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Last modified: May 14, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 14 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:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee to Track Origins of Digital Content
K.C. Jones, InformationWeek

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has received a grant to create a technology that will give users more information about the origins and sources of digital content. Berners-Lee received a Knight News Challenge award Wednesday, during the Interactive Media Conference and Tradeshow 2008 in Las Vegas. Sixteen ideas to fund innovative digital projects around the world were awarded $5.5 million dollars from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This is the second year of the $25 million Knight News Challenge, which funds digital information innovations that transform community life. Announced at the Interactive Media Conference in Las Vegas, this year's projects will touch people in rural India, the townships of South Africa and on college campuses across the United States, among other places. Berners-Lee's project is a partnership between the Media Standards Trust and the UK-based Web Science Research Initiative, of which he is a director. According to the 2008 Winners Reference: With the copious amounts of information (and misinformation) on the Internet, the public needs more help finding fair, accurate and contextual news. The plan: to design a way for content creators to add information on their sources to their reports, as a form of source tagging. For instance, a reporter could note that an article was based on personal observations, interviews with eyewitnesses or specific, original documents. Filters would then use this data ('the story behind the story') to help find high-quality articles. A reader searching the phrase 'Pakistan riots' for example, might find 9,000 articles. But filtering by 'eyewitness accounts' would yield a more selective list. Berners-Lee, Moore and the Web Science Research Initiative are working with the BBC and Reuters on how to best integrate the tagging into journalists' normal workflow.

See also: the announcement

Data Documentation Initiative Releases DDI Specification Version 3.0
Staff, DDI Alliance Announcement

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) recently announced the approval the latest version of the DDI specification, DDI 3.0, and the specification has now been officially published. The Alliance reviewed the specification and related use cases and implementations during the month of April [2008] and then voted to ratify DDI 3.0 officially; the final published package was made available on April 28, 2008. The Data Documentation Initiative is an effort to establish an international XML-based standard for the content, presentation, transport, and preservation of documentation for datasets in the social and behavioral sciences. Documentation, sometimes called metadata (data about data), constitutes the information that enables the effective, efficient, and accurate use of those datasets. The DDI metadata specification originated in the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and is now the project of an Alliance of about 25 institutions in North America and Europe. Together, the member institutions comprise many of the largest data producers and data archives in the world. Virtually every kind of body of data is found in one or more of the archives. The DDI specification is a major transformation of the once-familiar electronic "codebook," retaining all of the capabilities of that kind of document but greatly increasing the scope and rigor of the information contained in it. Indeed, the DDI metadata can be displayed as conventional paper or screen codebook-like documents, but unlike the old codebooks, the information displayed can be fully understood by computer software as well as by humans. The DDI transforms the concept of codebooks by encoding codebook information into databases that share a known structure and a specification language across many bodies of data. Online DDI schema documentation has been produced using customized XSL transforms and tools based on the Orbeon Presentation Server platform. The help system itself is developed as an Eclipse plugin and made available on the web through an Eclipse Infocenter, the stand alone version of Eclipse help.

See also: DDI Technical Information

Real Web 2.0: Practical Linked, Open Data with SIMILE Exhibit
Uche Ogbuji, IBM developerWorks

SIMILE (Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments) is a research project developing tools to share diverse collections of data and digital media. SIMILE is a joint project of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the W3C, and it has produced some real gems. One of these is Exhibit, which allows you to produce Web pages with widgets the user can use to quickly comb through large collections of data. Exhibit makes this easy and requires little programming. It is developed by David Huynh, with contributions from others on the SIMILE team. This article explains how the Exhibit Web library allows you to construct functional and visually attractive user interfaces without much work, once you have good 'LOD' available. Linking Open Data (LOD) is a community initiative for moving the Web from separated documents to a broad information space of data. The principles of LOD are very important, but when a Web developer has a deadline looming it's not always easy to put "important" into perspective. Exhibit is one of those tools that takes a grand idea and uses it to actually make a developer's life easier. If you have a collection of information and you need to present it to users so they can easily see it in context and find details they care about, take advantage of the large head start Exhibit offers.

See also: the SIMILE Exhibit web site

Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review
Andrew Arch (ed), W3C Technical Report

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Education and Outreach Working Group Working Group (EOWG) has published "Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review" as a First Public Working Draft. Public comment on this WD is invited through Wednesday 4-June-2008. The document includes reviews and analysis of guidelines and articles covering the requirements of people with Web accessibility needs related to ageing. This literature review will inform WAI efforts to promote accessibility solutions for older Web users and potentially to develop profiles or extensions to WAI guidelines. The literature review is a deliverable of the WAI-AGE Project (Ageing Education and Harmonisation). Many countries in Europe and elsewhere have legislation in place to reduce discrimination against people with disabilities, both young and old, along with related policies or guidelines applying to online services. Furthermore, the European Union (EU) and the European Commission (EC) have programmes in place to ensure that e-Inclusion for people with disabilities is enhanced among the Member States, and it is also addressing the needs of the elderly and other disadvantaged groups. In particular, they have agreed to address the needs of older workers and elderly people by exploiting the full potential of the internal market of information and communications technology (ICT) services and products for the elderly, amongst others by addressing demand fragmentation by promoting interoperability through standards and common specifications where appropriate. The EC has been addressing the technology needs of the elderly for some time; however under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) of research under the Information Society and Technology (IST) programme, several calls have focused on the needs of the elderly in the information society. This issue is compounding because the world's population is living longer with a disproportionate number of people soon to be elderly as compared with any other period in human history. The United Nations (UN) estimates that by 2050 one out of every five people will be over 60 years, and by 2150, one third of the people in the world are expected to be 60 years of age or older.

See also: the W3C WAI-AGE (IST 035015) Project Reference

Invitation to Review HTML 5 Draft Recommendation
Ian Hickson, WHATWG Announcement

The HTML5 specification is still a work in progress, but a general invitation for public review has been issued. The draft has annotations indicating how stable each section is, as different parts of the specification are at different levels of maturity; some sections are widely implemented, others are in their very first draft form and haven't really received any review yet. The HTML5 specification "evolves HTML and its related APIs to ease the authoring of Web-based applications. Additions include the context menus, a direct-mode graphics canvas, inline popup windows, and server-sent events. Heavy emphasis is placed on keeping the language backwards compatible with existing legacy user agents and on keeping user agents backwards compatible with existing legacy documents." The specification is being produced by WHATWG and the W3C HTML Working Group.

See also: the one-page version

Use XForms and DB2 pureXML for IRS e-File Form 1120
Keith Wells, Susan Malaika, Christian Pichler; IBM developerWorks

The W3C Forms working group, comprised of W3C members and invited experts, is chartered by the W3C to develop the next generation of forms technology for the world wide web. The mission is to address the patterns of intricacy, dynamism, multi-modality, and device independence that have become prevalent in Web Forms Applications around the world. This article demonstrates end-to-end XML data exchange with XForms and DB pureXML for IRS e-File Form 1120. It presents you with technologies for quick creation of pureXML databases for XML messages, Universal Web Services to interact with these pureXML databases, and XForms which can be used to interrogate and visualize data from the stored XML messages to a user in a client-based browser. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is part of the United States Department of the Treasury that supports individuals and companies to report their income, credits, and other information. Therefore, the IRS defined e-file messages based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). E-file messages are an electronic alternative to filing paper reports. In particular, the IRS e-File 1120 message is designed for corporations to determine the tax liability for the corporation. The XML Forms Generator tool is an IBM alphaWorks package (Eclipse plug-in) intended to jump-start XForms development. It produces valid and functional forms containing XForms markup embedded within an XHTML document. The input to form generation may be an XML message (optionally) backed by an XML schema or a WSDL document. Response processing templates and combination request/response forms also may be generated from a WSDL document. Any document the XML Forms Generator produces may serve as a starting point for further form, layout, and styling customizations. An extension point provides opportunities for post-processing during generation of a form. Integrating and submitting XML data from XForms through an SOA interface to a database means there are fewer steps between the user and the database, less server processing, and quicker development time to retrieve and process XML data from an XForms-capable browser.

See also: XML and Forms


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