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Last modified: June 14, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 14 June 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
IBM Corporation

XHTML 2: Benefit from Richer Content Structures
Bob DuCharme, IBM developerWorks

XHTML 2 specification already has many advantages over XHTML 1, including a greater structural richness that will make it more viable than its predecessor as an editorial format to serve as the central schema for a single-source publishing system. Unlike nearly all HTML-related standards, though, XHTML 2 can provide plenty of value well before any big-name browsers support it, because of the way that it allows greater possibilities for storing content with richer, more sophisticated structures without deviating much from the set of HTML elements and attributes familiar to many. Without waiting for browser support of the new user interface features in XHTML 2, people who do large- or small-scale publishing can start to use these new features now. XHTML 2 continues to clean up the existing syntax to make it simpler, and adds new features. It adds support for XForms, the more sophisticated successor to the forms that have been in HTML for over ten years. XHTML 2 also includes XML Events, which let you identify events to trigger upon certain user interface actions, and thereby reduce the need to write out scripts using JavaScript or ASP. These features will be interesting, especially when the major browsers support them, but other features will be more interesting to people who publish even before the browsers support XHTML 2: (1) A richer, more reusable structure—for example, nestable 'section' element with generic heading 'h' element; (2) More device independence, accessibility, and semantics; (3) Easier addition of metadata—by using existing XHTML attributes and adding a few new ones, XHTML 2 lets you use the new, simpler RDFa syntax to add metadata about documents and document components that have an about attribute to identify them.

See also: the W3C XHTML2 Working Group Charter

OASIS Forms Search Web Services Technical Committee
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS has issued a call for participation in a new Search Web Services Technical Committee, chartered to define search and retrieval web services, combining various current and ongoing web service activities. The group will develop a web service interface specification including: search/retrieve; query; sorting; record retrieval; index browsing. This will include the development or identification of an abstract query language incorporating an extensible framework. The work will involve semantic description of search services but will build upon existing work (e.g. NISO Z39.92) rather than define new descriptions. Within recent years there has been a growth in activity in the development of web service definitions for search and retrieval applications. These include SRU, a web service based in part on the NISO/ISO Search and Retrieval standards; the Amazon OpenSearch, which defines a means of describing and automating search web forms; as well as many proprietary definitions (e.g. the Google and MSN Search APIs). There are also a number of activities for defining abstract search APIs that can be mapped onto multiple implementations either within native code or onto remote procedural calls and web services, such as ZOOM (Z39.50 Object Oriented Model); SQI (Simple Query Interface), an IEEE standard developed for searching and retrieval in the IMS (Instructional Management Systems) space; and OSIDs (Open Service Interface Definitions from the Open Knowledge Initiative. While abstract APIs would be out of scope, these would inform the work to increase interoperability and compatibility.

OpenOffice Sports All-Around Improvements
Tiffany Maleshefski, eWEEK

The latest version of the free-for-all touts across-the-board improvements in the software's word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation applications. However, the brightest aspects of 2.2, which began shipping at the end of March, are its price tag (free) and its impressively broad platform support. runs on: Windows, Linux x86 and PowerPC, Solaris x86 and SPARC, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD. We tested 2.2, which is available for free download from, on Windows XP, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.3, and Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, and the suite performed similarly on all three systems. During eWEEK Labs' tests, we noted the improvements in's popular PDF export function, as well as the progress the suite's Calc spreadsheet application has undergone toward better matching the functionality of Microsoft Excel's prized pivot table feature. IT managers looking for alternatives to Microsoft Office—particularly those unwilling to make the leap to Office 2007—will find 2.2 well worth evaluating because, as the suite offers a good solution for cutting software costs while expanding platform options and minimizing compatibility issues. With that said, our tests of 2.2 and of previous releases have shown that it's not realistic to expect 100 percent compatibility when shuttling complex documents back and forth between and Microsoft Office.

The W3C Multimodal Architecture, Part 3: A Multimodal Web Service
Gerald McCobb, IBM developerWorks

This article discusses multimodal authoring with WSDL, SOAP, XHTML, and JavaScript. Part 3 concludes an analysis of the W3C Multimodal Architecture by showing how multimodal interaction as specified by the W3C Multimodal Architecture can be implemented today as a Web service. The author presents a simple example of an online coffee service, including the WSDL which defined the data types, operations, and service bindings needed by the client. He shows how a client can call the Web Service operations using the Mozilla SOAP API. The first article of this series pointed out several challenges faced by implementations of the W3C Multimodal Architecture. A Web Service implementation of the architecture overcomes these challenges by providing a well-defined interface and data exchange format for a distributed application. This is important because the W3C Architecture is best used to develop a distributed multimodal application. In addition, a Web Service implementation allows for the definition of additional operations for querying the capabilities of multimodal components. It also provides SOAP and the SOAP client API as the multimodal protocol and JavaScript interface. Implementing a distributed multimodal application as a Web service turns out to be an excellent way to leverage the strengths of the W3C Multimodal Architecture and its generic life-cycle API, while also working around some of its weaknesses.

See also: W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity

Preview Release of the LTXML 2 Toolkit
Richard Tobin, XML-DEV Posting

On behalf of the Edinburgh Language Technology Group (LTG), Richard Tobin announced a "Preview Release of LTXML2", available for download from the LTG servers. LTXML2 is the new version of LTG's XML toolkit. "These tools were designed for use in NLP (Natural Language Processing) applications, but many of them are useful for general-purpose XML processing. LTXML2 consists of a C API for reading, writing, and modifying XML documents, an XPath library, and several applications built with these. The present release contains only the applications. The applications include among others lxgrep, a grep-like program for XML; lxt, an XSLT 1.0 implementation; lxprintf, a program for generating plain-text tables from an XML document; and lxsort, a sorting program. Also included is lxtransduce, which is a key part of LT-TTT 2, our set of shallow text NLP tools. LT-TTT 2 will be released this summer [2007]." The LTG was originally established as part of the Human Communication Research Centre, and is now based in the Institute for Communicating and Collaborative Systems of the Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, one of the largest communities of natural language processing specialists in Europe. [Note: Richard Tobin has served as co-editor on several W3C 'XML Core' specifications, including XML Information Set (Second Edition), Namespaces in XML 1.0 (Second Edition), and XML Base (Second Edition). With Norm Walsh, he has recently co-authored an IETF specification "Human Readable Resource Identifiers."]

See also: the HRRI specification

File Descriptions Extension to the Presence Information Data Format (PIDF)
Miguel Garcia-Martin and Marcin Matuszewski (eds), IETF I-D

Presence is defined as the willingness and ability of a user to communicate with other users on the network. Historically, presence has been limited to "on-line" and "off-line" indicators, although the current trend allows to model a number of events in the presence information. The Presence Information Data Format (PIDF) as presented in RFC 3863 defines a common presence data format for Common Profiles for Instant Messaging (CPIM) and Presence (CPP). The Presence Information Data Format encodes presence information in XML. The PIDF has been extended and adapted to work with SIP. The Data Model for Presence (RFC 4479) defines the underlying presence data model used by Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) presence agents. The presence data model structures the presence information of the PIDF in three components: the person, the service, and the device. On the other hand, there are scenarios where a user has a number of available files stored in an endpoint. The user wants to make some of these files for public or private disposal. One of these cases is, for example, when Alice takes some pictures with her camera phone and she wants to share them within a community. This Internet Draft extends the PIDF, or more precise, it extends the device component of the presence data model, to allow the inclusion of a description of available files. A presentity who publishes presence information can include a description of one or more files that are at a watcher's disposal for its downloading.

JRuby 1.0 Released: Bringing Ruby Compatibility to the JVM
Scott Delap, InfoQ

JRuby is an 100% pure-Java implementation of the Ruby programming language. "JRuby 1.0 has been released. From committer Ola Bini's blog: '...JRuby 1.0 is a major milestone for our project. Our main goal for 1.0 has been Ruby compatibility. We feel this goal has been reached. When we see companies like ThoughtWorks offering commercial support; we know this goal has been reached...It is important to notice that JRuby 1.0 is not the end all of Ruby interpreters. It's not perfect. This is just the beginning. We now have a very good base to work from. This is were the real work begins. Join us. It will be a fun ride, and JRuby will just get better...' The release marks 9 months since commiters Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo were hired by Sun. In the time since commiter Ola Bini has also been hired to work on JRuby development by Thoughtworks. The release is being termed as "Ruby compatible" with all known JRuby bugs causing incompatibilities with Matz's Ruby (MRI) resolved. Applications should "just work" out of the box.

See also: JRuby and the Java Platform

XDocs 1.1 DITA-enabled XML Content Management System
Staff, Bluestream Announcement

Bluestream Corp. has announced the release of XDocs 1.1, an XML-based, single-source content management system that enables organizations to publish content to multiple channels. XDocs is an out-of-the box DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) enabled XML content management system ideal for budget conscious organizations that are looking to maximize content reuse and repurposing. Built with the non-technical user in mind, XDocs is a standards-compliant single-sourcing solution that enables technical communicators to create, manage, and store large volumes of both XML and non-XML content. Features (excerpt): (1) Publish Profile—Multiple profiles allow for easy conditional processing and variable insertion at publish time, depending on the pre-selected profile, e.g. variant A vs. variant B of a particular document; (2) Versioning—New versions of documents are automatically created on check-in and old versions are maintained. Switching between versions is easy and intuitive. (3) Publish Variables—Variables can be embedded in content that are set to particular values at publish time. For example, content can contain a CustomerName variable which gets set to the particular customer at publish time. (4) XML Editor Interoperability—XDocs can work with any XML editor currently on the market; however, support for XMetaL has been enhanced.

See also: DITA references

Opera to Replace Flash
Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld

Tatsuki Tomita, senior vice president for consumer products at Opera Software, confirmed that Opera is developing native video functionality for its mobile browser that will replace the ubiquitous Adobe Flash plug-in. Behind the move is a desire to increase the functionality of mobile Web browsers; the Flash plug-in is extremely processor- and memory-intensive and on mobile devices, or any other hardware-constrained device such as even a set-top box, it is not an ideal solution. Tomita cites the Apple iPhone as part of a long-term trend that will see more powerful browsers becoming the de facto operating system or environment on mobile devices. A move away from Flash and its expensive authoring tool could also lower developer costs, especially if over time an open source standard becomes available. For example, a similar move was made years ago by most of the cell phone industry when it deployed SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), an open W3C standard language for describing two-dimensional and graphical applications in XML in mobile browsers rather than using available proprietary solutions. Tomita believes the browser will gain more and more functionality as the operating systems continues to move down the infrastructure food chain. Although there are limitations to applications built on top of a Web browser, they can be overcome if the browser providers work with individual handset manufacturers to control the hardware and middleware capabilities natively.


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