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Last modified: May 24, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 24 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:

Experience of Implementing NETCONF over SOAP
Iijima Tomoyuki, et al. (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Network Configuration (NETCONF) Working Group have published "Experience of implementing NETCONF over SOAP" as an updated Internet Draft. The Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) defined in this document provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices. It uses an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based data encoding for the configuration data as well as the protocol messages. The NETCONF protocol operations are realized on top of a simple Remote Procedure Call (RPC) layer. In order to enable network equipment configuration automatically from network systems, NETCONF is designed to use XML as its description language since XML is easy for systems to understand. XML is a suitable technology to cope with flexible specification changes, and it enables automatic operation. SOAP is also designed to use XML and is expected to become an indispensable technology of Web service. For this reason, SOAP is a prospective technology and well suited to the NETCONF protocol. Peripheral technologies around SOAP/HTTP are well developed, including security technology. For instance, WS-Security and WS-Transaction technology are installed on SOAP only by inserting particular messages in the SOAP Header. If we do not choose SOAP/HTTP as a transport layer of the NETCONF protocol, we have to develop each surrounding technology from scratch. Hence, when introducing additional technologies around SOAP, the development of a NETCONF-based network management system is relatively easy when we choose SOAP as a transport protocol of NETCONF. Several SOAP implementations capable of being installed on NMS are available today. For instance, Apache Axis is a practical free software implementation of SOAP when we choose SOAP as a transport protocol. Rapid parsing in the NMS is achieved since Axis uses SAX as its parser.

See also: NETCONF Configuration Protocol

The Self-Describing Web
Noah Mendelsohn (ed), W3C Draft TAG Finding

The World Wide Web has at least three characteristics that distinguish it from many other shared information spaces: First, the Web is global: the documents on the Web are contributed by and accessed by a very large number of users. Second, supporting ad-hoc exploration is a goal of the Web. Users must therefore be able to get useful information from documents prepared by people whom they don't know, and with whom they have not coordinated in advance. Third, Web architecture dictates that any user agent may at any time issue a GET and attempt to interpret representations for any HTTP resource. The Web is designed to support flexible exploration of information, by human users and by automated agents. For such exploration to be productive, information published by many different sources and for a wide variety of purposes must be comprehensible to a wide variety of Web client software. This finding suggests that there are three strategies that, used in combination, can ensure such flexible interoperability: (1) where practical, resource representations should be encoded using widely deployed standards; (2) where such widely deployed standards are not sufficient, the encodings used should themselves be described in machine readable form on the Web, using RDF, RDDL, or other standard description systems; and (3) in all cases, each representation should carry information such as media-types, character encoding labels, RDFa, links to specifications, etc. sufficient to support automatic determination of the standards and other specifications necessary for correct interpretation. To the extent that these guidelines are observed, individual documents become self-describing, in the sense that only widely available information is necessary for understanding them. Furthermore, when such documents are linked together, the Web as a whole can support reliable, ad hoc discovery of information. This finding discusses in more detail the techniques needed to create such a self-describing Web.

See also: other TAG findings

OASIS Opens IDtrust Member Section
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS has expanded its Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) work to encompass the full identity and trusted infrastructure marketplace. The new OASIS IDtrust Member Section will promote greater understanding and use of standards-based technologies, policies, and practices for identity and trusted infrastructure. The group will provide a neutral setting where government agencies, companies, research institutes, and individuals can work together to facilitate the use of these technologies. Working to identify trust policies for assurance and standardization, IDtrust members will focus on validating and building trust paths. They plan to catalog implementation projects, publish adoption reports, and conduct studies on costs, benefits and risk management. The Member Section will also oversee the work of two OASIS Committees: Enterprise Key Management Infrastructure (EKMI), which defines symmetric key management protocols; and PKI Adoption, which advances the use of digital certificates as a foundation for managing access to network resources and conducting electronic transactions. The Steering Committee seeks suggestions for forming additional committees. Members of the IDtrust Member Section Steering Committee include Abbie Barbir of Nortel Networks, June Leung of FundSERV Inc., Arshad Noor of StrongAuth, Inc., John Sabo of CA, and Ann Terwilliger of Visa International. IDtrust has its roots in PKI Forum, an organization that was founded in 1999. It transitioned its work to OASIS in 2002, where it continued to operate as an independent body focused on broadening adoption for PKI.

See also: the OASIS IDtrust Member Section

Sun and Redflag Collaborate on Chinese Localization of
Staff, Sun Announcement

"Sun Microsystems, Inc., the community, and Redflag Chinese 2000 Software Co, Ltd., have announced a joint development effort that will focus on integrating new features in the Chinese localization of, as well as quality assurance and work on the core applications. Additionally, Redflag Chinese 2000 made public its commitment to the global community stating it would strengthen its support of the development of the world's leading free and open source productivity suite. Under the provisions of the agreement, Beijing Redflag Chinese 2000, which produces the popular RedOffice, will add to the open source project approximately 50 engineers, some of whom have been working on the project since the second half of 2006... is a key implementation of OpenDocument Format (ODF), the ISO 26300 open standard file format for office applications that is completely vendor neutral. The increasing number of contributors continues to strengthen the position of ODF, which is currently supported by a wide range of applications, including, StarOffice, KOffice, IBM Workplace, Google Apps as well as Microsoft Office and FireFox via plug-ins. ODF implementations are available for all major operating system platforms including the Solaris OS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2, FreeBSD and Symbian OS. continues to prove its popularity. The project estimates that there are several million users of the free productivity suite worldwide, and they use it in more than 100 languages and on every key platform. Since 2.2 was released in late March, there have been more than 2.7 million downloads from the Web site and most of these have been of the Windows version, making it the world's leading freely available productivity suite."

See also: Microsoft and Chinese Org work on Office XML Format

AOL Supports Simple Federation with SAMLv2
New Tool Screens Spam, Digitizes Books

AOL Supports Simple Federation with SAMLv2 George Fletcher, Blog "In addition to the work AOL is doing to support OpenID, we've also been working with SAMLv2 to provide a simple federation profile for our partners. This allows users to federate an account at a partner to an account at AOL so that SSO is enabled from the partner to AOL or vise-versa. This implementation uses the 'SAMLv2 Lightweight Web Browser SSO Profile' and 'SAMLv2.0 HTTP POST SimpleSign Binding'. Since the current use cases are fairly restricted we simplified the process even more such that only source-first SSO, using an unsolicited 'Response' message is supported. The actual federation of identifiers is done during the registration process using existing AOL protocols. SAML is then used for the SSO Assertion between the partners... Using the Simple-Sign binding significantly simplified the development effort as XMLDSIG is one of the more complicated parts of SAML. As more tools for XMLDSIG become available this will be less and less of a barrier to adoption."

See also: SAML references

Updated Working Drafts: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Ben Caldwell, Michael Cooper (et al., eds), W3C Technical Reports

W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has released updated Working Drafts for "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0," "Understanding WCAG 2.0", and "Techniques for WCAG 2.0." WCAG 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech difficulties, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also make your Web content more accessible to the vast majority of users, including some older users. These guidelines however are not able to address the needs of all people with disabilities. "Understanding WCAG 2.0" provides detailed information about each success criterion, including its intent, the key terms that are used in the success criterion, and how the success criteria in WCAG 2.0 help people with different types of disabilities. This document also provides examples of Web content that meet the success criterion using various Web technologies (for instance, HTML, CSS, XML), and common examples of Web content that does not meet the success criterion. The "Techniques" document document provides general techniques that describe basic practices that are applicable to any technology, and technology-specific techniques that provide information applicable to specific technologies. Currently, technology-specific techniques are available for HTML, CSS, ECMAScript, SMIL, ARIA, and Web servers. The World Wide Web Consortium only documents techniques for non-proprietary technologies; the WCAG Working Group hopes vendors of other technologies will provide similar techniques to describe how to conform to WCAG 2.0 using those technologies. Use of the techniques provided in this document makes it easier for Web content to demonstrate conformance to WCAG 2.0 success criteria than if these techniques are not used.

See also: the W3C news item

New Tool Screens Spam and Digitizes Books
Stephen Shankland, CNET

A group of Carnegie Mellon University programmers has launched a service called ReCaptcha that can help cut down on spam while letting people digitize books. The project is a variation of the widely used "Captcha" technique to weed out computer abuse such as e-mailing spam or posting spam on blog comments. Captchas require users to pass little pattern recognition tests, commonly reading distorted or obscured words. ReCaptcha turns this chore into a productive task by letting users digitize scanned images of words that computers couldn't figure out. The service presents users with two words, one from a conventional Captcha test and the other an unknown word that a computerized optical character recognition couldn't figure out. If the user correctly identifies the known word, he or she is presumed to have decoded the unknown one. Currently, ReCaptcha requires three separate people to digitize the word the same before it's determined to be correct, von Ahn said. Von Ahn was a member of the Carnegie Mellon team that developed Captcha in response to a Yahoo request for technology to keep computers from registering for bogus e-mail accounts. The ReCaptcha project is digitizing books in the Internet Archive, a project building a digital library of cultural materials and that operates the Wayback Machine of historical Web site snapshots.


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