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Last modified: February 16, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 16 February 2007

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

Common Policy: A Document Format for Expressing Privacy Preferences
Henning Schulzrinne (et al., eds), IETF Request for Comments

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) announced the availability of a new Standards Track Request for Comments specification in the online RFC libraries. The document was produced by members of the IETF Geographic Location/Privacy (GEOPRIV) Working Group. The document defines a framework for authorization policies controlling access to application-specific data. This framework is the result of combining the common aspects of single authorization systems that more specifically control access to presence and location information and that previously had been developed separately. The benefit of combining these two authorization systems is two-fold. First, it allows building a system that enhances the value of presence with location information in a natural way and reuses the same underlying authorization mechanism. Second, it encourages a more generic authorization framework with mechanisms for extensibility. The applicability of the framework specified in this document is not limited to policies controlling access to presence and location information data, but can be extended to other application domains. The general framework defined in this document is intended to be accompanied and enhanced by application-specific policies specified elsewhere. The common policy framework described here is enhanced by domain-specific policy documents, including presence and location. According to the model defined, The PT (Presentity / Target) is the entity about whom information has been requested. The Rule Maker (RM) is an entity that creates the authorization rules that restrict access to data items. (The Authorization Policy Server (PS) entity has access to both the authorization policies and the data items; in location-specific applications, the entity PS is labeled as location server (LS). A Watcher / Recipient (WR) entity requests access to data items of the PT. An access operation might be a read, a write, or any other operation. Rules are encoded in XML. To this end, Section 13 of the document contains an XML schema (XML Schema Definition) defining the Common Policy Markup Language. This, however, is purely an exchange format between RM and PS. GEOPRIV Working Group Problem statement: "As more and more resources become available on the Internet, some applications need to acquire geographic location information about certain resources or entities. These applications include navigation, emergency services, management of equipment in the field, and other location-based services."

See also: Privacy Specifications

XHTML 1.1 - Module-based XHTML (Second Edition)
Shane McCarron and Masayasu Ishikawa (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C's HTML Working Group has released the second edition of "XHTML 1.1 - Module-based XHTML" as a Working Draft in preparation for Proposed Edited Recommendation. XHTML 1.1 is a reformulation of XHTML 1.0. It defines an XHTML document type that is based upon the module framework and modules defined in XHTML Modularization. The purpose of this document type is to serve as the basis for future extended XHTML 'family' document types, and to provide a consistent, forward-looking document type cleanly separated from the deprecated, legacy functionality of HTML 4 that was brought forward into the XHTML 1.0 document types. The XHTML 1.1 document type is a fully functional document type with rich semantics. It is not, however, as varied in functionality as the XHTML 1.0 Transitional or Frameset document types. These document types defined many presentational components that are better handled through style sheets or other similar mechanisms. This 'Second Edition" release reflects clarifications and corrections as a result of many years of use by the community. It also includes an new implementation using XML Schemas. This implementation has gone through the W3C process, including Last Call, and is now integrated here in anticipation of its publication as a W3C Recommendation.

See also: the W3C HTML Activity

Microsoft Sharpens Interoperability Focus
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Senior Microsoft representatives met with InfoWorld on Thursday to outline its focus on four key areas to improve interoperability between its own software and other vendors' products: identity management; Web services and related development; collaboration between information workers; system management. "We are really working on new protocols in the WS-* space that enable interoperability across identity systems," said Jean Paoli, Microsoft's general manager of interoperability and XML architecture. Last week, Microsoft vowed to integrate its CardSpace identity management system with the OpenID Web authentication standard. Paoli emphasized the move as evidence of the commitment. WS-* represents a series of Web services-related specifications for standardization in areas such as security and messaging. Microsoft's identity management push, however, apparently will not be centered on its previous Passport initiative for Internet security. The company already has dabbled in open source as a way to boost interoperability, offering a bridge between the OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft's Open XML electronic document formats, said Robertson. Paoli and Robertson listed multiple Microsoft interoperability projects in the past several years, such as its work with Novell on interoperability between Windows and Novell's Suse Linux. The company's interoperability effort with Sun Microsystems also was noted.

See also: the Microsoft Interoperability home page

Open Source Beta Ant Task for Schematron Now Available
Rick Jelliffe, Software Announcement

Developers have announced the availability of an Java Ant task for ISO Schematron validation. It can output error messages to the console, or aggregate SVRL messages for each file into a single file. It supports phases and other Schematron features, using the recent ISO Schematron skeleton. The software was written by Christophe Lauret and Willi Ekasalim at Allette Systems for Topologi Pty. Ltd. and will be released as open source (probably as part of the standard tasks for Ant). The current version is beta quality, test reports and comments are very welcome. Ant is a "make" system for Java; there is also a .NET version. It is useful for batch processing files, especially for running the same processes on multiple files that are part of larger document sets. Note: the ISO SVRL (Schematron Validation Report Language) implementation is also now available. SVRL is an XML language to present the results of validating with a Schematron schema. It can be used for testing implementations, benchmarking, and for collecting validation data to be onsent to other formatting or reporting stages. SVRL is Annex D of ISO Schematron. 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. The Schematron can be useful in conjunction with many grammar-based structure-validation languages: DTDs, XML Schemas, RELAX, TREX, etc. Indeed, Schematron is part of an ISO standard (DSDL: Document Schema Description Languages) designed to allow multiple, well-focussed XML validation languages to work together. You can even embed a Schematron schema inside an XML Schema 'appinfo' element or inside a RELAX NG schema.

See also: the Schematron web site

XML Events 2: An Events Syntax for XML
Shane McCarron, Steven Pemberton, and T. V. Raman (eds), W3C TR

Members of the W3C HTML Working Group have published a Working Draft for "XML Events 2: An Events Syntax for XML." An 'event' is the representation of some asynchronous occurrence (such as a mouse click on the presentation of the element, or an arithmetical error in the value of an attribute of the element, or any of unthinkably many other possibilities) that gets associated with an element (targeted at it) in an XML document. In the DOM model of events, the general behavior is that when an event occurs it is dispatched by passing it down the document tree in a phase called capture to the element where the event occurred (called its target), where it then may be passed back up the tree again in the phase called bubbling. In general an event can be responded to at any element in the path (an observer) in either phase by causing an action, and/or by stopping the event, and/or by cancelling the default action for the event. The "XML Events 2" module defined in the specification provides XML languages with the ability to uniformly integrate event listeners and associated event handlers with Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 event interfaces. The result is to provide an interoperable way of associating behaviors with document-level markup. document neither specifies particular events, nor mandates any particular methods of specifying actions. These definitions are left to any markup language using the facilities described here. The Working Draft reflects clarifications and corrections as a result of many years of use by the community. It also includes updated implementations in XML Schema and XML DTD that can readily integrate with the host language's namespace. W3C's HTML Working Group is charter is to complete the transition from HTML to XHTML; this includes finishing work on XHTML 2.0, the next generation of XHTML whose design goal is to use generic XML technologies as much as possible. This XHTML document type will include new features such as XForms and XML Events as replacements for legacy HTML/XHTML features.

Patent Reform: Beware of Unintended Consequences
Roy Mark,

Lawmakers recently expressed concern about the laws of unintended consequences as they opened the first of a series of hearings on proposed patent reform. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the new chairman of the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) are seeking wholesale reforms of the patent system they say is issuing "low quality" patents and encouraging infringement lawsuits. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told the panel she is excited about the possibility of patent reform in the 110th Congress but she is "haunted" by Congress' last attempt to tinker with the system. According to witnesses at Thursday's hearing, she has good reason to worry. In the early 1980's, the process for judicial appeal of patents and infringement claims was changed so that all appeals were heard by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). A decade later, Congress changed the fee structure at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to where the costs of operations are fees paid by patent applicants. According to Adam Jaffe and other witnesses, CAFC has consistently interpreted patent law to make it easier to obtain and enforce a patent while making it more difficult for those accused of infringement to challenge the validity of the patents. The result has been a blizzard of litigation often resulting in huge financial settlements. At the PTO, the new fee structure, combined with CAFC's actions, has also made it easier to obtain a patent, awarding examiners financial incentives to approve patents. As a result, the PTO approves 85 percent of all patent applications. By comparison, the European Patent Office approves 72.5 percent of all applications and the Japan Patent Office grants patents to just 44.5 percent of applications. Other reforms proposed Thursday included a post grant review of issued patents requiring all patent applications be published within 18 months of filing and allowing third parties to comment during the application process.

See also: Patents and Open Standards

Software AG Announces SOA Active Governance Framework
Staff, Software AG Announcement

Software AG has announced the Active Governance Framework to help organizations fully realize the business benefits of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and better manage and control their SOA initiatives. The Active Governance Framework provides transparency on how the IT infrastructure supports business operations. Any changes to business-relevant guidelines, such as policies or service level agreements, can be immediately assessed at the IT level, enabling better communication between business and IT. At the heart of the Active Governance Framework is CentraSite, a leading SOA Registry and Repository co-developed by Software AG and Fujitsu. CentraSite has been enhanced with advanced capabilities that provide centralized, standardized and automated business policy management. Through the automation of SOA policy management, CentraSite is the foundation for compliance management and allows organizations to manage the entire SOA lifecycle. The cornerstone of the Active Governance Framework is a new policy editor plug-in for CentraSite allowing effective central policy management and control. Users, for example, are proactively alerted of attempted policy changes incompatible with other business policies. This active, automated approach to governance ensures that organizations can reap the true benefits of SOA. The Active Governance Framework also provides sophisticated federation through automated notifications for policy or lifecycle changes and compliancy-relevant information based on open standards, such as UDDI v3. This standards-based federation mechanism synchronizes policies and other SOA-relevant metadata and enriches the integration capabilities for CentraSite Community partners. The CentraSite Community brings over 25 partners together to help organizations successfully design, implement, manage, govern and optimize a complete SOA ecosystem.

GPL Draft Has Microsoft/Novell Deal in Mind
Sean Michael Kerner,

When the the third draft of the General Public License comes out, look for language that addresses the recent Microsoft-Novell patent deal. Members of the Free Software Foundation, which oversees the draft change process for the GPL, said a new patent clause is being inserted in the draft that could effectively thwart future patent pacts similar to Microsoft's deal with Novell. The November agreement between Microsoft and Novell provides Novell users with a promise from Microsoft not to sue Novell's Linux customers for alleged Linux patent infringements. Experts at the LinuxWorld OpenSolutions summit said the latest draft of proposed changes to the dominant open source license would include an indirect patent license provision that will prevent GPL version 3 users from striking deals similar to Novell's agreement with Microsoft; Novell is not directly providing patent protection but rather is receiving it indirectly via Microsoft. During a panel discussion, Richard Fontana, legal counsel at the Free Software Foundation's Software Freedom Law Center, argued that it is not clear whether Novell's deal with Microsoft is in violation of GPL version 2, which is why the new clauses in version 3 are necessary.


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