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Last modified: May 16, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 16 May 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages
Martin Duerst and Asmus Freytag (eds), Technical Report

This updated Technical Report contains guidelines on the use of the Unicode Standard in conjunction with markup languages such as XML. The issues of using Unicode characters with marked-up text depend to some degree on the rules of the markup language in question and the set of elements it contains. In a narrow sense, this document concerns itself only with XML, and to some extent HTML. The Unicode Standard defines the universal character set. Its primary goal is to provide an unambiguous encoding of the content of plain text, ultimately covering all languages in the world, but also major text-based notational systems for science, technology, music, and scholarship. Currently in its fifth major version, Unicode contains a large number of characters covering most of the currently used scripts in the world. It also contains additional characters for interoperability with older character encodings, and characters with control-like functions included primarily for reasons of providing unambiguous interpretation of plain text. Unicode provides specifications for use of all of these characters. In many instances, markup provides the same, or essentially similar features to those provided by format characters in the Unicode Standard for use in plain text. While there may be valid reasons to support these characters and their specifications in plain text, their use in marked-up text can conflict with the rules of the markup language. The base version of the Unicode Standard for the TR is "The Unicode Standard, Version 5.0." The Technical Report has been published jointly by the Unicode Technical Committee and by the W3C Internationalization Core Working Group, which is part of the W3C Internationalization Activity. As Unicode Technical Report #20, Revision 8 the document updates Revision #7 published 2003-06-13.

See also: XML and Unicode

Semantically Enabled SOA
Arunava Chatterjee, Dr. Dobb's Journal

Semantic Service-Oriented Architectures (SSOA) introduce semantic enhancements to services so that agents can dynamically combine services to satisfy business goal. One might conclude that to implement SSOA, you must create a domain-specific ontology, semantically enhanced services, and provide a process-aware mechanism, such as a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) engine, that leverages the ontology and the semantic extensions to build business processes. RDF and OWL arise, therefore, as a means to enable SSOA. Semantically enhancing services implies including metadata into the service definition. This can be handled within the service definition or within the service discovery infrastructure. In a web services environment, extensions to WSDL may be used, or the UDDI can be extended to provide additional semantic-level detail. As suggested by the desire for BEM and CEP, the ultimate goal of SSOA is dynamic process creation and management. Deterministic, statistical, and hybrid approaches may be used to create processes upon deployment or at runtime. A number of approaches are being studied. Deterministic process creation can be represented in an activity diagram and achieved by creating process templates using a business-process-specific language, such as a BPEL or Business Process Modeling Language (BPML). The process template specifies start and end states, and a sequence of activities that occur during the process. The service implementations are not defined in the template but are bound to services at deployment time or runtime.

Advancing Translational Research with the Semantic Web
Alan Ruttenberg, Tim Clark (et al.), BMC Bioinformatics

W3C's Semantic Web for Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group (HCLSIG) was chartered to develop and support the use of Semantic Web technologies and practices to improve collaboration, research and development, and innovation adoption in the of Health Care and Life Science domains. HCLSIG has reached a significant milestone with their publication of the article "Advancing Translational Research with the Semantic Web." This joint work of the Interest Group was published in BMC Bioinformatics, a peer-reviewed open access journal that plays a central role in the bioinformatics community. The authors illustrate the value of Semantic Web technologies to neuroscience researchers and biomedicine and report on several projects by members of the Interest Group. "We have come to believe the judicious application of Semantic Web technologies can lead to faster movement of innovation from research laboratory to clinic or hospital. The Semantic Web approach offers an expanding mix of standards, technologies, and social practices layered on top of the most successful information dissemination and sharing apparatus in existence—the World Wide Web. Some of the elements of the technology most relevant to biomedical research include: (1) The global scope of identifiers that follow from the use of URIs offer a path out of the complexities caused by the proliferation of local identifiers for entities of biomedical interest. (2) RDFS and OWL are self-descriptive, flexible, extendable, and decentralized because they are designed for use in the dynamic, global environment of the Web. RDFS and OWL support hierarchical relationships at their core, allowing for easy incorporation of subclass and subproperty relationships that are essential for managing and integrating complex data." [Note: As with other articles in "Semantic e-Science in Biomedicine" Supplement 3, this paper is heavily researched: it has 101 bibliographic references.]

See also: HCLSIG

TIBCO Advances AJAX Messaging
Darryl K. Taft, eWEEK

TIBCO Software Inc. recently announced the availability of TIBCO AJAX Message Service Version 1.0, its enterprise messaging software. The service pushes live data and events from servers to Web pages, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications and other software. TIBCO AMS enables data and events to stream to the client over the firewall-friendly and HTTP networks that make up corporate intranets and the Web. Meanwhile, as many users prefer to deliver applications to the Web browser, TIBCO's AMS requires no plug-ins, applets, Active-X controls or software installations to connect. The product features support for multiple concurrent users; performance monitoring; multiplexing to combine message streams over a single HTTP connection; throttling to detect available bandwidth and adjust data flows accordingly; and the filtering of data streams. Kevin Hakman, TIBCO director of product management, said with the recent growth of AJAX-based RIA (Rich Internet Applications), TIBCO sought to incorporate AJAX into its messaging capabilities to provide the opportunity for organizations to offer rich, interactive services and information such as real-time notifications, dashboards or financial services portfolio management and derivatives data via Web-based infrastructure. TIBCO AMS is a 'Comet' technology—a type of application where the server keeps pushing (or streaming) data to the client, instead of having the browser keep polling the server for fresh content.

WS-Security Support Improved in Latest WSO2 WSF/C Release
Staff, WSO2 Open Source Software Announcement

"The WSO2 WSF/C team is happy to announce the Alpha2 release of the Web Services Framework for C. This version has greater support for WS-Security and also supports WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Eventing. Alpha1 of WSF/C was only able to send and verify UsernameTokens with PlainText password and Digested password. This release extends its WS-Security support to include: Ability to send Timestamp tokens; Policy based configurations as per WS-Security Policy; SOAP message encryption; SOAP message signature. WSF/C Alpha2 also introduces WS-ReliableMessaging. It now has support for WS-ReliableMessaging in both client side and server side of Axis2C along with a pluggable storage framework, configurable delivery assurances (exactly once delivery assurance is guaranteed), support for both SOAP 1.1 and 1.2, Client API—which provides features for both general and advance users. It also has samples to test RM scenarios and interoperates with Java and .net... WSF/C is an Open Source framework released under Apache License v2.0, for providing and consuming Web services. It is one of the core implementations of WSO2 Web Services Framework (WSF). WSO2 WSF/C is based on Apache Axis2/C, Apache Rampart/C and Apache Sandesha2/C. The advantage of using WSO2 WSF/C is that it comes with all WS-* implementations of the Apache Axis2/C family of projects integrated together, tested and ready to be used. It also comes with an additional XMPP transport and a command line interface for consuming web services, named 'wsclient'.

See also: the WS-RM news story

Modeling and Generating Web Services Metadata
Xi Ning Wang, Xin Peng Liu, Liang Xue; IBM developerWorks

Web services metadata is a piece of the data puzzle for Web services because it provides essential information, such as the XML schema, the Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and the Web Services Policy Framework (WS-Policy). WSDL defines an XML-based syntax for describing network services as a set of endpoints that accept messages containing either document-oriented or procedure-oriented information. The operations and messages are described abstractly, but they are bound to a concrete network protocol and message format to define an endpoint. Related concrete endpoints are combined into abstract endpoints (services). WS-Policy defines a base set of constructs that can be used and extended by other specifications for Web services to describe a broad range of service requirements, preferences, and capabilities. Web services metadata contains both functional and nonfunctional aspects that provide essential information, such as the XML schema, the Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and the Web Services Policy Framework (WS-Policy). Although the UML-to-XSD transformation is one of several model-to-model and model-to-text transformations delivered with Rational Software Architect, this article focuses on modeling and generating the functional WSDL aspect and the nonfunctional WS-Policy aspect. This article describes three views (Message, Service, and Policy). A future article will cover the other two views and their combinations.

Microsoft Patent Claims Complicated by GPLv3
Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld

The expected approval of the GPLv3 (GNU General Public License version 3) could further muddy the waters for Microsoft's claims it will collect payment on its patents for Linux technology, as there is a question about whether the company's interoperability deal with Novell will violate the forthcoming final draft. The current version of the GPL, the open source license for Linux, does not have specific protection against patent litigation for companies distributing Linux. However, GPLv3, which is expected to be in final release in the next couple of months, has a provision promising patent safety to those who receive software, such as Linux, distributed under the license. The provision was put in specifically to make deals such as the one Microsoft struck with Novell "useless" to Microsoft so that it cannot make similar pacts that include royalty payments with other companies, said Eben Moglen, chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center and a Columbia University professor of law and legal history who cowrote the GPLv3 draft. The catch is that no one is sure if Microsoft's agreement to distribute coupons for Suse Linux Enterprise Support through the Novell deal would deem it a Linux distributor and require the company to be compliant with the GPL. And Moglen, who has examined the Microsoft-Novell deal but is under a nondisclosure agreement forbidding him from revealing specifics, said that the answer will remain unclear unless Microsoft and Novell go public with that element of their deal.

See also: "Through the Patent Looking Glass"


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