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Last modified: May 22, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 22 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:

IETF Publishes XML Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP) Specifications
Staff, IESG RFC Editor Announcments

Memos from the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) RFC Editor announce the availability of three XCAP 'Request for Comments' specifications in the online RFC libraries. All three are Standards Track, Proposed Standard Protocol documents, produced by members of IETF's SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) Working Group. RFC 4825 "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP)", edited by Jonathan Rosenberg of Cisco, allows a client to read, write, and modify application configuration data stored in XML format on a server. XCAP maps XML document sub-trees and element attributes to HTTP URIs, so that these components can be directly accessed by HTTP. It defines the 'application/xcap-caps+xml' MIME Type. In many communications applications, such as Voice over IP, instant messaging, and presence, it is necessary for network servers to access per-user information in the process of servicing a request. This per-user information resides within the network, but is managed by the end user themselves. Its management can be done through a multiplicity of access points, including the web, a wireless handset, or a PC application. describes a protocol that can be used to manipulate XCAP per-user data such as presence authorization policy (which defines rules about which watchers are allowed to subscribe to a presentity, and what information they are allowed to access) or presence lists, which are lists of users whose presence is desired by a watcher. RFC 4826 "Extensible Markup Language (XML) Formats for Representing Resource Lists" addresses the need in multimedia communications, presence, and instant messaging systems, to define Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that represent services that are associated with a group of users. With a resource list service, for example, if a user sends a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) SUBSCRIBE message to the URI representing the resource list service, the server will obtain the state of the users in the associated group, and provide it to the sender. To facilitate definition of these services, RFC 4826 defines two Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents. One document contains service URIs, along with their service definition and a reference to the associated group of users. The second document contains the user lists that are referenced from the first. This list of users can be utilized by other applications and services. Both documents can be created and managed with the XML Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP). RFC 4827 "An Extensible Markup Language (XML) Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP) Usage for Manipulating Presence Document Contents" describes XCAP for manipulating the contents of Presence Information Data Format (PIDF) based presence documents. It is intended to be used in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based presence systems, where the Event State Compositor can use the XCAP-manipulated presence document as one of the inputs on which it builds the overall presence state for the presentity.

See also: RFC 4826

SML Promises Common Language For Systems Management
Christina Torode,

IT managers ready to retire those bulky paper guides used for configuring systems in favor of point-and-click tools may get their wish if the Service Modeling Language (SML) specification becomes an industry-wide standard. SML, which is based on the XML schema, was submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in March for consideration as a standard. As it stands now, every systems management vendor shows IT managers how to configure and manage systems in a different way—whether through print or through programming. If adopted as an industry standard for systems management, the Service Modeling Language would give vendors a common programming language to create ideal configurations and provide ongoing recommendations for maintaining systems in heterogeneous environments. Having that type of blueprint in place, IT shops would also be able to point and click to see if a system has drifted from a pre-set configuration. Essentially any component on the network would have an ideal configuration model or blueprint as a guide for IT managers to follow.

See also: the news story

An Approach to Realizing User-Friendly Authoring Tool for Document-Centric XML
Tetsuya Tashiro, XTech 2007 Conference Presentation

This paper was presented at XTech 2007 "The Ubiquitous Web" conference held 15-18 May 2007 in Paris, France. The author discusses "an approach to realizing user-friendly authoring tool for Document-centric XML. Several XML vocabularies, such as XHTML, DocBook, DITA, ODF, or OpenXML are suitable for general documentation. But in this discussion, we mainly consider XML vocabularies defined for specific applications Model-view-controller (MVC) approach is popular in application development and often employs XML as data model. In order to support MVC driven development of XML based application, high capability of binding XML data with appropriate (rich and user-friendly) views is required. The capability of navigating and restricting users' data manipulation is also required. Current typical XML based application is form-based application that handles data-centric XML and it seems that less attention is paid to handling document-centric XML. But we believe both types are important and the capability of handling both is the important basis for XML based application... xfy Client provides an environment to display and edit compound XML documents that contain multiple XML vocabularies in a single XML document. xfy Client is equipped with a plug-in feature, which allows the number of XML vocabularies handled to be increased flexibly. An XML vocabulary can be displayed and edited by adding a corresponding Vocabulary component."

See also: the conference schedule

Open Data in HTML: GRDDL, eRDF and RDFa
Lee Feigenbaum and Elias Torres, XTech 2007 Conference Presentation

In these Web 2.0-3.0 days, there is a lot of expectation for data publishers to offer their data through APIs, but there is no clear way to encode and query this data in a universal way. The most popular approaches currently are microformats, eRDF, RDFa and GRDDL. Microformats are defined as simple conventions for embedding semantics in HTML to enable decentralized development. They are designed for humans first and machines second. Microformats are a way of thinking that focuses on taking very short steps to solve specific problems one at a time. RDFa is currently a proposal at the W3C for a syntax to express structured data in XHTML. The underlying abstract representation is RDF, which lets publishers build their own vocabulary, extend others, and evolve their vocabularies with maximal interoperability over time. eRDF is a similar syntax, developed by Talis, except that it restricts itself to only existing attributes and does not depend on XHTML: eRDF can work with any flavor or version of HTML. GRDDL defines a standard for declaring that a Web page or XML document can be transformed into an RDF graph, as well as the algorithm or mechanism for performing such transformation. These tranformations can be applied to XML and XHTML documents alike. GRDDL serves two purposes. First, it joins the gap between microformats and RDFa by providing a mechanism to extract a more general model (RDF) for machine consumption from microformat syntax. Second, GRDDL satisfies those situations in which adding significant semantic markup to existing content is simply not feasible. GRDDL defines a mechanism to provide pointers to transformations at the namespace location, allowing content to be transformed into RDF without it having to include such a pointer.

See also: the GRDDL Primer

Atom Feed Paging and Archiving
Mark Nottingham (ed), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF atompub Working Group have released an updated version of "Feed Paging and Archiving." Syndicated Web feeds (using such formats as Atom) are often split up into multiple documents to save bandwidth, allow "sliding window" access, or for other purposes. The "Feed Paging and Archiving" specification defines three types of syndicated Web feeds that enable publication of entries across one or more feed documents. This includes "paged" feeds for piecemeal access, "archived" feeds that allow reconstruction of the feed's contents, and feeds that are explicitly "complete". In this specification, "feed document" refers to an Atom Feed Document or similar syndication instance document. It may contain any number of entries, and may or may not be a complete representation of the logical feed. A "logical feed" is the complete set of entries associated with a feed (as contrasted with a feed document, which may contain a subset of them). "Head section" refers to a document's feed-wide metadata container; e.g., the child elements of the atom:feed element in an Atom Feed Document. Changes in this version of the specification include: text for example of how archived feeds work; more explanatory abstract; update previously registered link relations to point to this document; expanded security considerations; removed URI for RSS, as policy discourages use of URIs for references (contentious); various tweaks and corrections.

See also: Atom references

Signing, Encrypting, and Decrypting Atom: Abdera Meets Java Cryptography
Nicholas Chase, IBM developerWorks

Atom is a great format for relaying information, but what about security concerns? XML Digital Signatures can ensure that data comes from a trusted party and that it in unaltered, and XML Encryption can obscure sensitive information from prying eyes. But how can you use these technologies without destroying Atom structures? This article shows you how digital signatures and encryption can easily mesh with Atom data using the Apache Abdera API. The article assumes that you are familiar with the concepts behind the Atom syndication format. You should also have at least a passing familiarity with the concepts behind XML security, though this isn't strictly necessary. We use fairly simple examples of using Atom data with both digital signatures, which verify both the sender and the integrity of the information, and encryption, which prevents unauthorized parties from obtaining sensitive information. To accomplish these tasks, we use the Apache Abdera project, which enables one to easily manipulate Atom data. Abdera also includes objects that make it possible to integrate easily with client side certificates, to automatically encrypt Atom data at the servlet level, and more.

Suits Swarm on "Web 3.0" Conference
Paul Roberts, InfoWorld

Tim Berners-Lee has been talking about the 'next' World Wide Web almost since the first World Wide Web, which he's credited with inventing, took off. Indeed, Berners-Lee first articulated his vision for a next generation Web in 1998, when he called for a standards-based system for tying together all the different kinds of information that companies and consumers now wrestle with. Berners-Lee has had to struggle mightily for almost a decade to promote his vision of life beyond the WWW, promoting new standards like RDF (Rich Document Format) and OWL (Web Ontology Language) before most people had a clear notion of how they'd be used. All that work finally appears to be paying off, if the crowds and buzz at the Semantic Technology Conference are any indication. The conference, which is being held this week in San Jose, may be remembered as a kind of turning point, where years of largely academic discussions of Semantic technology ontologies and standards within the international standards community finally began to produce real applications and attract real interest from large technology vendors, venture capitalists and enterprise IT leaders. Tom Ilube, CEO of UK-based Garlik, a privacy startup that uses semantic technology to monitor personal data use online, said that two years ago, VCs often were unfamiliar with the Semantic Technology concept and sent him on his way. These days, that's rarely the case. "I've talked to half a dozen VCs in the last 24 hours," Richard Soley [OMG] said. "There's definitely a lot of interest." Soley thinks that Semantic technology will work its way into existing SOA deployments and enterprise data integration efforts as an enabling technology behind the scenes: "Semantic technology is an enabling technology. Things like OWL and RDF and UML as the modelling language gives you an infrastructure. But that's just enabling technology. What we need on top are standards about how can I can capture it and reuse it and optimize it. The focus should be on the business strategy not the technology."

See also: the conference schedule

Mindreef Releases SOAPscope Server 6.0 and Load Check
Staff, Dr. Dobb's Journal

Mindreef Inc. has announced the release of SOAPscope Server 6.0 featuring a new plug-in software architecture for SOA testing, performance, and quality that enables test-driven development of web services and composite applications. SOAPscope Server 6.0 has been expanded to support add-on modules—the first of which is Load Check. Load Check significantly reduces the complexity and cost of load testing and makes it available to the entire service team. The expandable SOAPscope Server architecture allows teams to add modules specific to their needs as their SOA implementations grow from tens to hundreds of services and become more complex. In addition to Mindreef Load Check, SOAPscope Server 6.0 introduces other product enhancements and features. These include named endpoint mapping, which allows services to be easily tested in different environments, such as development, testing, and production; test suites that pull together multiple scenario tests into an automated regression test with graphical results and PDF reports; service Spaces that make it possible to support multiple service teams on one SOAPscope server; and the Policy Rules Manager, which provides easy-to-author policy validation rules and validation of services.

See also: the online description


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