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Last modified: August 28, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 28 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:
IBM Corporation

Use PHP to Create XForms, Part 1: Creating a PHP XForms Library
Tyler Anderson, IBM developerWorks

This two-part article series is designed to get PHP developers up to speed in leveraging Web 2.0 XForms forms for their PHP forms development so that they can finally put their outdated Web 1.0 HTML forms away. This will be accomplished by creating a library of functions that generate XForms elements when called upon. In Part 1 of a two-part series, developers will create the XForms library using PHP, allowing each function to take in parameters and output XForm elements. XForms is a great Web 2.0 language with exciting features that allow developers to create cutting-edge forms. And why not use it with PHP? PHP developers traditionally output HTML, which generally limits the capabilities of their forms. The problem with XForms, however, is that the file type is strictly XHTML, which is a more refined version of HTML in that the XML format is strict, and doesn't allow mistakes, mismatched tags being one of them. On top of that, there is regular syntax for XForms, which can make the learning curve of XForms a bit steep for some PHP developers who are possibly just learning the PHP language itself. For this article you'll need PHP 5 and the Firefox XForms plugin. This article series was tested using PHP5 on WAMP5 Server Version 1.7.1 running Apache 2. In Part 2 of this article we will enhance the library just created with error checking and convenience methods. We will also use the library in Part 2 to create a proof of concept form.

See also: XML and Forms

Public Comment: INCITS Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS)
Matt Swayze (ed), INCITS Public Review Text

Members of the OASIS BIAS TC reported that the INCITS 45-day public review of the BIAS standard (INCITS 442, INCITS Project 1823-D, sister standard to the OASIS BIAS Messaging Protocol) opened on 3-August-2007 and closes on 17-September-2007. The INCITS document M1/07-0360 sets the requirements for the OASIS work. The OASIS Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) Integration TC complements the efforts of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS),, to provide the biometrics and security industries with a documented, open framework for deploying and invoking identity assurance capabilities that can be readily accessed as services. The OASIS BIAS Integration TC defines and describes methods and bindings by which the INCITS BIAS framework can be used within XML-based transactional Web services and service-oriented architectures. From the Introduction: "Biometric technologies are being used today in a wide variety of applications and environments. At the same time, enterprises—both commercial and government—have been moving towards services-based architectures as the framework for their enterprise infrastructures. As biometrics become a larger part of the greater identity assurance capability, the need to access these services remotely across those services-oriented frameworks will become necessary. A current gap exists in standards related to the use of biometric technology in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) standard is intended to fill that gap by defining a framework for deploying and invoking biometrics-based identity assurance capabilities that can be readily accessed using services (e.g., Web services). Development of this standard necessarily requires expertise in two distinct technology domains—biometrics and service architectures. The two standards organizations that are the leaders in these areas are INCITS and OASIS respectively. The work has been partitioned between the two organizations such that INCITS develops an INCITS standard for biometric services and OASIS develops an OASIS standard for the Web services integration. These two standards will be separate but interrelated. The BIAS standard will help ensure biometric-based solutions are robust and maintainable, while providing a mechanism for accessing an organization's biometric services. BIAS should significantly increase the functional opportunities for implementing identity related functions in a services-oriented framework, allowing for platform and application independence."

See also: the online version

IPTC Public Review: Experimental Phase 1 Package for NewsML-G2
Michael Steidl, IPTC Announcement

A communication from Michael Steidl (Managing Director, International Press Telecommunications Council) announces that public comment on the IPTC's "Experimental Phase" specification of EventsML-G2 is invited through August 31, 2007. The IPTC, based in Windsor, UK, is a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world. The new suite, known as the IPTC G2 Family of Standards, is actually a series of specifications and XML components that can be shared among all IPTC G2-standards for maximum efficiency. For example, NewsML-G2, the family's standard for general news, will inherit some of its functionality from the original NewsML 1.x: It can act as a sophisticated wrapper for any news item of text, photos, graphics, video or other media and it can be used for packaging any combination of these items. But NewsML-G2 will make stronger use of IPTC's robust metadata taxonomy suite, known as NewsCodes, and it will better interact with other IPTC-G2 standards, such as SportsML-G2 or EventsML-G2. It will contain hooks for managing news items, and its flexibility will allow news providers to choose whether to support all of the IPTC G2-standards XML tags or a compact subset. All of this is being developed within IPTC's new modular framework, so that programmers can spend less time learning the nuts and bolts of specialized XML standards and more time writing code for customers. It's the cost-effective way of managing news, whether for a web site, news aggregator, newspaper or television station.

See also: the ZIP package download

W3C Call for Participation: Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces
Staff, W3C Announcement

Position papers are due on 05-October-2007 for the Workshop on W3C's Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces, to be on 16-17 November 2007 in Fujisawa, Japan, hosted by W3C/Keio. Attendees will discuss the support and integration of user interface components such as speech, GUI and handwriting recognition from multiple vendors, to help the Multimodal Interaction Working Group make the Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces specification more useful in current and emerging markets. The W3C Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces (MMI Architecture) specification is designed to provide a general and flexible framework providing interoperability among modality-specific components from different vendors - for example, speech recognition from one vendor and handwriting recognition from another. This framework places very few restrictions on the individual components or on their interactions with each other, but instead focuses on providing a general means for allowing them to communicate with each other, plus basic infrastructure for application control and platform services. Workshop participants will seek to identify and prioritize requirements for changes, extensions and additions to the MMI Architecture to better support speech, GUI, Ink, and other Modality Components. Position papers will be the basis for the discussion at the workshop. Papers should explain the participant's interest in the workshop, explain their position and include concrete examples of their suggestions. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following: (1) Requirements for extensions to the MMI Architecture to improve the support of speech, GUI and Ink interfaces on portable handheld multimodal devices. (2) Extensions to the InkML needed to work within a multimodal environment. (3) How to process early and late information fusion. (4) How to dinamically select appropriate modalities. (5) Plans to support multimodal applications and what standards are needed. (6) What kind of other W3C specification should be considered to provide user interface skins for whichever modes of interaction selected. (7) Support for effective user interfaces for various modes of interaction, in terms of contextual prompts, constrained text input, and declarative event handlers, taking account of uncertainties in user input. (8) Re-use of existing markup languages for prompts and constraints on user input. (9) Use of scripts to enable the customization of the user interface based upon previous user input. W3C membership is not required to participate in this workshop.

See also: the W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity

Ex-ECMA Chief Expects Open XML Approval by March 2007
Eric Lai, InfoWorld

With ISO's September 2, 2007 voting deadline looming, the recently retired secretary general of ECMA International defended Microsoft's Office Open XML document format against fierce technical criticism. ECMA is shepherding Open XML, the default format used by Office 2007 documents, through ISO's traditionally difficult approval process. The international standards group has set a Sept. 2 deadline for the 20 nations that are members of the ISO Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC-1) to vote on whether to approve Open XML. Van Den Beld, who oversaw ECMA's approval of 229 technical standards, many of which were later approved by ISO, also predicts that Open XML will be approved next spring after a follow-up ISO meeting. "Ultimately, I think it will get through," he said. That's no sure thing, however. The document format faces strong opposition from grassroots advocates who want to see free productivity software such as that of gain a foothold, as well as from vendors such as IBM. Opponents argue that Open XML is redundant in light of the technically similar Open Document Format for Office Applications (known as ODF) which is native to and was approved as a standard more than a year ago by ISO. A Netherlands native who served as an executive with Philips Electronics before joining ECMA in the mid-1980s, Van Den Beld said that if Open XML is approved, it would not be the first time that two technically similar formats have become standards. As an example, he pointed to the multiple DVD recording formats—including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, and DVD+RW—that were all approved first by ECMA and then ISO. "People believe a standards body has complete control over this. That is completely exaggerated," Van Den Beld said. "You cannot take a position such as 'Sony, I like you better than Toshiba.' As soon as you do that, you are no longer neutral." Multiple, similar standards, while "not a good result, are, because of patent wars, often an inevitable result," he said. Merging Open XML and ODF is also not the solution, Van Den Beld said. "The structure of Open XML is so different from ODF, I don't see how we can bring them together into one standard," he said. Regarding objections to the Open XML application because of its length, Van Den Beld said that when Sun Microsystems submitted the Java programming language to ECMA in 1999, the application -- which was eventually withdrawn—was more than 8,000 pages long.

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

W3C Publishes Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema Specification as a Recommendation

The World Wide Web Consortium announced the publication of the "Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema" specification as a W3C Recommendation, together with a Usage Guide document, an Implementation Report, and a Test Suite. The specification was produced by members of the W3C Semantic Annotations for WSDL (SAWSDL) Working Group. The Usage Guide presents examples illustrating how to associate semantic annotations with a Web service; these annotations can be used for classifying, discovering, matching, composing, and invoking Web services. The Recommendation builds upon technology described in W3C Member Submission "W3C Web Service Semantics - WSDL-S", contributed to W3C by the University of Georgia Research Foundation and International Business Machines Corporation, published 07-November-2005. Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema defines how to add semantic annotations to various parts of a WSDL document such as input and output message structures, interfaces and operations. Specifically, it defines a set of extension attributes for the Web Services Description Language and XML Schema definition language that allows description of additional semantics of WSDL components. A 'semantic annotation' in this context is "additional information that identifies or defines a concept in a semantic model in order to describe part of that document. In SAWSDL, semantic annotations are XML attributes added to a WSDL or associated XML Schema document, at the XML element they describe. Semantic annotations are of two kinds: explicit identifiers of concepts, or identifiers of mappings from WSDL to concepts or vice versa. A 'concept' must be identifiable by URIs. A concept can be, for example, a classifier in some language, a predicate logic relation, the value of the property of an ontology instance, some object instance or set of related instances, an axiom, etc." The specification defines how semantic annotation is accomplished using references to semantic models, e.g., ontologies. A 'semantic model' is a set of machine-interpretable representations used to model an area of knowledge or some part of the world, including software. Examples of such models are ontologies that embody some community agreement, logic-based representations, etc. Depending upon the framework or language used for modelling, different terminologies exist for denoting the building blocks of semantic models.


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