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Last modified: December 10, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

Balisage 2009 and Symposium on Processing XML Efficiently
B. Tommie Usdin, Conference Announcement

Conference organizers have issued a Call for Participation at Balisage 2009, the Markup Conference. Montréal in August has always been the place and time for serious markup geeks to meet. Balisage 2009 and the International Symposium on Processing XML Efficiently continue the tradition. Balisage is a peer reviewed conference designed to meet the needs of markup theoreticians and practitioners who are pushing the boundaries of the field. It's all about the markup: how to create it; what it means; hierarchies and overlap; modeling; taxonomies; transformation; query, searching, and retrieval; presentation and accessibility; making systems that make markup dance (or dance faster to a different tune in a smaller space)—in short, changing the world and the web through the power of marked-up information. The organizers welcome papers about topic maps, document modeling, markup of overlapping structures, ontologies, metadata, content management, and other markup-related topics at Balisage. If you want to present in detail on XML, XSL, SGML, LMNL, XSL-FO, XTM, RDF, XQuery, Topic Maps, SVG, MathML OWL, UBL, XSD, TexMECS, RNG, or any other markup-related topic, we urge you to participate in Balisage. On Monday August 10, 2009 there will be an International Symposium on Processing XML Efficiently: Overcoming Limits on Space, Time, or Bandwidth. The Symposium is chaired by Michael Kay (Saxonica). Developers have said it: "XML is too slow!", where slow can mean many things including elapsed time, throughput, latency, memory use, and bandwidth consumption. The aim of this one-day symposium is to understand these problems better and to explore and share approaches to solving them.

See also: Balisage 2008

W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web
Ben Caldwell, Michael Cooper (et al., eds), W3C Technical Report

Today W3C announced a new standard that will help Web designers and developers create sites that better meet the needs of users with disabilities and older users. Drawing on extensive experience and community feedback, the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0" specification improves upon W3C's groundbreaking initial standard for accessible Web content, apply to more advanced technologies, and are more precisely testable. W3C has also published supporting resources, including "Understanding WCAG 2.0," "Techniques for WCAG 2.0," and "How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A Customizable Quick Reference." This new standard from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) will advance accessibility across the full range of Web content (such as text, images, audio, and video) and Web applications. WCAG 2.0 can be more precisely tested, yet it allows Web developers more flexibility and potential for innovation. Together with supporting technical and educational materials, WCAG 2.0 is easier to understand and use. WCAG 2.0 addresses barriers to accessing the Web experienced by people with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities, and by older Web users with accessibility needs. WCAG 2.0 explains how to make content: (1) Perceivable—for instance, by addressing text alternatives for images, captions for audio, adaptability of presentation, and color contrast; (2) Operable—by addressing keyboard access, color contrast, timing of input, seizure avoidance, and navigability); (3) Understandable—by addressing readability, predictability, and input assistance; and (4) Robust—for instance by addressing compatibility with assistive technologies). Current and recent participants in the WCAG Working Group include Adobe, AOL, Google, IBM, International Webmasters Association/HTML Writers' Guild, Microsoft, NIST, SAP, and Vision Australia, and individual Invited Experts from research, disability, government and standards organizations in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States. In addition, the extensive public review process resulted in comments from hundreds of organizations and individuals around the world.

See also: the W3C announcement

Call for Participation: XML Prague 2009
James Fuller, Conference Announcement

A call for participation has been issued in connection with "XML Prague 2009." XML Prague is a conference on XML for developers, markup geeks, information managers, and students. In its fourth year, XML Prague focuses on emerging trends in core XML technologies and their application in the real world. The XML Prague conference will take place March 21-22, 2009 at Charles University in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. The conference is organized by the Universita Karlova v Praze Institute for Theoretical Computer Science. Confirmed Speakers include Murata Makoto, G. Ken Holman, Jeni Tennison, Alex Brown, and Norman Walsh. XML Prague 2009 is now welcoming submissions for presentations on the following topics: (1) XML Authoring; (2) Data Modeling/Definition and Schema Languages; (3) XML Vocabularies; (4) Generating and Transforming XML; (5) Markup Failures. January 9, 2009 is the deadline for paper proposals. Previous XML Prague conferences were sponsored by Microsoft, Sun, and other companies. Papers are available, along with video and full recordings of some presentations.

See also: previous XML Prague conferences

Ontologies and the Semantic Web
Ian Horrocks, Communications of the ACM (CACM)

The goal of semantic web research is to allow the vast range of web-accessible information and services to be more effectively exploited by both humans and automated tools. To facilitate this process, RDF and OWL have been developed as standard formats for the sharing and integration of data and knowledge — the latter in the form of rich conceptual schemas called ontologies. These languages, and the tools developed to support them, have rapidly become de facto standards for ontology development and deployment; they are increasingly used, not only in research labs, but in large scale IT projects... The availability of tools and reasoning systems has contributed to the increasingly widespread use of OWL, and it has become the de-facto standard for ontology development in fields as diverse as biology, medicine, geography, geology, agriculture, and defence. Applications of OWL are particularly prevalent in the life sciences where it has been used by the developers of several large biomedical ontologies, including the SNOMED, GO, and BioPAX ontologies,and the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) and the National Cancer Institute thesaurus... A key feature of OWL is its basis in Description Logics (DLs), a family of logic-based knowledge representation formalisms that are descendants of Semantic Networks and KL-ONE, but that have a formal semantics based on first-order logic. These formalisms all adopt an object-oriented model, similar to the one used by Plato and Aristotle, in which the domain is described in terms of individuals, concepts (called classes in RDF), and roles (called properties in RDF). Individuals, e.g., "Hedwig", are the basic elements of the domain; concepts, e.g., "Owl", describe sets of individuals having similar characteristics; and roles, e.g., "hasPet", describe relationships between pairs of individuals, such as "HarryPotter hasPet Hedwig"... The success of OWL brings with it, however, many challenges for the future development of both the OWL language and OWL tool support. Central to these is the familiar tension between requirements for advanced features, in particular increased expressive power, and raw performance, in particular the ability to deal with very large ontologies and data sets. Researchers have addressed these problems by investigating more expressive DLs, developing new and more highly optimised DL reasoning systems, and identifying smaller logics that combine useful expressive power with lower worst case complexity or other desirable computational properties. Results from these research efforts are now being exploited in order to refine and extend OWL, a new W3C Working Group having been formed for this purpose... [Note: a related publication "OWL Datatypes: Design and Implementation" (Proceedings of ISWC 2008) analyzes the datatype system of OWL and OWL 2, and discusses certain nontrivial consequences of its definition, such as the extensibility of the set of supported datatypes and complexity of reasoning. It argues that certain datatypes from the list of normative datatypes in the current OWL 2 Working Draft are inappropriate and should be replaced with different ones; a modular algorithm for datatype reasoning is provided to handle any datatype that supports certain basic operations.]

See also: Ian Horrocks' publication list

XML Schema 1.1, Part 1: An introduction to XML Schema 1.1
Neil Delima, Sandy Gao (et al.), IBM developerWorks

Since the XML Schema 1.0 specification became a W3C Recommendation in 2001, the developer community has discussed the merits and shortcomings of the language. The W3C XML Schema Working Group has worked on the next version of the language. In 2005, with the standard gaining wide adoption in the industry and its integration into many other standards including XSLT, XQuery and WSDL, the W3C hosted a workshop to reflect on user experiences and gather feedback to help guide the evolution of the language. This workshop along with the requests of other users in the community helped the XML Schema Working Group to shape the scope of the 1.1 version of the standard. In this first of a multi-part series of articles, authors Neil Delima, Sandy Gao, Michael Glavassevich, and Khaled Noaman introduce XML Schema 1.1 with an overview of the features introduced in this emerging standard and take an in-depth look at the additions and changes to the datatypes portion of the specification. They provide an overview of XML Schema 1.1, highlighting the pain points of XML Schema 1.0 and briefly how XML Schema 1.1 addresses several of these with examples of content model restriction, co-constraints and schema evolution through the use of wildcards. They then took an in-depth look at the enhancements made to the Datatypes portion of the specification, including the new data types and allowance for implementation-defined primitive types and facets. In Part 2 of the series, they will further explore the new co-constraint features, specifically assertions and the conditional type assignment mechanism.

New OASIS Discussion List for SmartGrid Technologies
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS members have requested the creation of a new discussion list regarding one or more possible new 'OASIS SmartGrid' Technical Committees. Company representatives listed as proposing the new list include Cox Software Architects LLC, Drummond Group, Echelon, IBM, and the University of North Carolina. Anyone, including OASIS members and non-members, may subscribe to this list in order to discuss the merits and possibility of the proposed project. The focus will be on building consensus around the benefits of applying interoperable enterprise and eCommerce standards to smart power grids and articulating a way forward for the industry. Architectural and implementation issues will be explored, with specific focus on market interactions and interactions with smart buildings. The goal of this discussion is to produce a clear action plan that will be supported by all major stakeholders. The members of the list will explore the formation of one or more OASIS technical committees under the new OASIS Blue initiative. Committee scope, charter, and deliverables will be discussed. Related conversations from Grid-Interop and other forums will be merged and continued here. The list name is: ''.

See also: the list archives


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