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Last modified: August 16, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 16 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.

Image Annotation on the Semantic Web
R. Troncy, J. van Ossenbruggen (et al., eds) W3C Incubator Report

W3C announced that the Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group has published a report on "Image Annotation on the Semantic Web." The previously published "Multimedia Vocabularies on the Semantic Web" discusses a number of individual vocabularies that are relevant for image annotation. Both publications are part of the Incubator Activity, a forum where W3C Members can innovate and experiment. The W3C Incubator Group Report on Image Annotation is written for anyone with an interest in image annotation, ranging from non-professional end-users that are annotating their personal digital photos to professionals working with digital pictures in image and video banks, audiovisual archives, museums, libraries, media production and broadcast industry, etc. Many applications that process multimedia assets make use of some form of metadata that describe the multimedia content. The goals of this document are to explain the advantages of using Semantic Web languages and technologies for the creation, storage, manipulation, interchange and processing of image metadata. In addition, it provides guidelines for Semantic Web-based image annotation, illustrated by use cases. Relevant RDF and OWL vocabularies are discussed, along with a short overview of publicly available tools. The Report briefly surveys some currently available vocabularies and tools that can be used to semantically annotate images so that machines can better process them. The use of Semantic Web technologies has significant advantages in applications areas in which the interoperability of heterogeneous metadata is important and in areas that require an explicitly defined and formal semantics of the metadata in order to perform reasoning tasks. Commonly accepted, widely used vocabularies for image annotation are still missing. Having such vocabularies would help in sharing metadata across applications and across multiple domains. Especially, a standard means to address subregions within an image is still missing. In addition, tool support needs to improve dramatically before Semantic Web-based image annotation can be applied on an industrial scale: support needs to be integrated in the entire production and distribution chain. Finally, many existing approaches for image metadata are not based on Semantic Web technologies, and work is required to make these approaches interoperable with the Semantic Web.

See also: the W3C Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group

Stepping into Apache Synapse: Part I
Ruwan Linton, Blog

Apache Synapse is a mediation framework for Web services, based on the Apache Axis2 project, a set of XML, security, and Web services related projects and standards. Synapse provides a lightweight service bus and the basic infrastructure for the implementation of a Service Oriented Architecture. In this article, you will learn the basic architecture of Synapse and how to configure it. Synapse supports most of the tasks of a service bus in a SOA. Synapse is inherently extensible even though it is designed to support a large set of useful functions out-of-the-box. The main functions of Synapse can be divided into three major areas: (1) Connect: Connecting systems. Synapse is designed to support connecting systems with different transports with different protocols and Quality of Service (QoS). The protocols/transports that Synapse currently supports include SOAP/HTTP,SOAP/HTTPS, SOAP/JMS, SOAP/SMTP, XML/HTTP, XML/JMS and many more. Synapse offers termination and initiation of QoS tasks like Reliable Messaging and WS Security. Synapse can route messages based on XPath expressions or Regular expressions applied over the message header or content to an endpoint reference. Virtualization is achieved by routing the messages from virtual/logical URIs to real EPRs. (2) Manage: Managing interactions. Synapse supports Failover and Load-balancing to multiple endpoints. In the failover case, there are several sets of endpoints grouped as a failover group. When a particular endpoint fails to deliver the message, Synapse will try to deliver the message to other endpoints in the group. During load-balancing, Synapse will balance the load among the load-balancing endpoint group depending on the algorithm provided for load-balancing. Synapse also lets you trace the messages flowing in the enterprise by enabling tracing in the mediation. Authorization and authentication tasks for an organization can be delegated to Synapse through mediation, by using WS Security. (3) Transform: Transforming messages. Synapse can be used for message transformations through mediation with various languages, including most of the scripting languages, with the Bean Scripting Framework (BSF) and most importantly with XSLT. Apart from that, Synapse offers protocol switching, for example—SOAP to JMS or XML/HTTP to SOAP. Mediation inside Synapse is designed with care, and there are two possible types of mediations that can happen inside Synapse. They are: (a) Message Mediation—managing and transforming the messages flowing between the client and a service in an enterprise, and (b) Service Mediation—Mediating messages coming into a specific service by specifying the target URI as a Synapse mediation service.

See also: Apache Synapse

AtomPub Interop Event Notes
Joe Cheng, Blog

Context: Atom developers participated in an online Interop Event on August 6-7, 2007: anyone with working APP client or server code was invited. The Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) is an application-level protocol for publishing and editing Web resources. The protocol is based on HTTP transfer of Atom-formatted representations, where the Atom format is documented in the "Atom Syndication Format" specification (IETF Request for Comments #4287). APP uses HTTP (RFC 2616) and XML 1.0. The protocol supports the creation of Web Resources and provides facilities for: (1) Collections: Sets of Resources, which can be retrieved in whole or in part; (2) Services: Discovery and description of Collections; (3) Editing: Creating, editing, and deleting Resources. APP uses Atom-formatted representations to describe the state and metadata of those Resources. It defines how Collections of Resources can be organized, and specifies formats to support their discovery, grouping and categorization. Joe Cheng (Microsoft) writes in the Blog: "I spent most of yesterday and today participating in the virtual Atom interop event; you can see (and attempt to decipher) the results [online]. Windows Live Writer comes out sitting pretty! All of the servers I was able to try worked great, although a bug fix or two needed to be made along the way. Since the last time we did an interop event like this (April 2007) I have implemented image uploads to media collections as well as ETag conflict management, and both of those areas seem very solid now... A few caveats need to be made before concluding that AtomPub interop between production-quality blogging services and WLW will go this smoothly: (1) A couple of the services had no authentication at all, and the rest were doing Basic, with or without TLS/SSL. Last time we ran into a bunch of servers that used WSSE, not sure why there weren't any this time. Hopefully servers will stick to the common auth schemes, plus WSSE. (2) Almost none of the services had an actual HTML representation (like a blog homepage); that is, they were mostly pure AtomPub servers; I'm thinking about implementing a web app that takes any AtomPub endpoint and makes a blog out of it, although I would love it if someone beat me to it. (3) Categories still need figuring out, at least as they relate to Windows Live Writer... I've got a list forming of (small) things AtomPub blogging server implementers need to be aware of if they want to have the best results with WLW. With the AtomPub core spec, plus APE, plus that list, it should generally be pretty clear to server implementers exactly how they should behave."

See also: Tim Bray's report

How to Write Your Own ISO Standard!
Rick Jelliffe, O'Reilly Blog

You too can write your own ISO standard! Here are the steps: (1) Download the ISO/IEC Directives Part 2 Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards. These give the general editorial guidelines. Read it all. (2) Download the documentation for the XML schema for ISO Standards, which is in Technical Report 9357-11. (3) Download the Open Source schemas and stylesheets are available at SourceForge and embody a lot of the rules of the ISO/IEC Directives Part 2; install and configure your production environment to use them. (4) Try to follow these [good-] writing guidelines... (5) Write your draft (6) Track down IP issues to the best of your ability; also, try to have reviewed it for Internationalization, Security and Accessibility issues... (7) Decide whether it should be an ISO/IEC International Standard, an ISO/IEC Internation Standard through fast-track, a Publicly Available Specification, an ISO/IEC Technical Report, a National Standard, a Consortium Standard, or just something on your own website... (8) When a draft is produced, contact the various technical committees around the world to help answer questions... (9) Ask the committee to ask ISO to get the standard added to ISO's free list; a standard that is not on the WWW is at a total disadvantage. (10) Assuming the vote on the Final Draft was 'yes', you now have your standard! Congratulations, that has only taken three years or so. Now you have to commit a little time over the next few years to maintain it and fix corrections that come up, and to try to get buy-in from the public. Remember a good standard is one that meets its particular user's needs, not one that takes over the world. However, your name won't be in the standard (unlike W3C or OASIS), or in the bibliographic entries. So don't do it, or participate on committees, if you want to see your name on Amazon.

Google Expands Internet Apps and Office Base
Madan Sheina, Computer Business Review Online

Mountain View, California-based Google said the universities of North Carolina Greensboro, Clemson, Texas San Antonio, Kennesaw State, and Arkansas State have signed up for its free Google Apps Education Edition service, which comprises of email, messaging, online calendars, word processing, and spreadsheets. Registered non-profit organizations now qualify for Google Apps Education Edition at no cost. The five universities join other universities like the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Trinity College in Dublin and Nihon University in Tokyo, who already use Google's applications... The move impacts Microsoft, a company that Google is going after in the applications space and also battling with over online advertising and other web-based services. Microsoft has its headquarters in Redmond, a suburb of Seattle, which is stone's throw away from Google's three new office buildings located in neighboring Kirkland. This adds to the existing engineering office that Google has in the city, which employs roughly 400 people. It also has a 30-man sales office in the area as well. In May Google also subleased 60,000 square feet of office space in Fremont, another suburb of Seattle.

See also: Google Apps Education Edition

Stop Whining: Let's All Be (C)PALS

By Sean Michael Kerner Apparently having an Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license does matter. Companies that had once shunned the official open source label while still operating as open source entities are starting to adopt a new OSI license, the Common Public Attribution License (CPAL). For years, numerous commercial open source startups have used a Mozilla Public License (MPL)-plus-attribution clause to hock their wares. Open source aficionados have long argued that this type of license, which adds an attribution for a "powered by" type of notation in the application, is not an approved OSI license and so is not technically open source. The OSI and its backers have argued that, by definition, being open source requires the blessing of the OSI. CPAL was recently approved by the OSI and has been blessed as bona fide open source goodness. So far wiki vendor Socialtext, which originally submitted the license for OSI approval, ERP vendor Xtuple and Java integration vendor MuleSource have all become CPAL users. Collaboration vendor Zimbra may soon be next. But there is little difference between what the vendors were doing before with Mozilla-plus-attribution versus what they get with CPAL. At a panel during LinuxWorld, SugarCRM CEO John Roberts argued that the blessing of the OSI isn't as important as some believe. SugarCRM was among the very first vendors to go the MPL plus attribution route and has been at odds with the OSI ever since. That said: SugarCRM is changing its license, albeit to the GPLv3, which also includes protections for attribution. MuleSource CEO Rosenberg admitted that he did consider the GPLv3 before choosing CPAL.

See also: The Register


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