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Last modified: December 11, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 11 December 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Call for Implementations: Extensible MultiModal Annotation Markup Language
Michael Johnston (ed), W3C Technical Report

W3C has issued a call for implementations of the "EMMA: Extensible MultiModal Annotation Markup Language" specification, recently advanced to the stage of Candidate Recommendation. W3C publishes a technical report as a Candidate Recommendation to indicate that the document is believed to be stable, and to encourage implementation by the developer community. Implementation feedback is welcome through 14-April-2008. The EMMA specification has been produced by members of the W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group as part of W3C's Multimodal Interaction Activity. EMMA is a data exchange format for the interface between input processors and interaction management systems within the Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces, and defines the means to annotate application specific data with information such as confidence scores, time stamps, input mode, alternative recognition hypotheses, and partial recognition results. The W3C Multimodal Interaction working group aims to develop specifications to enable access to the Web using multimodal interaction. This document is part of a set of specifications for multimodal systems, and provides details of an XML markup language for containing and annotating the interpretation of user input. Examples of interpretation of user input are a transcription into words of a raw signal, for instance derived from speech, pen or keystroke input, a set of attribute/value pairs describing their meaning, or a set of attribute/value pairs describing a gesture. The interpretation of the user's input is expected to be generated by signal interpretation processes, such as speech and ink recognition, semantic interpreters, and other types of processors for use by components that act on the user's inputs such as interaction managers.

See also: the W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity

Sun to Discontinue Developer Tools in Favor of NetBeans
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Sun Microsystems plans to discontinue its Sun Java Studio Enterprise and Sun Java Studio Creator developer tools and encourage users to move to the NetBeans IDE. Version 6.0 of the IDE is being released on Wednesday [2007-12-12]. While NetBeans has had a lower profile than rival Eclipse Foundation, which enjoys support from heavyweights such as IBM and Oracle, Sun stands by NetBeans and touts its growth rate. The NetBeans e-mail subscriber list, for example, has grown from 124,139 subscribers in 2004 to 506,432 subscribers in 2007. Developed and released by Sun and the NetBeans community, version 6.0 also provides features for C, C++, JavaScript, and Ruby on Rails. What began as a Java IDE has now been extended to other languages. Future versions of NetBeans will add backing for other languages such as PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) and Groovy. PHP support is set for NetBeans 6.1, which is expected in the first half of 2008. Version 6.0 also features an enhanced code editor with "smarter" code completion, occurrence highlighting, in-place renaming, and improved navigation and inspection, Sun said. Support is included for Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5 development. A next-generation Swing GUI Builder formerly known as Project Matisse is included, along with a Swing application framework and Beans Binding technology, for modification of user interface controls to accommodate data source changes. Other features include improved visual tools for building Web applications, Web services, mobile applications, and UML (Unified Modeling Language) models. Edit/refactor/debug test/deploy functionality for Ruby on Rails development is featured; new file navigation for C and C++ developers is offered, with improved debugger integration. Previous technologies available as add-on packs, such as the Visual Web pack for building Web applications and Enterprise Pack for building SOA applications, have been integrated into NetBeans and delivered through a single install.

See also: the announcement

OASIS SAML TC Releases Bindings and Profile Specifications for Review
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS announced that the Security Services (SAML) Technical Committee has released five approved Committee Draft specifications for public review. These specifications are followon deliverables to SAML version 2.0. (1) "SAMLv2.0 HTTP POST 'SimpleSign' Binding" provides an addition to the bindings described in "Bindings for the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0." It defines a SAML HTTP protocol binding, specifically using the HTTP POST method, and not using XML Digital Signature for SAML message data origination authentication. Rather, a 'sign the BLOB' technique is employed wherein a conveyed SAML message is treated as a simple octet string if it is signed. Conveyed SAML assertions may be individually signed using XMLdsig. Security is optional in this binding. (2) "Identity Provider Discovery Service Protocol and Profile" is an alternative to the SAML V2.0 Identity Provider Discovery profile in the "Profiles for the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0" specification. It defines a generic browser-based protocol by which a centralized discovery service implemented independently of a given service provider can provide a requesting service provider with the unique identifier of an identity provider that can authenticate a principal. (3) "SAML V2.0 Attribute Sharing Profile for X.509 Authentication-Based Systems" is an alternative to "SAML V2.0 Deployment Profiles for X.509 Subjects." This deployment profile specifies the use of SAML V2.0 attribute queries and assertions to support distributed authorization in support of X.509-based authentication. (4) "SAML V2.0 Deployment Profiles for X.509 Subjects" is an alternative to " SAML V2.0 Attribute Sharing Profile for X.509 Authentication-Based Systems." This related set of SAML V2.0 deployment profiles specifies how a principal who has been issued an X.509 identity certificate is represented as a SAML Subject, how an assertion regarding such a principal is produced and consumed, and finally how two entities exchange attributes about such a principal. (5) "SAML V2.0 X.500/LDAP Attribute Profile" supersedes the X.500/LDAP Attribute Profile in the original OASIS Standard "Profiles for the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0." The original profile results in well-formed but schema-invalid XML and cannot be corrected without a normative change.

See also: the announcement

BEA Adds Eclipse to ESB in SOA Move
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Emphasizing SOA, BEA Systems is unveiling upgrades to its enterprise service bus and legacy integration package, anchoring them to the Eclipse platform as a standard dashboard for controlling these products. Also offered is accommodation for the SCA (Service Component Architecture) for SOA in the ESB. With version 3.0 of the AquaLogic Service Bus ESB, which ships in the first quarter of 2008, BEA has made tooling for the ESB Eclipse-based, Patrick said. Eclipse plug-ins will be supported as well. The Eclipse-based IDE becomes the mechanism for orchestration of services and composition of service pipelines within the bus. Previously, the tooling environment was exclusively Web-based. Through deepened integration with the AquaLogic Enterprise Repository, the ESB can use SCA assemblies; SCA provides a standards-based approach for service assembly. Also added to the ESB is multi-SOA domain support, in which domains for different lines of business can be connected. Paul Patrick, vice president and chief architect at BEA: "What our ESB does is allow us to tie to each of these various domains together, into a service network." The domains can be managed independently and optimized for the particular line of business supported. A service consumer does not need to worry about where the service is located. For example, a package-moving company may have different services for air or ground transportation. There are shared services and services specific to these domains. Version 3.0 of the ESB also offers out-of-the-box integration with the AquaLogic BPM (Business Process Management) product. This eases the exposing of business processes as services that can be shared throughout the service network.

W3C Last Call Working Draft for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Ben Caldwell, Michael Cooper (et al., eds), W3C Working Draft

W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has released a second Last Call Working Draft for the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0" specification, together with Working Drafts for "Understanding WCAG 2.0 and "Techniques for WCAG 2.0." Comments are requested by 01-February-2008. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech difficulties, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Some topics from the WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference List: (1) Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language. (2) Synchronized Media: Provide synchronized alternatives for synchronized media. (3) Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout ) without losing information or structure. (4) Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background. (5) Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard. (6) Enough Time: Provide users with disabilities enough time to read and use content. (7) Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures. (8) Navigable: Provide ways to help users with disabilities navigate, find content and determine where they are. (9) Readable: Make text content readable and understandable. (10) Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways. (11) Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes. (12) Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

See also: the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview

Ulteo Brings OpenOffice to Web Browser
Martin LaMonica, CNet

Ulteo, a company staffed by Linux veterans, has launched the test version of a service that lets people run the desktop suite in the Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers. The hosted version of OpenOffice version 3.2 supports PDF printing. The service is designed to let people collaborate with OpenOffice documents online and use the open-source application suite without having to download it. People can also exchange documents in Microsoft's Office format or PDF. The service also supports the OpenDocument Format standard. Already several companies are offering online versions of traditional desktop applications, including Google, Zoho, and others. Microsoft recently released Office Live Workspace, which lets people share Office documents on a hosted Web server. The Ulteo service is aimed specifically toward people who use the OpenOffice suite. From the announcement: "As well as offering instant 'no-install' access, Ulteo's service also provides users with instant collaboration capabilities. A user working with on the Ulteo server can invite other people to work with him or her on a shared document in real time. Invitations are sent via email and allow access in either read only or full edit mode, simply by clicking on a link in the email."

See also: the announcement

Use Castor for XML Data Binding
Brett D. McLaughlin, IBM developerWorks

This article shows how to convert Java classes to XML and transform that XML back into Java code, as well as how Castor works and how to design your classes to function well with the API. The most basic operation in Castor is to take a Java class and marshal an instance of that class to XML. You take the class itself and use it as a top-level container element. You always marshal an instance of a class, not the class itself. A class is structure, and is best equated to an XML constraint model, like a DTD or XML Schema. A class on its own has no data, and merely defines the structure for data to be stored, as well as how it can be accessed. You instantiate (or obtain from a factory or other instance-producing mechanism) that class to give it a specific form. Then, you populate the fields of that instance with actual data. That instance is unique; it bears the same structure as any other instances of the same class, but the data is separate. Notice what Castor does not preserve in the XML: (1) The package of the Java class: a Java package is not part of a class's structure. It's actually a semantic issue, related to Java namespaces. So you could unmarshall (convert from XML to Java code) this XML document to any Book instance that had the same three properties, regardless of package. (2) Field ordering: order matters in XML, but not in Java programming. So even though the source file listed the fields in one order, the XML document used another. That's important in your XML, but irrelevant in your Book class declaration. (2) Methods: methods, like a package declaration, have nothing to do with data structuring. So the XML document doesn't do anything with them; they're ignored. Article prerequisite: you would do well to have some classes you'd like to convert to and from XML from a project you're working on. There are sample classes provided with this and the previous article, but your own mastery of Castor is best achieved if you apply what you see here to your own projects.

See also: article Part 1


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