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Last modified: February 20, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 20 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:

ISO News: Ballot Resolution Meeting on ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Standard
Staff, International Organization for Standardization Announcement

National delegations from thirty-seven (37) countries will be participating in a ballot resolution meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 25-29 February 2008 on the draft international standard "ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information Technology—Office Open XML File Formats." ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is a proposed standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that is intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. According to the submitters of the document, one of its objectives is to ensure the long-term preservation of documents created over the last two decades using programmes that are becoming incompatible with continuing advances in the field of information technology. The objective of the ballot resolution meeting (BRM) will be to review and seek consensus on possible modifications to the document in light of the comments received along with votes cast during a five-month ballot on the draft which ended on 2 September 2007... No decision on publication will be taken at the meeting itself. Following the BRM, the 87 national member bodies that voted in the 2 September ballot will have 30 days (until 29 March 2008) to examine the actions taken in response to the comments and to reconsider their vote if they wish. If the modifications proposed are such that national bodies then wish to withdraw their negative votes, or turn abstentions into positive votes, and the acceptance criteria are then met, the standard may proceed to publication. The BRM is being organized by subcommittee SC 34, Document description and processing languages, of the joint technical committee JTC 1, Information technology. JTC 1 is one of the most experienced and productive of ISO and IEC technical committees, having developed some 2 150 widely and globally used international standards and related documents. Approximately 4 200 comments were received during last year's ballot. By grouping and by eliminating redundancies, these have been edited by SC 34 experts down to 1100 comments for processing during the five days of the BRM. The task will be carried out by 120 participants who have registered for the meeting. They comprise members of the 37 national delegations, plus representatives of Ecma International, the computer manufacturers' association that submitted ISO/IEC DIS 29500 for adoption by JTC 1, plus officers of the ISO/IEC Information Technology Task Force (ITTF) which is responsible for the planning and coordination of JTC 1 work.

See also: the Meeting Agenda

ODF Standard Editor Calls for Cooperation with OOXML
Peter Sayer, InfoWorld

The teams developing ODF (OpenDocument Format) and OOXML (Office Open XML) standards should work together, evolving the two in parallel, the editor of the ODF standard said Tuesday in an open letter to the standards-setting community. The Microsoft-sponsored OOXML document format is just days away from a critical meeting that will influence whether the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will adopt it as a standard as its rival ODF was adopted in May 2006. Relations between supporters of the two formats are, for the most part, combative rather than cordial. Patrick Durusau, ISO project editor for ODF, or ISO/IEC 26300 as it is known there, thinks supporters of the two formats would be more productive if they allowed the formats to co-evolve, he wrote in his open letter . Durusau thoughtfully avoided the ODF and OOXML formats for his letter, choosing instead PDF, itself adopted as an ISO standard in December. From Durusau's "Co-Evolving OpenXML And OpenDocument Format": "If we had a co-evolutionary environment, one where the proponents of OpenXML and OpenDocument, their respective organizations, national bodies and others interested groups could meet to discuss the future of those proposals, the future revisions of both would likely be quite different. Co-evolution means that the standards will evolve based on the influence of each other and their respective user communities. Both remain completely independent and neither is subordinate to the other. What is currently lacking is a neutral forum in which proponents can meet and learn from each other. Creating such an environment is going to take time and effort so I would like to suggest a first step towards fostering co-evolution between OpenXML and OpenDocument..."

See also: the open letter

Oracle Mixes Extreme Transaction Processing with SOA
Rich Seeley,

Extreme transaction processing (XTP) is being added to complex event processing (CEP) in service-oriented architecture (SOA) implementations for the financial services industry, explains David Chappell, vice president and chief technologist for SOA at Oracle Corp. Chappell: "What we're seeing is that SOA coupled with a class of applications coined as extreme transaction processing or XTP is the future for financial services infrastructure. So IT continues to be seen as the enabler. We've seen some supporting data from Gartner/DataQuest that IT spending in financial services is going to reach $566 billion by 2010. Where SOA comes into the picture is that it enables IT to deliver new business services faster, while leveraging existing systems. At the same time the financial institutions are pushing limits that require more processing capability yet at the same time they don't want to see an exponential rise in their investment in hardware. So the extreme transaction processing class of applications has been most notably seen in areas such as fraud detection, risk computation and stock trade resolution... What XTP does is allow transactions to occur in memory and not against the backend systems directly due to the need for extremely fast response rates, but still including transactional integrity. So think of classes of applications that need to handle large volumes of data that need to be absorbed, correlated and acted upon. Typically that data processed by XTP applications comes in the form of large numbers of events and usually represents data that changes frequently... once the pattern matching engine, whether it's built directly into the XTP application itself or is identified by the complex event processing engine, is it identifies an event of significance such as ATM withdrawal fraud. Say for example your ATM card is used in different ATM machines or is used to make purchases in three or four states or even different countries within a matter of minutes, that's usually a flag that some kind of fraud is going on. Once that kind of a situation is detected then an SOA process in BPEL can be kicked off to make the proper notification, send alerts to Business Activity Monitoring dashboards...

See also: Part 2

Infiniflow: Distributed Application Server Based on OSGi and SCA
Ryan Slobojan, InfoQueue

Paremus recently released version 1.2 of Infiniflow, a next-generation distributed application server based on OSGi and SCA. Paremus Marketing Manager Andrew Rowney explained that Infiniflow was based upon OSGi and SCA, and that it follows an application server paradigm—a component is written as a series of OSGi modules, it is linked to external services through the SCA bindings, and Infiniflow provides life-cycle management, monitoring, scaling and fault-recovery for any application deployed on it. Rowney also described some best practices for application development with Infiniflow: To take advantage of the full capabilities of Infiniflow, an application needs to be presented as a composite application rather than a single runtime entity, with different parts of the processing requirements being handled in separate components (OSGi bundles). A good example is where a part of the composite application contains an intensive calculation that can be run in parallel to reduce the overall processing time. For this type of applications the developer is able to specify that Infiniflow should duplicate the bundle that runs the calculation, instantiating as many copies as possible in order to calculate the final result as quickly as possible... Infiniflow itself is built using OSGi, and wired together using SCA System descriptions. It has a Model-Driven Architecture: to reduce operational complexity, application runtimes can only be modified through their SCA System descriptor, and all interactions with the descriptor are secured and audited An Infiniflow Service Fabric consists of a number of Infiniflow containers—OSGi-enabled JVM's—which are able to dynamically install/start/stop/uninstall code packaged in the OSGi bundles referenced from the SCA System document...

XML 2.0? No, Seriously.
Norm Walsh, Blog

Maybe its madness to consider XML 2.0 seriously. The cost of deployment would be significant. Simultaneously convincing a critical mass of users to switch without turning the design process into a farce would be very difficult. And yet, the alternatives look a little like madness too. I found three topics on my desk simultaneously last week: (1) The proposal to amend the character set of XML 1.0 identifiers by erratum. (2) the proposal to deploy CURIEs, an awkward, confusing extension of the QName concept. (3) A thread of discussion suggesting that we consider allowing prefix undeclaration in Namespaces in XML 1.0. That's right 1.0. We're in an odd place. XML has been more successful, and in more and more different arenas, than could have been imagined. But... XML 1.0 is seriously broken in the area of internationalization, one of its key strengths, because it hasn't kept pace with changes to Unicode. QNames, originally designed as a way of creating qualified element and attribute names have also been used in more and more different arenas than could have been imagined. Unfortunately, the constraints that make sense for XML element and attribute names, don't make sense, are unacceptable, in many of the other arenas. And in XML, we learned that it is sometimes useful to be able to take a namespace binding out of scope. XML 1.1 addressed some of these concerns, but also introduced backwards incompatibilities. Those incompatibilities seemed justified at the time, although they seem so obviously unnecessary and foolish now. In short, we botched our opportunity to fix the problem 'right'. What to do? ... Perhaps, dare I say it, it is time to consider XML 2.0 instead. Trouble is, if XML 2.0 gets spun up as an open-ended design exercise, it'll be crushed by the second-system effect. And if XML 2.0 gets spun up as 'only' a simplification of XML 1.0, it won't get any traction. If XML 2.0 is to be a success, it has to offer enough in the way of new functionality to convince people with successful XML 1.0 deployments (that's everyone, right?) that it's worth switching. At the same time, it has to be about the same size and shape as XML 1.0 when it's done or it'll be perceived as too big, too complicated, too much work. With that in mind, here are some candidate requirements for XML 2.0...

Lessig Considers Running for Congress
Grant Gross, ComputerWorld

Lawrence Lessig, the cyberlaw author and advocate for free software and online civil liberties, is considering a run for the U.S. Congress, he announced on his blog Wednesday. Lessig, author of books such as "Free Culture" and "Code 2.0," would run for the open House of Representatives seat in California created by the death of Representative Tom Lantos, a Democrat, earlier this month. A "draft Lessig" movement has popped up online since Lantos died. Lessig said he plans to make the decision about whether to run by about March 1, 2008. "This is a very difficult decision," he wrote on his blog. "Thank you to everyone who has tried to help—both through very strong words of encouragement and very, very strong words to dissuade. Lessig, a self-described progressive, would run as part of his Change Congress campaign. The Stanford University law professor announced in January that he would shift his focus to political corruption and away from free software and free culture. He called on lawmakers to stop accepting money from political action committees and lobbyists, and to stop adding so-called earmarks for special projects in appropriation legislation. Politicians need to change "how Washington works" and to end a culture of corruption that's based on political contributions, he said in a video at "You know about this corruption in Washington, a corruption that doesn't come from evil people, a corruption that comes from good people working in a bad system," he said in the video. Progressives should work to change the way money influences decisions in Washington, he said, "not because this is, in some sense, the most important problem, but because it is the first problem that has to be solved if we're going to address these more fundamental problems later." Lessig is the founder of the Creative Commons, which attempts to give copyright holders additional options for licensing their work beyond all rights reserved. Lessig has served on the boards of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge.

See also: Creative Commons references


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