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Last modified: August 14, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 14 August 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
BEA Systems, Inc.

Fedora Commons Awarded $4.9M Grant to Develop Open-Source Software
Staff, Fedora Commons Announcement

Fedora Commons has announced the award of a four year, $4.9M grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop the organizational and technical frameworks necessary to effect revolutionary change in how scientists, scholars, museums, libraries, and educators collaborate to produce, share, and preserve their digital intellectual creations. In 2005, the Fedora Project successfully integrated a first stage of semantic web technologies into its repository service by introducing support for RDF descriptions of digital objects, RDF relationships and graph-based indexing of Fedora repositories. This provided a more powerful and generalizable mechanism for expressing the relationships among digital objects. The existing Fedora software has been adopted by hundreds of institutions for an array of innovative applications in education, open-access publishing, scholarly communication, and e-science. Among its notable installations are the Topaz/PLoS ONE open access journal system, the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), the Max Planck Society's e-scholarship system, the Chicago Historical Society's multimedia encyclopedia, the University of Virginia's digital collections, the Australian national institutional repository initiative (ARROW), Oxford University's digital archive, the Perseus humanities computing project, and numerous applications in national libraries, companies, universities, and cultural institutions. The 'Resource Index' is the Fedora module that provides the infrastructure for indexing relationships among objects and their components. Examples of relationships between digital objects include well-known management relationships such as the part-whole links between individual chapters and a book, and semantic relationships useful in digital library organization such as those expressed within the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). The query interface to the Resource Index currently supports three RDF query languages: RDQL (Kowari-only), iTQL (Kowari-only), and SPO (Kowari and MPTStore).

See also: the 2005-03-18 news story

Public Review for OASIS Election Markup Language (EML) Version 5.0
John Borras (ed), OASIS Committee Draft Approved for Public Review

OASIS announced that the Election and Voter Services Technical Committee has approved an EML Committee Draft specification for public review: Election Markup Language (EML) Version 5.0 includes a Process and Data Requirements document, Schema Descriptions, EML Data Dictionary, and Schema Package. OASIS formed the Election and Voter Services Technical Committee to standardize election and voter services information using XML. The committee is focused on delivering a reliable, accurate and trusted XML specification (Election Markup Language (EML)) for the structured interchange of data among hardware, software and service vendors who provide election systems and services. EML provides a set of data and message definitions described as a set of XML schemas and covering a wide range of transactions that occur during an election. The committee decided that it required a common terminology and definition of election processes that could be understood internationally. The committee therefore started by defining the generic election process models described here. These processes are illustrative, covering the vast majority of election types and forming a basis for defining the Election Markup Language itself. EML has been designed such that elections that do not follow this process model should still be able to use EML as a basis for the exchange of election-related messages. At present EML includes specifications for: Candidate Nomination, Response to Nomination and Approved Candidate Lists; Referendum Options Nomination, Response to Nomination and Approved Options Lists; Voter Registration information, including eligible voter lists; Various communications between voters and election officials, such as polling information, election notices, etc; Ballot information—races, contests, candidates, etc; Voter Authentication; Vote Casting and Vote Confirmation; Election counts and results; Audit information pertinent to some of the other defined data and interfaces.

See also: 'The Case for EML'

The Semantic Web Goes to Work
Nicholas Carlson,

If anyone is capable of explaining how the Semantic Web is going to work it's Eric Miller. Not long ago, Miller led the Semantic Web Initiative for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at MIT. There, Eric's responsibilities included the architectural and technical leadership in the design and evolution of the Semantic Web. But like the Semantic Web, Miller has shifted his focus toward business. Now he's president of Zepheira, which provides solutions to "effectively integrate, navigate and manage information across boundaries of person, group and enterprise," according to its Web site. Miller will also deliver the keynote address at this October's Semantic Web Strategies conference in San Jose. Miller described the Semantic Web as a system that takes individual points of data on a network, such as documents or digital media, and allows users to describe the connections between these points in a way that makes those points of data more accessible and useful. Miller said the pharmaceutical industry is already making good use of semantic technology by allowing researchers working on different projects to share information in new ways. SchemaLogic CEO Jeff Dirks said his company's business semantics management technology could also help pharmaceutical companies organize their research and data with user tags: "Already, SchemaLogic is providing a similar service for the Associated Press, digital images provider Corbis, Reed Business Services, and the International Press and Communications Counsel." For these companies, SchemaLogic developed simple ways for content producers to tag their own data, such as news stories and photographs, at the "point of creation" before uploading it the company network. It's the kind of semantic service consumer-oriented sites, such as Flickr and Facebook, and vertical search engines, such as, already offer, but enterprises are only now beginning to understand.

See also: W3C Semantic Web

Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) Ontology Specification
Staff, W3C Member Submission

W3C has acknowledged receipt of a "Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC)" Member Submission from DERI, Fundacion CTIC, Asemantics, OpenLink Software, Opera Software, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and DFKI. SIOC is an attempt to link online community sites, to use Semantic Web technologies to describe the information that communities have about their structure and contents, and to find related information and new connections between content items and other community objects. SIOC is based around the use of machine-readable information provided by these sites. To achieve these goals SIOC defines a series of OWL ontologies. By providing these common vocabularies it becomes possible to exchange data among different online communities, link conversations for the purpose of a common project, extend personal information (like, for example, FOAF data) with roles the person may play in a specific community (e.g., contributor, administrator, etc). The vocabularies define terms such as topics of items (blogs, news items), authors, previous and next items (e.g., to describe threads of conversations), etc. This subject area (blogs, wikis, etc) makes SIOC potentially very important to Semantic Web applications in the context of various 'social', Web 2.0 sites. SIOC has the potential to become one of the foundational vocabularies that make Semantic Web applications useful, alongside DOAP, FOAF, Dublin Core, etc. SIOC itself links to those vocabularies whenever possible. For example, some of its terms are subproperties or subclasses of terms defined elsewhere (in FOAF, Dublin Core, RSS1.0); some other terms makes explicit reference to vocabularies such as SKOS, DOAP, W3C's ical using, e.g., the 'rdfs:seeAlso' property. By doing so, the SIOC vocabulary is defined very much in the spirit of the Semantic Web, i.e., by sharing, linking, and reusing vocabularies and ontologies.

See also: W3C Team Comment on the SIOC Ontology Submission

Atom and CAP: Publish Critical Public Warnings on the Web
James Snell, IBM developerWorks

The recently completed Atom Publishing Protocol provides a simple, HTTP-based mechanism for publishing and managing content on the Web. When used with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standard, Atom publishing can provide a powerful and flexible way to distribute critical, life-saving information. CAP is a simple, standardized XML data format used by the United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Government of Canada, and many other organizations to exchange information about a broad range of warnings and emergencies. The CAP standard defines a type of document called an alert, which is used to exchange information about geological, meteorological, public health and safety, rescue, law-enforcement, environmental, transportation, infrastructure, and terrorist warnings and events. Such alerts can be generated either manually by incident responders or automatically by monitoring and sensing equipment, and they can be distributed using a variety of means. Syndication formats such as Atom and RSS comprise one distribution channel for CAP alerts that's growing in popularity. The Atom Publishing Protocol, sometimes known as the Atompub protocol, is a mechanism to publish and manage collections of resources using the basic HTTP GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE operations. While originally designed as a way to post new entries to weblog software, the Atompub protocol is well suited as a way to manage nearly any kind of Web-based content. In this article, the author presents an example Java Web application that uses the Atom Publishing Protocol to publish and distribute CAP alerts. One key goal that drives the development of the Common Alerting Protocol is the need for a comprehensive and standardized means to distribute critical information about life-threatening events of any kind. Use of the Atom Publishing Protocol to publish and manage collections of CAP alerts helps to advance that goal.

See also: Atom references

Java Internationalization: An XML-based Utility for Handling Localized Strings
Melih Çetin, JavaWorld Magazine

Properties files are used to store and maintain the localized strings at the heart of most internationalized Java applications. It's too bad maintaining several properties files can be such a headache. In this article Melih Çetin introduces the Properties Pre-Processor, an XML-based utility that enables UTF-8 encoding and lets you maintain localized strings for all of your supported locales in a single XML file, as well as easily sharing them across multiple applications. Like any other commodity, a good percentage of Java applications are marketed and sold internationally. Java Web applications especially must be written with the global marketplace in mind, regardless of whether they originate from the United States, Germany or China. You cannot easily internationalize your software after it has been built (although some tools facilitate this process), or decide midway through the development process to add localization support to your Java applications. The earlier you start thinking about the steps involved in internationalizing your Java applications, the better. This article briefly introduces the common concerns associated with internationalizing Java applications, as well as the classes that support internationalization on the Java platform. The author then introduces a simple tool that supports the internationalization of Java applications by making it easier to create and maintain localized strings for UI elements and add new ones as your application is extended for new languages.


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