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Last modified: August 21, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 21 August 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 Publishes Last Call Working Drafts for POWDER
Matt Womer, W3C Staff Announcement

On behalf of the W3C Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER) Working Group, Staff Contact Matt Womer announced the decision of the WG to publish three Recommendation track documents in the POWDER suite as Last Call Working Drafts. This W3C Working Group was chartered to "specify an RDF vocabulary for specifying authorship of and authentication of Description Resources, a specification for associating a Description Resource with a class of Web resources, predicates for declaring classes of resources based on string functions of the resource URIs, and a protocol for accessing Description Resources. POWDER provides a mechanism to describe and discover web resources and helps the users to make a decision whether the resource is of interest. There are a variety of use cases: from providing a better means to describing web resources and creating trustmarks to aiding in content discovery, child protection and semantic web searches. There are two varieties of POWDER: a complex, semantically rich variety, called POWDER-S, and a much simpler version, just called POWDER, which is intended as the primary transport mechanism for Description Resources. POWDER-S can be generated automatically from POWDER. The Last Call review period ends 14-September-2008, and the WG looks forward to all and any feedback. They seek opinions particularly on the following: (a) use of arbitrary RDF in POWDER documents; (b) HTTP Link header usage; (c) defining 'wdrs:issuedby' as a subproperty of both 'foaf:maker' and 'dcterms:creator'. Comments are equally welcome on the other documents that are also available as working drafts, in particular, the Primer and Test Suite, as identified below. The two Working Drafts that are expected to become Working Group Notes. (1) "Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER): Formal Semantics" describes how the relatively simple operational format of a POWDER document can be transformed through two stages: first into a more tightly constrained XML format (POWDER-BASE), and then into an RDF/OWL encoding (POWDER-S) that may be processed by Semantic Web tools. Such processing is only possible, however, if tools implement the semantic extension defined within this document. The formal semantics of POWDER are best understood after the reader is acquainted with the Description Resources and Grouping of Resources documents. (2) "POWDER: Description Resources" details the creation and lifecycle of Description Resources (DRs), which encapsulate such metadata. These are typically represented in a highly constrained XML dialect that is relatively human-readable. The meaning of such DRs are underpinned by formal semantics, accessible by performing a GRDDL Transform. (3) "POWDER: Grouping of Resources" describes how sets of IRIs can be defined such that descriptions or other data can be applied to the resources obtained by dereferencing IRIs that are elements of the set. IRI sets are defined as XML elements with relatively loose operational semantics. This is underpinned by the formal semantics of POWDER which include a semantic extension, both defined separately. A GRDDL transform is associated with the POWDER namespace that maps the operational to the formal semantics. (4) The "POWDER: Primer" overviews the POWDER Suite, providing a summary of each document in the specification set. (5) "POWDER: Test Suite" describes and presents POWDER test cases that aim to indicate the correct formats of POWDER documents and illustrate various crucial aspects on the usage of POWDER documents, such as locating a document and infering information from it.

See also: the announcement

Requirements for Authority-to-Individuals Communication for Emergency Situations
Steve Norreys (et al., eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Emergency Context Resolution with Internet Technologies (ECRIT) Working Group have published an Internet Draft "Requirements for Authority-to-Individuals Communication for Emergency Situations." This WG has published several RFCs and Internet Drafts for XML-based protocols to support delivery of emergency service calls within systems which require both an association of the physical location of the originator with an appropriate emergency service center and call routing to deliver the call to the center. This 'Requirements' document summarizes requirements for protocols to alert individuals within a defined geographic area. "During large-scale emergencies, public safety authorities need to reliably communicate with citizens in the affected areas, to provide warnings, indicate whether citizens should evacuate and how, and to dispel misinformation. Accurate information can reduce the impact of such emergencies. Traditionally, emergency alerting has used church bells, sirens, loudspeakers, radio and television to warn citizens and to provide information. However, techniques such as sirens and bells provide limited information content; loud speakers cover only very small areas and are often hard to understand, even for those not hearing impaired or fluent in the local language. Radio and television offer larger information volume, but are hard to target geographically and do not work well to address the 'walking wounded' or other pedestrians. Both are not suitable for warnings, as many of those needing the information will not be listening or watching at any given time, particularly during work/school and sleep hours. This problem has recently been illustrated by the London underground bombing on July 7, 2006, as described in a government report. The UK authorities could only use broadcast media and could not, for example, easily announce to the 'walking wounded' where to assemble. This document summarizes key requirements for IP-based protocols to enhance and complement existing authority-to-citizen warning systems. These protocols may either directly reach the citizen or may be used to trigger more traditional alerts, such as, among many others, displays in subway stations, electronic bill boards, or SMS... This document reuses requirements captured outside the IETF, namely: (1) ETSI TS 102 182, V1.2.1, Technical Specification, Emergency Communications (EMTEL); Requirements for communications from authorities/organizations to individuals, groups or the general public during emergencies", December 2006. (2) "3GPP TR 22.968, V1.0.0, 3rd Generation Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects; Study for requirements for a Public Warning System (PWS), from 3GPP Organizational Partners (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TTA, TTC).

See also: the IETF ECRIT WG Status Pages

Fifth Standards Development Organizations (SDO) Emergency Services Workshop
Hannes Tschofenig, Conference Announcement

On behalf of the SDO Emergency Services Workshop program chairs, Hannes Tschofenig provided a status update for the next emergency services workshop. The workshop will be in Vienna, Austria, from the October 21, 2008 to October 23, 2008. The host for this workshop is Frequentis AG. "Summoning police, fire department, ambulance or other emergency services in case of emergency is one of the fundamental and most-valued functions of the telephone. As telephone functionality moves from circuit-switched telephony to Internet telephony, its users rightfully expect that this core functionality will continue to work at least as well as is has for the older technology. New devices and services are being made available which could be used to make a request for help which are not traditional telephones, and users are increasingly expecting them to be used to place emergency calls. However, many of the technical advantages of Internet multimedia require re-thinking of the traditional emergency calling architecture. This challenge also offers an opportunity to improve the operation of emergency calling technology, while potentially lowering its cost and complexity..." The high-level goals of the SDO emergency services coordination workshops are: (1) To learn more about the ongoing and upcoming emergency related work; (2) To synchronize standardization efforts; (3) To provide and to receive feedback One of the main goals of the emergency services workshop series is to build a community of emergency services experts. In order to enable workshop attendees to interact in an informal setting, the organizers have set up social events during the evenings of workshop days. "This is a public workshop and hence everyone may join. Based on based workshops, we expect participants from standardization organizations, regulators, researchers, VoIP providers, network operators, and stakeholders from the PSAP operator community. On the first workshop day we will offer a tutorial to allow newcomers to get up-to-date with the past standardization efforts. The policy panel aims to target people with an interest in policy and regulatory aspects. On the second day updates from various standardization organizations are provided. This will allow participants to learn about the most recent activities and to hear about challenges and the upcoming work that is being planned. With the end of the second day we are planning to finish the ciritzen-to-authority emergency services theme in order to start the third workshop day with authority-to-citizen and authority-to-authority emergency services." The ESW tries to bring together many of the diverse stakeholders in the next-generation emergency services system, including SDOs, network and PSAP operators, and regulators.

See also: the Emergency Services Workshop Series

OASIS TC Formed to Standardize WS-Discovery, SOAP-over-UDP, and DPWS
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS announced the formation of a new Technical Committee to define a lightweight subset of the Web services protocol suite that will make it easy to find, share, and control devices on a network. The OASIS Web Services Discovery and Web Services Devices Profile (WS-DD) Technical Committee will enable printers, storage devices, sensors, building security devices, entertainment systems, energy management equipment, hand-held computers, cell phones, remote controls, and many other devices to be identified, communicated with, and controlled using Web services. The OASIS WS-DD Technical Committee will base its work on contributions of the WS-Discovery, SOAP-over-UDP (User Datagram Protocol), and DPWS (Devices Profile for Web Services) specifications. Initially developed by a private group of software vendors, these specifications are already being deployed. It's estimated, for example, that at least 117 automation and audio-visual products from 37 different vendors currently support DPWS. "Advancing this work through the open standards process offers tangible benefits for device and platform vendors, developers and consumers alike," said Colleen Evans of Microsoft, convener of the OASIS WS-DD Technical Committee. "These standards will enable the development of a new generation of enterprise-enabled resources which can be automatically discovered and then function seamlessly together." WS-DD will prescribe how to use elements of core Web services specifications to dynamically discover and describe a Web service. It will also enable the secure exchange of messages, and allow devices to subscribe and receive events from a Web service. WS-DD will be offered for implementation on a Royalty-Free basis. Participation in the OASIS WS-DD Technical Committee remains open to all interested parties. Archives of the work will be accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS will offer a mechanism for public comment. Sriram Rajagopalan, Director of Program Management for Windows Device and Storage Technologies at Microsoft: "The formation of the WS-DD Technical Committee is an important milestone and builds upon mature WS-* base protocols by expanding the scope to include the wide variety of devices being used today in homes and enterprises. Defining protocols for discovering, securely consuming and exposing Web services in a lightweight footprint that suits these devices has the potential to greatly broaden the reach of Web services to meet customers' needs. Discovery of enterprise resources, whether devices or Web services, can help make large scale SOA implementations more robust and simpler to manage."

See also: the TC FAQ document

The Power of Tests: New Licenses Promote Collaboration
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C has announced its new Licenses for W3C Test Suites. The two licenses are designed to promote two goals: (a) Enable developers to use test cases easily, and promote software development and bugtracking; (b) Enable a W3C Working Group to create a branded, "Authoritative W3C Test Suite" to reflect the group consensus process, and to promote interoperability and stability of performance claims. To achieve these goals, W3C now makes available Test Suites under two distinct licenses for two mutually exclusive uses: (1) A 3-clause BSD License for software development, bugtracking, and other applications that do not require assertions of performance to the public or implied claims of conformance to a W3C Specification. Under the 3-clause BSD License, tests can be copied, altered, and integrated into software development tools, bugtracking tools, etc. This license allows developers, commercial vendors, and open source projects to copy tests and alter them as they wish to test and improve their software. However, if changes are made, the derivative work must not be distributed with W3C logos, unless W3C gives explicit permission. (2) A W3C Test Suite License for an Authoritative W3C Test Suite or when claims of performance with respect to a specification are required. Under the W3C Test Suite license, a vendor neutral Test Suite is provided to the public, implementers and page authors so they may test performance of software or content with respect to a W3C Specification. Tests published under this license can be copied and used for any purpose, but no modifications are permitted. Consequently, performance claims can only be made against unaltered tests. Under this license, tests of a W3C Test Suite are protected by copyright and by the W3C trademark. Copies of tests from a W3C Test Suite created for the purpose of allowing assertion of performance claims with respect to W3C(R) Specifications are implicitly made under this license. The creation of a subset of a Test Suite is considered a derivative work, thus a violation of the rights of the collection. Consequently it either does not allow claims of performance and the use of the name W3C or it requires a special license from W3C. The choice of license is up to the licensee for every single use of tests from a W3C Test Suite. It will typically depend on usage requirements: the first one allows changes, the second does not. See below for how to use the licenses. W3C encourages community development of Test Suites and welcomes contributions (see policies for contribution of test cases to W3C), which will then be distributed under these two licenses. If you wish to contribute (e.g. altered) test cases, please contact the relevant Working Group and review the contribution policies.

See also: the Licenses for W3C Test Suites

Set Up a Center of Excellence for SOA
Ravi Subramaniam, IBM developerWorks

An SOA Center of Excellence (COE) is an organization that assimilates and promotes best practices, knowledge, and pragmatic leading-edge solutions in the area of SOA. The COE introduces rigor and discipline across various SOA initiatives and provides benefits by building skills and competency to sustain successful execution of increasingly complex SOA initiatives. SOA is an approach to building applications that align business and IT goals. Typically, the business side of the organization likes the concept of SOA because SOA promotes business flexibility and agility. An ability to quickly react to changing market conditions or competition drives better return on investment. An ability to bring new products to market quickly is important for business executives; therefore, the ability of the IT organization to quickly ramp up supporting processes and applications is a key factor. The IT side of the organization likes SOA because it promotes loosely coupled, open standards-based architecture design principles. Better design principles and component reuse promotes operational speed and efficiency and cost savings. A COE helps set the stage and guides project teams by providing guidelines and principles, methodology, best-practice references, and architecture decision support. The COE also provides a platform for team members to collaborate on key issues to promote successful outcomes... This article uses the example of a fictional company named Acme Electronic Parts Distribution, Inc. (hereafter also called Acme), which is a large, global distributor of electronic parts. Acme represents major manufacturers in parts, such as batteries and hardware, bridges and diodes, capacitors, connectors, inductors, LED displays, integrated circuits, and resistors. Acme also provides value-added services, such as programming, installation consulting, design services, and customized delivery. The company has strong partnerships with its customer base and key suppliers, and is rated highly for customer satisfaction, product expertise, and overall value.

Sun Open Sources Mobile Toolkit LWUIT
John K. Waters, Application Development Trends

Sun Microsystems has fulfilled a promise made this summer to release the source code for the Java ME-based light-weight UI toolkit (LWUIT) for mobile UI development to the community. LWUIT is a UI library designed to provide mobile app developers with a new tool set for creating rich, portable interfaces for their applications. The idea is to make it trivial to allow these apps run consistently across Java ME-enabled devices—primarily cell phones. Sun uses the adjectives "compelling and consistent" to describe the toolkit's capabilities and the impact of the visual components LWUIT is designed to support advanced features like style and "theming," animated transition effects, and integration with 3-D graphics and SVG. Sun debuted LWUIT (which Sun Vice President of Engineering Jeet Kaul pronounced "loo-it") at this summer's mobility-focused JavaOne conference, and just last week open sourced it under the GPLv2 w/Classpath Exception license. "We understand that, for mobile developers especially, it's all about content and content that's looking good," Yoav Barel, group manager in Sun's Engineering Services group, told this site. "But they have the added challenge of having to create great looking applications that have to run consistently across different platforms. And to do it in days, rather than weeks." LWUIT was inspired by Swing, observed Shai Almog, a longtime Java ME developer and one of the toolkit's key contributors, and it provides mobile developers with Swing-like features. Almog manages data security at Xpert Inc., a provider of architecture design and implementation for IP-based service providers, and owns Greenfield Online, which provides Internet survey and comparison shopping solutions.

See also: the tutorial

A Practical Guide to GPL Compliance
Bradley M. Kuhn, Aaron Williamson, Karen M. Sandler, Guidance Document

Produced by the Software Freedom Law Center, A Practical Guide to GPL Compliance explains effective compliance with the GNU General Public License (GPL) and related licenses. In accordance with the Software Freedom Law Center's (SFLC's) philosophy of assisting the community with GPL compliance cooperatively, this guide focuses on avoiding compliance actions and minimizing the negative impact when enforcement actions occur. It introduces and explains basic legal concepts related to the GPL and its enforcement by copyright holders. It also outlines business practices and methods that lead to better GPL compliance. Finally, it recommends proper post-violation responses to the concerns of copyright holders... GPL compliance need not be an onerous process. Historically, struggles have been the result of poor development methodologies and communications, rather than any unexpected application of the GPL's source code disclosure requirements. Compliance is straightforward when the entirety of your enterprise is well-informed and well-coordinated. The receptionists should know how to route a GPL source request or accusation of infringement. The lawyers should know the basic provisions of FOSS licenses and your source disclosure requirements, and should explain those details to the software developers. The software developers should use a version control system that allows them to associate versions of source with distributed binaries, have a well-documented build process that anyone skilled in the art can understand, and inform the lawyers when they bring in new software. Managers should build systems and procedures that keep everyone on target. With these practices in place, any organization can comply with the GPL without serious effort, and receive the substantial benefits of good citizenship in the FOSS community, and lots of great code ready-made for their products.

See also: InfoWorld


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