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Last modified: July 20, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 20 July 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

Designing Manageable Resources with Apache Muse
Dan Jemiolo, IBM developerWorks

Two of the fundamental goals of the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) specification are to standardize the way that manageable resources expose a set of core properties and operations and to provide guidance on the design of custom properties and operations. The core definitions, combined with the pattern for custom definitions, present developers with the opportunity to greatly reduce the complexity of their Web services (and the interactions between those services). This simplification takes place on two levels: (1) By reducing duplication of concepts between similar resource types; (2) By reducing duplication of concepts across disparate resource types. The Apache Muse project provides the tools so that a developer new to managed resource Web services interface design can perform the necessary tasks to building a WS-DistributedManagement (WSDM)-compliant interface—designing and building the deployable artifact, as well as generating the Java code -- without having to completely understand how the Muse runtime operates. This is possible if you are planning only to expose a single (or few), simple manageable resource(s). If you're going for a large number of resources or even a single one that is somewhat complex, you are much better off understanding the core concepts of the Muse programming model. Any new user can use Apache Muse to design the Web services interface for a manageable resource, generate the necessary Java code, and build a deployable artifact with little thought towards the underpinnings of the Apache Muse runtime. But if you are creating Web services to expose a large number of manageable resources or even just a single resource that is fairly complex, it pays to understand the core concepts behind the Muse programming model. This article introduces you to the core concepts of the Muse programming tools and is coupled with a tutorial that leads you through designing and developing a system with multiple manageable resources.

See also: Apache Muse

XBL 2.0 Primer: An Introduction for Developers
Lachlan Hunt and Marcos Caceres (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C's Web Application Formats Working Group has published the First Public Working Draft for "XBL 2.0 Primer: An Introduction for Developers." XBL describes the ability to associate elements in one document with script, event handlers, styles, and more complex content models in another document. You can use XBL to re-order and wrap content so that, for instance, simple HTML or XHTML markup can have complex CSS styles applied without requiring that the markup be polluted with multiple 'DIV' elements. In addition, if you are a programmer, you can use XBL to implement new DOM interfaces, and, in conjunction with other specifications, it enables arbitrary XML tag sets to be treated as "widgets" (pluggable user interface components). The move in web development towards avoiding the table element for layout has led developers to consider how to exploit other HTML elements, CSS, and ECMAScript to achieve complex layouts. To a large extent, this move has been fueled by proponents of the Web 2.0 movement who promote the importance of having highly accessible content that is both adaptive and provides an engaging user experience. However, a new problem has emerged where by web documents are now heavily 'polluted' with the semantically-neutral div element and complex JavaScript and CSS that is hard for authors to maintain. The XML Binding Language 2.0 (XBL) is a declarative language that can be used together with existing or new web documents to enhance their presentation, behavior, accessibility, and maintainability. This Primer is designed to provide you with the practical knowledge required to use XBL effectively in your work. It introduces both the basic and advanced concepts of XBL and describes its syntax and best-practices usage scenarios. It also describes the purpose of the language elements described in the XBL specification document.

See also: W3C Rich Web Clients Activity Statement

JBoss XACML Version 2.0.1 Beta
Anil Saldhana, Blog

Anil J. Saldhana (JBoss Security and Identity Management Project Lead) announced the release of JBoss XACML v2.0.1-BETA, licensed under LGPL. The JBoss XACML provides a standards based, robust Policy Infrastruture library . JBossXACML is based on OASIS XACML Version 2.0. It defines an API to read one or more PolicySets (and/or Policy files) via a simple configuration file. It also provides a JAXB v2.0 compatible object model that can be used to construct policies and requests in XACML. At its core, JBossXACML makes use of the standards compliant, BSD style licensed SunXACML library. The accompanying JBoss XACML User Guide guide is aimed at developers who want to use the JBoss XACML to implement complex policy infrastructure. Unlike Authentication, AccessControl/Authorization is a complex area where Role Based Access Control (RBAC) is inadequate in many enterprise situations. XACML is a specification that tries to mitigate this with complex policies that can be woven around a combination of subjects (users/user-agents etc), resources (on which the access control is desired) and Environment (IPAddress, Date, Time etc). You should be able to declaratively (via XML or construct policies) to say things like "Allow this portion of the web site to 18 year olds when the time is between 9am and 5pm", "You should update your own payroll information and can do it when you are employed and on Fridays only" etc. Enterprises have been doing this via ACLs and other proprietary mechanisms. Now they can do this in a standard way...

See also: the JBoss XACML download

EMC Acquires Dutch XML Company X-Hive
Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK

Data storage conglomerate EMC, which has bought thirty-four (34) companies in the last five-and-a-half years, is adding XML development company X-Hive to its ever-expanding technology lineup. X-Hive, a privately-held company with 25 employees in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, brings XML tools to the Documentum content management division of EMC's corporate lineup, adding what an EMC spokesperson called a "smart new repository combining XML indexing, XML query, full text and transformation" to round out EMC's own XML infrastructure offering. Integrated with our platform, X-Hive allows rich slicing and dicing of content with XML Query...integrated with our site delivery and caching technologies, it will enable next-generation dynamic-content Web sites based on XML and XML query." X-Hive will ultimately provide the foundation for EMC's future content management products and services, focusing on XML content components rather than documents at the center of the architecture, according to Peter O'Kelly, an analyst with the Burton Group: ""The list of reasons EMC selected X-Hive includes the scope, performance, and robustness of its XML content management products as well as a high degree of alignment with EMC's overall architectural model—the fact, for example, that X-Hive is Java-based; X-Hive has also established significant market momentum in S1000D solutions, a very attractive emerging market opportunity for EMC." S1000D is a key XML model specification for technical publications used in industries such as aircraft maintenance. The content management market is undergoing significant change due to the widespread shift to XML, increasingly stringent record-keeping requirements, and a general need to more effectively manage both structured and semi-structured information.

See also: the X-Hive web site

Domains and Ranges for DCMI Properties
Staff, DCMI Announcement

Public Comment is invited on proposed revisions to DCMI terms and assignment of domains and ranges. The Public Comment period is being held July 2-30, 2007 on a set of editorial revisions to existing DCMI terms, and on a proposed set of classes for use as domains and ranges of DCMI properties. (1) The proposed set of editorial revisions to DCMI Metadata Terms here has been evaluated by the DCMI Usage Board in light of the DCMI Namespace Policy. The namespace policy says that DCMI terms are identified using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). In accordance with the principle that distinct URIs should be assigned to distinct resources, the policy sets limits on the range of editorial changes that may allowably be made to the official labels, definitions, and usage comments associated with DCMI terms. By policy, any changes of meaning judged "likely to have a substantial impact on either machine processing of DCMI terms or the functional semantics of the terms" must trigger the creation of a new, distinct term with a new, distinct URI. The original thirteen (later fifteen) elements of "the Dublin Core" were originally intended to serve as a self-contained template for simple descriptions. It was soon noticed that some of the fifteen elements semantically fit within the scope of others, but a typological distinction between "elements" and "qualifiers" made it seem confusing to declare some elements to be subproperties of others. The DCMI Abstract Model no longer makes such a typological distinction, so the current batch of revisions includes assertions of dcterms:creator as a sub-property of dcterms:contributor and of dcterms:source as a sub-property of dcterms:relation. As with the assignment of domains and ranges, so as not to affect the conformance of existing implementations, these assertions are made only for the newly created properties, identified by URIs in the DCMI namespace. (2) Domains and ranges reinforce the natural-language definition of a property with explicit statements that support inferences about the type of resource being described. The domain indicates the class of resources that the property should be used to describe, while the range indicates the class of resources that should be used as values for that property.

See also: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) web site

WSDL 1.1 Element Identifiers
David Orchard, Asir Vedamuthu, Frederick Hirsch (et al., eds), W3C Note

Members of the W3C Web Services Policy Working Group have released "WSDL 1.1 Element Identifiers" as a W3C Working Group Note. The specification defines a syntax to identify individual elements in a WSDL 1.1 document. These fragment identifiers and IRI-references, designed to be easy for authors to understand and compare, are for use in Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.1 documents. The fragment identifier syntax is compliant with the XPointer Framework, and is primarily based upon WSDL 2.0 Core. There is a substantial difference between the WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0 fragment identifiers.WSDL 2.0 defines fragment identifiers with respect to the WSDL 2.0 component model, whereas WSDL 1.1 defines XML element and attribute syntax only. Because there is no WSDL 1.1 component model, the WSDL 1.1 fragment identifiers identify WSDL 1.1 elements. The specification also defines IRI-References for WSDL 1.1 Elements. There are two main cases for WSDL 1.1 IRIs: (1) the IRI of a WSDL 1.1 document; (2) the IRI of a WSDL 1.1 namespace. The IRI of a WSDL 1.1 document can be dereferenced to give a resource representation that contributes elements to a single WSDL 1.1 namespace. If the media type is set to the WSDL 1.1 media type i.e. 'application/xml', then the fragment identifiers can be used to identify the main elements that are defined in the document. In keeping with WSDL 1.1, which has a recommendation that that the namespace URI be dereferencible to a WSDL 1.1 document, the document specifies the use of the namespace IRI with the WSDL 1.1 fragment identifiers to form an IRI-reference.

See also: W3C Web Services Policy Working Group

Open XML Recovers from Setback to ISO Approval
Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld

Microsoft's quest to have Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) as a global technology standard seems to have recovered from a setback it suffered last week as both sides of the Open XML-ODF debate shore up arguments as the final vote to approve Open XML nears. The executive committee for the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), which represents U.S. interests in the ISO, approved the draft specification of Open XML "with comments" on Thursday after a technical committee that advises it last week failed to earn the two-thirds majority it needed to reach the same decision. When the V1 committee could not come to an agreement over Open XML, it seemed that things would not bode well for an approval vote from the U.S. in the ISO. However, even if the U.S. comes down in favor of the spec, it still faces opposition from other countries that also get to vote, such as Italy and Portugal, which have complained about the approval process Microsoft used to rush Open XML through another international standards body, Ecma International, on its way to the ISO. In the meantime, those who favor Open XML, led by Microsoft, and those who have misgivings about the technology mostly due to their interest in the rival file format Open Document Format for XML (ODF), are getting in some final comments for their respective sides. Melanie Wyne, executive director of the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC), which promotes neutral government procurement, standards, and public research and development policies for software, said her group is promoting the existence of both ODF and Open XML as ISO standards because having only one global standard for document formats is limiting to end-users.

OAI-ORE Tackles Problem of Compound Information Objects on the Web
Michael L. Nelson, D-Lib Magazine

The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) project is the latest interoperability project of the Open Archives Initiative. Whereas the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) focused on a simple description and interchange format for repositories, OAI-ORE plans to do the same for compound objects on the web. Examples of compound information objects could include a scholarly eprint with multiple formats, versions, and data types, or a blog entry with comments, or an uploaded video with a corresponding description page. The primary goal of ORE is to facilitate use and reuse of compound information objects (and their component parts) by enriching the web graph with boundary information. As humans, we intuitively recognize compound information objects on the web when we see them, but this distinction is not readily available to web crawlers and other automated applications. ORE will provide an unambiguous, extensible method for enumerating, and describing the relationships between, the web resources that comprise a compound object. According to the White Paper: "OAI-ORE [...] must be congruent with and leverage the Web Architecture. This architecture essentially consists of 'URIs that identify resources, which are 'items of interest', that, when accessed through standard protocols such as HTTP, return representations of current resource state and which are linked via URI references.' The combination of nodes, which denote resources, and arcs, which assert the relationships among those resources, forms the web graph, and HTTP access to this graph is the basis for services (e.g., robot-based search engines) and data mining (e.g., link analysis) from which new information and knowledge is derived. In addition to conforming to the web architecture, OAI-ORE standards must operate in the context of heterogeneous information systems with varying internal storage formats. These systems include relational databases, directory and file structures, triple stores, XML formats, etc."

See also: Compound Information Objects - OAI-ORE


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