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Last modified: July 21, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 21 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:
IBM Corporation

W3C Issues Last Call Review for CSS Color Module Level 3
Tantek Celik, Chris Lilley, David Baron (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C CSS Working Group have published a Last Call Working Draft for the "CSS Color Module Level 3" specification. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. It uses color related properties and respective values to color the text, backgrounds, borders, and other parts of elements in a document. This specification describes color values and properties for foreground color and group opacity. These include properties and values from CSS level 2 and new values. The Working Group doesn't expect that all implementations of CSS3 will implement all properties or values. Instead, there will probably be a small number of variants of CSS3, so-called "profiles". For example, it may be that only the profile for 32-bit color user agents will include all of the proposed color related properties and values. The specification is the result of the merging of relevant parts of several other Recommendations and Working Drafts, and the addition of some new features... This specification is a Last Call Working Draft, although it was previously a Candidate Recommendation. It has been returned to Last Call Working Draft because this draft removes features that were not implemented sufficiently to advance to Proposed Recommendation, and had not been previously listed as at risk, as required by the W3C Process. This specification may advance directly to Proposed Recommendation following the last call, depending on comments and implementation reports.

See also: the W3C news story

Sun to Make Health Care Play Through Identity
Dana Blankenhorn, ZDNet Blog

Sun Microsystems plans a new play in the health care space through the question of identity. Sun has been a major player in identity management for some time, and was one of the founders of the Liberty Alliance, which has been working on identity standards since before the turn of the century. But with the re-launch of its Open SSO project today, with one version and one level of support for both Enterprise and Express customers, Sun is seeking to make itself essential to the new health care information revolution: that revolution involves patients accessing their own Electronic Health Records and adding their own data, creating complete Personal Health Records to be accessed when needed. The big problem is the HIPAA law, not because it limits patients' access to their own records, but because it requires they prove their identities to gain access. Open SSO is a solution which hospitals, clinics and insurers can install which can provide this identity management. John Barco, director of identity management for Sun: "This is enterprise technology... If you're at home accessing a health care site and need authentication to reach a patient portal it's transparent to you as a patient. It's the infrastructure for their authentication and authorization... Health care is one of our top tier industries we sell into... There's complexity around privacy, securing access to applications and services, then being able to effectively audit those records, who has access to what and when..." [Note: "The Open Web SSO project (OpenSSO) provides core identity services to simplify the implementation of transparent single sign-on (SSO) as a security component in a network infrastructure. OpenSSO provides the foundation for integrating diverse web applications that might typically operate against a disparate set of identity repositories and are hosted on a variety of platforms such as web and application servers..."]

See also: XML and Healthcare

RFQ/CFP: OGC Web Services, Phase 6 (OWS-6) Interoperability Initiative
Staff, Open Geospatial Consortium Announcement

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has issued a Request for Quotes/Call for Participation (RFQ/CFP) for the OGC Web Services, Phase 6 (OWS-6) Interoperability Initiative, a testbed to advance OGC's open interoperability framework for geospatial capabilities. The organizations sponsoring OWS-6 seek open standards for their interoperability requirements. After analyzing those requirements, the OGC Interoperability Team recommended to the sponsors that the content of the OWS-6 initiative be organized around the following threads: (1) Sensor Web Enablement (SWE); (2) Geo Processing Workflow (GPW); (3) Aeronautical Information Management (AIM); (4) Decision Support Services (DSS); (5) Compliance Testing (CITE). OWS testbeds are part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on and collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiatives' Sponsors. OGC Interoperability Initiatives include testbeds, pilot projects, interoperability experiments and interoperability support services—all designed to encourage rapid development, testing, validation and adoption of OGC standards. OWS-6 Sponsors include: U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA); Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD); GeoConnections - Natural Resources Canada; U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA); EUROCONTROL; EADS Defence and Communications Systems; Lockheed Martin; BAE Systems; ERDAS, Inc.

See also: Geography Markup Language (GML)

XML Entity Definitions for Characters
David Carlisle and Patrick Ion (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C announced the publication of a Working Draft for the specification "XML Entity Definitions for Characters." The document is a W3C Public Working Draft produced by the W3C Math Working Group as part of the W3C Math Activity. The document defines several sets of names which are assigned to Unicode characters. Each of these sets is also implemented as a file of XML entity declarations... Notation and symbols have proved very important for scientific documents, especially in mathematics. Mathematics has grown in part because its notation continually changes toward being succinct and suggestive. There have been many new signs developed for use in mathematical notation, and mathematicians have not held back from making use of many symbols originally introduced elsewhere. The result is that science in general, and particularly mathematics, makes use of a very large collection of symbols. It is difficult to write science fluently if these characters are not available for use. It is difficult to read science if corresponding glyphs are not available for presentation on specific display devices. In the majority of cases it is preferable to store characters directly as Unicode character data or as XML numeric character references. However, in some environments it is more convenient to use the ASCII input mechanism provided by XML entity references. Many entity names are in common use, and this specification aims to provide standard mappings to Unicode for each of these names. The WD specification defines Unicode mappings of many sets of names that have been defined by earlier specifications. The authors first present two tables listing the combined sets, firstly in Unicode order and then in alphabetic order. Then there come tables documenting each of the entity sets. Each set has a link to the DTD entity declaration for the corresponding entity set, and also a link to an XSLT2 stylesheet that will implement a reverse mapping from characters to entity names (this is, of course, only possible for entity names that map to a single uniocde code point). In addition to the stylesheets and entity files d sets of DTD entity declarations. The first is a small file which includes all the other entity files via parameter entity references; the second is a larger file that directly contains a definition of each entity, with all duplicates removed.

See also: SGML/XML Entity Sets and Entity Management

Apache Software Foundation Releases Apache Axis2/C Version 1.5.0
Staff, ASF Announcement

Apache Software Foundation developers announced the release of Apache Axis2/C Version 1.5.0. Apache Axis2/C is a Web services engine implemented in the C programming language. It is based on the extensible and flexible Axis2 architecture. Apache Axis2/C can be used to provide and consume WebServices. It has been implemented with portability and ability to embed in mind, hence could be used as a Web services enabler in other software. Apache Axis2/C supports SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2, as well as REST style of Webservices. A single service could be exposed both as a SOAP style as well as a REST style service simultaneously. It also has built in MTOM support, that can be used to exchange binary data. Apache Axis2/C is efficient, modular and is designed with extensibility. The extensible design allows it to support the full WS-* stack with the concept of modules. Apache Axis2/C is the Web services engine that supports the most number of WS-* specification implementations in C, with guaranteed interoperability. This enables using C in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) implementations, and would be very useful when integrating legacy systems into SOA. The following WS-* specifications are supported, either as built in modules or as separate Apache projects: (1) WS-Addressing: Built in to Axis2/C; (2) WS-Policy: Built in to Axis2/C; (3) WS-Security: Implemented by Apache Rampart/C project; (4) WS-SecurityPolicy: Built in to Axis2/C; (5) WS-ReliableMessaging: Implemented by Apache Sandesha2/Cproject; (6) WS-Eventing: Implemented by Apache Savan/Cproject. Changes since the last release include: AMQP Transport support with Apache Qpid; Modifications to IIS Module to support IIS 6 and 7; Added a JScript file to automate IIS module registry configuration; Improved the in-only message handling; Specifying the MEP in the services.xml for non in-out messages made mandatory; Improvements to Guthtila for better performance; Improvements to TCPMon tool; Memory leak fixes.

WSO2 Adds Google Gadgets to Version 1.5 of Open Source Mashup Server
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

WSO2 is releasing WSO Mashup Server Version 1.5, an open-source product for deploying mashup services featuring Google Gadgets support and interfaces to relational databases and other data sources. The mashup server uses JavaScript to describe logic for acquiring information, combining data, and exposing it to a user. Information can be acquired from sources such as Web services and scraped pages and published as a new Web service, feeds, Web pages, or notifications. Version 1.5 features stubs and templates for Google Gadgets, which can be hosted within Mashup Server or externally such as in an iGoogle page. A beta dashboard add-in is featured for hosting Google Gadgets within Mashup Server. Google Gadgets enable dynamic content to be placed on a Web page. Data services enhancements provide Web services interfaces to relational databases and other data sources such as Excel spreadsheets and comma-separated values. Also featured is an integrated UI for managing secure mashup services based on the WS-Security specification. Users can choose from 20 enterprise scenarios providing different combinations of authentication, encryption, and signing. API configuration extensions enable consumption of secured services. Feature and usability enhancements in Version 1.5 boost productivity, performance, and ease of use. Open-source electronic IDs are featured to complement existing login options based on username/password and Microsoft InfoCard. Web site description: "It is a platform for acquiring data from a variety of sources including Web Services, HTML pages, feeds and data sources, and process and combine it with other data using JavaScript with E4X XML extensions. The result is then exposed as a new Web service with rich metadata and artifacts to simplify the creation of rich user interfaces. The WSO2 Mashup Server will form the backbone of a become an ecosystem of community-developed services that will broaden the palette of capabilities for mashups and distributed applications." WSO2 Mashup Server is released under the Apache License v2.0.

See also: the WSO2 Mashup Server web site

Atomojo Server Version 0.11.0 Now Supports SPARQL
Alex Milowski, XML-DEV Announcement

I just released the 0.11.0 version of the Atomojo Server for storing and retrieving Atom feeds. Atomojo uses AtomPub (the Atom Publishing Protocol) to store and manipulate content and also supports term indexing. I've recently added SPARQL query support to the server so that you can retrieve feeds based their categorization. While this support is rather limited, you can some basic and very useful queries to retrieve entries or feeds based on their categorization... I'll be giving a talk about using atom feed categorization and SPARQL at Balisage 2008 and there will also be a poster on Atomojo. Meanwhile, you can learn more or download Atomojo Server Version 0.11.0. Note Alex Milowski's Balisage 2008 presentation: "Using Atom Categorization to Build Dynamic Applications": Atom feeds provide the ability to categorize both the feed and its entries. This categorization provides a simple and way for feed authors to associated terms and semantics to their feed contents. This talk will demonstrate how such author-generated categorization can be used to build web applications dynamically from feed and how Atom categories map into the world of RDF and the 'Semantic Web'."

See also: Atom references

Java EE Integration Specification Contributed to OASIS SCA-J TC
Anish Karmarkar, Anish Karmarkar, et al., OSOA Technical Report

Oracle and others have contributed the "Java EE Integration Specification" (SCA Version 1.00, 2008-05-13) to the OASIS SCA-J TC. The OASIS SCA-J Technical Committee (TC) was chartered to develop specifications that standardize the use of the use of Java technologies within an Service Component Architecture Specification (SCA) domain. The document "specifies the use of Service Component Architecture (SCA) within and over the scope of applications and modules developed, assembled, and packaged according to the Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) specification. Java EE is the standard for Java-based enterprise applications today. While it offers a rich set of technologies, it does not define important concepts that are inherently required in service oriented architectures such as extensibility of component implementation technologies, extensibility of transport and protocol abstractions, and a notion of cross-application assembly and configuration. The Service Component Architecture on the other hand provides a standardized and extensible assembly language and methodology that can be layered on top of existing component models and runtimes. It is expected that SCA application assemblies will combine Java EE components with other technologies. Examples of technologies for which SCA integration specifications have been completed include BPEL and the Spring framework. It is expected that an SCA enabled Java EE runtime will offer a palette of technologies for integration in an SCA assembly. The "Java EE Integration Specification" specification defines the integration of SCA and Java EE within the context of a Java EE application, the use of Java EE components as service component implementations, and the deployment of Java EE archives either within or as SCA contributions. It is also possible to use bindings to achieve some level of integration between SCA and Java EE.

See also: the associated posting

Seven Things IT Should Be Doing
Dan Tynan, InfoWorld

Pity the poor IT managers. They're expected to know what their end-users want need, even if their end-users can't articulate it themselves. They're under constant pressure to develop new skills (like AJAX) while maintaining old ones (COBOL, anyone?), and to not only maintain line-of-business apps but jazz them up to meet the expectations of the Facebook generation. They've got to deal with a data tsunami that increases more than 30 percent per year while simultaneously protecting the company jewels from devastating data spills. They're required to gird for disasters of unknown proportions and figure out how to keep the business going in the aftermath. Tough job? You bet. But in this Web 2.0-centric data-engorged world, it's the cost of doing business. Do them well and both you and your company will succeed. Here are seven (more) things to add to your must-do list. Ignore them at your peril....

Web 2.0 at the Old Ballgame
Rich Seeley,

Baseball, dating back to the era when the grandfather clock was state of the art, is a low-tech, even no-tech sport. But when it comes to Web 2.0, Major League Baseball (MLB) has brought the bleeding edge into the ballpark. As games resumed on Friday after the traditional mid-season break for the All-Star Game, IBM announced that MLB is using WebSphere Portal technology to assure the authenticity of homerun balls caught in the stands by fans. Information from the Web on potential security problems and weather conditions are also now available to the umpires via the portal. As sports memorabilia brings record auction prices -- more than $750,000 for Barry Bonds' record home run ball—the Web 2.0 technology provides instant provenance by authenticating home run balls immediately after they are hit into the bleachers, explained Larry Bowden, IBM vice president for portals and mashups. Beginning with last week's All-Star Game, a security guard armed with handheld device from Symbol Technologies Inc., with wireless connectivity to the IBM WebSphere Portal, will go to the fan that has just caught a homerun ball... The balls have a hologram on them... At the All Star Game they had authorized security personnel who could watch the person catch the ball, and then come up to them and with their handheld device they would register the person who caught the ball, scan that particular hologram. Then that person's information goes into a database to record that they are the person who owns this ball... That information is then wirelessly uploaded to MLB's IBM DB2 9 data server. If the lucky fan then puts the ball up for sale on eBay, potential buyers with be able to check the database to ensure that they are dealing with the rightful owner of the authentic ball hit by this player in this game on this date." This will be especially helpful in avoiding fraud and confusion for balls involved in home run records, such as with Bonds' current record 762nd homer... The image of baseball run by cigar chomping executives whom considered a pencil and a scorecard state of the art, has gone the way of flannel uniforms...


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