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Last modified: March 28, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 28 March 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
BEA Systems, Inc.

Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative and SML
Staff, Microsoft Announcement

A 2007-03-27 announcement from the Microsoft Management Summit 2007 (MMS 2007) on the Dynamic Systems Initiative highlighted System Center Operations Manager 2007, new industry alliances, and Service Modeling Language (SML) interoperability. Microsoft and EMC Corporation unveiled a strategic technology licensing agreement and broader industry collaboration that will accelerate Microsoft's ability to add network management capability to Operations Manager 2007 and broaden the impact of DSI in the industry. Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft and EMC conveyed their collective commitment to creating common models for infrastructure management. Industry Collaboration on Standards and Interoperability: As organizations look to reduce maintenance costs and increase flexibility for growth, Microsoft is committed to helping customers move to dynamic infrastructures by building industry partnerships that drive better collaboration around standards and tighter interoperability between technologies. Highlighted at the event was the recent announcement Microsoft made with industry partners that the Service Modeling Language (SML) specification has been submitted for review as an industrywide standard. Based on the Microsoft System Definition Model, the submitted standard SML is planned for inclusion across System Center to allow for the management of software and hardware that the industry is developing as well as the management of Windows systems. Collaboration among the industry leaders was underscored when Charlie Giancarlo, chief development officer at Cisco, joined Muglia and Elias via video to jointly announce a three-way collaboration to create a set of infrastructure common models that will combine the expertise and strengths of the three companies. The goal is to help customers take advantage of SML to reduce complexity and simplify management of IT infrastructure-related tasks and resources.

See also: SML news

Making SIP Make Cents
Jason Fischl and Hannes Tschofenig, ACM Queue

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is used to set up realtime sessions in IP-based networks. These sessions might be for audio, video, or IM communications, or they might be used to relay presence information. Some advantages of using SIP are: (1) SIP-compliant elements, including hardphones, softphones, PSTN gateways, or proxies can be used on the network; (2) SIP service providers can easily peer with each other at very low cost over existing IP network connections; (3) IM and presence service providers are able to federate with each other. Despite these many benefits, however, SIP systems lack an integration with recently introduced identity management solutions in combination with realtime accounting and payments. This article describes how existing SIP deployments address accounting and payments. It also presents a proposal for P2P (peer-to-peer) realtime accounting and payments using SIP in the spirit of federated identity management. With the introduction of a new generation of identity management solutions, such as SAML, the customer can be more involved by routing messages through the customer's device. New communication patterns with different characteristics need to be investigated. The Jennings and Jun draft presents a proposal that aims to combine the Web-based SAML-based identity management with the capability to perform realtime accounting in SIP supporting a variety of payment mechanisms. Even though a paradigm change as envisioned by the identity management community behind SAML (and similar proposals) seems to hold great promise for telephony applications and beyond, some questions remain. In January at Microsoft's "Think Week," Bill Gates announced a development plan for a new payment system that addresses many of the challenges outlined earlier and that "will be cheaper than credit card transactions, making it possible for companies to charge small fees for Web-based content and services they now offer for free," according to Dow Jones Newswire reports. SAML-based identity management solutions are being used more widely (beyond the enterprise and business-to-business deployment environment) and are evolving from asserting identities to authorization and attribute statements. New payment models that leverage growing a widely deployed SIP infrastructure hold much promise for the future of communications, enabling service providers, merchants, and users to benefit from increased flexibility and efficiency. To be fully integrated into existing systems and into the fabric of our lives, however, micropayment service providers will need to proliferate, and the technical and business barriers to entry will have to be reduced. Note: the SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) WG has produced several XML-based standards (e.g., XCAP, PIDF, XML-Encoded Simple-Filter).

See also: the IETF Simple WG

If These Walls Could Talk: Unlocking the Interoperability of SCORM, S1000D, and DITA
Diane Wieland, DCL News Editorial

As organizations around the globe begin examining the benefits of content standards, they often find that moving to a standard approach involves adopting a variety of standards and finding ways to make them work together to achieve critical business goals. Finding ways to cooperatively use widely accepted standards such as S1000D,DITA, and SCORM can help fill the gaps left by one or the other and offer frameworks that minimizes the impact of change. There has been some interest in bridging the gap between S1000D and DITA in the aerospace industry, but the latest spark of interest in S1000D-DITA interoperability seemed to emerge in two places at once. The S1000D-SCORM Testbed, and private sector experts appear to have had simultaneous "Eureka! moments" that have led to the first ever S1000D-DITA Training and Learning Subcommittee Summit and an OASIS sponsored DITA-S1000D discussion group. (Notice the switch in acronyms?) SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) is an XML-based framework used to define and access information about learning objects so they can be easily shared among different learning management systems. The S1000D-SCORM Testbed is the responsibility of Tim Tate, Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning Job Performance Technology Center. As director of JPTC, his task is to look for ways public and private sector organizations can improve job performance by sharing technology research, development, implementation and evaluations. Because DITA already works well with SCORM, and the Testbed project has found ways for S1000D to work with SCORM (in theory at least) it leads to the possibility that all three of these standards could soon be working together to build the best sources of shareable, dynamic content for technical and learning materials.

See also: DITA references

Third Discussion Draft of the GNU General Public License Version 3
Staff, Free Software Foundation Announcement

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today released the third discussion draft for version 3 of the most widely used free software license, the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). Today's draft incorporates the feedback received from the general public, official discussion committees, and two international conferences held in India and Japan. Many significant changes have been made since the previous draft, released in July 2006. In recognition of this fact, the FSF now plans to publish one additional draft before the final text of GPL version 3. Changes in this draft include: (1) First-time violators can have their license automatically restored if they remedy the problem within thirty days. (2) License compatibility terms have been simplified, with the goal of making them easier to understand and administer. (3) Manufacturers who include the software in consumer products must also provide installation information for the software along with the source. This change provides more narrow focus for requirements that were proposed in previous drafts. (4) New patent requirements have been added to prevent distributors from colluding with patent holders to provide discriminatory protection from patents. Richard Stallman, president of the FSF and principal author of the GNU GPL, said, "The GPL was designed to ensure that all users of a program receive the four essential freedoms which define free software. These freedoms allow you to run the program as you see fit, study and adapt it for your own purposes, redistribute copies to help your neighbor, and release your improvements to the public..." Stated in the Review Guide materials: "The second discussion draft of GPLv3 was released eight months ago, in July 2006. We had never planned to let so much time pass between public releases of the license. We felt it was important to fully discuss a few specific issues, including the recent patent deal between Novell and Microsoft, before proceeding with the process."

See also: the Review Guide

First Working Draft for GRDDL Test Cases
Chimezie Ogbuji (ed), W3C Technical Report

W3C has announced a First Public Working Draft for the "GRDDL Test Cases" specification. This document was developed by the W3C GRDDL Working Group, chartered in July 2006 to review the "Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL)" specification and develop use cases, tutorial materials, and tests. The test cases demonstrate the expected behavior of a GRDDL-aware agent by specifying one (or more) RDF graph serializations which are the GRDDL results associated with a single source document. The tests should be used for testing the conformance of GRDDL-aware agents. The normative tests cover behavior expected of a GRDDL-aware agent, while the informative tests demonstrate other permitted behavior with respect to the issues resolved by the Working Group. This document itself has (as a GRDDL result) a manifest describing the test cases in RDF. For convenience, serializations of the GRDDL result are available as RDF/XML and Turtle. The deliverables included as part of the test case collection include: (1) A recommendation track document which normatively includes the tests; (2) A manifest RDF/XML document describing the collection of tests; (3) An example driver for use with testing a particular implementation; (4) A zip archive including the input and output(s) for local test, manifest file, and test driver. test collection uses an RDF vocabulary for manifests developed for the RDF Test Cases Recommendation. A GRDDL-aware agent can extract the test collection and automatically test compliance by attempting to reproduce the expected GRDDL result(s) associated with each test case. In addition to writing various diagnostic messages to STDERR, the test harness writes additional RDF data to STDOUT an EARL test assertion about each test it runs. The GRDDL specification introduces markup based on existing standards for declaring that an XML document includes data compatible with the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and for linking to algorithms (typically represented in XSLT), for extracting this data from the document. The markup includes a namespace-qualified attribute for use in general-purpose XML documents and a profile-qualified link relationship for use in valid XHTML documents. The GRDDL mechanism also allows an XML namespace document (or XHTML profile document) to declare that every document associated with that namespace (or profile) includes gleanable data and for linking to an algorithm for gleaning the data.

See also: the GRDDL specification

Generate an XML Document from an Object Model with JAXB 2
Antonio Goncalves,

Java offers various ways to manipulate XML, including use of a simple file I/O or, XML serialization with java.beans.XMLEncoder (which generates an XML representation of a Java Bean in the same way ObjectOutputStream can be used to create binary representation of Serializable objects), or use of a dedicated library like XStream Play directly with SAX or DOM through the JAXP API. Despite XML and Java technology being natural partners in data exchange, mapping a Java object model into XML and vice versa can be a mystery. JAXB (Java Architecture for XML Binding) is a solution: it enables you to perform XML-to-Java data binding and generate Java classes from XML schemas and vice-versa. It's portable, easy to use, and it offers functionalities such as XML validation and customization using annotation and adapters. In this article you learn how to get an XML document from your Java object model using JAXB 2. With annotations, you can also customize the document and use adapters to format data. JAXB can define a set of classes into an XML schema by using a schema generator. It also enables the reverse action, allowing you to generate a collection of Java classes from a given XML schema through the schema compiler. The schema compiler takes XML schemas as input and generates a package of Java classes and interfaces that reflect the rules defined in the source schema. These classes are annotated to provide the runtime framework with a customized Java-XML mapping. JAXB also can generate a Java object hierarchy from an XML schema using a schema generator, or give an object Java hierarchy to describe the corresponding XML schema. The runtime framework provides the corresponding unmarshalling, marshalling, and validation functionalities. That is, it lets you transform an XML document into an object graph (unmarshalling) or transform an object graph into XML format (marshalling). These capabilities are why JAXB is often associated with web services. Web services use the API to transform objects into messages that they then send through SOAP. This isn't a web services article, however. Using an example address book application for a fictional music company called Watermelon, it focuses on JAXB's XML binding features for round-tripping XML to Java.

See also: Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB)

Oregon Eyeing Open Formats
Candace Lombardi, CNET

Oregon has a bill up for vote that would recommend the use of open-source format documents for state agencies. While the bill would foster open formats in the state if passed, the wording is much less specific than other proposed state bills that mandate the use of a specific type of electronic document. House Bill 2920 by Representative Peter Buckley proposes that state agencies "disclose public records in electronic form in certain circumstances and, when practicable, in open formats for which freeware is available." If passed, the law would also require libraries to offer freeware for viewing and printing copies of public documents, but only if the requirement "does not incur additional administrative or operational expense." Though the XML-based Open Document Format (ODF) supported by IBM, Sun Microsystems and others, could be used to fulfill the requirements, the bill's wording as it stands now would not make ODF mandatory. The bill does say that the open format chosen by the agency or library must be open-source and guided by one of the major standards organizations such as the American National Standards Institute, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which supports both ODF and Microsoft's proposed Office Open XML formats.

IETF Internet Draft: A LFB Library for ForCES
Ligang Dong, Fengen Jia, Weiming Wang; IETF Internet Draft

In the category "Use XML for Everything": members of the IETF Forwarding and Control Element Separation (FORCES) Working Group have published an initial Internet Draft "LFB Library for ForCES." The document defines a set of ForCES FE LFBs by use of the XML schema defined in ForCES FE model. ForCES provides an architectural framework, in which a Network Element (NE) consists of Forwarding Elements (FEs) and Control Elements (CEs). FEs are further abstracted by a set of basic building blocks, called Logical Function Blocks (LFBs). RFC 3654 has defined the ForCES requirements, and RFC 3746 has defined the ForCES framework. ForCES protocol is defining the information exchange protocol between CEs and FEs. LFBs in FEs are controlled by a CE via ForCES protocol. ForCES FE model specifies a formal way to model LFBs, in which an XML schema is provided for definition of LFB attributes, capabilities, and events. This document provides a set of LFBs by use of the XML schema defined in the FE-Model. Section 2 defines the data types used in the following LFB description. Section 3 presents the definitions of a set of LFBs according the LFB XML schema. In the ForCES Forwarding Element Model, "XML was chosen as the specification language in this document, because XML has the advantage of being both human and machine readable with widely available tools support. The document uses XML Schema to define the structure of the LFB Library documents; see 'XML Schema for LFB Class Library Documents.'"

See also: ForCES Forwarding Element Model


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