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Last modified: April 30, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 30 April 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.

SOAP Version 1.2 Second Edition Becomes a W3C Recommendation
M. Gudgin, M. Hadley, N. Mendelsohn, et al (eds), W3C Technical Reports

The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the release of four SOAP 1.2 Second Editions as W3C Recommendations: Part 0: Primer, Part 1: Messaging Framework, Part 2: Adjuncts, and Specification Assertions and Test Collection. SOAP Version 1.2 provides the definition of the XML-based information that can be used for exchanging structured and typed information between peers in a decentralized, distributed environment. The Primer describes SOAP 1.2 features through various usage scenarios, and is intended to complement the normative text contained in Part 1 and Part 2 of the SOAP 1.2 specifications. This second edition includes additional material on the SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM), the XML-binary Optimized Packaging (XOP) and the Resource Representation SOAP Header Block (RRSHB) specifications. SOAP Version 1.2 (SOAP) is a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment. It uses XML technologies to define an extensible messaging framework providing a message construct that can be exchanged over a variety of underlying protocols. The framework has been designed to be independent of any particular programming model and other implementation specific semantics. Two major design goals for SOAP are simplicity and extensibility. SOAP attempts to meet these goals by omitting, from the messaging framework, features that are often found in distributed systems. Such features include but are not limited to "reliability", "security", "correlation", "routing", and "Message Exchange Patterns" (MEPs). While it is anticipated that many features will be defined, this specification provides specifics only for two MEPs. Other features are left to be defined as extensions by other specifications. The second edition updates and supersedes the original Recommendation by the inclusion of the accumulated errata. Changes between these two versions are described in a diff document.

See also: the W3C newsletter

Atom Will Change the World
Charlie Savage, Blog

What is news—is the surprisingly deep and capable technology platform Atom offers, making it suitable for a large range of applications well beyond blogging software. In fact I believe we're witnessing the birth of the next great technology standard, with Atom taking its place alongside HTML, HTTP and the underlying protocols that support the Internet... Atom is so useful because of the emergent properties that arise from its unique combination of: (1) A simple data model of collections that contain entries; (2) Careful selection of the most important metadata - author, update time, etc.; (3) Support of attached pictures, songs and video to entries; (4) Extensibility through XML namespaces; (5) A standard REST API that fully leverages HTTP; (6) Easy to read, short specifications that can be implemented in a good days worth of hacking. Starting with the data model, it turns out that modeling the world as collections that contain entries is awfully useful. Clearly this model works well for blogs, which are a collection of articles. But it also works across a vast range of domains, such as modeling records in tables, songs in collections, features on a map, items in a shopping cart, books in a library, etc. Then for each entry, Atom defines a small set of the most useful attributes... right off the bat Atom provides a universal way that computers can share a base level of information about whatever things they model. Atom then takes this a step farther by allowing custom information to be embedded via the use of XML namespaces. Thus you can use XHTML to embed a story, GeoRSS to embed coordinate information, rank extensions to embed rating information, threading extensions to embed comments, etc. Both the Atom syndication format and publishing protocol are simple to implement since they build off the strong foundation of provided by XML and HTTP. For the work I've done with MapBuzz, I had an Atom feed up in running in a couple hours and full support for the Atom publishing protocol in a day...

Java Springs Forward With Open Source Framework
Sean Michael Kerner,

Interface21, the commercial vendor behind the Spring open source Enterprise Java Application Framework, is rolling out new releases intended to make Java development easier than ever. Spring Framework 2.1 and Spring Web Flow 1.1 are intended to challenge the complexity in Java development by providing a development model that follows a more intuitive Web model. It's an approach that has already garnered over 3 million downloads for previous versions and the support of big vendors such as Oracle and BEA. Rod Johnson, CEO of Interface21 and founder of the Spring Framework: "Spring traditionally has focused on XML configurations, but with 2.1 we're allowing mixing and matching... allowing annotation for configuration, so that could reduce the amount of work needed in simple cases. Spring Web Flow elevates the concept of a conversation to a first-class citizen. You have an artifact that is an XML definition or a Java class that models flow and, therefore, you get a higher degree of traceability from requirements through to implementation." Interface21 is also rolling out a new version of Web Flow, which takes a usage flow model approach to Java development. One problem historically with authoring Web applications with Java has been that the kind of artifact Java classes you develop don't match with how you think of that application as a user. With Web Flow version 1.1 JavaServer Faces (JSF) integration is included, whereas previously only templating technology like JSP (JavaServer Pages) were part of the mix. Johnson noted that the inclusion of JSF will allow for the development of libraries as components.

See also: the Spring Framework

Incremental Compilation and Error Handling in XMLBeans
Hetal Shah, BEA Dev2Dev

Java-based enterprise applications often use Java-XML binding libraries as an underlying layer to access and process XML data in a familiar, Java friendly way. Using XMLBeans has become popular as a Java-XML binding solution because of its unique features such as lazy unmarshalling, cursor-based access to XML data, and support for XQuery. You create XMLBeans by running scomp on an XML schema; however, using scomp to create a new set of XMLBeans each time schema documents change is not a sophisticated approach. Because a substantial part of the cost of any enterprise application is its maintenance, programmatic access to schema compilation and XMLBeans generation can represent significant savings in cost and time in the long run. XMLBeans are composed of a set of Java binding classes and a bunch of XSB files containing binary schema metadata compiled from the schema documents. Each of the XSB files represents a compiled schema type, an attribute, or an element definition. XMLBeans version 2.1.0 provides programmatic access to create and update XMLBeans from schema artifacts, and to validate and capture errors that may occur during schema compilation and parsing of an XML document. In any enterprise applications ranging from Web service client/server to CRM and EAI products, as products mature the need arises to update existing schema artifacts. Moreover, everyone wants to simplify the maintenance of applications processing XML documents based on these schema artifacts. The XMLBeans API provides a simple and efficient way to create and maintain XMLBeans and offers rich custom error handling and reporting capabilities, both contributing to solving these problems. This article illustrates these features with a series of examples.

Dynamic Languages Shine in Silverlight
Darryl K. Taft, eWEEK

A "very cool story" is among the many announcements Microsoft is making at its MIX 07 conference here. The software giant announced its new Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) that enables dynamic languages to talk to each other and support for it on the Microsoft Silverlight platform. Microsoft is making the technology broadly available to the community via its permissive license and CodePlex community site. The story actually started nearly three years ago, when Microsoft hired Jim Hugunin in August of 2004. Hugunin, the creator of the IronPython implementation of Python for the .Net platform, is a development leader on Microsoft's CLR (Common Language Runtime) team. Meanwhile, to help make the process of integrating Ruby onto the Microsoft platform a little easier, Microsoft hired John Lam, a Ruby guru and creator of the RubyCLR .Net to Ruby interoperability bridge, last October. Lam said he has been bootstrapping the Ruby effort and has a solid demonstrable implementation. However, despite being a technological coup in itself, what makes the DLR stand out in this instance is its integration with Silverlight. Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in, akin to Adobe Systems Inc.'s Flash, for delivering the next generation of media experiences and RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) for the Web. The initial implementation of the DLR supports four primary languages: IronPython, JavaScript, Ruby and Visual Basic. In addition, the DLR supports C# for adding performance boosts where necessary, Lam said. "By having this shared type system and these dynamic languages using the same sets of types, you can go back and forth between them."

Industry Leaders Demonstrate Interoperability of WS-Policy Using the UDDI Policy Attachment
Staff, webMethods, Inc. Announcement

webMethods, Inc. recently announced successful demonstration of interoperability of the WS-Policy Candidate Recommendation specifications using the UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) standard. The first-ever interoperability evaluation event for the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Services Policy 1.5 Framework and Attachment (WS-Policy) Candidate Recommendation specifications was hosted by webMethods. During this recently concluded event, leading products that support the UDDI registry specification for lifecycle governance—the HP SOA Systinet Standard Edition and the webMethods Infravio X-Registry—were used to demonstrate interoperability with the Layer 7 SecureSpan XML Appliance, a widely deployed policy enforcement point, using the WS-Policy specifications. The development of a standards-based model for governance interoperability between Policy Enforcement Points (PEP) and each policy's system-of-record represents a significant step towards enabling standards-based federated policy management for the enterprise. One of the fundamental challenges that service-oriented architecture (SOA) works to address is orchestrating a series of very dynamic interactions between disparate Web services in accordance with enterprise-class standards for Quality-of-Service. WS-Policy helps to achieve this objective by facilitating agreement between producers and consumers of Web services. More specifically, WS-Policy provides a means for describing and communicating the capabilities and requirements of specific Web services in a coherent and reliable manner, ensuring that specific preconditions are fully met within each interaction. As an underlying component of WS-Policy, the "Web Services Policy 1.5 - Attachment" specification can be used to bind specific policies to unique services via either WSDL or UDDI. In the case of a UDDI registry, it defines how policies can be stored and accessed within an associated repository to deliver optimal performance. Successful testing paves the way for UDDI to be included, along with WSDL, as an acceptable means for policy exchange in the Candidate Recommendation of the specification.

Supreme Court Loosens Patent 'Obviousness' Test
Anne Broache, CNET

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday backed away from a decades-old legal test that high-tech firms argue has sparked an abundance of obvious patents. In a hotly anticipated decision that could make it easier to challenge patents of questionable quality, the justices called for loosening the current approach set by the nation's dedicated patent appeals court for deciding when a combination of existing elements deserves patent protection. "Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress and may, in the case of patents combining previously known elements, deprive prior inventions of their value or utility," the court wrote in a majority opinion penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The court heard oral arguments in November in the closely watched case, which is rooted in an obscure dispute between KSR International and Teleflex over vehicle gas pedal designs. Technology companies were quick to praise the decision. Several Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Intel and Cisco Systems, had submitted supporting briefs urging the Supreme Court to revise the lower court ruling. The ruling marks the latest in a string of patent cases that have prompted the Supreme Court to scale back decisions made by the patent appeals court. By the tech industry's description, the high court has so far behaved in a manner that begins to restore some of the balance to a patent system that critics say has been too often tipped in the favor of patent holders. In a high-profile case last year involving eBay, the high court sided with the auction giant in making it more difficult for patent holders to obtain injunctions against the use of their inventions when infringement has occurred. Separately on Monday, the justices knocked down a different Federal Circuit decision involving an ongoing patent spat between Microsoft and AT&T. The court ruled 7-1 that Microsoft is not liable for patent infringement that occurs when the "abstract software code" it supplies to foreign manufacturers is subsequently copied onto machines there.

See also: Reuters


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