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The Future of XML: How Will You Use XML in Years to Come?
Elliotte Rusty Harold, IBM developerWorks
XML's future lies with the Web, and more specifically with Web publishing. It seems a little funny to have to say that. After all, isn't publishing what the Web is about? The Web was designed first and foremost as a mechanism to publish information. What else can it do? Quite a lot. The last three years have seen an explosion of interest in Web applications that go far beyond traditional Web sites. Word processors, spreadsheets, games, diagramming tools, and more are all migrating into the browser. This trend will only accelerate in the coming year as local storage in Web browsers makes it increasingly possible to work offline. But XML is still firmly grounded in Web 1.0 publishing, and that's still very important... So now you know how you'll write XML in 2008 (Word or OpenOffice), and you know how you'll send it to the server (APP - Atom Publishing Protocol). The last question is where to put all this wonderful XML. Traditionally, this question has had two answers. The first is to save the XML in a file system. The second is to stuff it in a Binary Large Object (BLOB) in a relational database. Both are kludges, and neither performs very well for Web sites. What we need is a database designed to work with the hierarchical structures of typical Web documents rather than cutting across them. For the first time, such databases now exist at multiple scales, they're stable, and they're ready to use. On the low end, eXist and Berkeley DBXML are looking better and better. On the high end, expensive big-iron XML databases like Mark Logic will continue to convert big publishers who can afford the cost of entry. Hybrid solutions like IBM DB2 9 pureXML will drive XQuery adoption among customers who need to mix documents with tabular data. Compared to earlier products like these, the new breed are more stable, more scalable, and more reliable. Most important, they now share a standard language, XQuery 1.0, finally released after years of development.
W3C Releases Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fifth Edition)
Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Eve Maler, François Yergeau; W3C Proposed Edited Recommendation
A Fifth Edition of "Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0" has been published by members of the W3C XML Core Working Group. This fifth edition is not a new version of XML. As a convenience to readers, it incorporates the changes dictated by the accumulated errata to the Fourth Edition of XML 1.0, dated 16 August 2006. In particular, erratum 'E09' relaxes the restrictions on element and attribute names, thereby providing in XML 1.0 the major end user benefit currently achievable only by using XML 1.1. A preliminary implementation report is available, together with a Test Suite designed to help assess conformance to this specification. The XML Core WG wishes to ensure continued universal interoperability for XML 1.0. To this end, the WG will not request that this Fifth Edition of XML 1.0 become a W3C Recommendation until the following criteria are satisfied: (1) At least three months have passed since the publication of this PER; (2) There are at least three implementations that pass the test suite for each of the errata that have been newly applied to the Fifth Edition. Rationale for Primary Change: "... The proposed change to XML 1.0 will relax the restrictions on names, used not only for element and attribute names but also identifiers and enumerated attribute values. Those who prefer to retain the constraints on names from the previous version of XML 1.0 in their documents will be free to do so, but those who wish to use names that incorporate these additional characters will be able to do so."
See also: the color-coded diff-marked version
Oracle Launches Data Integration Suite
Chris Kanaracus, InfoWorld
Oracle has launched the Oracle Data Integration Suite, which combines traditional data integration capabilities with an array of middleware and tooling for constructing a service oriented architecture. Data Integration Suite costs $60,000 per CPU for a package that bundles Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle/Hyperion Data Relationship Manager with the company's BPEL Process Manager, enterprise service bus, application server, business-to-business engine, and business rules engine. Oracle's suite aligns its data-integration offerings with its Fusion Middleware line for SOA. Additional options in the suite include a new pair of data quality tools, Oracle Data Quality for Data Integrator and Oracle Data Profiling, which the company developed with Harte-Hanks Trillium Software. Also, Oracle is optionally offering its Coherence Data Grid, technology acquired through Oracle's purchase of Tangosol last year, and a number of adapters, including ones for applications and unstructured content, as options... Marketing materials announcing the Oracle's release stress the suite's applicability to heterogenous environments, noting its support for a broad array of databases, including IBM DB2, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Teradata, and Oracle.
See also: the announcement
Microsoft Declares Its Modeling Love With a New Language, 'D'
Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet Blog
A handful of Microsoft's top developers are working to create a new programming language, code-named 'D,' which will be at the heart of the Microsoft's push toward more intuitive software modeling. D is a key component of Microsoft's Oslo software-oriented architecture (SOA) technology and strategy. Microsoft outlined in vague terms its plans and goals for Oslo in late fall 2007, hinting that the company had a new modeling language in the works, but offering no details on what it was or when the final version would be delivered. D will be a declarative language aimed at non-developers, and will be based on eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML), sources, who asked not to be named, said. Sources close to Microsoft confirmed the existence of D, which they described as a forthcoming 'textual modeling language.' In addition to D, sources said, Microsoft also is readying a comlementary editing tool, code-namd 'Intellipad,' that will allow developers to create content for the Oslo repository under development by Microsoft. Intellipad is the Emacs.Net text editor for which Microsoft has seeking developers over the past couple of months... At last week's Lang.Net 2008 conference—a meeting of programming gurus from Microsoft and other vendors held on the Redmond campus -- Microsoft's Chief Modeling Officer Don Box provided some more clues about where Microsoft is going on the tool and platform front with Oslo. Box said Microsoft wasn't interested in creating some grandiose 1980s' style computer-aided-software-engineering (CASE) tool; it was thinking more along the lines of providing a class designer. The goal, according to Box: "putting more and more of your application into data and putting less in code." Similarly: the eWEEK article by Darryl K. Taft.
See also: the earlier Oslo announcement
Real Web 2.0: Linking Open Data
Uche Ogbuji, IBM developerWorks
Throughout this column I've placed strong emphasis on the aspects of Web 2.0 that concern open, shared data rather than flashy effects. Certainly Ajax is important because when used well it can enhance the usability of Web sites. But Web feeds, open, Web-friendly APIs, and third-party plug-in and mashup capabilities are the real substance of Web 2.0. One community closely associated with the Web's original stewards, the W3C, is committed to a particular, coherent set of practices along these lines. The Linking Open Data (LOD) community combines the vision of the W3C for using semantic features to enhance the Web with the pragmatism that characterizes mainstream Web 2.0. The [stated] goal of the W3C SWEO Linking Open Data community project is 'to extend the Web with a data commons by publishing various open datasets as RDF on the Web and by setting RDF links between data items from different data sources.' The emphasis on RDF is natural for the W3C, which has been pushing the technology for a decade, but one development that gives LOD extra legs is the emergence of influential voices realizing that insistence on strict RDF format across the board is probably not the best present strategy for winning over Web developers. LOD supports RDF as a conceptual model, but the new emphasis is more on linking and openness than on any one syntax. After all, RDF is merely URIs, links, and labels, so any model that includes these three can readily work with RDF systems. The full LOD community is a penumbra around the W3C-led core who support all the advantages of opening up data that I've discussed so far in this column, and who see RDF, Atom, JSON, and so on as merely tools for Web developers to open up their data. LOD means making it easier for people to discover important things you place on the Web, and making it easier for them to do unexpected, fruitful things with them. The next time you have a Web project, start by thinking of it in terms of what information and non-information resources are represented in the Web app, and do everything you can to give each one a well-designed HTTP URI and a semantically rich data format, and create links, links, and more links.
See also: Linking Open Data on the Semantic Web
Grails 1.0 Web Framework Ready
Paul Krill, InfoWorld
See also: the Grails web site
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