPL; the IETF Policy Framework; HTTP headers and other Web-based policies. [Full context]

What Was New in 1995 - 2003

Other SGML/XML news items recorded for 1995 and later may be found in separate online documents:

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