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Last modified: June 21, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 21 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:

WS-ReliableMessaging Version 1.1 Approved as an OASIS Standard
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS announced that its members have approved Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-ReliableMessaging) version 1.1 as an OASIS Standard. WS-ReliableMessaging allows messages to be transferred reliably despite failures in software components, systems, or networks. It enables a broad range of reliability features, including ordered delivery, duplicate elimination, and guaranteed receipt. Paul Fremantle of WSO2, co-chair of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Exchange (WS-RX) Technical Committee: "Reliable messaging is one of the features customers demand most as they move to electronic business. The problem is that messages can be lost, repeated, or reordered, and host systems can fail. WS-ReliableMessaging addresses all these risks by providing a modular mechanism that identifies, tracks, and manages the reliable transfer of messages between a source and a destination." Sanjay Patil of SAP, co-chair of the OASIS WS-RX Technical Committee: "WS-ReliableMessaging delivers a key element in the openness of an enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA) and provides a critical building block that can be used in conjunction with other specifications and application-specific protocols to reliably handle a wide variety of SOA requirements and scenarios." The extensible nature of WS-ReliableMessaging allows additional functionality, such as security, to be tightly integrated. It incorporates a SOAP binding for interoperability and allows additional bindings to be defined. The protocol can be implemented with a variety of robustness characteristics ranging from in-memory persistence scoped to a single process lifetime, to replicated durable storage that is recoverable in the most extreme circumstances. The WS-ReliableMessaging OASIS Standard was developed by representatives of Adobe, BEA Systems, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, IONA, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel, Novell, Oracle, Progress Software, Red Hat, SAP, Sun Microsystems, TIBCO, webMethods, and others.

See also: Reliable Messaging references

IBM Uncoils Viper 2 Beta
Brian Prince, eWEEK

IBM has released to the public a beta version of DB2 Viper 2, the newest incarnation of its data server. IBM is promising Viper 2 will expand on its predecessor by simplifying the development and administration of XML in DB2 with features such as a built-in SQL function that allows users to transform XML documents using an XML style sheet. Other enhancements include better integration of workload management functionality into the database engine and automated backup maintenance. DB2 Viper 2 builds on the flexibility and power of pureXML by simplifying both development and the administration of XML in DB2. DB2 Viper 2 now integrates workload management functionality into the database engine. This new technology allows DBAs to have full control over how and which workloads run in their databases and manage them based on the needs of the business. From the description 'Highlights of the DB2 Viper 2 Release': (1) Increased integration between relational and XML functionality allowing for easy development and XML publishing of relational data; (2) Greater knowledge and control of your systems with integrated workload management; (3) Hand's off fail over with automated and easy to use high availability; (4) Greater flexibility and granularity in security, auditing and access control; (5) Simplified memory management and increased customization capabilities.

See also: DB2 Viper 2 Open Beta Program

Canonical XML 1.1 Becomes a W3C Candidate Recommendation
John Boyer and Glenn Marcy (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C is pleased to announce the advancement of "Canonical XML 1.1" to Candidate Recommendation. Comments on this document are due by 30-September-2007, but earlier comments are expressly solicited. The XML Core Working Group will advance the specification to Proposed Recommendation when the following exit criteria have been met: (1) Test documents must have been developed with a range of usages of attributes in the XML namespace, and correct and compatible results shown for these tests by at least two implementations; (2) A minimum of three months of the CR period must have elapsed. The canonical XML method is used to determine whether an application has changed a document and whether two XML documents are identical, allowing for low-level changes in syntax permitted by XML 1.0. The XML 1.0 Recommendation specifies the syntax of a class of resources called XML documents and "Namespaces in XML Recommendation" specifies additional syntax and semantics for XML documents. It is possible for XML documents which are equivalent for the purposes of many applications to differ in physical representation. For example, they may differ in their entity structure, attribute ordering, and character encoding When the canonical forms are identical the originals are logically equivalent within the application's context. Version 1.1 addresses inheritance of attributes when canonicalizing document subsets, to not inherit xml:id, and to treat xml:base URI path processing properly. The term canonical XML refers to XML that is in canonical form. The XML canonicalization method is the algorithm defined by this specification that generates the canonical form of a given XML document or document subset. The term XML canonicalization refers to the process of applying the XML canonicalization method to an XML document or document subset.

See also: the W3C news item

Ecma Evolves JavaScript for Objects
Alex Handy, SD Times

After 12 years, JavaScript is making the jump to 2.0, and a lot has changed since this language was first released in December 1995, in a beta of the Netscape 2.0 browser. In the meantime, Microsoft swamped the browser market, Ecma International standardized JavaScript, and XML became a reality. JavaScript has slowly grown to become the most important language for Web developers, thanks to the copy-and-paste nature of Web code, and the popularity of mixing Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, also known as AJAX. Over the next few months, the language will be evolving into a more object-oriented form, if its creator [Brendan Eich] gets his way. ECMAScript is the Ecma standard version of JavaScript, and it has been slowly moving toward version 2.0 over the past couple of years. For all intents and purposes, ECMAScript and JavaScript are soon to become one and the same, as Eich hopes that version 2.0 will be the standard upon which all other implementations are based. Eich noted that Microsoft and Adobe Systems have both produced implementations of this as-yet unfinished language, Microsoft's JScript .NET and Adobe's Flash ActionScript. He said he hopes that ECMAScript 2.0 will spur browser makers to adhere to that standard, rather than create their own specific versions of the language. The site went live in mid-May, and offers developers the chance to play with ECMAScript 2.0. Eich expects more content in June, including bug tracking and links to reference implementations.

See also: the reference implementation web site

Getting Productive with the XMLMind XML Editor

James Elliott and Marc Loy What do you use when you need to edit large technical documents with complex structure and cross-references? Presentation-focused editors like Word are completely inadequate to this kind of task. For some time, things looked increasingly desperate. We hung on, running old FrameMaker versions in Apple's Classic OS emulation mode (which works only on older PowerPC hardware). Happily, an alternative has emerged based on the DocBook XML format, an open standard for representing technical documentation. There is a growing tool chain for this format, with a family of editors and processors that can format output as HTML or for print. One editor stands out from the pack. The XMLmind XML Editor (XXE for short) is a great general-purpose XML editor, but has surprisingly powerful support for working with DocBook materials in an author-friendly way. We were introduced to it by the Tools group at O'Reilly, and once we got the hang of it, started feeling hopeful and enthusiastic about the future of technical writing software again. While it's not perfect, it's a lot better than we expected, and seems to be growing fast. Like any powerful tool, of course, there are some details and techniques that you need to learn before you feel proficient and can focus on your actual goals rather than figuring out how to wield the tool in a way that helps rather than hindering. This article tries to leverage our own learning struggles to make your own learning process faster and more pleasant. So if you decide to adopt XMLmind for your technical writing—and we certainly hope you do -- here are some pointers that should help... [Note: "XMLmind XML Editor allows to edit large, complex, modular, XML documents. It makes it easy mastering XML vocabularies such as DocBook or DITA. XMLmind XML Editor is not a tool for programmers: its users are generally technical writers.]

See also: XMLmind XML Editor

The Concordia Project and XML Security Interoperability
Ed Tittel,

Those already familiar with XML security standards, especially those that relate to identity presentation and management, also know that this is a fragmented landscape, populated with multiple, formerly unrelated and not always compatible, schemes. Simply put, the Concordia Project seeks to make some order from this chaos, and to define mechanisms whereby various competing or incompatible identity schemes can seek what the groups goals describe as "harmonization and interoperability of identity specifications and protocols." This already sounds pretty good, but when you look at the group's purpose, principles, and charter, you find specific mention of the following existing or emerging standards: (1) CardSpace, Microsoft's .NET initiative for identity presentation and management; (2) Liberty Alliance Project, an open initiative that aims to establish a similarly open standard for federated network identity; (3) OpenID, an open and decentralized identity system designed "not to crumble if one company turns evil or goes out of business"; (4), an organization "established to provide easy access to tools and information to jumpstart the development of more secure and privacy-respecting identity-based applications based on Liberty Federation and Liberty Web Services standards"; (5) Open Source, a general movement for creating open, royalty-free, publicly accessible information processing standards and software; (6) SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), initiative underway at OASIS, seeks to define and maintain a standard, XML-based framework for creating and exchanging security information, including identity, between online partners; (7) WS-Federation, a member of the Web Services family of XML specifications, is spearheaded by IBM and seeks to define "mechanisms to allow different security realms to federate by allowing and brokering trust of identities, attributes [and] authentication between participating Web services." This working group, organized on April 24, 2007, wants to unite these and other standards and to help foster development of one ubiquitous, interoperable, privacy-respecting layer that all developers and Web site operators can share.

See also: the Concordia Project

Backlash Against IP Protection Deals Heating Up
Keith Ward, Application Development Trends

For the past several weeks, there has been a rush among some Linux vendors to ink patent protection deals with Microsoft. But that may have spurred a backlash, as other Linux companies are asserting their independence by refusing to go along with what they see as knuckling under to Microsoft's legal threats. The latest to state its independence is Paris-based Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft), which makes a desktop Linux distribution called Mandriva Linux. In a blog entry, CEO Francois Bancilhon made his company's position clear: "We don't believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone." Mandriva's announcement followed closely on the heels of a similar announcement from Ubuntu Linux developer Mark Shuttleworth, who wrote that "A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for." Those companies have joined Red Hat Linux, the largest Linux company in the industry, which provided the following statement on its Web site: "An innovation tax is unthinkable. Free and open source software provide the necessary environment for true innovation. Innovation without fear or threat. Activities that isolate communities or limit upstream adoption will inevitably stifle innovation."


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