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Last modified: October 14, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 14 October 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

OpenOffice 3.0 Hits the Web
Ian Williams, has unveiled the third iteration of its open source productivity suite. The software is available as a free download for PC users and as a native Mac OS X application for the first time. Version 3.0 builds on the functionality available in a set of existing basic components, which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula and database capabilities. New features for the Writer word processor include a slider control for zooming which allows multi-page display while editing, multilingual support, improved notes capabilities and the ability to edit wiki documents for the web. The Calc spreadsheet can now cater for up to 1,024 columns per sheet and packs in an improved equation solver and a collaboration feature for multiple users to work on a spreadsheet simultaneously. The Draw graphics applications can now deal with poster-sized graphics of up to three square metres, while the Impress presentation module now boasts a fully featured table designer inside a presentation. A growing number of additional features from different developers include an Impress presenter console, support for business analytics, PDF import, creation of Hybrid PDF documents and a new way of supporting additional languages. OpenOffice has been hailed by many as the best alternative to Microsoft's Office suite. It has a very similar look and feel, and comparable features and functionality, but is free to download and is based on open file standards. The suite has also proved very popular as a standard installation on most netbooks and other mini-laptops...

See also: the announcement

AJAX World Keynoter Scott Guthrie Announces Silverlight 2 Final Release
Scott Guthrie, .NET Developer Journal

"Today [2008-10-13] we shipped the final release of Silverlight 2; you can download Silverlight 2, as well the Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Blend 2 tool support to target it... Silverlight 2 is a cross-platform browser plugin that enables rich media experiences and .NET RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) within the browser. Silverlight 2 is small in size (4.6MB) and takes only 4-10 seconds to install on a machine that doesn't already have it. It does not require the .NET Framework to be installed on a computer to run... Developers can write Silverlight applications using any .NET language (including VB, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby). Silverlight provides a rich set of features for development including: (1) a rich UI framework that makes building rich Web applications much easier; (2) a rich set of built-in controls that developers and designers can use to quickly build applications: core form controls (TextBox, CheckBox, RadioButton, ComboBox, etc), built-in layout management panels (StackPanel, Grid, Panel, etc), common functionality controls (Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar, DatePicker, etc), and data manipulation controls (DataGrid, ListBox, etc); (3) rich networking support with out of the box support for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS, and standard HTTP services; (4) a rich .NET base class library of functionality (collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc); (5) built-in video codecs for playing high definition video, as well as for streaming it over the web, including both live and on-demand support... Today we are also announcing the "Silverlight Toolkit" - which will deliver dozens of more controls that you can use with Silverlight 2. We will continually add new controls to the control pack over the next few months (we expect to ultimately have more than 100 controls total). The first release of the toolkit will include controls like TreeView, DockPanel, WrapPanel, ViewBox, Expander, NumericUpDown, AutoComplete and more. All controls will ship with full source, and with a OSI license that allows you to modify and use the source for any purpose... Today we are also announcing that Microsoft is partnering with Soyatec to sponsor additional tools for developing Silverlight applications using the cross platform Eclipse development platform. Click here to learn more about this and download the free Silverlight Eclipse plugin. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial that walks-through how to use their Eclipse tools today to build a Silverlight 2 application..." From the announcement: "Microsoft also will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary. The SCP, which will augment the powerful built-in control set in Silverlight, will be released under the Microsoft Permissive License, an Open Source Initiative-approved license, and includes controls such as DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete. The Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification, released under the Open Specification Promise (OSP), will better enable third-party ISVs to create products that can read and write XAML for Silverlight..."

See also: the Microsoft announcement

W3C PLS Standard Simplifies Creation of Speech-Enabled Web Applications
Paolo Baggia (ed), W3C Technical Report

W3C published today a standard that will simplify the development of Web applications that speak and listen to users. The "Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS) Version 1.0" is the newest piece of W3C's Speech Interface Framework for creating Web applications driven by voice and speech. PLS can reduce the cost of developing these applications by allowing people to share and reuse pronunciation dictionaries. "There are 10 times as many phones in the world as connected PCs; phones will become the major portal to the Web," said James A. Larson, co-Chair of the W3C Voice Browser Working Group, which produced the new standard. The PLS specification defines the syntax for specifying pronunciation lexicons to be used by Automatic Speech Recognition and Speech Synthesis engines in voice browser applications. W3C considers voice access to be one piece of more general "multimodal" access, where users can use combinations of means to interact: voice input, speech feedback, electronic ink, touch input, and physical gestures (such as those used in some video games). The Voice Browser Working Group and the Multimodal Interaction Working Group are coordinating their efforts to make the Web available on more devices and in more situations. Speech recognition is not yet widely associated with the 'visual Web', but this will change as devices continue to shrink and make keyboards impractical, and as cell phones become more prevalent in regions with low literacy rates... Asking for directions while driving and hearing the response through speech synthesis illustrates how practical "hands-free" applications can be to mobile users. Voice applications also benefit people with some disabilities (such as vision limitations) and people who cannot read...

See also: the announcement

OASIS Forms DITA for Technical Standards Subcommittee
Don Day, OASIS DITA TC Announcement

Members of the OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) TC have formed a new "DITA for Technical Standards Subcommittee" to enhance DITA for use with standards development and publishing. This would enable DITA to be used as 'A Standard for Standards'. The purpose of this new Subcommittee is to further the capabilities of the OASIS DITA standards to define, maintain, and promote the use of DITA for the creation, maintenance, and support of technical standards specifications. There are thousands of technical standards—some developed by formal standards organizations, some by informal associations, and others by individual organizations or consortia—many of which could benefit from a common standard for the creation and publication of their technical standards specifications. The principle benefits expected would be two fold; first a toolset that will reduce the time to develop standards, promote reuse, and greater consistency in their standards. For implementers, the benefits will be significant as well affording them a familiar common format and structure, ability to reuse content across standards, and potentially to develop their own specific implementation specifications leveraging the standards they are using. The first effort will be to assess and define common requirements for the maintenance and publication of technical standards. This will provide the common requirements for the specific capabilities that DITA should provide. Finally the group will create necessary enhancements to DITA standard and deliverables, including the DITA Open Toolkit with a Toolkit for Technical Specifications. Desired capabilities: (1) Support reuse of technical standard content so that common elements (topics) may be reused and provide a single normative source of informational elements across multiple technical standards; (2) Provide a common glossary, or set of common topics, for defining technical specifications so that within and across various standards organizations there may be relevant cross-use standards components (topics) amongst themselves; (3) Provide tools to support complementary development support processes in standards production including in addition to standard creation; ballot review, ballot production, voting history, and versioning; (4) Provide a ready-to-use, well designed, best-of-breed DITA toolset for maintaining and publishing various technical standards for use by technical standards development organizations (SDOs/SSOs) as well as any other organization desiring a common method for creating their technical standards and specifications, making it faster, easier and more reliable to produce technical specifications...

See also: DITA references

Mark Logic Extends Market Leadership with MarkLogic Server 4.0
Staff, Mark Logic Announcement

"Mark Logic Corporation today celebrated the launch of MarkLogic Sever 4.0, the newest version of its industry-leading XML server. MarkLogic 4.0 includes ground-breaking new features that provide dynamic geospatial support to build location-based applications, alerting capabilities to push content to users based on saved profiles, and entity enrichment for more precise search and navigation. MarkLogic Server 4.0 adds new geospatial capabilities that enable organizations to build location-based applications that search and analyze content enhanced with geospatial markup. Optimized for high performance and scalability, MarkLogic 4.0 provides built-in support for popular geospatial data tagging formats like GML, KML, and GeoRSS/Simple, as well as new geospatial query functions for point, radius, bounding box and polygon constraints. As information consumers become increasingly mobile, the delivery of information in the context of their physical location presents limitless possibilities for organizations to improve the relevance (and therefore, value) of content they deliver. For example, military personnel operating directly in the battlefield could search for background information germane to their next mission. MarkLogic 4.0 also includes built-in support for entity identification and inline markup. Based on technology licensed from Basis Technology Corporation, this new text mining feature works in 11 languages and identifies 18 different types of entities, including person, organization, location, credit card number, email address, latitude/longitude, date, and time. Customers can enrich content automatically, in order to develop powerful applications that rely on more sophisticated, structured queries. For example, one query might be to find all documents that have the name 'George Washington' in the title and the organization 'George Washington University' in the summary, without having the results include extraneous mentions of the 'George Washington Bridge.' Mark Logic is also introducing the Open Enrichment Framework, an initiative created to speed integration with third-party entity extraction engines and other content enrichment tools. In addition, several partners have already completed integration using the framework and will provide pre-built pipelines that deliver out-of-the-box integration with advanced entity extraction engine technologies... MarkLogic 4.0 enables users to create alerts so that as new content arrives (or existing content is updated) they can be immediately notified by their preferred method. Sometimes referred to as profiling, this functionally scales to millions of different rules, pushing the latest relevant information out to users faster and saving time by eliminating repeated searching for content of interest. MarkLogic Server 4.0 is now in full compliance with the W3C XQuery 1.0 recommendation. Mark Logic has hundreds of active XQuery-based deployments and has been an avid participant of the process to reach agreement on XQuery standards... It supports the ability to create modular documents for more efficient information reuse, with support for XPointer and XInclude, with mechanisms for merging XML documents.

See also: the product description

Citrix Project Kensho Technology Preview
Staff, Citrix Announcement

Citrix Systems, Inc., a global leader in application delivery infrastructure, has released a technology preview of Project Kensho, its toolkit for the development and deployment of portable virtual machine appliances in enterprises and clouds. First announced in July 2008, Citrix Project Kensho provides administrators with highly usable tools that facilitate the export and import of virtual machines and virtual machine based workloads (virtual appliances) using the Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) and Common Information Model (CIM) industry standards developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). The Project Kensho OVF Tool utilizes the DMTF OVF standard for the export and import of virtual appliances. The Open Virtual Machine Format is an XML document that describes the metadata of virtual machine(s) that are stand alone or part of a virtual appliance along with pointers to the location of the virtual disks. Citrix Project Kensho also provides a CIM interface to the XenServer API. As well as introducing a WSMAN interface to XenServer. The Xen-CIM component is required by the Project Kensho OVF Tool and installs directly on the XenServer... Citrix is partnering with rPath to extend Kensho to support the deployment of OVF appliances in infrastructure clouds, starting with Amazon EC2. This collaboration will allow Linux and Windows based OVF appliances created on XenServer, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 to be installed and run in the cloud and managed through their entire lifecycle... Winston Bumpus, DMTF president: "For ISVs who want to enable customers to quickly and easily deploy solutions in a heterogeneous environment, the DMTF OVF standard provides an open, secure, portable, efficient and extensible format for the packaging and distribution of virtual appliances. To help facilitate this, we rely on contributions from member companies like Citrix during the standard development process -- and we welcome the Citrix open source implementation to help speed adoption of the newest DMTF standard."

See also: the Citrix announcement

SourceForge jCAM implementation: XML Processor and XML Template Editor
David Webber, OASIS TC Announcement

On behalf of the OASIS Content Assembly Mechanism (CAM) Technical Committee, David RR Webber announced an update of the SourceForge jCAM implementation and the release of a tutorial. The SourceForge "XML Processor and XML Template Editor" is a Java implementation of OASIS CAM Standard for XML validation and assembly with visual Eclipse editor. It includes XSLT tools for ingesting XSD schema, creating HTML docs, XSD subset, XML test cases, and more (uses Saxon XSLT). Webber reports: "I'm very proud to announce that the jCAM implementation of OASIS CAM v1.1 available on SourceForge has passed 5,000 downloads and this week has been averaging 20 downloads a day... This is a huge tribute to the dedication and hard work of Martin Roberts particularly in building the Eclipse based jCAM implementation. We have also added a suite of XSLT tools to the jCAM package that provide ability to ingest and manipulate XSD schemas along with producing automated documentation and XML test case instances.   These have enabled us to work with a selection of OASIS TC's enhancing and crosschecking their XSD schema work... I look forward to sharing with the CAM team feedback and enhancements and improvements that we can now look to add to the next full release of the CAM specification..." Also available: "Tutorial on Using jCAM for Interoperable Exchanges." Goal is tools for better interoperability: clearer, quicker, easier. (1) Provide developers with tools to aid delivery, documenting and testing of solutions beyond XSD schema alone; (2) Provide extensible toolkit that can be customized easily; (3) Automate delivery of components for the publishing formal interoperability certification packages; (4) Leverage XML and open standards approach...

See also: the tutorial

SOA Governance Scenarios
Prabhakar Mynampati, IBM developerWorks

SOA governance is built with three pillars: (1) Policies: Define the decisions that must be made for effective management and realization of IT services. (2) Processes: Define how these decisions can be formed and enacted. (3) People: Decide who should make those decisions and who should own the rights for execution. All the three pillars are equally important in the functioning of SOA governance in an enterprise. After SOA governance is established, you can realize the business benefits of SOA, mitigate business risks, and improve team effectiveness in your organization... You need an appropriate governance process model in place to effectively realize the benefits of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) development life-cycle activities. This article describes SOA governance processes based on scenarios that are adopted in a typical enterprise during the SOA development life cycle. We take a close look at important life-cycle activities, such as service identification, service creation and reuse, service testing, service versioning and change management, service-level management (quality of service), and service security. The article discusses challenges that your organization might face in a typical SOA development life cycle and explains how to address these challenges by implementing governance subprocesses and by delegating certain roles and responsibilities to the respective layers of a governance body for each scenario... IBM's approach to governance includes two distinct aspects for success: definition and enforcement. The SOA Governance and Management Method (SGMM) is the end-to-end approach to definition through designing, implementing, and improving SOA governance. SGMM gives you a prescriptive approach to identifying all the elements needed to ensure proper governance, including identifying new roles and responsibilities, defining policies and metrics, and placing checkpoints inside the processes that IBM follows. During enforcement IBM distributes those policies among the different enforcement points, and monitors and measures the related metrics to improve the governance model...

Automatic Photo Tagging and Visual Image Search
Staff, DDJ

Researchers at Penn State University have developed a statistical approach, called Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures in Real-Time (ALIPR), that could make it easier to search the Internet for photographs -- and the public can participate in improving ALIPR's accuracy by visiting a designated Web site, uploading photographs, and evaluating whether the keywords that ALIPR uses to describe the photographs are appropriate. ALIPR works by teaching computers to recognize the contents of photographs, such as buildings, people, or landscapes, rather than by searching for keywords in the surrounding text, as is done with most current image-retrieval systems. The team recently received a patent for an earlier version of the approach, called ALIP, and is in the process of obtaining another patent for the more sophisticated ALIPR. They hope that eventually ALIPR can be used in industry for automatic tagging or as part of Internet search engines. "Our basic approach is to take a large number of photos—we started with 60,000 photos -- and to manually tag them with a variety of keywords that describe their contents. For example, we might select 100 photos of national parks and tag them with the following keywords: national park, landscape, and tree," said Jia Li. "We then would build a statistical model to teach the computer to recognize patterns in color and texture among these 100 photos and to assign our keywords to new photos that seem to contain national parks, landscapes, and/or trees. Eventually, we hope to reverse the process so that a person can use the keywords to search the Web for relevant images."


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