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Last modified: September 25, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 25 September 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

The Metadata Working Group (MWG) Publishes Image Metadata Guidelines
Adobe, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony; MWG Guidance Document

The Metadata Working Group has published "Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata" Version 1.0. This document describes how best to use existing standards such as Exif, IPTC, and XMP to address the key organizational metadata questions that most consumers have: (1) Who is involved with this image (who took it, who owns it, who's in it)? (2) What is interesting about this image? (3) Where is this image from? (4) When was this image created or modified? An overview is presented in the announcement: "Metadata Working Group Introduces First Specification for Interoperability and Preservation of Metadata in Digital Photography. Adobe, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia, and Sony form Metadata Working Group." Metadata, sometimes referred to as 'data about data,' is important to digital photography because it allows photographers to tag their digital photos with information such as where and when they were taken. For both professional photographers and consumers, this enables basic activities such as being able to find and share photos. Although the digital photography industry has several metadata standards, these existing standards often overlap in purpose and lack interoperability guidance. The result is that many interoperability scenarios between devices, applications and services are not possible because no clearly defined rules and standards exist to ensure consistent use. The Metadata Working Group's initial guidelines target still photo metadata, with a focus on common consumer uses. The guidelines also identify overlapping content between existing standards and schemas... Digital images are stored in a variety of common file formats such as TIFF, JPEG and PSD as well as proprietary formats such as RAW. Each file format has unique rules regarding how metadata formats must be stored within the file. Within image file formats, metadata can be stored within a variety of common metadata container formats such as Exif/TIFF IFDs, Adobe XMP, Photoshop Image Resources (PSIR) and IPTC-IIM. Each metadata container format has unique rules regarding how metadata properties must be stored, ordered and encoded within the container. Within metadata container formats, metadata can be stored within a variety of semantic groupings. Examples of these groupings are Exif's GPS, XMP's Dublin Core, and IPTC-IIM's Application Record...

See also: the specification

MapReduce Programming with Apache Hadoop
Ravi Shankar and Govindu Narendra,

Google and its MapReduce framework may rule the roost when it comes to massive-scale data processing, but there's still plenty of that goodness to go around. This article gets you started with Hadoop, the open source MapReduce implementation for processing large data sets. Authors Ravi Shankar and Govindu Narendra first demonstrate the powerful combination of map and reduce in a simple Java program, then walk you through a more complex data-processing application based on Hadoop. Finally, they show you how to install and deploy your application in both standalone mode and clustering mode. Are you amazed by the fast response you get while searching the Web with Google or Yahoo? Have you ever wondered how these services manage to search millions of pages and return your results in milliseconds or less? The algorithms that drive both of these major-league search services originated with Google's MapReduce framework. While MapReduce is proprietary technology, the Apache Foundation has implemented its own open source map-reduce framework, called Hadoop. Hadoop is used by Yahoo and many other services whose success is based on processing massive amounts of data. In this article we'll help you discover whether it might also be a good solution for your distributed data processing needs... We'll start with an overview of MapReduce, followed by a couple of Java programs that demonstrate the simplicity and power of the framework. We'll then introduce you to Hadoop's MapReduce implementation and walk through a complex application that searches a huge log file for a specific string. Finally, we'll show you how to install Hadoop in a Microsoft Windows environment and deploy the application—first as a standalone application and then in clustering mode.

Facilities Management Solutions (FMS)
John Bishop,

Most traditional Building Automation System (BAS) vendors deliver an unsustainable architecture due to proprietary hardware, software and a single vendor-supplied solution for the entire application. With our solution, the SCADA environment is decoupled from the control environment, unlocking the architecture for open, competitive and consistent supervisory solutions while also enabling competitive bids for the control layer. In addition, the supervisory layer software is decoupled from the hardware providing the capability to upgrade each component separately as technology changes occur and customer needs evolve... As more advanced applications are developed and as 'green' sustainable solutions are demanded, customers indicate that regulatory compliance is an ever changing, difficult to implement and resource-intensive requirement to satisfy and maintain throughout their enterprise. Regulatory compliance has been a driving issue in many of the typical applications deployed with this software. Integral to the framework are services designed to satisfy even the most stringent regulatory issues and are available for every application... Several trade and technology organizations have built into their charter the collaborative process of creating a set of data communications standards that enable their end-user customers the options of implementing a solution from multiple vendors. In the industrial environment, DDE, NetDDE (developed by Wonderware and provided to Microsoft), Modbus, OPC, SNMP and XML are typical supported protocols. Consistent application standards such as S95 (the international standard for the integration of enterprise and control systems) and S88 (a consistent set of standards and terminology for batch control which defines the physical model, procedures, and recipes) are established standards are also supported. Additionally, data access servers for BACnet and LonMark with utilities devoted for application development and automatic network, device and object creation services built in for system integration simplicity. Standards can be utilized more broadly when other benefits are recognized throughout the enterprise of an organization. As the most experienced personnel in the operations department prepare for retirement, facilities managers are faced with potentially losing valuable and irreplaceable domain knowledge. Our software can help capture this knowledge and preserve the investment in workforce capital through the use of object templates which can be tested, debugged, optimized and reused throughout the organization. All systems, devices, applications and assets within facilities can be modeled as templates, enabling the building of the entire solution with approved standards.

See also: BACnet references

"Getting Real" with RDF and SPARQL
Benjamin Nowack,

The "Getting Real" approach by Web 2.0 poster child 37signals reverses the usual development process (from model to code to user interface) by going "from brainstorm to user interface sketches to HTML to coding." Principles such as, "Don't write a functional specification," or "Essentials only" can help developers stay focused and thus reduce the time-to-launch. The Resource Description Framework (RDF) supports and accelerates many code-oriented aspects of Getting Real. For illustration, this article describes how to create dooit, a simple to-do list manager—a nice type of software that is usually prone to feature creep during the design phase. The Getting Real process starts by formulating the overall application idea, followed by identifying the core feature set. In dooit's case, this includes a tool to add, edit, and tick off taggable to-do items. The second step is to create paper sketches, and after that, static HTML screens are created... When you are satisfied with the HTML mockups, you continue by setting up the backend and then start programming. Instead of a conventional web framework, dooit was programmed with Trice, which is an RDF-based system. Why RDF Instead of a Classical Relational Database? RDF provides a data model that can represent any piece of information as a graph fragment (i.e., as nodes and relations between nodes). The handy side-effect of this graph model is that it can freely evolve and changes are cheap. You simply add relations and nodes, and the RDF system takes care of the storage layer. No need to ponder over tables and column types, no messing with the database when the schema changes, and no complicated JOIN syntax to retrieve information any more (querying also takes place at the graph, and not at the storage level). Every set of two nodes (subject and object, in RDF parlance) connected by a directed relation (the predicate) forms a so-called triple. RDF Graph Representation of a To-do Item: The graph consists of five triples. Predicates are always represented as web identifiers (URIs), the single subject and the ical:Vtodo object values are URIs, too. The remaining objects are literals. Of course, you don't want to draw circles and arrows all the time in order to use RDF. There are several serialization formats available, for example, the W3C-recommended RDF/XML syntax, or RDFa, a syntax to embed graph data in HTML. This article uses Turtle, a text notation that is easy to read and write, but it's also machine-readable...

Oracle Upgrades WebLogic SIP Server for Multimedia
Vance McCarthy, Integration Developer News

Oracle Corp. is now shipping Communications Converged Application Server 4.0, based on BEA's WebLogic SIP Server. The upgraded CCAS allows network operators, equipment providers, SI and ISVs to develop, deliver and operate multimedia communications services in real time. The CCAS announcement was made during September's Oracle Open World in San Francisco. CCAS is a converged Web/communications application development and deployment platform, combining Internet and communications capabilities with carrier-grade high availability, performance, scalability and reliability. Oracle called CCAS 'a key component of the Oracle Communications Service Delivery product portfolio'. Notably, CCAS is the first commercial SIP/IP-Multimedia Subsystem application compliant with the JSR 289 standard. CCAS provides these carrier-grade HA services through clustering, replication and geographic redundancy. The CCAS architecture would also allow multimedia service providers to eliminate single points of failure, and avoid service disruptions or catastrophic failures in their telecommunications networks. CCAS also provides advanced operation, administration and management tools to help streamline and optimize network operations, lower the total cost of creating services, according to Oracle.

JSR 311 Final: Java API for RESTful Web Services
Stefan Tilkov, InfoQueue

"In February 2007, Sun announced 'JSR 311: The Java API for RESTful Web Services'. Yesterday, the draft 1.0 specification passed the JCP EC approval ballot, which essentially means it is now final. JAX-RS is an annotation-based API for implementing RESTful web services, based on HTTP, in Java. Essentially, classes and methods are annotated with information that enables a runtime to expose them as resources -- an approach that is very different from the one exposed by the servlet programming model. A runtime that implements JAX-RS mediates between the HTTP protocol and the Java classes, taking into account URIs, requested and accepted content types, and HTTP methods. In addition to the Sun-provided reference implementation, Jersey, other implementations are available (in various stages of completion): as part of the popular Restlet framework, the JBoss RESTeasy project, and as part of the Apache CXF web services stack. InfoQueue spoke to the spec leads, Sun's Marc Hadley and Paul Sandoz about their view on JAX-RS and the process. Asked how happy they are with the result, Mark said he's pretty satisfied with how the API has turned out. He also considers it very fortunate that so many implementations were built while the expert group was working on the API and that this has really helped to smooth out any rough edges. Paul added that there were developers willing to play with versions of the API, give those implementations a test drive, and provide feedback... When the JSR was initiated, there were some doubts in the REST community about its chance of complying with REST's key principles. Mark thinks this goal has been met: 'I think the API encourages a resource-centric view and makes developers think about the identifiers of their resources and the methods they support. Declarative support for content negotiation works well and the default resource life-cycle encourages a stateless approach. If I had to identify a weakness it would have to be limited support for hypermedia as the engine of state—whilst we provide good support for extracting information from request URIs and building URIs to resources, its still very much left to the developer to use hypermedia in representations appropriately'... Mark confirmed that Jersey is not just a reference implementation, but definitely usable for production, and that there are live deployments already. He also pointed out that Jersey will be the Glassfish JSR 311 implementation and needs to be production quality because of this."

See also: the text for JSR 311


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