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- Re-Charter: W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group
- OASIS Members Propose Service Data Objects (SDO) Technical Committee
- An Architectural Framework for Media Server Control
- Google, IBM Plant Distributed Computing Seeds
- The Atom Publishing Protocol: IETF Standards Track RFC 5023
- JSR Watch: From the New Chair of the JCP
- Introduction to JSR-275: Measures and Units
- Digital Inclusion: Accelerating Global Participation and Access
Re-Charter: W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group
Staff, W3C Announcement
W3C has announced the relaunch of the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group, chartered through 31-December-2008. Daniel Appelquist (Vodafone) and Jo Rabin (mTLD) wil chair the WG. The mission of the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group (BPWG), part of the Mobile Web Initiative Activity, is to enable the reach of the Web to be easily extended onto mobile devices by providing guidelines, checklists and best practice statements which are easy to comprehend and implement. These, when implemented by a Web site provider will enable the content to be perceived by users on mobile devices, particularly small-screen devices such as PDAs, browser-enabled phones and touch-screen devices. Following the best practice guidelines will be benefit Web site providers by enabling more users to access their content and services from more types of devices. The intent of the Best Practices Working Group is not to force content providers to limit the scope of their content delivery only those mechanisms which are available on mobile devices. Rather, the guidelines produced by the Best Practices Working Group are intended to enable content to be seamlessly perceived across a range of device form factors. Although mobile browsing user experience is a function of multiple variables—including a variety of device-, browser-, network- and content-related factors—the BPWG will be considering only those directly relevant to its primary focus on content authoring and adaptation guidelines. The WG will create materials to guide authors in creating web sites that conform to the requirements of a trustmark (working name: "mobileOK") based on existing standards and taking account of existing best practices. Dimensions of analysis associated with best practice include, but are not limited to: valid markup, content-adaptation guidelines, and user experience issues.
See also: the Working Group Charter
OASIS Members Propose Service Data Objects (SDO) Technical Committee
Staff, OASIS Announcement
OASIS has announced the submission of a draft TC charter to establish a new Service Data Objects (SDO) Technical Committee. Proposers include representatives of BEA, IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Xcalia. Service Data Objects (SDO) is a data programming architecture and an API whose main purpose is to simplify data programming. The key concepts, structures and behaviours of SDO will be defined by the SDO for Java specification from the JCP and the same SDO functionality defined by the Java specification available from C++. The purpose of the new TC is to evolve and standardize the specifications defining the Service Data Objects architecture and API. Its first phase will be for SDO use with the C++ programming language. In particular, this TC shall maintain functional equivalence with the SDO for Java V2.1.1 Specification, under the stewardship of the Java Community Process (JCP). This TC will continue development of the SDO for C++ V2.1 specification and aim to establish it as an OASIS Standard. In a second phase, the TC will evolve the SDO specifications (for both Java and C++) to a Version 3.0 level of functionality. Further programming languages may be selected from the scoped list by the TC. The TC is encouraged to consider an effective manner of evolving SDO functionality, keeping the multiple language specifications current and in alignment. The two phases are not required to execute serially. The TC is expected to develop the test suite in collaboration with other TCs within the Open CSA Member Section.
An Architectural Framework for Media Server Control
Tim Melanchuk (ed), IETF Internet Draft
Members of the IETF Media Server Control (MEDIACTRL) Working Group have released an initial Internet Draft of "An Architectural Framework for Media Server Control." The MEDIACTRL WG was chartered to examine protocol extensions between media servers and their clients. The new document describes an Architectural Framework for Media Server Control. The primary focus will be to define logical entities that exist within the context of the MediaCtrl Work Group in the IETF. The document will also define appropriate naming conventions and interactions between the core logical entities. The logical architecture proposed by the 'MediaCtrl' Work group involves interactions between an Application Server (AS) and a Media Server (MS). The SIP interactions can be broken into 'media dialogs'—used between an AS and a MS to establish media sessions between an endpoint and a Media Server, and 'MS control dialogs' -- which are used to establish and maintain MS control channels. SIP is the primary signaling protocol for session signaling and should be used for all media sessions directed towards a 'MediaCtrl' compliant Media Server. Media Servers may support other signaling protocols but this type of interaction is out of scope within the context of 'MediaCtrl'. Application Servers may terminate non-SIP signaling protocols but must gateway those requests to SIP when interacting with a MediaCtrl compliant MS. SIP will also be used for the creation, management and termination of the dedicated MS control channel(s). A control channel uses TCP to provide reliable sequenced delivery of MS Control Protocol messages. The Application and Media Servers use the SDP attributes to allow SIP negotiation of a TCP connection. Further details and example flows are provided in the SIP Control Framework. The SIP Control Framework also includes basic control message semantics. It uses the concept of "packages" to allow domain specific protocols to be defined using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. The MS Control Protocol may then be defined as one or more packages for the SIP Control Framework.
See also: the WG General Information
Google, IBM Plant Distributed Computing Seeds
Clint Boulton, eWEEK
Computer science students are getting a chance to learn about distributed computing from two of the biggest names in high tech. Google and IBM said they will provide servers and open-source software to help students and researchers at colleges and universities write software to build out the Internet. Even the most talented students don't get exposure to large-scale computing as undergraduates. After all, this type of computing is horizontal and often involves hundreds or thousands of small servers, which universities can't afford or make room for. Operating in parallel, such machines can enable software, such as Internet search, online social networking tools and mobile e-commerce, to function well in an on-demand Web environment. IBM and Google both see the Internet as an infrastructure platform, or a cloud, on which to build sophisticated Web applications. IBM currently offers Lotus Connections, a social computing and collaboration software suite, while Google is attacking the market with Google Apps. Microsoft, Amazon.com, Saleforce.com and others are working on similar projects. UW (the University of Washington), Carnegie-Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland are piloting the ACCI. The ACCI also includes a university curriculum developed by Google and UW focusing on parallel computing techniques under a Creative Commons license, along with an open-source software add-on designed by IBM to help students develop programs for clusters running Apache Hadoop.
See also: the announcement
The Atom Publishing Protocol: IETF Standards Track RFC 5023
Joe Gregorio and Bill de hOra (eds), IETF Request for Comments
"The Atom Publishing Protocol" specification previously approved for standardization has now been released as IETF Request for Comments #5023. The 53-page specification defines an application-level protocol for publishing and editing Web Resources using 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. The protocol specification uses Atom-formatted representations to describe the state and metadata of those Resources. It defines how Collections of Resources can be organized, and it specifies formats to support their discovery, grouping and categorization. A Collection is represented by an Atom Feed Document. A Collection Feed's Entries contain the IRIs of, and metadata about, the Collection's Member Resources. A Collection Feed can contain any number of Entries, which might represent all the Members of the Collection, or an ordered subset of them. The Atom Publishing Protocol uses HTTP methods to author Member Resources as follows: GET is used to retrieve a representation of a known Resource. POST is used to create a new, dynamically named, Resource. When the client submits non-Atom-Entry representations to a Collection for creation, two Resources are always created—a Media Entry for the requested Resource, and a Media Link Entry for metadata about the Resource that will appear in the Collection. PUT is used to edit a known Resource. It is not used for Resource creation. DELETE is used to remove a known Resource. The Atom Protocol only covers the creating, editing, and deleting of Entry and Media Resources.
See also: Atom References
JSR Watch: From the New Chair of the JCP
Patrick Curran, SYS-CON Linux Magazine
An earlier article announced that Onno Kluyt would be handing over the role of Java Community Process (JCP) Chair to Patrick Curran. In this article, Curran explains his vision for JCP: "I've worked at Sun for more years than I can even remember and have spent the last six years leading the team that develops conformance test suites (Technology Compatibility Kits or TCKs) for the Java SE platform. This work, together with an involvement in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), has prepared me for this new role... The standards-development process is difficult. It can be slow, boring work. It's expensive: someone has to do all of that work. Although there are selfless individuals who devote their personal time to it, most standards work is funded directly or indirectly by corporations, who pay dues to the standards bodies and who pay their employees' salaries while these employees are spending their time on standards activities rather than working more directly on company business. Corporations don't fund this work because they are altruistic. They do so because they expect it to advance their commercial interests. The standards development process therefore involves a delicate balance between the private interests of the participants and the public interests of the broader community. While de-facto standards can be effective in the short run, for truly widespread adoption you need multiple compatible implementations. This is only possible if you have strong conformance test suites (and optionally, certification programs) to verify that these implementations actually conform to the specifications. Developing good conformance test suites is difficult and expensive —perhaps as difficult and expensive as developing specifications. In an open-source world—where multiple incompatible implementations are likely due to the freedom to implement specifications in whole or in part—a standardization process and conformance testing are even more important.
See also: the JCP 2 Process Document
Introduction to JSR-275: Measures and Units
Jean-Marie Dautelle, JavaWorld Magazine
The new Measures and Units JSR-275 specification takes the uncertainty out of Java programming with physical measurements. Developers who work with physical quantities (in scientific, engineering, medical and manufacturing domains, for example) need to be able to handle measurements of those quantities in their programs. Inadequate models of physical measurements can lead to significant programmatic errors. In particular, the practice of modeling a measure as a simple number with no regard to the units it represents creates fragile code. Another developer or another part of the code might misinterpret the number as representing a different unit of measurement. For example, it might be unclear whether a person's weight is expressed in pounds, kilograms, or stone. The issue is difficult to solve through testing and has already cost millions of dollars to society worldwide. NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation. Developers must either use inadequate models of measurements or create their own solutions. A standard solution can be safer, save development time for domain-specific work, and—most important—make code more readable and less error-prone. JSR 275 establishes such a framework for Java developers. Just as parameterization enhanced the Java Collections Framework, the Measures and Units API adds a new dimension to Java primitive types. Whether or not JSR 275 will be included in the Java 7 platform has not yet been decided. We can certainly hope so, because it provides a common framework allowing unit-safe integration of higher-level libraries (such as JSR 310: Date and Time API). In the meantime, you can download the reference implementation from the JScience project.
See also: JSR-275
Digital Inclusion: Accelerating Global Participation and Access
Staff, Bolin Group Announcement
An invitation has been extended for attendance at a conference "Digital Inclusion: Accelerating Global Participation and Access," to be held November 11, 2007 at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is co-sponsored by the Brazilian Civilian Cabinet of the Republican Presidency, RITS, LSI, KEI, and Sun Microsystems. Expert panelists will participate in four areas: (1) Digital Inclusion and Literacy through Open Standards; (2) Increasing Accessibility to Government Services and Social Programs through Open Standards; (3) Balanced Representation in ICT Standardization; (4) International Market Influence. "This highly interactive conference will examine how open standardization can enable all stakeholders to participate in the benefits and governance of the digital world. Open ICT standardization can provide an economical, reliable, and innovative means for enabling greater participation using communications networks like the Internet and the World Wide Web. Technology architectures based upon open ICT standards can lead to more equitable access, consumer choice, and competition. The crux of ICT standardization is not in the technologies. Rather, the true power of standardization is based in the world's often conflicting political, legal, and economic infrastructures that affect standardization. The decisions made in these arenas create the local and international rules that deeply impact network participation. Those decisions will be the gateway that determines who will benefit from technology and who will be left behind."
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