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Last modified: November 29, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 29 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:

XProc: An XML Pipeline Language
Norman Walsh, Alex Milowski, Henry S. Thompson; W3C Technical Report

W3C has announced the release of a new version of the Working Draft for "XProc: An XML Pipeline Language." This document was produced by the XML Processing Model Working Group which is part of the XML Activity. In response to comments made on the previous draft, the Working Group decided to make significant changes to the way XPath and XSLT are supported in XProc. In particular, the requirement to support XPath 1.0 as XProc's expression language has been relaxed and the two XSLT steps have been combined into a single step. The Working Group has not finished addressing all of the outstanding comments on its previous draft but feels that the XPath change in particular has such a pervasive impact on the language that it has decided to publish a new draft immediately in order to expose this decision. User and implementor feedback on this decision would be most valuable. Norm Walsh writes in his blog commentary: "The decision to wrap both versions of XSLT up into a single step makes the signature for the step a little odd in the XSLT 1.0 case, but workable. Pipeline authors can choose the version they want, implementors can choose the version automagically if authors don't. Implicit pipeline inputs and outputs were designed to make very simple, straight through pipelines as short as possible (syntactically). But they added significant complexity to the analysis of pipelines that call pipelines. So now we require all the inputs and outputs of a 'p:pipeline' [element] to be explicit." XProc defines a language for describing operations to be performed on XML documents. An XML Pipeline specifies a sequence of operations to be performed on one or more XML documents. Pipelines generally accept one or more XML documents as input and produce one or more XML documents as output. Pipelines are made up of simple steps which perform atomic operations on XML documents and constructs similar to conditionals, loops and exception handlers which control which steps are executed.

See also: the blog by Norm Walsh

CCTS Modeler Warp 10: The Speed of Data Integration and B2B
Mark Crawford and Gunther Stuhec, Blog

At TechEd Las Vegas and TechEd Munich we unveiled our Data Integration, Data Modeling, and Data Mapping Tool—CCTS Modeler Warp 10 as part of the DemoJam competition. The CCTS Modeler Warp 10 tool is a Semantic Web ontology-based data integration, modeling and mapping tool that leverages the semantics of meta data by implementing the semantic-based approach described in ISO 15000-5 Core Component Technical Specification (CCTS). The Warp 10 modeling environment is wiki-based, collaborative, evolutionary, and autonomous. Warp 10 uses CCTS, the Core Component Library of UN/CEFACT, and the SAP Global Data Type catalogue to create and maintain data content ontologies for further reuse. The wiki nature of the tool for the first time enables data modelers to view the design time modeling activities of their counterparts to maximize reuse and minimize duplicative efforts. Warp 10 is the first step to the future Web 3.0—a combination of Web 2.0 and Semantic Web technologies. It is based on SAP NetWeaver tools and offers both the smooth integration and extension of SAP GDTs as well as the smooth integration and consolidation of existing investments in data integration and mapping. It does this through its semi-automatic mapping approach. Warp 10 not only has the capability to integrate with both vertical standards and cross-industry standards, it can go beyond the limitations of these boundaries. Warp 10 will seamlessly integrate data models, regardless of source, with existing application landscapes. In other words, very large business applications will for the first time close the gap that exists between themselves and individually designed, non-semantically oriented application to application communication expressions. All content will be semi automatically consolidated and stored in a central repository. Modelling focused users will be able to apply instantly and use the tool. Business oriented users will be able to concentrate more on content related topics to get IT aligned to serve the business' strategic objectives.

Further information is provided in the 2007-11 blogs by Gunther Stuhec and Mark Crawford: (1) November 17, 2007: "Accelerate Your Business Data Modeling and Integration Issues by CCTS Modeler Warp 10"; (2) November 22, 2007: "Using CCTS Modeler Warp 10 to Customize Business Information Interfaces."


W3C Recharters Emotion Markup Language Incubator Group
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C has announced the reopening of the Emotion Markup Language Incubator Group (XG). The W3C Incubator Activity "fosters rapid development, on a time scale of a year or less, of new Web-related concepts. Target concepts include innovative ideas for specifications, guidelines, and applications that are not (or not yet) clear candidates for development and more thorough scrutiny under the current W3C Recommendation Track. The Incubator Activity allows rapid start of work within an Incubator Group (XG) without review of the W3C Advisory Committee. XGs are based on a simple, flexible process and are designed to create potential elements of the Web's future infrastructure." The mission of this new instance of the Emotion Markup Language Incubator Group (XG) is to propose a specification draft for an Emotion Markup Language, to document it in a way accessible to non-experts, and to illustrate its use in conjunction with a number of existing markups. Note that this document would not be a standards-track document until W3C charters a Working Group to develop it as a W3C Recommendation. The XG Final Report concluded that "the modeling of emotion-related states in technical systems can by important for two reasons: (1) To enhance computer-mediated or human-machine communication. Emotions are a basic part of human communication and should therefore be taken into account, e.g. in emotional Chat systems or emphatic voice boxes. This involves specification, analysis and display of emotion related states. (2) To enhance systems' processing efficiency. Emotion and intelligence are strongly interconnected. The modeling of human emotions in computer processing can help to build more efficient systems, e.g. using emotional models for time-critical decision enforcement. The rechartered XG is sponsored by W3C Members DFKI; Deutsche Telekom T-Com; Image, Video and Multimedia Systems Lab; Loquendo, S.p.A.; Chinese Academy of Sciences; and SRI International.

See also: the Emotion Markup Language Incubator Group (XG) Charter

IETF Recharters Network Configuration (NETCONF) Working Group
Staff, Internet Engineering Steering Group Announcement

The IESG Secretary announced that the IETF Network Configuration (NETCONF) Working Group in the Operations and Management Area of the IETF has been rechartered. The NETCONF Working Group has been chartered to produce a protocol suitable for network configuration. Background: "Configuration of networks of devices has become a critical requirement for operators in today's highly interoperable networks. Operators from large to small have developed their own mechanisms or used vendor specific mechanisms to transfer configuration data to and from a device, and for examining device state information which may impact the configuration. Each of these mechanisms may be different in various aspects, such as session establishment, user authentication, configuration data exchange, and error responses." The NETCONF protocol will use XML for data encoding purposes, because XML is a widely deployed standard which is supported by a large number of applications. XML also supports hierarchical data structures. The NETCONF protocol should be independent of the data definition language and data models used to describe configuration and state data. However, the authorization model used in the protocol is dependent on the data model. Although these issues must be fully addressed to develop standard data models, only a small part of this work will be initially addressed. This group will specify requirements for standard data models in order to fully support the NETCONF protocol, such as: (1) identification of principals, such as user names or distinguished names; (2) mechanism to distinguish configuration from non-configuration data; (3) XML namespace conventions; (4) XML usage guidelines. Currently the NETCONF protocol is able to advertise which protocol features are supported on a particular netconf-capable device. However, there is currently no way to discover which XML Schema are supported on the device. The NETCONF working group will produce a standards-track RFC with mechanisms making this discovery possible.

See also: the Network Configuration Working Group Status Pages

BEA Touts Event-Driven Architecture
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

For BEA officials, Tuesday [2007-11-27] was business as usual with executives touting the company's middleware stack for event processing during a media presentation in San Francisco; BEA Systems officials were eager to talk about event-driven architecture and SOA. "BEA has been leading in the event-processing market for some time now," said Ruma Sanyal, director of product marketing for BEA. The company's event-driven processing arsenal includes such products as WebLogic Event Server for high-performance applications driven by event-driven architecture and WebLogic Real Time featuring a version of the JRockit Java virtual machine offering guaranteed response times of 10 milliseconds. SOA factors into event-driven processing, according to BEA. Guy Churchward, BEA vice president of WebLogic products: "We see the next generation of SOA as being an event-driven SOA. With data volumes growing, companies will be competitive and win by implementing event-driven SOA and event-driven architecture. BEA's Event Server product is about data stream optimization, but SOA is deployed to make a decision on what to do with these streams..." More than 70 percent of respondents surveyed by BEA think about event-processing in the context of SOA and BPM (business process management)... While the BEA officials did not introduce any new products, they did provide glimpses of upcoming versions of the Event Server and Real Time software. Release 3.0 of Real Time, due next summer, will offer 5-millisecond response times. A release sometime after that will reduce this to zero milliseconds. Real Time features enhancements in Java memory management, or garbage collection, to reduce latency. The next version of Event Server will focus on development tools to extend the product to business analysts. A graphical interface for setting rules is a highlight of the product.

Display Google Calendar Events on your PHP Web Site with XPath
P.J. Cabrera, IBM developerWorks

In this article the author explains how XPath and SimpleXML provide the right balance between readability and verbosity in XML-parsing APIs. Google Calendar and other online calendaring applications provide simple centralized systems where online communities can maintain event calendars and community members can get information about upcoming events. But many organizations prefer to display event calendars on their community portals, forums, or blogs. They often copy event calendar information from online calendaring applications onto their Web sites, reducing the effectiveness of centrally managing events online. Google Calendar provides an integration application program interface (API) that provides a good solution to this problem. The Google data API provides Atom feeds and the Atom Publishing Protocol for retrieving, querying, updating, and creating events and other information using Google Calendar and almost all the other Google applications. There are also third-party integration APIs for Microsoft .NET, the Java programming language, Python, and PHP that encapsulate much of the Google data API functionality in a set of object-oriented wrapper classes. Using XPath, you can automatically keep a Web site's display of upcoming events up to date by querying the Google data API event feeds and parsing its entries for relevant details among the entries' elements. While XPath is not the fastest XML API in the PHP toolkit, it is among the easiest to use when you have a well-documented XML document on hand. You can use caching to reduce the impact of XPath's relatively slow performance.

See also: Atom references

CDF: The Common Format You've Never Heard Of
Kurt Cagle, O'Reilly Blog

XHTML, CSS 2.1, XMLHttpRequest, AJAX, XForms, SVG, XSLT, XPath, XSL-FO: The Compound Document Format was set up as a way of tying together at a minimum all of those technologies described above into a single cohesive whole. Put another way, it's a fancy way of describing the core suite of W3C document standards into a cohesive whole, although it does place some fairly minor requirements on usage in order to provide a consistent standard. CDF was in the news recently with the implosion of the Open Document Foundation, originally established to endorse ODF, though in its death throes it briefly highlighted the CDF format as perhaps a better format for documents than either OOXML or ODF. The effort of the CDF working group has been to essentially standardize on the way that web documents can be bound together into what appears to be a cohesive whole. Part of this is accomplished through the use of a standard called the Web Integration Compound Document (or WICD). Already, much of CDR has been implemented in the more sophisticatedly forward browsers. Opera 9.5 has a rather extensive support for most of CDF core and Firefox 3.0 is moving in that direction, though the biggest area of weakness is in SVG animation support. JustSystems, a company that has a huge presence in Japan [is] beginning to make an impact outside of that country, has been working towards a CDF platform for a number of years, and has one of the more expressive (and impressive) displays of how compound documents COULD work... Both Sony and Nokia have WICD implementations working (as prototypes) on certain of their mobile phone chipsets, with similar announcements from Abbra Vidualize and BitFlash, both makers of mobile graphical chipsets, while Sun is partnering with OpenWave to create a formal WICD implementation in line with "JSR 290: Java Language and XML User Interface Markup Integration."

See also: W3C's CDF Call for Implementations

Java EE 5: Power and Productivity With Less Complexity
Scott Moore, IBM developerWorks

Momentum for organizations to adopt Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5 (Java EE 5) is steadily increasing as the platform's container support, developer tools, educational resources, and developer-community experience all improve. Java EE technology is an extension to the Java language platform that enables you to create scalable, powerful, and portable enterprise applications. It defines four types of containers for application components: Web, Enterprise JavaBean (EJB), application client, and applet. These containers, and the Java APIs each must support, are detailed in an application-server specification that encourages a competitive marketplace for Java EE products while guaranteeing server portability for applications that adhere to the specification. The cornerstone of Web services support in Java EE 5 is JAX-WS 2.0, which is a follow-on to JAX-RPC 1.1. Both of these technologies let you create RESTful and SOAP-based Web services without dealing directly with the tedium of XML processing and data binding inherent to Web services. Developers are free to continue using JAX-RPC (which is still required of Java EE 5 containers), but migrating to JAX-WS is strongly recommended. Newcomers to Java Web services might as well skip JAX-RPC and head right for JAX-WS. That said, it's good to know that both of them support SOAP 1.1 over HTTP 1.1 and so are fully compatible: a JAX-WS Web services client can access a JAX-RPC Web services endpoint, and vice versa. The introduction of annotations into Java EE 5 makes it simple to create sophisticated Web service endpoints and clients with less code and a shorter learning curve than was possible with earlier Java EE versions. Annotations, first introduced in Java SE 5, are modifiers you can add to your code as metadata. They don't affect program semantics directly, but the compiler, development tools, and runtime libraries can process them to produce additional Java language source files, XML documents, or other artifacts and behavior that augment the code containing the annotations... The EJB specification is core to the Java EE platform. It defines a way to encapsulate an application's business logic and distribute it in a highly scalable, secure, and transaction-aware way so that simultaneous data access doesn't result in corrupt data.

OpenSolaris Follows Linux to the Mainframe
Stephen Shankland, CNet NEWS.Com

Free-wheeling Linux was an improbable enough operating system to be used on IBM's mainframe line, but now an even more unlikely operating system is making an appearance there: Sun Microsystems' Solaris. Sun and IBM have been archenemies for decades, but through the combination of open-source flexibility and something of a detente between the companies, the operating system has arrived. IBM expressed interest in collaborating with engineering firm Sine Nomine Associates, which has been working on a mainframe translation of OpenSolaris since Sun opened the source code in 2005. Now Sine Nomine is demonstrating the software on a System z mainframe. David Boyes, Sine Nomine's president and chief technologist, described the project from a Gartner conference this week. The OpenSolaris port is designed to use the same interface as Linux, Boyes said, meaning that software written for Linux on the mainframe should work on OpenSolaris, too. As with Linux, the operating system runs atop IBM's z/VM virtual-machine foundation rather than on the "bare metal," which eases issues of sharing hardware with other operating systems.


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