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Last modified: April 16, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 16 April 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

W3C Launches New SVG Interest Group and SVG Working Group
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C recently announced the recharter of the SVG Working Group, part of the Graphics Activity, to continue the evolution of Scalable Vector Graphics as a format and a platform, and enhance the adoption and usability of SVG in combination with other technologies. Erik Dahlstroem (Opera Software ASA) and Andrew Emmons (W3C Invited Expert) will chair the group. Members will produce incremental, market-driven revisions to the SVG format, suitable for both desktop and mobile systems, and will maintain and clarify existing SVG specifications. Native implementation of SVG in desktop browsers has increased dramatically, with substantial support in Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and WebKit/Safari, as well as browser plug-ins by smaller vendors. With this increased interest, the SVG specifications have had greater scrutiny and more critical feedback regarding features and consistency. Response to market pressures and the need to cover gaps in underlying technologies resulted in a broad feature set for SVG 1.2 Tiny, which drew criticism. In response, the SVG Working Group has factored out reusable functionality to the WebAPI Working Group for use in other specifications, and will continue to improve its activities in the following ways: (1) increase group membership by broader base of implementors; (2) improve accountability and transparency, including maintaining a public issue tracker; (3) develop smaller, more timely specifications, to reflect market needs and allow for ease of review; (4) improve integration with other W3C specifications and Working Groups; (5) create tighter conformance requirements to ensure interoperability, comprised of a comprehensive test suite, up-to-date errata, more stringent and clear conformance criteria in the specifications themselves, test-first methodology to improve the specifications while also developing test suite, materials, and interoperability reports; (6) simplify and unify the feature set to appeal universally to desktop and mobile implementors. In particular, SVG will consider the applicability of enhancements to the core language to both desktop and resource-limited devices, such as mobile devices and printers. To allow more advanced design features and efficient decorative effects, there will be attention paid to new stroking and filling options, including pseudo-3D effects by means of new gradients, filters, and non-affine transformations, with authoring tips for their use. A new SVG Interest Group has also been chartered to provide requirements, specification feedback, errata suggestions and tests to the SVG WG. The general structure will be a collection of focus groups that will report back their findings to the SVG WG, in such areas as Accessibility, Authoring Tool Requirements, Design, Development, Layout Use Cases, Localization (with particular interest on the thriving Japanese market), and Quality Assurance (such as Test Suites). The SVG IG may also hold workshops in local areas to reach a broader audience. The SVG WG will accomodate the creation of new specification modules in order to address the needs raised by the reports of the SVG IG and workshops. Participation in the SVG Interest Group is open to the public.

See also: the SVG Interest Group

JBossXACML v2.0.2.GA Released
Anil Saldhana, Blog

"After a successful OASIS XACML Interoperability event at the RSA Conference last week at San Francisco, I am pleased to inform you about the release of JBossXACML v2.0.2.GA... the authorization space is pretty complex unlike the authentication landscape. Access Control requirements can become extremely complex and unmanageable. Enterprises typically employ proprietary mechanisms such as ACLs to handle access control use cases. OASIS XACML is the only standard that is making an attempt at addressing the complex access control landscape... Expected in 2.0.2.GA libraries: (1) OASIS XACML v2.0 core; (2) SOAP v1.1/SAML2.0 payload carrying XACML requests/response capabilities—using OpenSAML v2.0, as we will have packaged servlets for usage; (3) JAXB v2.0 Object Model to deal with policies, requests etc—if not interested in dealing with XML. Additionally, as part of the Open Console or Embedded Console of JBoss AS5, we should have a decent free XACML editor to create policy sets... The OASIS XACML Interop simulated health care application with real medical records' data that was driven by XACML based use cases. There are HL7 Confidentiality Codes that can be associated with Patient medical records. The VA developed an excellent application that had a decent GUI and in the background, it interacted with its own PIP (Policy Information Point) to derive the attributes needed to create the XACML requests. Once the XACML requests were generated (based on the application interaction), then they were passed to the PDP (Policy Decision Point) of the vendors. Examples: [A] Your neighbor is a doctor and is snoopy in nature. You certainly do not want him to have access to your medical records. Would you? As a patient, you can associate the UBA confidentiality code with a list of doctors that you do not want to have access to your records (dissent list). [B] A patient arrives at a facility in an emergency. The providers do not have access to the patient records that is housed at another facility. They can trigger an "emergency override" to get access to the records. Shouldn't they in an emergency? [C] A patient can decide to mask a portion of his medical records (e.g., radiology tests ' results) from a list of providers..."

See also: the RSA Conference 2008 OASIS XACML Interoperability Event

On the Road to the Semantic Web
Dan Farber, CNET

The Semantic Web has been just around the corner for a few years. It turns out that bringing a semantic layer of metadata to the Internet is like climbing a mountain in flip-flops. Last night, Semantic Web mountain climbers Powerset, Radar Networks, and Metaweb participated in a salon at Powerset's San Francisco office, where I talked with them about their product plans. (1) Powerset gives wings to Wikipedia: I got a preview of Powerset's search engine, which is due to go into beta in the coming weeks, according to co-founder and CEO Barney Pell and as reported by TechCrunch. Powerset differs from Google and other mainstream search engines in that it linguistically parses sentences, finding subjects, verbs, objects, synonyms, and other elements using a highly sophisticated, language-independent parser licensed from Xerox PARC). Powerset then extracts and indexes concepts, relationships, and meanings, rather than keywords. (2) True Knowledge: I also got a look at True Knowledge's search engine. Company CEO William Tunstall-Pedoe said the search engine is in private beta for now, with about 7,000 users. Unlike Powerset and other search engines, Cambridge, England-based True Knowledge is building its own knowledge base. Users input facts, as in Wikipedia, but in a more structured manner. The capability to infer truths based on the data repository would be a welcome feature for Wikipedia, which doesn't have an automated method for dealing with contradictions. (3) Metaweb: Another San Francisco Semantic Web start-up; the company's Freebase is more similar to True Knowledge than Powerset. Freebase is an community-built database with a large corpus of open data sets, including Wikipedia and MusicBrainz. Powerset includes some Freebase-structured content in its index, and True Knowledge could add Freebase data to its knowledge repository. (4) Radar Networks' Twine: an application combining bookmarking, blogging, and RSS reading, with an underlying semantic engine to tie the pieces of data together... Twine has about 7,000 users in private beta, as well as 40,000 standing in line for access. Half of the users have created private Twines, with corporations and closed communities of interest using the service for collaboration.

See also: W3C Semantic Web

W3C Working Draft: RIF Basic Logic Dialect

Harold Boley and Michael Kifer W3C announced the release of three Working Drafts from the Rule Interchange Format (RIF) Working Group: "RIF Basic Logic Dialect (RIF-BLD)", "RIF Framework for Logic Dialects (RIF-FLD)", and "RIF RDF and OWL Compatibility (RIF-RDF-OWL)." The RIF Working Group was chartered to produce a core rule language plus extensions which together allow rules to be translated between rule languages and thus transferred between rule systems. The Working Group seeks to balance the needs of a diverse community—including Business Rules and Semantic Web users -- specifying extensions for which it can articulate a consensus design and which are sufficiently motivated by use cases. The new drafts help solidify the "pure logic rules" branch of RIF, which is distinct from the "production rules" branch—on which a Working Draft is expected within the next six months. Both branches share "RIF Core", also expected within the next six months. The Framework document (FLD) specifies how the various logic dialects relate, while the Basic Logic Dialect (BLD) provides an interlingua for rule languages providing approximately "Horn" expressivity. The third document specifies how BLD can be logically combined with RDF and OWL.

See also: the W3C news item

Are You Ready for 'Green SOA'?
Frank Dzubeck, InfoWorld

The IT industry has been increasingly moving toward greener practices in order to cut costs and consumption, and adopting SOA is seen as the next step. Based upon recent studies, the overall corporate adoption rate of SOA is 64 percent with the most important decision issues being business case justification and ROI. Couple this with the fact that 56 percent of corporate adopters cite lack of key process and architecture skills as implementation inhibitors. Simplistically, green SOA allows us to blend green concepts subliminally and in a symbiotic manner into corporate business processes. This is a win-win for the corporation. Green SOA allows a corporation to minimize economic demand (such as rising cost for energy, raw materials, and waste disposal), satisfy customer and stakeholder demand (such as environmental, social, competitive, and market concerns) and compliance (such as regulatory requirements, global treaty enforcement, and legal constraints). Over time there will be numerous approaches to applying green philosophies to SOA. Right now the thunder belongs to IBM. What started as a suggestion has become a major strategic and product initiative! To effectively green the corporation, IBM believes that one must address people, processes, assets, information, infrastructure, and communications/application connectivity. No architecture changes were required by IBM to SOA. But additions to the concepts of policy and metrics were required to "green" SOA. IBM seized upon the business concepts of carbon emission management for policy and linked it to a metric called a KPI (key performance indicator) as a base for what it calls Green Sigma. Classically, KPIs are financial and nonfinancial metrics used to help organizations define and measure progress toward organizational goals. Apply that concept to carbon management, and we green SOA.

See also: Six Sigma USPS approval

SOB: The Service Oriented Building
Toby Considine,

"I have more than 25 years experience in business process optimization using information technology, My recent career has been in the Facilities Services group at the University of North Carolina. My frustration at integrating the unintegratable, meaning the products of the Automated Buildings industry, led to involvement with oBIX, FIATECH and other efforts to bring building systems IT up to the standards of other enterprise functions. That work has allowed me to peek in on the work being done within NBIMS, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and the GridWise Architectural Council... Building Information Models (BIMs) are data models to track all information about the design, construction, acquisition, and operation of a building. A good BIM starts with the earliest design intents and continues through the final destruction of the building. BuildingSmart is the National Building Information Model Standard (NBIMS) rebranded to be more user friendly and international in scope... BIM defines energy models during design, models that are not much use during operations. BIM describes assets and provides a framework for defining the interaction between those assets. This sounds quite close to defining the surfaces used in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)... IDM (Information Delivery Manual) defines the performance standards to be tested during commissioning. It should be straightforward to add this IDM information to the COBIE (Common Operations Building Information Exchange) commissioning information. COBIE is that portion of BuildingSmart that defines the handover at the end of construction of building information to operations. COBIE also includes a framework for tying commissioning reports to the underlying systems from the design. It is easy to imagine that an IDM standard for building systems becomes the basis for bidding and construction as well. It is not hard to imagine that IDMs could be defined for each of the 48 types of systems in the original list of vertical markets compiled at the founding of oBIX, whether Intrusion Detection or Medical Gas Distribution. Who is willing to help me define IDMs for building systems so controls can find a home in the BIM? When we do, all of the Web Services interfaces to building systems, whether BACnet or LON or proprietary or even the OASIS standard oBIX will become valuable."

See also: NBIMS

XML Database Server Up for Common Criteria Certification
Joab Jackson, Government Computer News

"Mark Logic Corp. has submitted its Extensible Markup Language (XML) database server for Common Criteria certification. Version 4.0 of MarkLogic Server Enterprise Edition will be tested at Evaluation Assurance Level 3. In a addition, the certification will be augmented with ALC_FLR.3, an assurance on the part of the vendor that it has a process in place to track and fix flaws found in the software found after the certification is issued. Overseen in the U.S. by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), Common Criteria is a set of security requirements set by government agencies and private companies. To get their products certified, vendors provide a set of security attributes for each product, which are verified by an independent laboratory. The Defense Department uses the Common Criteria as a baseline for purchasing IT products for secure networks. NIAP is a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Security Agency... MarkLogic Server is database server software for handling XML data, one that uses the XQuery and XPath standards. To date, no other XML databases have achieved Common Criteria certification, though the latest releases of some widely-used relational databases such as Oracle and IBM DB2 do support XML parsing..." Mark Logic Corporation is a leading provider of information access and delivery solutions used by publishers, government agencies, and other large enterprises. The company's flagship product, MarkLogic Server, is an XML content platform that includes a unique set of capabilities to store, aggregate, enrich, search, navigate, and dynamically deliver content. The company has two patents on its innovative technology, is privately held, and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Lehman Brothers.

See also: the MarkLogic Server description


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