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Last modified: May 01, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 01 May 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
BEA Systems, Inc.

NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Implements OGC Standards
Staff, OGC Announcement

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is implementing a number of OGC standards. The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is a multidisciplinary system designed to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information. The goal is to provide continuous data on our open oceans, coastal waters, and Great Lakes in the formats, rates, and scales required by scientists, managers, businesses, governments, and the public to support research and inform decision-making. NOAA will begin the effort by establishing interoperable access to online databases maintained by the National Weather Service (NWS) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), the National Ocean Service (NOS) Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) and the National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS) CoastWatch Program. This will be accomplished using web service interface and encoding standards developed by the OGC. The standards being used are part of OGC's Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) suite of specifications, which enable diverse network-connected sensors and sensor systems to be queried and controlled by remote users. For IOOS, NOAA data providers will implement OGC's Sensor Observation Service, Geography Markup Language (GML) and Observations and Measurements (O&M) specifications to provide data on temperature, salinity, water level, currents, winds and waves. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

See also: the NOAA announcement

Incubator Group Review of Emergency Management Information Standards
Sai Sun and Renato Iannella (eds), W3C Incubator Group Draft

Renato Iannella (National ICT Australia - NICTA and co-chair of the W3C Emergency Information Interoperability Framework Incubator Group) announced the availability of an early draft review of five EM standards (CAP, EDXL-*, C/TWML). The idea is to review the common aspects of these specifications and the various mechanisms used to express similar semantics. "This document is a first attempt to review and analyse the current state-of-the-art in vocabularies used in emergency management information standards. It will facilitate emergency information sharing and interoperability across different systems, organizations and countries. The standards reviewed by this document [include] "Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)", "Emergency Data Exchange Language -- Distribution Element (EDXL-DE)", "Emergency Data Exchange Language -- Resource Messaging (EDXL-RM)", "Emergency Data Exchange Language -- Hospital Availability Exchange (EDXL-HAVE)", "Cyclone Warning Markup Language (CWML)", and "Tsunami Warning Markup Language (TWML)". These standards aim to build on XML-based standard messages for emergency information systems. However, because of diverse intentions and application areas, the standards support overlapping semantics and different structures... Among the standards, EDXL-DE focuses on the information to distribute and route the emergency messages, rather than the semantics of the message itself. Contrarily, the other standards pay more attention to 'content' of the message, such as the emergency hazard, the community situation or the system response. Thus, EDXL-DE may be thought of as a 'container' for emergency messages. It provides the information to route 'payload' message sets (ie the other standards), by including key routing information such as distribution type, geography, incident, and sender/recipient IDs. CAP, CWML and TWML are all standards to describe emergency alerts or advisories. CAP is intended to provide a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. Whereas, CWML is specially designed for describing cyclone warnings and TWML is for tsunami bulletins. CWML and TWML have common similarities as they where developed in close cooperation...

See also: the W3C EIIF Incubator Group

The Semantic Web and Ontological Technologies Continue to Expand
Steven Robbins, InfoQueue

Ontologies and Ontological management have become more popular as enterprise architecture has gained ground among organizations. As tool support has become more available and the concepts of semantics and ontologies are being understood, there are more players that have come to the table with contributions. The AKSW group recently released their Triplify product to provide "a building block for the 'semantification' of the web." The UMBEL backbone project has started up to provide a lightweight subject structure for the Web. Dan McCreary talked about some of the main pitfalls in developing and maintaining enterprise ontologies. The Agile Knowledge and Semantic Web research group (AKSW) has recently released the newest version of their Triplify product. Triplify is a small plugin for Web applications, which reveals the semantic structures encoded in relational databases by making database content available as RDF, JSON or Linked Data. By using the plugin and ordering the columns in the application queries, Triplify can analyze the data returned by the applications queries and make them available in the previously mentioned formats. The Upper Mapping and Bind Exchange Layer (UMBEL) project billed itself as "a lightweight ontology for relating Web data and datasets to one another via a standard set of subject concepts." UMBEL defines "subject concepts" as: a distinct subset of the more broadly understood concept such as used in the SKOS RDFS controlled vocabulary or formal concept analysis or the very general concepts common to some upper ontologies. Subject concepts are a special kind of concept: ones that are concrete, subject-related and non-abstract. We further contrast these with named entities, which are the real things or instances in the world that are members of these subject concept classes. The main thrust of the project is to help provide "meta-maps" of the relationships between the immense number of fine-grainied, local ontological and concept maps... [As to "ontologies"]: "Just call it a metadata registry and you my get better adoption. Many people that work with database developers just end up calling it a logical data model or and enterprise data dictionary. XML types like to call it an XML Schema type library. Whatever the audience... pick a term that makes them feel comfortable and then focus on the pain points of the organzation. I only tell about 25% of my customers I am building ontologies."

See also: the UMBEL web site

W3C Launches New Product Modelling Incubator Group
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C has announced the creation of a new Product Modelling Incubator Group to identify a basic ontology for product modelling. The Group is sponsored by W3C Members TNO, POSC-Caesar Association, and Fraunhofer. Per the charter, the SWOP and S-TEN projects, with the POSC Caesar Association, believe that it is possible to define a small core of basic classes and properties for product modelling. The European SWOP project is developing end-user product ontologies for product data based on an upper ontology called PMO for Product Modelling Ontology. The construction industry sector is one of the application areas, and these ontologies will be related to the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) of the International Association for Interoperability (IAI). The European S-TEN project is developing ontologies for technical and environmental networks (such as piping or electricity networks and river basins). These ontologies will be related to the information models for product data within ISO 10303 (STEP) and for process plants within ISO 15926. This "product core" could be the basis of the ontologies defined by the two projects, and for many other application ontologies. The use of the "product core" will enable simple operations to be carried out on product data irrespective of any extension to the core specific to an application. These operations could include: (1) derivations of bills of materials, and calculations of the material costs; (2) calculation of the environmental impact of a product, such as the CO2 emissions; (3) calculation of the mass of a product, (4) generation of (re)presentations of product aspects. This core could help the development of Web ontologies derived from existing international standards, such as IFC, STEP and ISO 15926. The Incubator Group (XG) has been proposed to work on this core set.

See also: the Product Modelling Incubator Group Charter

NIST Workshop Presentation: OASIS SAML v2.0 and XACML v2.0
Anil Saldhana, Slide Presentation

An "OASIS SAML and XACML Presentation" has been prepared by Anil Saldhana (Leader, JBoss Security and Identity Management, Red Hat Inc): "I am going to be making a presentation on OASIS SAML and XACML at the ExpeditionWorkshop (Exploring Identity Management Landscape) at NIST." This NIST workshop "will build on the implications of Preparedness as a dimension of the National Response Framework, for Identity Management (persons and objects) within a global context, and facilitate engagement by multiple communities advancing emergent national readiness including: identity management, enterprise architecture, disaster preparedness and response, cyber-security, ontology, modeling and simulation, and international digital standards. The workshop is responsive to expressed interest from Federal representatives to better appreciate identity management potentials and realities in light of ongoing research, standards development, and on-going national and global implementation strategies. This includes national and international groups working to develop standards across domains, such as Shibboleth, Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML 2.0), OpenID, Privacy, and authorization management. This broad and comprehensive context for shared understanding is of keen interest to the Coordinating Groups of the Subcommittee on Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) including: Large Scale Networking, High Confidence Software and Systems, Human-Computer Interaction and Information Management, FASTER, Cyber-Security Information Assurance, and Social-Economic and Workforce Implications of IT. Saldhana's The 31-slide presentation covers Definitions; Authentication/Authorization Use Cases; Introduction to SAML V2.0; Introduction to XACML v2.0; References. OASIS SAML v2 is a specification that deals with Federated Identity and Oasis XACML v2 is a specification that deals with access control.

See also: the blog entry

W3C Update for XProc: An XML Pipeline Language
Norm Walsh, Alex Milowski, Henry Thompson (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of W3C's XML Processing Model Working Group have published an updated Working Draft for "XProc: An XML Pipeline Language". A color-coded diff-marked version is provided to show revisions: its presentation has been augmented to identify changes from a previous version (new text, added text, changed text, and deleted text). Since the last public working draft, the Working Group has considered several hundred comments in nearly 150 threads. The document "Status" section therefore also lists eighteen (18) significant changes in this updated Working Draft. The specification describes the syntax and semantics of XProc: An XML Pipeline Language, a language for describing operations to be performed on XML documents. Pipelines are made up of simple steps which perform atomic operations on XML documents and constructs similar to conditionals, iteration, and exception handlers, which control which steps are executed. An XML Pipeline specifies a sequence of operations to be performed on a collection of XML input documents. Pipelines take zero or more XML documents as their input and produce zero or more XML documents as their output. A pipeline consists of steps. Like pipelines, steps take zero or more XML documents as their inputs and produce zero or more XML documents as their outputs. The inputs of a step come from the web, from the pipeline document, from the inputs to the pipeline itself, or from the outputs of other steps in the pipeline. The outputs from a step are consumed by other steps, are outputs of the pipeline as a whole, or are discarded. There are two kinds of steps: atomic steps and compound steps. Atomic steps carry out single operations and have no substructure as far as the pipeline is concerned, whereas compound steps control the execution of other steps, which they include in the form of one or more subpipelines.

See also: the W3C XML Processing Model Working Group

Member Ballot for OASIS Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Specification
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS announced that the Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Technical Committee has submitted two specifications for consideration by the membership as OASIS Standards. Balloting [Kavi Public Ballots] will begin on May 16, 2008 and extend through the end of the month. [1] "Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Syntax V2.0" specifies the normative syntax and transformation rules for a new type of digital identifier called an XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier). XRIs are called "abstract structured identifiers"—abstract because they are intended to be resolved via a standard discovery process into other concrete identifiers for a resource, and structured because they may contain self-describing "tags". Abstract structured identifiers are designed for use with digital identity and data sharing infrastructure such as OpenID, OAuth, SAML, information cards, Higgins, XDI, etc. XRI Syntax 2.0 extends IRI/URI syntax by: (1) Allowing the internal components of an XRI to be explicitly tagged as either persistent or reassignable. (2) Enabling XRIs to contain other XRIs (or IRIs or URIs), a syntactic structure called "cross-referencing" that allows sharing of identifiers, such as generic identifiers or "tags", across multiple authorities and namespaces. (3) Supporting new types of identifier authorities including global context symbols and cross-references. XRIs build on the foundation of interoperable Web identifiers established by URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers, RFC 3986) and IRIs (Internationalized Resource Identifiers, RFC 3987). Just as the IRI specification created a new identifier by extending the unreserved character set allowed in generic URIs, and defined rules for transforming IRIs into valid URIs, the XRI Syntax 2.0 specification creates a new identifier by extending the syntax of IRIs and defining transformations of XRIs into valid IRIs (which can then be transformed into valid URIs.) [2] "Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Resolution Version 2.0", a companion specification to the XRI Syntax 2.0 specification for abstract structured identifiers, provides a simple standardized method for performing resource discovery on either HTTP(S) URIs or XRIs. XRI Resolution 2.0 defines a simple generic XML discovery document format called XRDS (Extensible Resource Descriptor Sequence), a standard protocol for requesting XRDS documents using HTTP(S) URIs, and standard protocol for resolving XRIs using XRDS documents and HTTP(S) URIs. Both generic and trusted versions of the XRI resolution protocol are defined (the latter using HTTPS (RFC 2818) and/or signed SAML assertions). In addition, an HTTP(S) proxy resolution service is specified both to provide network-based resolution services and for backwards compatibility with existing HTTP(S) infrastructure.

See also: the Resolution companion spec

Microsoft Ships Expression Studio 2 Tools
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Microsoft has announced the release of its Expression 2 Studio design tools, which provide application design capabilities to complement application development capabilities of the company's Visual Studio toolset. Leveraging XAML, the products in Expression Studio can be used to build standards-based and Microsoft Silverlight Web experiences. Windows Vista and .Net Framework 3.5 client applications also can be designed. The tools are said to be 'Standards Based'—"built to translate your visual layouts into fully compliant pages using your choice of versions of XHTML, CSS, XML and XSLT." XAML "is a declarative XML-based language that defines objects and their properties in XML. XAML syntax describes objects, properties and their relationships to one another. Generic XAML syntax defines the relationship between objects and children. Properties can be set as attributes or by using 'period notation' to specify the object as a property of its parent... Although XAML is presently for use on the Windows platform, the WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) initiative will eventually bring XAML to other platforms and devices... As the XAML markup for an application's UI remains separate from the remainder of application logic, a designer's exact layout can be saved in XAML and combined with the application without affecting the development process." According to the announcement, key features include the following: (1) Expression Web 2 adds support for PHP and Adobe Photoshop import based on customer feedback. (2) Expression Blend 2, in addition to Silverlight support, adds vertex animation and an improved user interface with a new split design/XAML view. (3) Expression Design 2 adds improved exporting functionality including the ability to export slices. (4) Expression Media 2 is a robust digital asset management solution for photographers and other creative professionals. It adds support for the latest file formats including RAW, provides geotagging functionality, and is supported by Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office for Mac 2008. (5) Expression Encoder 2 is now a core offering of the suite. It allows creative and Web professionals to optimize almost any type of video content quickly for publishing on the Web, either in streaming video, rich-media advertising or other Web 2.0 projects.

See also: the announcement


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