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Last modified: February 07, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 07 February 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

Aggregate RSS and Atom information using XQuery
Martin Brown, IBM developerWorks

The Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom standards provide XML structures of items for a variety of different uses. The most common use for both RSS and Atom feeds is as the data dissemination format to promote Weblogs and news sites. The RSS and Atom feeds contain relatively small amounts of information. Thus, you can easily download the files and reduce the load on the Web servers rather than supply all of the information normally distributed when the user views a full page of blog posts. In addition, the RSS and Atom files also contain more detailed classification information such as author, title, subject and keyword tagging information to help identify and organize the data within the feeds. In this article we look at the basics of XQuery processing of RSS and Atom feeds to turn a single feed into an HTML document. We then produce a more complete solution for outputting the information in a format that suits your needs, including sorting, merging multiple feeds and even handling different feed and source information types. XQuery offers a flexible method to process XML files. Some find this method is easier to follow syntactically. Certainly some XQuery abilities, such as the flexibility to create to a single intermediary XML document that you can reparse to handle different sources and input formats, help solve some issues experienced when you process XML files.

See also: Atom references

OpenID Foundation Scores Top-Shelf Board Members
Caroline McCarthy, CNET

If the OpenID Foundation were a liquor cabinet, it just got stocked with some Grey Goose, Rhum Clement, and Gran Patron. The foundation, which is pushing for a universal Internet login standard, announced on Thursday that representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, and VeriSign have become its first corporate board members. They join existing board members Scott Kveton (Vidoop), David Recordon (Six Apart), Dick Hardt (Sxip Identity), Martin Atkins (independent), Artur Bergman (Wikia), Johannes Ernst (NetMesh), Drummond Reed (Parity Communications), and executive director Bill Washburn. According to the announcement: "Last year, OpenID grew by leaps and bounds both as a technology and as a community. At the beginning of 2006, there were fewer than 20-million OpenID enabled URLs and less than 500 websites where they could be used. Today there are over a quarter of a billion OpenIDs and well over 10,000 websites to accept them. OpenID has grown to be implemented by major open source projects such as Drupal, cornerstone Web 2.0 services such as those by 37signals and Six Apart, as well as a mix of large companies including as Apple, Google, and Yahoo!. Today is about truly recognizing the accomplishments of the entire OpenID community which has certainly grown beyond the small grassroots community where it started in late 2005. One of the other accomplishments of the Foundation in 2007 was working with AOL, Microsoft, VeriSign, Sun, Symantec, and Yahoo! to develop an intellectual property rights policy and process for technical OpenID specification work which was finalized in December 2007. While all of these community accomplishments have been great, each was made possible by the community's willingness to include the resources of companies alongside the efforts of individual contributors. By bringing on these companies and their resources, the OpenID Foundation will now be able to better serve the needs of the entire OpenID community."

See also: the announcement

Apache Tuscany Java 1.1 Released: SCA Meets Web 2.0
Jean-Jacques Dubray, InfoQueue

The Apache Tuscany team announced today the Version 1.1 release of the Java SCA project. Apache Tuscany is a runtime environment based on the Service Component Architecture (SCA). SCA is a new component model that facilitates the construction of composite applications. SCA is a set of specifications initially developed by IBM and BEA which are now being standardized by OASIS as part of the Open Composite Services Architecture (Open CSA). The Tuscany SCA Java 1.1 release adds a number of features including: (1) a JMS binding; (2) improved policy support; (3) an implementation extension for representing client side Javascript applications as SCA components. Jean-Sebastien Delfino and Luciano Resende (IBM) commented in an InfoQ interview. JS, on the "widget" implementation: "you can now include, in an SCA composition, client components implemented as HTML + Javascript the AJAX way, running in your Web browser, wired to server-side components using Tuscany's JSON-RPC and ATOM bindings for example. Basically it is about embracing Web 2.0 client components in a distributed SCA composition... We generate some additional JavaScript after introspection of the references the implements all the the plumbing code to support JSON-RPC and ATOM and the Reference class wrapping the references that you can use in your business logic. The Tuscany community will have to decide what's coming ahead, as we're just getting 1.1 out, but I envision progress in the following areas: simpler and more complete SCA policy support; more policies—making progress with the transaction policy; improved end-to-end SCA contribution / deployment / distribution story; an SCA domain administration application; integration with Geronimo; improvements of the Web 2.0 bindings—perhaps using Apache Abdera for ATOM and adding cross-domain support to the JSON-RPC binding; optimizations of the Tuscany databinding support; more platform integration testing on Tomcat, Geronimo, etc." Luciano: "BPEL support is not complete yet: services are supported, but references are not; properties are not supported either, but they will require an extension to the BPEL language. This may come next if it is requested by the community. I have just updated the BPEL implementation guide."

See also: the OASIS Open Composite Services Architecture (CSA) Member Section

OpenXML: A Poster Child for Open Standards Development?
Patrick Durusau, Open Letter

"I have seen some attacks on OpenXML saying it is not an 'open' standard. I am quite puzzled by those attacks and think that OpenXML makes the case for open development of standards. Understand that as the Project Editor for ISO/IEC 26300 and the OpenDocument Format TC editor in OASIS, I carry no brief for OpenXML. However, a well defined and publicly controlled OpenXML would be a great benefit for future work on the OpenDocument Format standard so I have no reason to wish it ill. OpenXML has progressed from being developed in a closed environment to being handed over to approximately 70% of the world's population for future development so I am missing the 'not open' aspect of OpenXML. If anything, the improvements made to OpenXML during that process make it a poster child for the open standards development process... Ecma TC 45 is composed of a wide variety of users, developers and others interests who wanted to see Microsoft Corporation adopt an XML based format for its office software. Over the course of a year with a very aggressive meeting schedule, TC 45 produced a document that was approximately three (3) times longer than the original submission and that was in many ways a better proposal. That to me illustrates the difference between talking to yourself and opening up the development process to a larger group of people. After being revised by TC 45, OpenXML was submitted via fast-track for approval as an ISO/IEC standard (DIS 29500) in JTC 1/SC 34. If you look at the roster for SC 34, approximately 70% of the world's population has a seat at the table via their national bodies to discuss the final version of OpenXML. The fast track process created unnaturally short deadlines but the national bodies labored very hard to produce over 3,000 comments on OpenXML and TC 45 labored just as hard to produce answers for those comments. Answers that often offered substantial changes, I think for the better, to OpenXML."

See also: Rick Jelliffe's blog

Observatory Service Broker (OSB) Contributed to CECID
Staff, University of Hong Kong CECID Announcement

The University of Hong Kong Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID) announced that the Observatory Service Broker (OSB) has been contributed to the open-source community website. The Observatory Service Broker (OSB) is one of the project deliverable of Project Plumber. The OSB is an enhanced version of a process-driven enterprise service bus, which supports a choreography-based business process. It is based on a published Java standard JSR 208: Java Business Integration (JBI). JBI is a Java-based standard addressing the EAI and B2B issues based on the paradigms and principles advocated by SOA. It defines the standards for composite plug-ins in SOA architecture, as well as how the plug-ins can communicate with each other. Along with the OSB, there is a Business Process State Tracking (BPST) engine registering the rule sets to guide the execution of business processes and keep track the state of each rule set. The business integration SPIs enable the creation of a Java business integration environment for specifications such as WSCI, BPEL4WS, and the W3C Choreography Working Group. OSB, BPST, and their source code have been released to CECID open-source community website under GNU General Public License Version 2. Later on, useful information and articles ranging from technical issue to general usage of OSB will be available at the community website. Commenced on March 2006, the Project Plumber aims to research and develop a software platform to facilitate enterprises to design and implement service oriented applications to transact with business partners based on key business-to-business (B2B) standards. The objectives of this project are to extend Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to support processing of electronic transactions between enterprises, to develop Web Service components to support reliable and secure B2B applications based on open standards like Universal Business Language (UBL), and to develop service modeling methodology and software to facilitate design of electronic transaction services.

See also: Project Plumber

DMTF and Green Grid Team to Improve Data Center Interoperability
Staff, DMTF Announcement

The Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF) has announced a plan to work with The Green Grid to develop standards designed to improve interoperability of technology solutions within the data center. DMTF and The Green Grid plan to collaborate to develop an interface for heterogeneous management, across data centers, and for IT and non-IT equipment. The Green Grid is a global consortium chartered to develop energy efficiency standards, processes, measurements and technologies for global data centers and business computing ecosystems. As DMTF is an industry organization leading the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management initiatives and standards, DMTF will support The Green Grid in reaching its mission. In order to support its goals, The Green Grid will actively pursue the DMTF's Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), a suite of management and Internet standard technologies developed to unify the management of distributed computing environments. WBEM will form the basis of the management interfaces The Green Grid defines. As a DMTF collaborator, The Green Grid will be able to leverage and extend the DMTF technologies and apply them to help improve energy efficiency in the data center and business computing ecosystems. In addition, the partnership will benefit The Green Grid by providing access to the expertise and broad membership of DMTF. As the newest member of the DMTF Alliance Partner program, which defines formalized liaison relationships between the DMTF and other key standards bodies, The Green Grid anticipates producing interface specifications based upon WBEM technologies in approximately 12-18 months. DMTF WBEM Protocols include CIM-XML (a WBEM protocol that uses XML over HTTP to exchange Common Information Model [CIM] information) and WS-Management (a specification which promotes interoperability between management applications and managed resources by identifying a core set of Web service specifications and usage requirements to expose a common set of operations).

See also: DMTF Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH)

LoST: A Location-to-Service Translation Protocol
Ted Hardie, Andrew Newton (et al., eds); IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Emergency Context Resolution with Internet Technologies (ECRIT) Working Group have published an updated Internet Draft for the "LoST: A Location-to-Service Translation Protocol" specification. The 77-page specification describes an XML-based protocol for mapping service identifiers and geodetic or civic location information to service contact URIs. In particular, it can be used to determine the location-appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for emergency services. Appendix A supplies a corresponding non-normative RELAX NG Schema in XML Syntax. Protocols such as NAPTR records and the Service Location Protocol (SLP) can be used to discover servers offering a particular service. However, for an important class of services the appropriate specific service instance depends both on the identity of the service and the geographic location of the entity that needs to reach it. Emergency telecommunications services are an important example; here, the service instance is a Public Safety Answering Point that has jurisdiction over the location of the user making the call. The document describes a protocol for mapping a service identifier and location information compatible with PIDF-LO to one or more service URIs. Service identifiers take the form of the service URNs; location information here includes revised civic location information and a subset of the PIDL-LO profile which consequently includes the Geo-Shapes defined for Geography Markup Language (GML). Example service URI schemes include SIP, XMPP, and TEL. While the initial focus is on providing mapping functions for emergency services, it is likely that the protocol is applicable to other service URNs. For example, in the United States, the "2-1-1" and "3-1-1" service numbers follow a similar location-to- service behavior as emergency services. LoST Satisfies the requirements for mapping protocols, providing a number of operations, centered around mapping locations and service URNs to service URLs and associated information. For civic addresses, LoST can indicate which parts of the civic address are known to be valid or invalid, thus providing address validation. LoST indicates errors in the location data to facilitate debugging and proper user feedback, but also provides best-effort answers. LoST queries can be resolved recursively or iteratively.

See also: XML and Emergency Management

2007 Turing Award Winners Announced for Work on Model Checking
Staff, DDJ

Edmund M. Clarke, E. Allen Emerson, and Joseph Sifakis are the recipients of the 2007 A.M. Turing Award for their work on an automated method for finding design errors in computer hardware and software. The method, called Model Checking, is the most widely used technique for detecting and diagnosing errors in complex hardware and software design. It has helped to improve the reliability of complex computer chips, systems and networks. According to the ACM announcement, "Model Checking started as an academic research idea. The continuing research of Clarke, Emerson, and Sifakis as well as others in the international research community over the last 27 years led to the creation of new logics, as well as new algorithms and surprising theoretical results. This in turn has stimulated the creation of many Model Checking tools by both academic and industrial teams, resulting in the widespread industrial use of Model Checking... Among the beneficiaries of Model Checking are personal computer users, medical device makers, and nuclear power plant operators. As computerized systems pervade daily life, consumers rely on digital controllers to supervise critical functions of cars, airplanes, and industrial plants. Digital switching technology has replaced analog components in the telecommunications industry, and security protocols enable e-commerce applications and privacy. Wherever significant investments or human lives are at risk, quality assurance for the underlying hardware and software components becomes paramount. The Turing Award, named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing, carries a $250,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation and Google Inc.

See also: the ACM announcement


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