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Last modified: July 14, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 14 July 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

New OASIS Discussion List: Adopting SOA for Telecom
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS has announced the creation of a new discussion list to support the creation of a possible new OASIS Technical Committee. The list "Adopting SOA for Telecom" (asoat-discuss) is open for subscription, where discussion may last up to 90 days. Typically, participants in the list will determine whether there is sufficient interest to form an OASIS TC, and then collaborate on a draft TC charter for submission. The preliminary statement of scope for the "Adopting SOA for Telecom" list: "to identify current limitations of SOA technology in support of Telecom requirements in terms of testability, scalability, Service Level Agreements (SLA), reliability, support for session interactions, event based interactions, service ontologies, service failure modes and the marrying of IMS and SOA technologies." Representatives from Nortel (Abbie Barbir), Oracle (Stephane Maes), and IBM (Anthony Nadalin) have proposed the creation of this discussion list.

GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP)
Staff, Open Geospatial Consortium Announcement

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced that a Call for Participation (CFP) in Phase 2 of the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP) has been issued by the GEO (Group on Earth Observations). Phase 1 of the AIP demonstrated GEO Portal and Clearinghouse solutions. Phase 2 will establish "operational, research and technical exemplars," services that support the GEOSS Societal Benefit Areas (application domains). GEO is a voluntary partnership of 124 governments and international organizations, launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and by the G8 (Group of Eight) leading industrialized countries. The Pilot anticipates (1) Refinement and augmentation of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure including GEO Web Portal, Clearinghouse and Registries solutions; (2) Registration of components and services hosted by the participating organization in the GEOSS Registry to support access by the Clearinghouse and Portal, and that to support demonstration of a set of user scenarios (3) Participation in the development of a set of user scenarios that support the GEO Societal Benefit Areas; (4) Participation in the refinement of the initial architecture in Annex B based upon the pilot activities. The Global Earth Observation System of Systems "is simultaneously addressing nine areas of critical importance to people and society. It aims to empower the international community to protect itself against natural and human-induced disasters, understand the environmental sources of health hazards, manage energy resources, respond to climate change and its impacts, safeguard water resources, improve weather forecasts, manage ecosystems, promote sustainable agriculture and conserve biodiversity. GEOSS coordinates a multitude of complex and interrelated issues simultaneously. This cross-cutting approach avoids unnecessary duplication, encourages synergies between systems and ensures substantial economic, societal and environmental benefits. Solutions: Forecasting meningitis outbreaks; Protecting biodiversity; Improving climate observations in Africa; Supporting disaster management in Central and South America; Managing water resources in Asia; Promoting solar energy; Improving agriculture and fisheries management; Mapping and classifying ecosystems; Forecasting weather for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

See also: Geography Markup Language (GML)

WS-BPEL Compliant Web Services: Apache ODE 1.2 Released
Staff, Apache Software Foundation Announcement

Members of the open source development community have announced the release of Apache ODE 1.2, which packs new features as well as many small fixes and improvements. The features highlight is external variables, support for the WSDL HTTP binding (allowing the invocation of REST style services) and advanced endpoint configurations. Apache ODE is a WS-BPEL compliant web services orchestration engine. It organizes web services calls following a process description written in the BPEL XML grammar. Another way to describe it would be a web-service capable workflow engine. Highlights of this release include: (1) External variables: variables used in a process are not opaque to the outside world anymore. You can map them to a simple database table and manipulate them directly. (2) Support for the WSDL HTTP binding. We've also added a few extensions, allowing the invocation of REST-style web services. (3) Advanced endpoint configuration which, thanks to the integration with Apache Axis2, enables WS-Security and WS-RM support. (4) A long list of small fixes and improvements for best-of-breed stability, performance and usability. In addition to these new features, Apache ODE provides the following functionalities: (5) Side-by-side support for both the WS-BPEL 2.0 OASIS standard and the legacy BPEL4WS 1.1 vendor specification. (6) Supports 2 communication layers: one based on Axis2 (Web Services http transport) and another one based on the JBI standard (using ServiceMix). (7) High level API to the engine that allows you to integrate the core with virtually any communication layer. (8) Hot-deployment of your processes. (9) Compiled approach to BPEL that provides detailed analysis and validation at the command line or at deployment. (10) Management interface for processes, instances and messages. Apache ODE is an open source project released the Apache License v2.0.

See also: the Apache ODE Project

Adobe Readies 'Gumbo' Upgrade to Flex
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Seeking to bolster Flash and AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) application development, Adobe is working on "Gumbo," the next version of the Flex platform. Announcement target improvements in the Gumbo open source SDK, which is due in the second half of 2009; also planned is a version of the Flex framework geared toward form factors such as mobile devices. The Gumbo SDK features three primary themes: Design in Mind, Developer Productivity, and Framework Evolution. Plans also call for building out the MXML language to support more "tool-ability," Chotin said. MXML is the XML language used to lay out UI components for Flex applications. Thermo, a planned Adobe tool for quickly building rich Internet applications, is serving as a big driver to making the SDK more tool-able, said Chotin. MXML improvements will make it easier to describe experience-oriented features such as states and transitions. Also planned is a new MXML namespace and a file format called FXG, which is about describing vector graphics in XML in a way that closely matches what Flash Player is capable of doing. Vector graphic information can be transferred between Thermo, Flex, and various tools. With Gumbo, Adobe seeks to have designers more involved in building applications such as event-driven sites, item browsers, and product selectors. Gumbo will be merged with the Flex component model, which is called "Halo." A lightweight framework anticipated in 2010 would support Flex on devices such as mobile units. Other framework improvements planned will support text features that are part of Flash Player 10. Developers will be able to make bidirectional layouts. Video improvement is planned also. To improve developer productivity, Adobe with the Gumbo SDK is working on compiler performance and will add two-way data-binding and automation support for Flex in AIR and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) improvements.

See also: Gumbo Component Architecture

Dynamic Feature Extensions to the Presence Information Data Format Location Object (PIDF-LO)
Singh Vishal, Henning Schulzrinne, et al (eds), IETF Internet Draft

An updated version of the Internet Draft "Dynamic Feature Extensions to the Presence Information Data Format Location Object (PIDF-LO)" has been released by members of the IETF Geographic Location/Privacy (GEOPRIV) Working Group. The Geopriv Location Object introduced by the Presence Information Data Format—Location Object (PIDF-LO), RFC 4119, defines a basic XML format for carrying geographical information of a presentity. This geographical location of the presentity corresponds to a physical location at a given instance of time. However, a number of applications, described below, can benefit from having access to information about changes in location. Location change information is likely to be useful for logistics and public safety. For example, shipping companies or dispatch centers can use it to track whether vehicles are deviating from an established path or exceeding speed limits. This document extends the 'location' element specified in RFC 4119 to carry temporal feature elements useful for tracking moving objects. It defines five elements, namely speed, bearing, acceleration elevation and 'directionOfObject', which uses the GML 'directionVector' element. The document also specifies mechanisms to carry multiple moving object's status elements and proposes a mechanism to indicate the type of the PIDF-LO content. Speed is the rate of motion. The terms speed and velocity are often used interchangeably, but speed is a scaler, having magnitude only, while velocity is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. This element contains a 'uom' (Units Of Measure) attribute, which is a reference to a reference system for the amount. The 'uom' attribute uses a URI to refer to a unit of measure definition. The GML document defines a set of convenience measure types described in ISO 19103.

See also: the IETF Geographic Location/Privacy (GEOPRIV) Working Group

Integrate Encryption into Google Calendar with Firefox Extensions
Nathan Harrington, IBM developerWorks

This article demonstrates how to store only encrypted data for event names and descriptions in Google Calendar. Today's Web applications provide many benefits for online storage, access, and collaboration. Although some applications offer encryption of user data, most do not. This article provides tools and code needed to add basic encryption support for user data in one of the most popular online calendar applications. Building on the incredible flexibility of Firefox extensions and the Gnu Privacy Guard, the author shows you how to store only encrypted event descriptions in Google's Calendar application, while displaying a plain text version to anyone with the appropriate decryption keys. Beginning with Elias Torres' excellent "Google Calendar Quick Add" extension, the article walks you through the extraction, changes, and insertion of various components to enable encrypted events, not just forcing an encrypted TLS data channel. GnuPG is used to handle all of the encryption functions for this extension; this approach frees the JavaScript from less efficient algorithm implementation as well as providing robust cross-platform key management... The Google Calendar Quick Add extension makes use of the Google Calendar SOAP API to add events to your calendar from any page. Payload interception and encryption of this process is what this article uses to add encrypted events to your calendar. An alternate approach is to simply add ASCII-armored entries to your Google Calendar, but the approach here will automate this process for you. Each event added and viewed is seamlessly encrypted or decrypted, so you regain control of some of your data, while still reaping the benefits of the best of Web 2.0 applications. You may consider creating an obfuscation layer to change the stored time of events to reduce the effectiveness of traffic analysis. Write your own program using the Google Calendar SOAP API's to extract, encrypt, and store every calendar event in the past and future. Take on the challenge of creating a transparent encryption extension for the default Google Calendar interface in all its Ajax-ishness.

E4X: JavaScript on Steroids for Efficient XML Processing
Grace Walker, IBM developerWorks

The main obstacle for JavaScript developers wanting to work with XML data has been the inability to interact with the data in an easy and efficient manner. E4X adds support for XML to the JavaScript programming language. XML is widely recognized as the universally accepted means to exchange documents and data across applications and platforms. This recognition is a direct function of XML's proven track record as an efficient way to resolve interoperability problems associated with sharing documents and data. XML's versatility and strength are products of the flexibility of its structural components. E4X facilitates the use of XML's structural components, thereby enhancing that flexibility significantly. E4X is designed to simplify the task of writing JavaScript code for XML. It is an efficient, powerful tool that you can use to interact with XML nodes and attributes. The primary objective of E4X is to give JavaScript developers a straightforward and efficient way to manipulate an XML document without relying on the Document Object Model (DOM). The JavaScript language uses the E4X utility to impart new properties to global objects. In turn, the XML object has several properties useful in E4X serializing and parsing functions. E4X recycles many existing JavaScript operators and uses them in XML creation, manipulation, and navigation. E4X consumes less development time and has a very short learning curve. These qualities facilitate efficient and facile Read, Write, and related operations. The economy that these qualities create leads to simplified coding, enhanced code revising, and shorter code deployment cycles. In addition, the flexible and agile E4X technology is tailor-made for those increasingly important mobile applications. To demonstrate the power and flexibility of E4X, the author describes the main features employed to manipulate XML data, using a music catalog as the main input source.


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