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Last modified: February 23, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 23 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:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

OWLED 2007: International Workshop on OWL Experiences and Directions
Christine Golbreich, Conference Announcement

The deadline for submissions to OWLED 2007 is 4-March-2007. The W3C OWL Web Ontology Language has been a W3C recommendation since 2004. The OWL: Experiences and Direction (OWLED) workshop series is a forum for practitioners in industry and academia, tool developers, and others interested in OWL to describe real and potential applications, to share experience, and to discuss requirements for language extensions/ modifications. At OWLED 2006 it was agreed to move forward with a member submission of the OWL 1.1 proposal which extends OWL DL in ways that have been requested by users, that have effective reasoning algorithms, and that developers of OWL reasoning systems are willing to support. The Third "OWL: Experiences and Directions Workshop" (OWLED 2007) will again bring users, implementors and researchers together in order to measure the current state of need against the state of the art and to set an agenda for language evolutions that satisfy users. OWLED 2007 shall in particular present industrial efforts and experiences with OWL. It shall further the interaction between industry, theoreticians and tool builders, help consolidate OWL 1.1, clarify the relationships between OWL and rules and initiate the specification of OWL 2.0. Building on the success of the 2005 OWLED and the 2006 OWLED workshops, the 2007 OWLED workshop will again be immediately after one of the main Semantic Web conferences, namely the ESWC 2007 conference, and is colocated with the First International Conference on Web Reasoning and Rule Systems (RR2007). [Note: OWL 1.1 was recently submitted to W3C. "OWL 1.1 extends the W3C OWL Web Ontology Language with a small but useful set of features that have been requested by users, for which effective reasoning algorithms are now available, and that OWL tool developers are willing to support. The new features include extra syntactic sugar, addition property and qualified cardinality constructors, extended datatype support, simple metamodelling, and extended annotations."]

See also: Web Ontology Language (OWL)

Open Source Alfresco Shifts to GPL
Stephen Shankland, CNET

Alfresco, a start-up that commercializes open-source software for helping customers keep track of their digital documents, has adopted the General Public License in an effort to attract outside programmers. The company's free Community edition previously used the Mozilla Public License (MPL), but the move to GPL removes some barriers, said Matt Asay, Alfresco's vice president of marketing. The company's supported and certified Enterprise edition remains available under a commercial license. Asay: "We wanted the code to be bigger than the company; people basically know what (the GPL) means, so there's no time wasted wondering (about) MPL. In addition, Alfresco will be able to easily integrate with other GPL projects, such as the Drupal content management software." Alfresco's license comes at an interesting time, when the Free Software Foundation is working on version 3 of the GPL. Some—notably the core programmers behind the Linux kernel—are opposed to changes that appeared in the first two drafts, but Asay likes the direction. Alfresco is "a modern state-of-the-art ECM built using Spring, Hibernate, Lucene and jBPM based on standards such JSR-170, JSR-168, Web Services and REST. This allows Alfresco to be deployed in any J2SE 5.0 (JRE 5.0) application server such as Apache Tomcat or JBoss Application Server delivering significantly better scalability and high-availability properties such as distributed cache management, automatic failover and clustering."

See also: the company web site

WSO2 Hosts WS-MetadataExchange Interoperability Workshop
Staff, WSO2 Announcement

A posting from Jonathan Marsh (Director of Architecture, Mashup Technologies) announces an Interoperability Workshop for the Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MetadataExchange) specification. An invitation from WSO2 and the authors of the WS-Metadata has been extended to all companies with a WS-MetadataExchange implementation. The three-day Interoperability Workshop covering WS-MetadataExchange will be hosted by WSO2 on April 10-12, 2007 in Auburn, California, USA. WS-MetadataExchange is a pre-standardization specification from Microsoft, IBM, Sun, SAP, BEA Systems, Computer Associates, and webMethods, defining how metadata can be retrieved or embedded in a WS-Addressing endpoint references. These standard ways to exchange WS-Policy, WSDL, XML Schema, and other metadata enable the bootstrapping of communication with a service. The three-day interoperability workshop is an ad-hoc, open forum for companies who have implementations to test their code against other implementations. Interoperability testing is often the last step in validating a technology prior to contribution to an open standardization process. To attend this event, a feedback agreement must be reviewed and signed by each attendee, either before or at the workshop event; the purpose of the feedback agreement is to ensure that everyone involved in influencing the specifications is committed to keeping the specification royalty free. Also, as this is an Interoperability Workshop, participants will need to bring an implementation based on the specifications below. A document "Web Services Metadata Exchange Scenarios" has been prepared for use by participants in the Interoperability event.

See also: WS-MetadataExchange

State Chart XML (SCXML): State Machine Notation for Control Abstraction
Jim Barnett, Michael Bodell (et al.), W3C Technical Report

Members of W3C's Voice Browser Working Group have released an updated Working Draft for the "State Chart XML (SCXML): State Machine Notation for Control Abstraction" specification. This document is the third Public Working Draft of SCXML for review by W3C Members and other interested parties, and has been developed by the Voice Browser Working Group as part of the W3C Voice Browser Activity. The most significant changes since the last draft are the addition of an algorithm for interpreting SCXML and a more detailed specification of the data model. SCXML is a general-purpose event-based state machine language. SCXML combines concepts from CCXML and Harel State Tables. CCXML is an event-based state machine language designed to support call control features in Voice Applications. The CCXML 1.0 specification defines both a state machine and event handing syntax and a standardized set of call control elements. Harel State Tables are a state machine notation that was developed by the mathematician David Harel and is included in UML 2.0. They offer a clean and well-thought out semantics for sophisticated constructs such as a parallel states. They have been defined as a graphical specification language, however, and hence do not have an XML representation. The goal of this document is to combine Harel semantics with an XML syntax that is a logical extension of CCXML's state and event notation. SCXML may be used in many ways, including: (1) As a high-level dialog language controlling VoiceXML 3.0's encapsulated speech modules (voice form, voice picklist, etc.); (2) As a voice application metalanguage, where in addition to VoiceXML 3.0 functionality, it may also control database access and business logic modules; (3) As a multimodal control language in the MultiModal Interaction framework, combining VoiceXML 3.0 dialogs with dialogs in other modalities including keyboard and mouse, ink, vision, haptics, etc; (4) As the state machine framework for a future version of CCXML; (5) As an extended call center managment language, combining CCXML call control functionality with computer-telephony integration; (6) As a general process control language in other contexts not involving speech processing.

See also: W3C Voice Browser Activity

Microsoft Ponders Ruby Language
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Microsoft is "very interested" in the Ruby programming language and also plans to expand its Expression design tools line, according to Forest Key, Microsoft director of Web and client user experience marketing for the company's developer division. Asked if the company would accommodate the Ruby on Rails Web framework, which is based on Ruby, in Expression, Key said, "Ruby is currently more of a 'developer' concept for us." SapphireSteel, meanwhile, has shipped Ruby in Steel Developer, a Ruby environment for Visual Studio. One area targeted for expansion in the new Expression line is interaction design, which pertains to designing the actual interaction or structure of an experience rather than just designing the onscreen pieces. A goal is to better tie Visio, the company's diagram drawing software used by many interaction designers, to Expression and the company's Visual Studio software development platform. The planned "Orcas" version of Visual Studio, for example, includes the same design surface for Cascading Style Sheets rendering as the Expression Web product, Key said. Orcas also has XAML capabilities, which are featured in the Expression Blend product. Microsoft believes in collaboration between designers and developers to build user experience-based applications and content: "If by Web 2.0 we are talking about great experiences that combine Web technologies, social computing components, services, the browser and components of the desktop such as richer graphics an integration with local data, etc, then you could say Expression is all about Web 2.0." Microsoft also plans more community-accessible content for both XAML and the Expression tools.

See also: the Ruby web site

Jonathan's Blog: My Family Photos and OpenDocument Format
Jonathan Schwartz, Weblog

Alongside some of the industry's most important technology companies, and a bevy of governments and agencies around the world, [we are helping create] something called the Open Document Format (ODF). ODF defines an open format for document based information that's independent of the applications used to create documents stored in ODF. Which is a fancy way of saying if you write a law or a medical history or a regulatory filing in a word processor that supports ODF today, and need to gain access to it at any point in the future, you'll have the freedom to do so on your terms. Without being held up by an application provider. ODF is a true open standard, adopted and implemented by a diversity of vendors (from IBM and Sun, to Google, Red Hat and now even Microsoft), and embraced by an amazing spectrum of the planet. And it's royalty free. We're working with Google to ensure interoperability between Google's office documents and OpenOffice documents—leveraging ODF as an exchange mechanism. Any document created in Google's office can be trivially exported to (and soon imported from) OpenOffice. Together, the two products allow businesses and individuals to preserve access, across the globe and across generations, for laws, legal contracts, patient records, diaries and strategic plans. Along with spreadsheets and presentations. now that Microsoft has announced support for the Open Document Format, users can feel comfortable that OpenOffice can be added to any environment, home or office, not just across the developing world, but the developed. In a few weeks, you'll be able to download an ODF plug-in here, which will enable Microsoft Word, by default, to save to/read from ODF. From a corporate perspective, this also allows a very natural migration to occur across large institutions—front office staff might stay on Microsoft Word, but the rest of the organization can move to an interoperable alternative (say, Google's word processor or OpenOffice, or both). Affordability and interoperability are a good thing for the internet—and for the successive generations we expect to use it.

See also: OpenDocument references


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