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Major New Release: Apache Axis2 Version 1.3
Staff, Apache Web Services Project Announcement
Members of the Apache Axis2/Java Project Development Team have announced the release of Apache Axis2 Version 1.3. Apache Axis2/Java is an implementation of the SOAP ("Simple Object Access Protocol") submission to W3C. Apache Axis2 1.3 is characterized as "a major new release compared to Axis2 1.2." Axis2 is part of the Web Services Project at Apache, focused upon redesign of Axis (1.X) supporting SOAP 1.2/SOAP1.2/REST/. Apache Axis2 is a complete re-design and re-write of the widely used Apache Axis engine and is a more efficient, more scalable, more modular and more XML-oriented Web services framework. It is carefully designed to support the easy addition of plug-in "modules" that extend its functionality for features such as security and reliability. Modules supporting WS-Security/Secure-Conversation (Apache Rampart), WS-Trust (Apache Rahas), WS-Reliable Messaging (Apache Sandesha) and WS-Eventing (Apache Savan) will be available soon after the Apache Axis2 1.3 release. Supported Specifications in Version 1.3 include SOAP 1.1 and 1.2, Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM), XML Optimized Packaging (XOP), SOAP with Attachments, WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0, including both SOAP and HTTP bindings, WS-Addressing submission and 1.0, WS-Policy, and SAAJ 1.1. Apache Axis2 is built on Apache AXIOM, a new high performant, pull-based XML object model. AXIOM (AXis Object Model) refers to the XML infoset model that was initially developed for Apache Axis2. XML infoset refers to the information included inside the XML and for programmatical manipulation it is convenient to have a representation of this XML infoset in a language specific manner. For an object oriented language the obvious choice is a model made up of objects. DOM and JDOM are two such XML models. OM is conceptually similar to such an XML model by its external behavior but deep down it is very much different. Apache AXIOM is a StAX-based, XML Infoset compliant object model which supports on-demand building of the object tree. It supports a novel "pull-through" model which allows one to turn off the tree building and directly access the underlying pull event stream. It also has built in support for XML Optimized Packaging (XOP) and MTOM, the combination of which allows XML to carry binary data efficiently and in a transparent manner.
See also: the Web site
Organized Mapping: Documenting a Complex Musical System
James David Mason, Extreme 2007 Conference Presentation
Although the complexity of the pipe organ arises in large part through the replication of comparatively simple structures, how an entire instrument, with thousands of pipes and tens of thousands of moving parts, fits together is difficult to document. Most documentation projects in the past have consisted largely of stoplists, with no attempt to visualize how all the parts become a whole organ. Topic maps, designed to deal with complex relationships, would seem ideal for a project to document these instruments... This topic map is still very much a work in progress. At the point when final papers had to be submitted, I had not yet extracted scaling data for Opus 7 from the builders' spreadsheets. In XTM notation, which is notoriously verbose, the map is already something over 15,000 lines, all hand created, at this time. In that state, it covers two Richards, Fowkes organs from the perspective of both ranks and stops, without beginning to cover the complexity of control structures, such as tracing the action from keys to pipes. Nonetheless, in its rudimentary state, the map shows many things not possible with traditional documentation, such as the derivation of one organ from another. But even applied to a single instrument, it allows shifting of perspective, so that one can look at pipe families rather than divisions or pull out the stops available at a given pitch level. For me, one of the best features of topic maps, in addition their ability to link clumps of information, is their ability to keep absorbing more and more information. In that way, they are like the Wanamaker organ, still growing after more than a century.
See also: Topic Maps
U.S. Playing Catch Up in Health Care IT
Darryl K. Taft, eWEEK
Health care IT in the U.S. lags behind that of many other countries, such as Denmark and New Zealand, but the prognosis is for gradual improvement if the country continues a steady regimen of investment and development. Dr. Paul Grundy, director of health-care technology and strategic initiatives at IBM Corp. in Armonk, N.Y., said the U.S. HIT (Health Information Technology) system is fragmented but is slowly progressing. Electronic records drive transformation and change in the system, fosters closer doctor/patient relationships and enables doctors to engage patients more easily. Steve Shihadeh (GM sales) said the health care landscape is very complicated and often times very disjointed as hospitals and health systems, insurance and physicians, general practice physicians, and consumers all interact in a complicated ecosystem. SOAPware is an Electronic Health Record designed for clinics and developed with the goal of eventually replacing paper charts. SOAPware meets users where they are, on their own terms, by allowing them to continue using dictation and handwriting at the beginning, while still providing the capability to adapt and evolve into a fully digital system. However, none of the top five hospitals has an electronic records system that connects into the community in any way, according to Grundy said. "They're siloed -- we need something portable, usable and with open standards." The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International's CCR (Continuity of Care Record) can play a part. CCR was developed in response to the need to organize and make transportable a set of basic information about a patient's health care that is accessible to clinicians and patients, according to the AAFP Web site. The CCR is intended to foster and improve continuity of care, reduce medical errors and ensure a minimum standard of secure health information transportability. Adoption of the CCR by the medical community and IT vendors will be a great step toward achieving interoperability of medical records, supporters said. The CCR is a core dataset to be sent to the next health care provider whenever a patient is referred, transferred or otherwise uses different clinics, hospitals or other providers. Practitioners believe the CCR will prevent physicians and other health care professionals from having to act blindly, without easy access to relevant patient information. Note: ASTM E2369-05 Standard Specification for Continuity of Care Record (CCR), "to ensure interchangeability of electronic CCRs, specifies XML coding that is required when the CCR is created in a structured electronic format; this specified XML coding provides flexibility that will allow users to prepare, transmit, and view the CCR in multiple ways, for example, in a browser, as an element in a Health Level 7 (HL7) message or CDA compliant document, in a secure email, as a PDF file, as an HTML file, or as a word processing document."
See also: Continuity of Care Record
Body of a Car, Brains of a PC
Candace Lombardi, CNET News.com
Car buyers usually compare things like horsepower, mileage and warranties. But increasingly, the most important parts of a new car are also the least visible: software. The self-parking Lexus LS 460 has already shown that sensors, cameras and software can get a car to parallel-park itself. Automakers are now gearing up to include more automated driving features for even the most budget models. And further down the road, the computerized car will become part of an even larger network of highway communication. As car systems get more complex, automakers are looking to the tech industry for help in translating their designs into working software and hardware, according to both carmakers and analysts. That's why technology specialists like IBM (with decades of software experience) are investing in the automotive industry and the companies that serve it. The potential payoff could be grabbing the driver's seat in a market worth billions of dollars... IBM, which in the past may have been slow to enter new markets, isn't wasting any time when it comes to the auto business. In 2003, Big Blue launched data retrieval software based on XML that can be used by cars to communicate with the road and other cars around them. In 2005, it signed a $125 million deal with the United Arab Emirates to develop a vehicle telematics infrustructure that uses that technology... One of the hottest areas in automotive technology is the development of a standard "car operating system." A standard operating system that pervades multiple car brands would make it easier for developers, component manufacturers and automakers to incorporate more-sophisticated driving systems, like self-parking, into multiple car models. A comprehensive telematics infrastructure in the U.S. could allow all cars, regardless of manufacturer, to communicate where they are in a lane, and warn others when they've hit a patch of ice and where they've gotten into an accident. Automotive telematics is currently estimated to be a $9 billion industry and is expected to grow to about $40 billion during the next 10 years.
OGC Announces Styled Layer Descriptor and Symbol Encoding Specifications
Staff, Open Geospatial Consortium Announcement
Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) have approved the "OpenGIS Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD) Implementation Specification," designed as a profile of the Web Map Service. Concurrently, OGC has released the related "OpenGIS Symbology Encoding Implementation Specification." The OpenGIS Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD) profile of the Web Map Service Implementation Specification defines an encoding that extends the Web Map Service specification to allow user-defined symbolization of feature and coverage data. It allows users to determine which features or layers are rendered with which colors or symbols. SLD addresses the important need for users and software to be able to control the visual portrayal of the geospatial data. The ability to define styling rules requires a styling language that the client and server can both understand. Symbology Encoding provides this language, while the SLD profile of WMS enables application of Symbology Encoding to WMS layers using extensions of WMS operations. Additionally, SLD defines an operation for standardized access to legend symbols. The OpenGIS Symbology Encoding Implementation Specification defines Symbology Encoding, an XML language for styling information that can be applied to digital Feature and Coverage data.
See also: Geography Markup Language (GML)
Advanced Approaches to XML Document Validation
Petr Nalevka and Jirka Kosek, Extreme 2007 Presentation
The ever growing use of compound XML documents1 creates new challenges for automated validation. It is obviously more difficult to interpret a compound document than a standalone one as the processing application needs to consider every vocabulary fragment in the context of other vocabularies to adjust the interpretation accordingly. Compound document validation needs to face new levels of complexity emerging from the fact, different vocabularies can be combined together in various ways, but only some of them are eligible. That's why validation of compound documents becomes an compelling task which requires special approaches. This presentation introduces an universal validation tool called 'Relaxed', which makes maximum use of modern validation approaches and techniques to deliver comprehensive validation results and to allow straightforward compound document validation. Relaxed focuses mostly on Web documents, where validation plays a major role. Web means using XML documents on a massive scale in a heterogeneous environment, where the same document needs to be correctly interpreted on distinct platforms using different clients. Not only interoperability but also accessibility is very important in case of Web documents and that poses additional demands on the quality of automated validation and expressivity of the schema languages used. "Relaxed" makes use of modern and expressive schema languages such as Relax NG and Schematron. Many additional and even quite complicated restrictions may be expressed thanks to the combination of those two languages. Schematron patterns are embedded into Relax NG definition.
See also: the SourceForge Project
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