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Last modified: June 29, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 29 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:

Final Text for GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) Version 3
Staff, FSF Announcement

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has released version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the world's most popular free software license. "Since we founded the free software movement, over 23 years ago, the free software community has developed thousands of useful programs that respect the user's freedom. The programs are in the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as personal computers, telephones, Internet servers, and more. Most of these programs use the GNU GPL to guarantee every user the freedom to run, study, adapt, improve, and redistribute the program," said Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. Version 3 of the GNU GPL strengthens this guarantee, by ensuring that users can modify the free software on their personal and household devices, and granting patent licenses to every user. It also extends compatibility with other free software licenses and increases international uniformity. The warm embrace of much of the community should come as no surprise, for the license is the final result of an unprecedented drafting process that has seen four published drafts in eighteen months. These were the basis for a discussion that included thousands of comments from the public. This feedback, along with input from committees representing the public and private sectors, and legal advice from the Software Freedom Law Center, was used in writing the text of GPL version 3. Tivoization and Treacherous (aka, 'Trusted') Computing are schemes to prevent users from utilizing modified or alternate software. The former simply blocks modified software from running; the latter enables web sites to refuse to talk to modified software. Both are typically used to impose malicious features such as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). GPL version 3 does not restrict the features of a program; in particular, it does not prohibit DRM. However, it prohibits the use of tivoization and Treacherous Computing to stop users from changing the software. Thus, they are free to remove whatever features they may dislike.

See also: the Final GPLv3 text

GPLv3 Emerges After Long Debate, Opposition Muted
Charles Babcock, InformationWeek

Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation launched GPL Version 3 on Friday [2007-06-29] from its Boston headquarters, with an eye toward restricting patent actions against free software. GPL 3's impact will only slowly be felt as it is adopted as the license of choice on various open source projects. But its adoption is practically assured as developers close ranks in the face of Microsoft charges that Linux and other open source code projects violate 235 of its patents. The GPL 2 and its predecessors have been the license of choice on the majority of open source code projects. The GPL revolutionized the way software is written and distributed. Instead of setting fees and license limitations, the GPL granted developers a broad writ to use code freely and modify it, but it required those modifications to be given back to the developer community. One of the early adopters of GPL 3 will be the Samba Server project, which supplies file translation code between Linux and Windows. Jeremy Allison, leader of the project, said Version 3 "a necessary update to deal with the new threats to free software that have emerged since version 2 of the GPL." The Samba team will be discussing a move to GPLv3 now that the license is available, but Allison couldn't predict how soon it will be adopted; he said the provisions of GPLv3 will provide greater protection for the freedoms of individual contributors. In the long term, it will provide greater incentive for them to contribute code." GPL 3 "clarifies language that was unclear in GPLv2 and addresses many issues that did not exist when GPLv2 was written more than 15 years ago," noted Sun Microsystems Simon Phipps, chief open source officer. Sun offers Java Standard Edition under the GPLv2 license.

Organizing Principles for Identity Systems: Concordia Meeting Notes
Mark Wahl, Blog

The Concordia Project workshop in San Francisco preceding the Burton Group Catalyst Conference reviewed use cases from organizations deploying services that would encourage interoperability between multiple identity protocols on the Internet. The presentation by speakers from GM included a use case of user who logged into a Microsoft platform should be able to leverage that login into other environments, and a use case for user authentication by a trusted device (such as a user logging in from home with an information card)... The room discussion focused on the current inconsistency in the protocols and implementations on whether and how idle session timeout and single logout can be implemented. The presentation by speakers from the US GSA on the eAuthentication project included statement of a primary goal is to re-use authentication credentials issued by one organization (not necessarily a government entity) at other organizations (initially federal government agencies), in a identity provider - relying party model. The Managed Validation and Translation Service (MVTS) component can translate from a PKI-based authentication credential (which in their model has a relatively high level of authentication strength) to a SAML assertion, which suitable for use by relying parties operating at a lower level of relying party application risk. The eAuthentication project currently supports 21 agencies, 51 relying party applications with 5 SAML-based and 3 PKI-based identity providers. Some of the challenges: (1) Deployments were more difficult due to implementations which maintained a separation between the 'session layer' and 'application layer' functionality: the federation application often could not control what was sent or obtain what was received in TLS negotiation. (2) Federation product implementations often made assumptions about the contents of identity provider and relying party user databases, that either a user has accounts on both the identity provider and relying party, and can authenticate to both the identity provider and relying party, and use that to establish a link between those accounts, or the user does not have an account in the relying party, and an account needs to be created there. By contrast, in their environment there is often a need for account activation and account linking in which there are federated users about whom there records in a relying party database, but those records are not 'accounts' (e.g., they do not have authentication credentials). (3) As the federation grows and the deployment matures, there are scaling concerns for secure metadata distribution and federation trust anchors.

See also: the Concordia Project

ECMA Technical Committee 46: An XML Paper Specification (XPS) Standard
Staff, Ecma International

Ecma International has published a Programme of Work for "TC46 - XML Paper Specification (XPS)", closely aligned with standardization activities in Ecma "TC45 - Office Open XML Formats." TC 45 was chartered "to produce a formal standard for office productivity applications within the Ecma International standards process which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats. The aim is to enable the implementation of the Office Open XML Formats by a wide set of tools and platforms in order to foster interoperability across office productivity applications and with line-of-business systems." The new TC46 - XML Paper Specification (XPS) has a goal to "produce a formal standard for office productivity applications within the Ecma International standards process which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats. The aim is to enable the implementation of the Office Open XML Formats by a wide set of tools and platforms in order to foster interoperability across office productivity applications and with line-of-business systems. The Technical Committee will also be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and evolution of the standard. [In detail] the goal is to (1) Produce a standard which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats, including full and comprehensive documentation of those formats in the style of an international standard, with particular attention given to enabling the implementation of the Office Open XML Formats by a wide set of tools and platforms in order to foster interoperability across office productivity applications and with line-of-business systems. (2) Produce a comprehensive set of W3C XML Schemas for the Office Open XML Formats, with particular attention given to self documentation of the schemas and testing of the XSDs for validation using a wide variety of XSD tools of the market and cross platform. The Group will then contribute the Ecma Office Open XML Formats standards to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for approval and adoption by ISO and IEC. Upon completion of the Previous Items, the role of the Technical Committee will be to assume responsibility for maintaining the Ecma Office Open XML standard; to evaluate and consider proposals for complementary or additional technology; to assume responsibility for the evolution of the Ecma standard while ensuring backward compatibility with the previous versions to guarantee continuity in the use of the current and future formats; and to establish and maintain liaison with other Ecma TCs and with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) as appropriate to facilitate and promulgate the work of the TC.

See also: The XML Paper Specification (XPS)

Best Practices for XML Internationalization
Yves Savourel, Jirka Kosek, and Diane Stoick (eds), W3C Technical Report

The updated "Best Practices for XML Internationalization" Working Draft provides a set of guidelines for developing XML documents and schemas that are internationalized properly. Following the best practices describes here allow both the developer of XML applications, as well as the author of XML content to create material in different languages. The document is divided into two main sections: one is intended to the designers and developers of XML applications, while the second is for the XML content authors (including users modifying the original content such as the translators). The first section provides a list of some of the important design choices they should do in order to ensure the internationalization of their format. The techniques are usually illustrated with examples for XML Schema, RELAX NG and XML DTD. Section 5: ITS Applied to Existing Formats provides a set of concrete examples on how to apply ITS to existing XML based formats. This section illustrates many of the guidelines in this document. It covers: (1) ITS and XHTML 1.0. (2) 5.2 ITS and TEI: The ITS additions involve two changes to TEI: [a] Allowing rules to appear in the TEI metadata section (the teiHeader); [b] Adding the ITS local attributes to the TEI global attribute set; Both of these can be easily achieved using standard techniques in ODD; TEI is maintained as a single ODD document, and customizations of it are also written as ODD documents. These are processed using XSLT stylesheets to make a tailored user-level schema in XML DTD, XML Schema or RELAX NG. (3) ITS and XML Spec: XML Spec (DTD, Schema) is intended for W3C working drafts, notes, recommendations, and all other document types that fall under the category of technical reports. XML Spec is available in the formats of XML DTD, XML Schema and RELAX NG. (4) ITS and DITA: DITA offers by default some of the ITS features , but in some cases you may still want to allow the use of ITS markup directly into your DITA documents. (5) ITS and Glade: Glade is a user interface builder system for GTK+ and Gnome. It uses XML files to store the UI components. The library has been ported to different platform and offers bindings in different programing languages. (6) ITS and DocBook: DocBook V5.0 schema is maintained as a very modular and easy to customize schema written in RELAX NG; three ITS additions are defined for the DocBook schema.

See also: Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Working Group

W3C Announces Planet i18n for Blogs on Web Internationalization
Staff, S3C Announcement

"W3C is pleased to announce the launch of Planet i18n. This community service created by the Internationalization Core Working Group brings together a variety of blog posts that discuss internationalization topics. While the resource is hosted by the W3C Internationalization Activity, the content of the individual entries represent only the opinion of their respective authors and does not reflect the position of the Internationalization Activity. You can subscribe to the RSS feed. If you own a blog with a focus on internationalization and want to be added, please contact Richard Ishida (W3C)." The W3C Internationalization (I18n) Activity works with W3C working groups and liaises with other organizations to make it possible to use Web technologies with different languages, scripts, and cultures. The work of the Internationalization Activity is done by three Working Groups: (1) The Internationalization Core Working Group enables universal access to the World Wide Web by reviewing specifications produced by other W3C Working Groups and producing its own specifications. It proposes and coordinates the adoption by the W3C of techniques, conventions, technologies, and designs that enable and enhance the use of W3C technology and the Web worldwide, with and between the various different languages, scripts, regions, and cultures. (2) The I18N Architecture Working Group will move forward work on the Character Model for the World Wide Web and on Language Tags and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web. (3) The ITS (Internationalized Tag Set) Working Group is developing a set of elements and attributes that can be used with new DTDs/Schemas to support the internationalization and localization of documents.

See also: the W3C Internationalization (I18n) Activity

OGC Demonstration Features CityGML, IFCs, and GML
Staff, Open Geospatial Consortium Announcement

On March 13, 2007 the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Facility Information Council released the first version of the National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) for a two month industry review period. The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has been helping to promote this standard through interoperable web services using NBIMS and helping to ensure compatibility with the geospatial industry's consensus based open standards for urban modeling. The OGC Web Services test bed (OWS-4) demonstration showed how interoperability is possible among 3D geospatial models, CityGML and Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs). CityGML applies the OGC's Geography Markup Language (GML) for encoding urban environments. IFCs are an International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) International standard and a common component of Building Information Models. High level decision makers involved in disaster management saw a live enactment of a fictional scenario in which a "dirty bomb" explodes at a wharf, causing injuries and releasing a plume of dangerous radioactivity. The OGC Web Services test bed demonstration used a variety of Web-based geospatial information systems to show evacuation management, find a building suitable to contain an emergency decontamination and hospital unit, and track victims. The geospatial and CAD technologies used at the demo event were mainly commercial off-the-shelf systems employing the OGC's open specifications for geospatial interfaces and encodings. In the scenario, a temporary hospital and decontamination site had to be found near the event but not in the path of the radioactive plume. Building information models (BIM) were available for the area. The BIM encoding used IFCs. Visual inspection and review of the integrated IFC, CAD, and GIS data showed that one building in particular was well suited to meet the special emergency hospital requirements. Thus, the search took less than an hour, and preparation of the site and transportation of patients could begin immediately.

See also: "Geography Markup Language (GML)

Change Notifications about HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Resources Via the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Event Notification Framework
Rohan Mahy (ed), IETF Internet Draft

This document describes a SIP event package for notification of content changes of HTTP-based resources, including WebDAV (HTTP extensions for Distributed Authoring and Versioning) collections and XCAP (XML Configuration Access Protocol) resources. It also defines a new WebDAV property that can be used to identify the URI (Uniform Resource Idenitifier) of a SIP notification service that can service the WebDAV resource for which the property is set. WebDAV is a set of standard HTTP extensions to perform remote web content authoring operations, including hierarchical manipulation of "collections" which are analogous to directories in a file system, and per-resource metadata called "properties". DeltaV adds to WebDAV additional support for explicit version control including merging and forking. XCAP (XML Configuration Access Protocol) is a generic configuration protocol layered on top of HTTP. It uses XPath expressions and XML document fragments to hierarchically access subtrees of an XML document. Currently XCAP usages are defined for types of resource lists and authorization lists used in SIP-based presence systems. SIP is a rendezvous protocol for manipulating multimedia sessions, and for conveying presence and other related events using the SIP Events Framework. Many SIP implementations use HTTP for features such as configuration, buddy-list manipulation, and providing pointers to web content. Currently, very specific approaches for changes to XCAP documents have been proposed; both of these use an XML patch description format. The approach in these documents allows for change notifications about specific subtrees of an XML document, but provide no facility for change notifications about more than one document at a time. This event package specifically deals with the end-result of changes made as visible from HTTP. To that end, there is no notification verb to indicate that a resource was checked-out or checked-in. Instead there is a notification verb to indicate that a WebDAV property has been set. The notification format has specific verbs for created, modified, moved, copied, and deleted resource content and set and removed properties.

See also: IETF WEBDAV Working Group


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