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Last modified: November 21, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 21 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:
IBM Corporation

WS-I Releases Updated Basic Profile 1.2 and 2.0 Specifications
Christopher Ferris, Anish Karmarkar (et al., eds), WS-I WG Drafts

Members of the Web Services-Interoperability Organization (WS-I) Basic Profile Working Group are currently working on Basic Profile 1.2 and Basic Profile 2.0. Updated drafts have been published for both specifications. (1) The latest "Basic Profile Version 1.2" Working Group Approval Draft defines a set of non-proprietary Web services specifications, along with clarifications, refinements, interpretations and amplifications of those specifications which promote interoperability. This Profile is derived from the Basic Profile 1.1 by incorporating any errata to date and including those requirements related to the serialization of envelopes and their representation in messages from the Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0. This Profile is NOT intended to be composed with the Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0. The Attachments Profile 1.0 adds support for SOAP with Attachments, and is intended to be used in combination with this Profile. There are a few requirements in the Basic Profile 1.2 that may present compatibility issues with clients, services and their artifacts that have been engineered for Basic Profile 1.1 conformance. However, in general, the Basic Profile WG members have tried to preserve as much forwards and backwards compatibility with the Basic Profile 1.1 as possible so as not to disenfranchise clients, services and their artifacts that have been deployed in conformance with the Basic Profile 1.1. (2) The "Basic Profile Version 2.0" (Working Group Draft) is the first version of the WS-I Basic Profile that changes the version of SOAP in the profile scope from SOAP 1.1 to the W3C SOAP 1.2 Recommendation. As such, clients, servers and the artifacts that comprise a Basic Profile 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2 conformant application are inherently incompatible with an application that is conformant with the Basic Profile 2.0. However, in general, the Basic Profile WG members have tried to preserve in the Basic Profile 2.0 as much consistency with the guidance and constraints of the Basic Profile 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 as possible. This has been in part facilitated by the fact that the WG tried to remain consistent in the guidance and constraints of the original Basic Profile with the decisions that were being made in the context of the W3C XML Protocols WG as they were concurrently working on the SOAP 1.2 specificatons. For the most part, issues that were resolved in the context of the development of the Basic Profile 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 were not revisited.

See also: Basic Profile Version 2.0

Web Maps with the Google Map API
Dionysios G. Synodinos, Dr. Dobb's Journal

For the last five years, we had been using a proprietary solution to manage a small percentage of the geographical information about various university locations. This solution had only a few locations and would run in only one browser on one operating system. Moreover, it required users to download a big plug-in. Also, it wasn't stable under heavy use. In this article, I present our solution—a web front-end that utilizes several aspects of the freely available Google Map API to provide a usable, robust, cross-platform web map. To get the precise geographical location for specific sites, you could use some kind of a geocoder tool. There are several free ones (the Perl module Geo::Coder::US, for instance), but most work only with U.S. addresses. For our purposes, we used Google Earth (, which in its latest version combines satellite imagery, maps, terrain, and 3D buildings. This tool gives a simple interface to navigate over a global satellite map and manually assign points of interest with markers, polylines, and polygons. This software was so straightforward that we could give it to our team of rural engineers and, after a few minutes of training, they were able to represent a large amount of information that was scattered in a variety of files in different engineering software formats. The original file was converted to KML, short for "Keyhole Markup Language", an XML-based language for managing three-dimensional geospatial data. This file contained coordinates, labels, and even HTML descriptions, in a format that was human readable and easy to process using XSLT. With the launch of its most-recent mapping API, Google has provided web developers with a feature-rich toolset for representing geographical information in a web environment. Besides the various functionality that is already present out-of-the-box, the JavaScript-based environment provides the necessary facilities to extend the default behavior and satisfy even the most challenging requirements. It is also remarkable that all these features come in a package that has been developed from the ground up to be compatible with most major environments (browsers).

Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) SEARCH
Julian F. Reschke (ed), IETF Internet Draft

Editors of the IETF Internet Draft "Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) SEARCH" have released a updated version, available from the RFC Libraries. WebDAV provides a network protocol for creating interoperable, collaborative applications. XML properties provide storage for arbitrary metadata, such as a list of authors on Web resources. These properties can be efficiently set, deleted, and retrieved using the DAV protocol. DASL, the DAV Searching and Locating protocol, provides searches based on property values to locate Web resources. The updated document defines Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) SEARCH, an application of HTTP/1.1 forming a lightweight search protocol to transport queries and result sets that allows clients to make use of server-side search facilities. It is based on the expired internet draft for DAV Searching and Locating. "Requirements for DAV Searching and Locating" describes the motivation for DASL. In this specification, the terms "WebDAV SEARCH" and "DASL" are used interchangeably. DASL minimizes the complexity of clients so as to facilitate widespread deployment of applications capable of utilizing the DASL search mechanisms. The Query Grammar provides set of definitions of XML elements, attributes, and constraints on their relations and values that defines a set of queries and the intended semantics. DASL at Work: (1) The client constructs a query using the 'DAV:basicsearch' grammar; (2) The client invokes the SEARCH method on a resource that will perform the search (the search arbiter) and includes a 'text/xml' or 'application/xml' request entity that contains the query; (3) The search arbiter performs the query; (4) The search arbiter sends the results of the query back to the client in the response. The server MUST send an entity that matches the WebDAV multistatus format.

See also: the W3C Mail Archives for

Testing BPEL in the Real World
Lonneke Dikmans, Oracle Magazine

One of the big benefits of service-oriented architecture (SOA) development is that it approaches design from a business, as opposed to a technical, point of view. Unfortunately, SOA development projects can be more complicated than "regular" Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) projects. With SOA projects, there are often more stakeholders, more disparate technologies to integrate, and more possible misunderstandings about overall project goals. Testing in such an environment can be complicated—from both a technical and an organizational perspective. To properly test an SOA deployment, you need to test the set of Web services, the individual applications that implement the Web services, and the business processes that handle the orchestration of these services. This article describes how to test a BPEL process by using the Oracle BPEL Test Framework. This framework, part of Oracle BPEL Process Manager, provides a way to create and execute a set of repeatable tests on a BPEL process. In addition, this article also offers some best practices borrowed from traditional integration and agile development projects to help developers, project managers, and testers working in an SOA environment. The Oracle BPEL Test Framework, which is part of Oracle BPEL Process Manager and is integrated into Oracle JDeveloper, provides features similar to those that developers would expect when practicing test-driven development in Java EE projects. Along with Ant tasks that deploy, execute, and provide reports on tests, this test framework can easily be combined with testing tools and an automated deployment process to meet the most-demanding SOA testing needs.

See also: BPEL references

Syntext Xsl-Status: A Progress Tracking Tool for XSLT Stylesheet Developers
Staff, Syntext Development Team Announcement

Syntext developers recently announced the release of release of Xsl-Status V1.3.0, described as "an indispensable progress tracking tool for XSLT stylesheet developers." It helps you track which elements of an XML Schema are supported in your XSLT stylesheet, what the development status of XSLT templates is, and what template supports a particular XML element. The new release features the following enhancements: (1) The ability to generate multiple reports at a time; (2) The ability to group generated reports; (3) The ability to generate summary reports; (4) XML Catalogs support. The new version of Xsl-Status has made it possible for Syntext Serna XSLT stylesheet developers to generate reports for several document types simultaneously (e.g. DITA Task, Topic, Concept) and have them grouped by category (e.g. Serna DITA 1.3, Serna DITA 1.1). Multiple reports are displayed conveniently as structured lists in summary reports, with links letting you access a desired report easily. Xsl-Status was originally designed for developers creating XSLT stylesheets for Syntext Serna WYSIWYG XML editor. Some of the supported Schemas (e.g. DITA, Docbook, S1000D) are rather large and contain hundreds of elements. In order to support the evolving stylesheets, you need to know which elements are supported, which elements have yet to be supported, which elements are being tested, etc. To run this package, you need Python and XSLTProc installed on your computer. The software is made available free under the terms of the Apache License Version 2.0.

See also: the announcement

SAML Version 2.0 Errata
Eve Maler and Abbie Barbir (eds), Approved OASIS Errata Document

OASIS announced the publication of an approved errata document listing errata to the SAML Version 2.0 OASIS Standard. The document presents some sixty errata. As required by the OASIS Technical Committee Process, the approved errata represent changes that are not "substantive". Instead, the changes focus on clarifications to ambiguous or conflicting specification text, where different compliant implementations might have reasonably chosen different interpretations. The intent of the Security Services TC has been to resolve such issues in service of improved interoperability based on implementation and deployment experience. In addition to this normative document, non-normative 'errata composite' documents have been provided that combine the prescribed corrections with the original specification text, illustrating the changes with margin change bars, struck-through original text, and highlighted new text.

See also: SAML references

Customized Cookbooks
Bob DuCharme, Blog

Pay for professional recipes, or do it the XML geek way. The New York Times article A Cookbook of One's Own From the Internet describes how Kamran Mohsenin, the founder of a photography web site, took an interesting step beyond personalized calendars: personalized cookbooks using recipes from, a web site has 25,000 recipes from 'Gourmet' and 'Bon Appetit' magazines. It looks great, but someone who enjoys playing with free XML tools could do something similar without spending a dime. In a two-part article series I used recipes from the Squirrel RecipeML archive, which has 10,000 public domain recipes marked up in XML. XQuery makes it easy to retrieve all the recipes meeting certain conditions, such as those that mention a certain ingredient, so dynamic generation of customized cookbooks would be simple. Acting as an HTTP server, XQuery applications typically retrieve XML, convert it to HTML, and deliver it to a browser, but they don't have to. You could retrieve the XML and convert it to XSL-FO (maybe with a little XSLT along the way) and create a PDF book. From there, you could use lulu to create the bound version, but you'd have to spend a few dollars there. An .epub eBook is another option; I recently learned how easy these are to make. If you really want to turn this into something for your resume, a DITA angle would be nice. When people believe too much of the hype around DITA and think that it will automate all of their XML-related publishing, I tell them that DITA is designed around topic-oriented content, and that it may or may not be a good fit for their content. My favorite example of content that is a good fit is cookbooks: of the three basic topic types in the DITA architecture, "task" has a structure that fits around the {title, description, ingredient list, assembly step list, conclusion} structure of a typical recipe with just a few renames. Once you automate the conversion of RecipeML files into DITA-compliant recipes, the DITA Open Toolkit can turn them into HTML, PDF, RTF, troff, and several other formats.

See also: DITA references


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