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Last modified: October 23, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 23 October 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

W3C First Public Working Draft: RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing
Ben Adida, Mark Birbeck (et al., eds); W3C Technical Report

W3C announced that the Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and the XHTML2 Working Group jointly have published the First Public Working Draft for "RDFa in XHTML: Syntax and Processing." RDFa attributes can be used with languages such as HTML and XHTML to express structured data. RDFa allows terms from multiple independently-developed vocabularies to be freely intermixed. This document has parsing rules for those creating an RDFa parser as well as guidelines for users in organizations who wish to use RDFa. For those who would like start using RDFa, the RDFa Primer is an introduction to its use and shows real-world examples. RDFa alleviates the pressure on XML format authors to anticipate all the structural requirements users of their format might have, by outlining a new syntax for RDF that relies only on XML attributes. This specification deals specifically with the use of RDFa in XHTML, and defines an RDF mapping for a number of XHTML attributes, but RDFa can be easily imported into other XML-based markup languages. RDFa shares some use cases with microformats. Whereas microformats specify both a syntax for embedding structured data into HTML documents and a vocabulary of specific terms for each microformat, RDFa specifies only a syntax and relies on independent specification of terms (RDF Classes and Properties) by others. RDFa allows terms from multiple independently-developed vocabularies to be freely intermixed and is designed such that the language can be parsed without knowledge of the specific term vocabulary being used.

See also: the RDFa Primer 1.0

Burton Cautiously Optimistic about SCA for SOA
Rich Seeley,

The analysts who cover service-oriented architecture (SOA) for Burton Group Inc. have some reservations about the Service Component Architecture (SCA) specification, but have concluded the vendor backing is so strong "adoption may be inevitable." Touted as "a new programming model for SOA" by its vendor sponsors led by IBM and now making its way through the OASIS standards process, SCA is not yet baked into many products beyond IBM's WebSphere, but Burton analysts expect adoption to pick up in 2008. Given its apparent inevitability as a vendor supported standard, Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at Burton, spent more than an hour Tuesday in a Web seminar explaining SCA's potential promise and problems to clients. She said the concerns about SCA at Burton Group include the fact that SCA is made up of more than 14 specifications. Analysts are skeptical that the various technical committees working on those specifications can reach the goal of creating an overall standard to "simplify" service creation and composition. This leads to concern that SCA could suffer the same fate as Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), which failed to achieve its promise in the 1990s because, as one analyst put it, "too many cooks spoiled the broth." "There is some concern that SCA can hide all the complexities," she said. The good news is that SCA has potential, yet unproven, to be a language-and protocol-independent programming model for SOA. Languages that will be supported in SCA cover most of those a non-Microsoft coder would be working on today, ranging from COBOL to Ruby. Support is planned for Java, including Plan Old Java Objects (POJO), Spring, Enterprise Java Beans, C, C++, BPEL and PHP.

See also: OASIS SCA-TCs

W3C Workshop Report: Next Steps for XML Signature and XML Encryption
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C's report of the Workshop on Next Steps for XML Signature and XML Encryption is now available. The September 25-26, 2007 event was hosted by VeriSign in Mountain View, California. This Workshop included implementors and users of the XML Canonicalization, XML Signature and XML Encryption suites of specifications. The participants included implementers and specification writers that have built their work on top of these specifications. Participants in the workshop had to submit a position paper. The workshop had 25 participants from over fifteen organizations. The aim of this workshop was to gather information and experiences with these specifications, to start to build community consensus, and to make initial recommendations to the W3C about possible next steps for the XML Security specifications. The report shows strong interest in additional work on XML security at W3C. A basic signature profile, the referencing and transform models, updating the set of supported cryptographic algorithms, and revisiting XML canonicalization were seen as highest priority among the several topics identified by the participants. The XML Security Specifications Maintenance Working Group has been chartered to produce a draft charter for follow-up work. This Workshop report will serve as input to that deliverable. To enable discussion among Workshop attendees, Working Group members, and the broader community, a new mailing list has been created. Participation in that mailing list is open to all interested parties.

See also: the XML Security Specifications Maintenance WG

MySQL to Get Injection of Google Code
James Niccolai, InfoWorld

MySQL has laid out its software road map through 2009, including some code contributed by Google and security improvements that are due in MySQL 7.0. Google is secretive about the distributed architecture underlying its services, but it's known to be one of MySQL's biggest users, running hundreds or even thousands of its databases worldwide. The search company has done a lot of work customizing MySQL to meet its special needs, which include better database replication, and tools to monitor a high volume of database instances. MySQL 5.1 is scheduled for general availability in the first quarter next year. Advances include table and index partitioning, which should boost data warehousing performance, and the option of row-based replication, which lets companies create more exact back-up replicas. The big change in 6.0 will be the availability of MySQL's storage engine, Falcon. The most popular storage engine for MySQL has historically been InnoDB, but two years ago Oracle acquired InnoDB's developer, Innobase. Oracle continued to license the software to MySQL, but MySQL wanted an alternative. Falcon will do crash recovery and roll-back operations faster than InnoDB because they are done from main memory, Schumacher said, but some InnoDB features, like foreign key support and full-text indexing, won't be supported until MySQL 6.1. 6.1 is due to go into beta in mid-2008 and start to ship widely in 2009. Improvements include better prepared statements and server-side cursors, Schumacher said. Despite all the buzz a few years ago about native XML (Extensible Markup Language) support, Axmark said he's still waiting for a clear signal about what customers want. Until then it's not a big priority for MySQL, although there are some XML capabilities in 5.1.

XML Data Interchange in Java ME Applications
Mario La Menza,

In this article the author shows how the Data Transfer Object design pattern is implemented in Java ME architectures and why you might want to use XML-based DTOs rather than Java beans for faster data interchange between tiers. Author Mario La Menza presents an example architecture that supports the use of XML-based DTOs and also introduces MockMe, a free tool for generating XML-based mock objects so you can test the presentation layer of your Java mobile applications without waiting for server-side data. While many Java mobile application developers do go the route of serializing DTOs, this approach is limited by the fact that DTOs by definition have no logic, and Java ME does not support object serialization. Without support for serialization it is not possible to make an object exchange transparent. An alternative approach is to use XML to encode the objects to be exchanged. In addition to the fact that an object-XML-object mechanism doesn't differ much from object serialization, it is readable by both computers and humans, unlike a serialized object. Human readability simplifies the process of debugging application code because generating different instances of the same object is just a matter of editing an XML file. Furthermore, you can use any browser to send a request to the server and observe its response. Finally, using XML for data interchange means that your application can interact with clients built using different technologies, not just Java ME but also Java Standard Edition and .Net, for example. On the other hand, the almost universally recognized downside of using XML for data interchange is the inherent parsing processes and syntactic analysis involved. Rather than spending a lot of time on this aspect of your code, or being frustrated by Java ME's lack of support for XML, you can use a small-memory XML parser. Examples later in this article are based on the KXML library.

Make Ajax Development Easier With AjaxTags
Daniel Wintschel, IBM developerWorks

Traditionally, Web-based user interfaces (including both pages and applications) have required that each request made by the user forced a page refresh, consuming a considerable amount of time and bandwidth. Repeated page refreshes can result in a fairly slow and clunky Web experience, even for users with the fastest broadband connection available. These days, developers everywhere are flocking to new tricks and techniques to drastically improve the performance and user experience within Web-based applications. Web applications coded with Ajax can allow data to be sent to the server asynchronously in the background, while simultaneously updating various parts of the Web page being viewed without a page reload. Ajax comprises a number of objects and technologies. And despite the X initial in the acronym Ajax, XML might never be used at all. The response sent back from the browser could be one of various types or formats, including but not limited to plain text, HTML, or XML. This article describes a compact little JSP tag library that uses some external JavaScript to bring easy-to-use Ajax support to your JSP pages: AjaxTags.


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