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Last modified: November 14, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

Mobile Web Leaders Push for Open Standards
Matt Hines, InfoWorld

The technological barriers and business models that have led to the current morass of proprietary handheld devices, closed-off carrier networks, and specialized wireless applications must be eliminated if the mobile Internet is to become as powerful and ubiquitous as it should someday be, according to industry leaders. Content providers, applications developers, and mobile carriers, along with standards backers like Tim Berners-Lee—the so-called father of the World Wide Web—stumped for greater openness in the platforms being used to develop future wireless online systems at the ongoing Mobile Internet World conference in Boston on Wednesday. While the lion's share today's of mobile Web applications do not work across multiple devices, wireless service plans, and software environments, the potential of the mobile Internet will only be realized when providers across the industry shift from proprietary systems to open standards, experts presenting at the conference said. Representatives from carrier Sprint Nextel, phone maker Nokia, applications vendor Opera, and even content producer MTV pledged their commitments at the conference to embrace the call of industry leaders like Berners-Lee to move away from the proprietary systems they have previously fostered and to adopt more standards-based platforms. Berners-Lee said that his invention of the World Wide Web would have never had the same unilateral influence and adoption that it has enjoyed if it had been created only to work on a certain type of device or operating system.

See also: ComputerWorld

Ajax-based Persistent Object Mapping
Kristopher William Zyp, IBM developerWorks

Virtually all applications use some form of persistence; that is, they save information for future execution. Generally, the ability to persist information for later retrieval is a critical aspect of applications, and as Web applications increasingly integrate user interaction and contribution, persistence becomes more important. However, persistence often requires saving state information in a way that's conceptually different from how the data exists in the execution of the program. Within the execution of a program, state information is typically stored in objects (at least, in object-oriented programs) but persisted either into databases or into text- or character-based formats. The transformation of state information back and forth between these two paradigms can often require significant development work and is highly susceptible to errors. Persistent object-mapping strategies can provide automation for state storage and retrieval by mapping objects to persistent data. Such mapping can also provide a simple mechanism for accessing persistent state and saving that state. The Persevere persistent object framework brings persistent object mapping to the browser JavaScript environment. Object persistence has seen great popularity in the Java programming and Ruby worlds, and the dynamic JavaScript language is naturally well suited to mapping objects to persisted data. Persevere automates mapping and communication in Asynchronous JavaScript + XML (Ajax)-based Web applications in addition to simplifying much of the development challenge by providing a manageable data model, transparent client-server Ajax interchanges, automatic state change storage, and implicit transaction management. By using orthogonal persistent object mapping, you can rapidly develop powerful Ajax applications by using simple, familiar JavaScript code. The complexity of writing Ajax requests, serialization, and database interaction can easily be handled by Persevere to provide object-oriented access to persisted data for rapid application development.

Associating Resources with Namespaces
Norman Walsh and Henry S. Thompson (eds), W3C Draft TAG Finding

The editors of the document "Associating Resources with Namespaces" have released an updated editors' draft. This TAG finding addresses the question of how ancillary information (schemas, stylesheets, documentation, etc.) can be associated with a namespace. Section 4 "Namespace URIs and Namespace Documents" (earlier section title was: "Identifying Individual Terms") has been expanded to include: 4.1 "Namespace URIs and Namespace Documents: The XML language case"; 4.2 "Namespace URIs and Namespace Documents: The Semantic Web case"; 4.3 "GRDDL and Namespace documents." From the Preface: The names in a namespace form a collection: (1) Sometimes it is a collection of element names—DocBook and XHTML, for example; (2) sometimes it is a collection of attribute names—XLink, for example; (3) sometimes it is a collection of functions—XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model; (4) sometimes it is a collection of properties -- FOAF; (5) sometimes it is a collection of concepts (WordNet), and many other uses are likely to arise. Given the wide variety of things that can be identified, it follows that an equally wide variety of ancillary resources may be relevant to a namespace. A namespace may have documentation (specifications, reference material, tutorials, etc., perhaps in several formats and several languages), schemas (in any of several forms), stylesheets, software libraries, applications, or any other kind of related resource. The names in a namespace likewise may have a range of information associated with them... [In this document] we define a conceptual model for identifying related resources that is simple enough to garner community consensus as a reasonable abstraction for the problem; we show how RDDL 1.0 is one possible concrete syntax for this model; and we show how other concrete syntaxes could be defined and identified in a way that would preserve the model.

See also: the color-coded diff version

Search Web Services Version 1.0
Ray Denenberg and Matthew Dovey (TC Chairs), Discussion Document

OASIS announced a 30-day review for a TC Discussion document titled "Search Web Services Version 1.0," produced by members of the OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee. This document was prepared as a strawman proposal for public review, intended to generate discussion and interest. It has no official status. Summary: "The Search web service is a means of opening a database to external enquiry in a standardized manner that facilitates discovery of query and response possibilities and makes it possible for heterogeneous databases to be queried simultaneously with the same or similar queries. Client software can be easily configured using a standardized XML explain document that is accessible from the base URL or via the explain operation. In contrast with protocols such as SQL and XQuery, detailed knowledge of a database's structure is not necessary as the explain document contains parsable information on server defaults, searchable indexes and record schemas that are returned in the response." The new specification itself is based on the SRU (Search Retrieve via URL) specification which can be found at the U.S. Library of Congress web site. SRU is a standard XML-focused search protocol for Internet search queries, utilizing CQL (Contextual Query Language), a standard syntax for representing queries. It is expected that the OASIS standard, when published, will deviate from SRU. How much it will deviate cannot be predicted at this time. The fact that the SRU spec is used as a starting point for development should not be cause for concern that this might be an effort to rubberstamp or fasttrack SRU. The committee hopes to preserve the useful features of SRU, eliminate those that are not considered useful, and add features that are not in SRU but are considered useful. The committee has decided to request OASIS to release this as a discussion document. Detailed review of this document is premature at this point and is not requested; feedback on the functionality and approach is solicited. Please send comments by December 7, 2007.

See also: the announcement

iPhone Gets Add-On Boost from Transmedia's Glide Mobile
Elena Malykhina, InformationWeek

Just in time for the iPhone release in the U.K. and Germany on Friday, online media management and collaboration provider Transmedia launched an application for creating Word Documents, Web sites, and PDFs on the popular device. Transmedia's Glide Mobile is a Web-based AJAX and HTML application that can be accessed through the iPhone's Safari browser. Once a person signs up for a Glide Mobile account, they can create, access, and editMicrosoft Word or Open Office documents on their iPhone -- an option that doesn't come pre-installed on the device. Subscribers can use many of the same features they're used to on the desktop, such as bolding, italicizing, or underlining text, as well as creating bullet points. Documents created on the iPhone can also be converted to PDF files. The application automatically syncs up and converts desktop Microsoft Word documents for access on the iPhone. But an Internet connection is required so that Glide Mobile can send a signal to Transmedia's servers to trigger the automatic synching. Glide Mobile can also be used to create media rich documents on the iPhone, since it offers the option of inserting photos, music, video, bookmarks, calendar events, and more. Window Media Player videos exported from Windows-based PCs are converted to QuickTime through Glide Mobile, making them viewable on the iPhone.

SEC Readies XBRL Tagging Rules for Financial Filings
Roy Mark, eWEEK

U.S. businesses could be required to file financial reports formatted in XBRL, top Securities and Exchange Commission officials said November 13, 2007. John White, head of the SEC's division of corporate finance, and Conrad Hewitt, the SEC's chief accountant, told the Financial Executives International Conference in New York that the SEC is in the process of shaping an XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) proposal to make it mandatory in required filings. The SEC currently has a voluntary program for tagging financial documents with XBRL. Microsoft, General Electric and United Technologies are already participating in the program. A member of the XML family, XBRL is a machine-readable language for business and financial data. Instead of treating financial information as a block of text—as in a standard Internet page or a printed document—it provides an identifying tag for each individual item of data. The open-source, royalty-free language is being developed by an international non-profit consortium of approximately 450 major companies, organizations and government agencies. Of the countries attending the conference, China is moving fastest on XBRL, already requiring interactive data filing for the full financial statements of all listed companies in quarterly, half-year and annual reports. Japan has mandated XBRL for all public companies by the end of the second quarter of next year. Korea has instituted a voluntary XBRL program that began last month. Almost 30 companies are already filing their full financial information using XBRL.

Data Binding With Castor, Part 1
Brett D. McLaughlin, IBM developerWorks

The Castor project provides data binding capabilities to the open source realm. It works much like Sun's JAXB, and adds enhanced mapping and binding to relational database tables. This article shows how to take the first steps to get Castor to run on your own machine with downloading, installation, setup, configuration, class path issues, and more. Castor is an almost-drop-in replacement for JAXB. In other words, you can change all of your JAXB code to Castor with very little trouble. It's not an exact replacement, but it's close enough to make the task simple for even newbie programmers. Castor offers quite a bit more in the data binding area, allows you to convert between Java and XML without a schema, an easier-to-use binding schema than JAXB, and the ability to marshal and unmarshal from a relational database, as well as XML documents. Castor also provides JDO capabilities. JDO stands for Java Data Objects, and it's the underlying technology that drives the Java-to-RDBMS marshalling and unmarshalling. JDO isn't quite as popular as it was a few years ago, but it's still a nice feature to have. Additionally, because JDO is another Sun specification, you won't write code to an obscure API.

See also: the Castor Project web site

Nortel Launches SOA Initiative
Paula Musich, eWEEK

Nortel Networks is launching its first foray into SOA-based communications as it takes the wraps off its Raptor project November 14, 2007 and announces an alliance with partner IBM. Nortel's strategy leverages service-oriented architecture and Web services technology to enable both enterprises and carriers to quickly integrate communications and business processes. Nortel's overall Communications Enablement strategy is based on four pillars: the implementation of Web services on specific products; its new software development foundation that speeds the integration of communications functions into applications and business processes; alliances with multiple partners, starting with IBM; and the formation of a Nortel global services practice to support the SOA-based applications and services. Raptor is a tool kit that allows developers to more easily integrate functions such as click-to-call, presence, location and context into applications and business processes. Developers don't have to know the details of the underlying communications technology that delivers the connectivity. The Raptor foundation will not only leverage IBM's WebSphere middleware, but also be integrated with IBM's Lotus Sametime communications and collaboration platform. Integration with Sametime will allow functions such as click-to-call, click-to-conference, presence and shared directory services to be added quickly. For example, a Sametime user could, from within the Sametime client, see if a contact's phone is in use.

See also: ADT Magazine


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