The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: July 29, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 29 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:
Oracle Corporation

W3C Announces Standards to Improve Browsing the Web on Mobile Devices
Staff, W3C Announcement

Two new W3C Recommendations will make it easier for people to browse the Web on mobile devices. People who want to use the Web while on the go face several challenges, including hardware and software diversity, device constraints, and bandwidth limitations. "Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0" helps content authors face those challenges and develop content that works on a wide array of mobile devices. Authors and other content producers will find practical advice for managing user experience challenges such as data input and page scrolling. Until today, content developers faced an additional challenge: a variety of mobile markup languages to choose from. With the publication of the "XHTML Basic 1.1" Recommendation today, the preferred format specification of the Best Practices, there is now a full convergence in mobile markup languages, including those developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). The W3C mobileOK checker, when used with the familiar W3C validator, helps developers test mobile-friendly Web content... According to Juniper Research, 'the global market for Mobile Web 2.0 will be worth $22.4 billion in 2013, up from $5.5 billion currently.' Keeping pace with this trend, the Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group published today the first draft of the next generation of guidelines, Mobile Web Application Best Practices, aimed at mobile Web applications. While the "original" best practices document focused on traditional Web browsing, the new guidelines will focus on the use of Web applications and widgets for user interaction opportunities on mobile devices. For example, mobile content providers might use Web applications together with geolocation information to provide users with richer location-based services and interfaces. W3C is also developing resources to help authors understand how to create content that is both mobile-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities. A draft of Relationship between Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is jointly published by the The Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group and WAI's Education & Outreach Working Group (EOWG). The MWBP Working Group participants, including key leaders from the mobile industry and representatives of the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) sponsors, are declaring their support for today's set of published mobile Web technologies."

See also: the XHTML Basic 1.1 W3C Recommendation

Relational Database Integration with RDF/OWL
Bob DuCharme,

Web Ontology Language (OWL) ontologies allow you to describe data and relationships between data items. Common examples of this include complex knowledge domains such as pharmacology, but you can use OWL ontologies with simple, straightforward data that most companies already have stored in a relational database package. When you add metadata to existing data, and then use that metadata to query the data collection, you get more value out of that data. Data is the most important asset of many organizations, so the use of standards-based technology to query data collections is becoming more and more attractive. The primary goal of this article is to put together a demonstration of how you can use OWL to integrate two relational databases, and then perform queries against the aggregate collection to answer realistic questions that you could not answer without the addition of an OWL ontology... After the data was loaded into MySQL, the following steps made these queries possible: First, I used the D2RQ interface to extract an RDF representation of the relational data. Then, using the open-source ontology editor SWOOP, I automatically generated the mundane, repetitive parts of the ontology. Continuing with SWOOP, I did some pointing and clicking to identify relationships between fields in the two databases that enable the execution of the use case queries. I then pulled the RDF/OWL syntax generated by SWOOP into its own file separate from the instance data to let me use it with future versions of the instance data as the address book databases get updated. Using the OWL reasoner Pellet, I issued queries in the W3C standard SPARQL query language against the data/metadata combination, getting more complete answers than would have been possible just querying against one of the databases without the metadata that identifies the connections between the two... To enhance data by adding metadata to it, a full dump of the data is not very practical. Instead of dumping all of the relational data to an RDF representation each time the database is changed in order to allow Pellet to query an up-to-date data/metadata combination, it would be nice to translate SPARQL queries on the fly to SQL queries, letting us issue SPARQL queries directly against the relational data. This, in fact, is what D2RQ does, but D2RQ currently offers no way to load ontology triples into the knowledge base along with the relational data, unless you want to try storing the OWL statements in a relational table, which could be very interesting. D2RQ isn't the only project making such technology available, but it is free, and as more software supports SPARQL and OWL, the combination will provide us with some great new possibilities in getting more out of our relational databases.

See also: W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL)

Thinking XML: Firefox 3.0 and XML
Uche Ogbuji, IBM developerWorks

This article surveys new features in Firefox 3.0 for XML processing, including how the added EXSLT extensions open up fresh possibilities for XSLT on the browser. The XML space includes a huge stack of technologies, but it still all begins with the parser; Firefox 3 introduces one huge improvement to basic XML parsing. In the past on Mozilla browsers, parsing an XML document was synchronous, blocking all operations on the document until it was fully loaded. Contrast this to HTML parsing which has always been asynchronous so that parts of the document become available as they're parsed. To the user, this meant he starts to see how a Web page shaped up before the browser had completely processed the page; on the other hand, with XML documents the user saw nothing at all until it was completely parsed. This was a usability problem that served as an unfortunate deterrent for processing large XML documents. In Firefox 3.0, construction of the XML content model is incremental, much as it is for HTML. This will make a big difference for practical use of XML on the Web... The biggest win for those looking to use XSLT in Firefox is support for EXSLT, a set of XSLT extensions developed and sanctioned by the XSLT community and supported in many other XSLT processors. Firefox 3.0 adds support for a large subset of EXSLT, starting with the node-set function, an important workaround for XSLT 1.0's most severe limitation. EXSLT is organized into modules, each of which defines several extension functions and elements... For users of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), everyone's favorite XML showpiece, Firefox 3.0 offers even more goodies. It now supports patterns and masks which give you more options for rich effects; all SVG 1.1 filters are supported. You can now apply SVG transforms to any old Web browser object so that for example you might decide to rotate an IFRAME by 45 degrees, a trick that would usually require the Canvas facility. The Mozilla team has filled out SVG DOM support and along the way, squashed a lot of bugs. Some will comment that XML has not had the expected success on the Web, but there is certainly a lot you can already accomplish with XML in browsers and thanks to continuing development in Web browsers, more and more becomes possible each year. Firefox 3.0 is an important milestone with its core performance improvements for XML processing, as well as the enhancements to XSLT, DOM, and SVG.

See also: the web site

Microsoft Article Authoring Add-in Supports NLM XML Format
Pablo Fernicola, Blog

Microsoft recently announced the Release Candidate build of an Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 designed to enhance the authoring of scientific and technical articles, including support for the National Library of Medicine XML format. This add-in enables reading and writing of XML-based documents in the format used by the National Library of Medicine for archiving scientific articles. The add-in supports: (1) Open/Save files into the National Library of Medicine XML format. XML documents in the NLM format can be opened from within Word, edited, and saved, both as Word files and back again as XML; it also includes support for the NLM book format. (2) Access to Metadata from within the Word user interface. Author, article, and journal metadata is accessible through the user interface exposed by the add-in, enabling the editing of all information that is part of the NLM format. Software developers can also write tools and applications to create or access this data programmatically, for example connecting the data in a document to a database. (3) Incorporating NLM semantic elements within the Word document. Starting with Sections, semantic elements appear explicitly within the document, and enable authoring in a more structured manner, better preparing the document contents for analysis, validation, and search. (4) Ability to create and use templates. The add-in installs a set of example templates: a blank article template, a blank book chapter template, and a sample article template with keywords and sections. The blank articles are particularly useful for starting new articles, or for providing structure to content pasted in from another document. We feel that the add-in supports the evolution to the greater use of XML as the underlying format for archiving articles. Specially as part of the transition to electronic-first or electronic only publishing, the add-in should prove useful in generating XML content, without having first to take articles through the traditional print oriented and page layout based processes. The resulting XML content can then be transformed for presentation, making use of the semantic information in the document to determine presentation parameters. In addition, the add-in should be particular useful to journals/publishers in the biomedical fields, where many articles are now required to be submitted to PubMed Central for archival.

See also: the announcement

Beyond XML: Will Language Overload Force Open Enterprises?
Sean Michael Kerner,

XML's co-author Tim Bray argues that it's no longer good enough to be a one-language shop. There was a time when Java and C# were all an enterprise developer really needed to know in terms of programming languages. Today, that's no longer the case. Language proliferation and integration is becoming a key development challenge as enterprises find themselves adopting a variety of languages for mission-critical applications. To Tim Bray, Director of Web technologies at Sun and the co-author of XML, not only is an era of language proliferation upon us, the sole way an enterprise can cope is to be open. Bray argued that in the last few years, Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP and other development languages are now being used for mission-critical enterprise applications. The days when the CIO could say they're a Java or .NET shop just aren't here anymore. For Sun, the need to understand language diversity isn't just a curiosity—it's also good business strategy. The issue of language proliferation isn't just limited to programming languages, either. It also extends to wire messaging formats as well, which has seen the rise of formats like the popular JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), for use in AJAX-type applications as a replacement for XML. More recent efforts include Google's Protocol Buffers, intended as a faster and simpler format than XML for certain types of data interchange... Bray comes to the issue from a unique perspective. As a co-author of the original XML specifications, he helped create a language that at one point had been intended to become the lingua franca for all Web communications... However, in today's world of language proliferation, Bray has another favorite approach for exchanging information. "I am a strong partisan of the REST approach, which provides a Web-based approach for integration of anything to anything...

See also: Tim Bray's Ongoing Blog

Simpler Ajax and Java Development: Create JSF-like Components with JSP
Andrei Cioroianu, IBM developerWorks

JavaServer Pages (JSP) and JavaServer Faces (JSF) used to have different variants of the Expression Language (EL). Their unification in JSP 2.1 opened new possibilities, allowing you to use deferred values and deferred method attributes in your custom JSP tags. JSP and JSF are the most important Java standards that we use today for building Web applications. The philosophies of these two technologies are quite different, however. With JSP, the underlying mechanisms are simple, you control what is happening, and you have the freedom to do things how you want. JSF adds some complexity and processing overhead, but the application model is standardized, which means tools can do more for you, vendors can provide component libraries, and developers can focus on building applications... If you like simplicity or if you need to develop a Web application quickly, you can use the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL) in combination with tag files and dynamic attributes. You'll be able to customize your components very easily, controlling the HTML output and the HTTP requests... This article series demonstrates how to simplify Ajax and Java development, using JSP tag files, JSP EL, JSTL, dynamic attributes, code generators, conventions, and JavaScript object hierarchies.

See also: JavaServer Pages Technology

An Overview of the eXo Portal Platform
Benjamin Mestrallet and Tugdual Grall, InfoQueue

This article provides an overview of the eXo platform, the Portlet 1.0 (JSR 168) and Portlet 2.0 (JSR 286) specifications. Topics covered include new features in the eXo Web 2.0 Portal, new capabilities in the Portlet 2.0 API, Inter-portlet communication, the eXo Java Content Repository, eXo Enterprise Content Management and the eXo business model. "eXo is the first portal offering to provide full support -- consumer and provider—of the new Java Portlet 2.0 API (JSR 286) and Web Service Remote Portlet 2.0 (WSRP). This announcement is the opportunity to take a look to the new features provided by eXo Portal, Portlet-Container and Enterprise Content Management (ECM)... The new version of eXo Portal is built on what was introduced in the previous version, and we eliminated the user complexity which the extensible model added thanks to Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX. Indeed, eXo was the first to introduce the concept of dynamic layouts at a time when most other portals were using static layouts. The main difference is that, with dynamic layouts, you are managing a tree of nested containers, the leaves of which are the portlets. The containers are responsible for the layout of their children, just like when manipulating Swing UI objects. The container renderers which are available out of the box will display children either in rows, columns or tabs. As a result, moving a container from one location to another is just a tree manipulation on the data structure side. On the client side we have used JavaScript code to create Drag-and-Drop libraries which ease that tree manipulation. Therefore, it is possible to not only drag and drop containers and portlets inside the page, but also to drag into the page a type of container or portlet... Widgets are full JavaScript components that communicate with the server using the REST protocol. In a future version, these will be based on the Google OpenSocial standard. eXo Portal 2.0 is also a full AJAX portal, which means that when you move from one page to another only a part of the screen is refreshed. To do so, we use the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest object to call the server asynchronously each time a page is changed or the content of one or several portlets in the page have to be modified—as in the case when one portlet sends a message to another one using JSR 286 standard calls. This of course greatly improves the server calls since, unless events are sent, only one render() is necessary. This is contrast to the normal use case in which every portlet has to render its fragment, which takes much more time (even if it is cached). At each request, the portal returns an XML file that wraps all of the different HTML fragments which are to be updated in the page...

See also: the overview


XML Daily Newslink and Cover Pages sponsored by:

IBM Corporation
Oracle Corporation
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

XML Daily Newslink:
Newsletter Archive:
Newsletter subscribe:
Newsletter unsubscribe:
Newsletter help:
Cover Pages:

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: