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NGA GEOINT Standards Baseline Features OGC Specifications
Staff, OGC Announcement
The U.S. Department of Defense National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has issued a document, "Enabling A Common Vision", which outlines the overall National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG) standards baseline. Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Specifications figure prominently in this U.S. Federal and national baseline. Shortly after September 11, 2001, the National Center for Geospatial Intelligence Standards (NCGIS) was formed by the NGA to develop and coordinate geospatial standards with other Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, other intelligence agencies, standards organizations, civil agencies, private industry, and foreign partners. These groups have worked with NCGIS to develop and mature a set of standards that enable data and service interoperability in the context of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). In the NGA report "Enabling A Common Vision," the NSG has endorsed a set of key specifications known collectively as the OGC Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) 1.0 baseline. These OGC standards include the OpenGIS Specifications for Web Feature Service (WFS), Geography Markup Language (GML), Web Map Service (WMS), Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD), Catalogue Services (CS-Web), and Filter Encoding Specification (FE). Other standards included are ISO 19115 Geographic Information—Metadata, and ISO 19119 Geographics Information -- Services. The domestic civil community and the international community are implementing largely the same suite of common geospatial standards. This architecture is particularly valuable to the Homeland Security community, allowing it to share investments in geospatial data and knowledge related to critical infrastructure and natural environments with U.S. cities, counties and other organizations to support the prevention and mitigation of national disaster and security situations.
See also: the NGA report
Implementing Atom Specifications: Abdera Incubator Version 0.2.2
Staff, Apache Abdera Project
Developers in the Apache Abdera Project have announced the release of Abdera version 0.2.2, available in binary and source distributions. Builds are available for Java 1.5 and Java 1.4.2. The goal of the Apache Abdera project is to build a functionally-complete, high-performance implementation of the IETF Atom Syndication Format (RFC 4287) and Atom Publishing Protocol (in-progress) specifications. Abdera is an effort undergoing incubation at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), sponsored by the Apache Incubator PMC. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF. The Abdera parser is capable of handling Atom Feed and Entry documents, Atom Publishing Protocol Introspection Documents, and any other arbitrary, well-formed XML document. Users can either use the default org.apache.abdera.parser.Parser instance by calling Parser.INSTANCE, or they may create an new Parser instance. The Feed Object Model (FOM) is a set of interfaces designed around the Atom Syndication Format data model. The object model provides the API by which Atom documents are read and created. The Feed Object Model is designed to fully and dynamically support extensions to the Atom Feed format. As an alternative to navigating the Feed Object Model manually, developer's may use XPath to query a parsed Document. Atom Feed and Entry documents may be digitally signed and/or encrypted by using the optional Abdera Security module. The security module currently depends on the Apache Xerces, Apache XML Security Projects and the Bouncy Castle Java cryptography implementation. Release 0.2.2 fixes an XHTML/XML entry content bug, fixes StAX API conformance bugs, updates to Apache Axiom 1.2.1, and provides various API Cleanups. Contributions in the form of coding, testing, improving the documentation, and reporting bugs are welcome.
See also: Atom references
Rick Jelliffe, O'Reilly News
Some of the recent news on ISO Schematron: (1) My XSLT 'skeleton implementation (the latest version of the most commonly used version of Schematron) is available in beta from Schematron.com, as open source, non-viral. This version fully supports ISO Schematron (except for abstract patterns, for which a preprocessor has been contributed) and has a lot of input from members of the schematron-love-in maillist. Notable contrabutions are from Ken Holman, Dave Pawson and Florent Georges. A variety of different output formats are available as backends, including an ISO SVRL (Schematron Validation Report Language) XML format and a terminate-on-first-error backend. (2) Topologi's Ant Task for Schematron is available now in beta from Schematron.com. The code will be available as open source, non-viral. Thanks for Allette System's Christophe Lauret and Willi Ekasalim for doing the programming on this. It can output text to standard error or collate all the SVRLs into a single XML file. (3) Dave Pawson is writing a little online book ISO Schematron tutorial concentrating on using Schematron with XSLT2. I haven't reviewed it thoroughly yet, but Dave has a good track record. (4) Mitre's Roger Costello has written up two pages 'Usage and Features of Schematron' and 'Best way to phrase the Schematron assertion text' that seem pretty sensible to me. Roger followed his usual method of asking people on the XML-DEV maillist and compiling the results. (5) Murata Makoto has been preparing the Japanese translation of ISO Schematron, to be used as the text for the Japanese Industrial Standard. He has also been translating other parts of ISO DSDL. The great thing about diligent translators such as Dr Murata and Dr Komachi is that they uncover many practical issues; in Schematron's case there are a couple of paragraphs in the ISO standard that seem completely reasonable when you know what they are supposed to mean, but actually are pretty cryptic. Murata-san also has pointed out an improvement to the formal specification of Schematron in predicate logic.
See also: Schematron references
Upgrade XSLT 1.0 to 2.0, Part 4: The Toolkit for XSLT Portability
David Marston and Joanne Tong, IBM developerWorks
XSLT 2.0, the latest specification released by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is a language for transforming XML documents. It includes numerous new features, with some specifically designed to address shortcomings in XSLT 1.0. In this collection of articles, you'll get a high level overview and an in-depth look at XSLT 2.0 from the point of view of an XSLT 1.0 user who wants to fix old problems, learn new techniques, and discover what to look out for. Examples derived from common applications and practical suggestions are provided if you wish to upgrade. To help you begin to use XSLT 2.0, migration techniques will be provided. If you are concerned with the adoption of XSLT 2.0 and what will happen to your legacy stylesheet code, this article will help: it focuses on those features of 2.0 that address cross-version compatibility with 1.0. It explains how 1.0 and 2.0 processors recognize XSLT instructions and the vendor's implementation-specific instructions (if any), distinguishing them from elements that should not be directives to the processor. The article includes a survey of all portability tools such as fallback, function availability tests, and the new use-when attribute. It describes all the functions, instructions, and attributes that are used for compatibility across XSLT versions. This toolkit is slightly larger than the toolkit for portability across different implementations of the same XSLT version from different vendors. If you want to use 2.0 features and haven't started to look at your existing stylesheets and how they must change, this article provides some ideas about new code replacing old at different granularities. You might replace an XPath expression, an instruction, a template, or an imported stylesheet module, among other constructs, and the replacement might be a different granularity. For example, a new 2.0 function might allow a template with several expressions and instructions to collapse down to a single XPath 2.0 expression.
The OpenID Era Opens
Larry Seltzer, eWEEK
The industry is getting excited about the new OpenID identity standard, but it's evolving at a rapid rate before our eyes. If you haven't used OpenID yet you probably will soon. This new open standard for identity exchange on the Internet is picking up support from all over the place, and appears unstoppable in the blogosphere. AOL is the latest large company to announce support for OpenID, and it's a smart move for them, making your AOL login useful wherever you go. Before that we had Microsoft and Symantec announcing support. Microsoft's support looks serious, especially in as much as its implementation is a good example of how to address security deficiencies in OpenID. And the deficiencies in the early versions of OpenID are serious. OpenID is an identification system that allows anyone with a Web server to be an identity provider. The identities are URLs, like "johndoe.openid.net." When logging a user in a site, the RP (Relying Party) redirects the user and their openid URL to the site that provided it (openid.net in the example). That site, the IP or Identity Provider (also known some places as an OP, although I'm not sure why), authenticates the user and returns an authentication token to the RP. If the two have never communicated before, there are some additional communications at this point. The official announcement from Microsoft was joined by JanRain (a software company providing OpenID solutions, including popular libraries), Sxip (who has made contributions to the OpenID 2.0 specification to improve extensibility) and VeriSign, an early pioneer in OpenID and an identity provider themselves. The companies announced their intention to collaborate on integrating OpenID into Windows CardSpace. CardSpace, like OpenID, is an identity metasystem based on SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol, an XML-based standard for procedure calls), XML and Web service standards including WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-MetadataExchange, and WS-SecurityPolicy. CardSpace also includes a GUI to allow users to choose among multiple identities, known as Information Cards.
See also: the OpenID web site
U.K. Government Rejects Calls for DRM Ban
Graeme Wearden, CNET News.com
The U.K. government has rejected a call for digital rights management to be banned in the U.K., but has acknowledged that the technology could undermine consumer rights. A total of 1,414 people signed an online petition calling for digital rights management (DRM)—which places restrictions on how people can use media such as software or music—to be outlawed. The petition, hosted on the U.K. government's e-petitions Web site, warned that DRM removes the freedom of choice between competing products offered for digital download or on CDs. The DRM debate in the U.K. coincides with arguments against use of the technology from another sector—Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who earlier this month advocated licensing music without DRM. Jobs contends that eliminating DRM will encourage interoperability between music services and boost sales of downloadable recordings. Sony's use of rootkit-like technology on its music CDs caused a storm of protest. The DRM technology was secretly installed and hid itself from the operating systems on people's PCs when they played Sony CDs on their computers. Users complained that this violated their rights to full disclosure about the products they bought from Sony, whose problems escalated after virus writers used the technology to hide malicious software. In the U.K., the Open Rights Group campaigns against technologies such as DRM, which it believes can undermine the rights of users. Becky Hogge, executive director at the Open Rights Group, [said] that some DRM technologies put restrictions on users that run counter to their rights under U.K. copyright law. For example, a blanket ban on copying prevents an individual from taking a sample for review or illustrative purposes, as they are allowed to under the "fair use" provisions within copyright law.
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