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Last modified: January 20, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Norbert Hannes Mikula: June 6, 1971 - January 13, 2009
Staff, Seattle Times Obituaries

"Norbert Hannes Mikula 37 years old. Born in Spittal, Austria on June 6, 1971. Passed away on January 13, 2009 in Bellevue, WA. Most recently, Norbert was employed at Microsoft. He is well known to many in the technology industry for more than a decade as a leader in the XML and interoperability standards areas and a key participant in the global community while employed not only at Microsoft but also at Intel and DataChannel. Those who worked with Norbert will remember his commitment to excellence and results, his forthright communication, the courage of his convictions and his sense of humor. Norbert is survived by his loving family, wife Linda; children Michelle, Michael & Kady; Grandmother Sternig; mother and father Annemarie & Emil Mikula; sister Silvia Mikula; brother-in-law Andreas Klug... Norbert's favorite charities were for the health and welfare of animals." Excerpts from the online Guest Book: (1) Carla Corkern (Mercer Island, WA): "I will always remember that Norbert was the reason I decided to sell ISOGEN to Datachannel in 1999. He was a great friend and an comember of the SGML Open Board of Directors before we became OASIS. I will always remember Norbert's sense of humor and the way he always took the high road on standards, as well as on ethical issues..." (2) Henry S. Thompson (Edinburgh): "Norbert was an important participant in the early growth of XML: his hard work and cheerful manner contributed to technical progress and the cooperative spirit of those times in equal and important measure..." (3) Carol Geyer (Sarasota, FL): "Norbert contributed intelligence, insight, and warmth to the international open standards community. It was a privilege to work with him when he served on the OASIS Board of Directors. No matter how complex or highly charged the issue, Norbert could always be counted on to inject a measure of common sense and good humor. He will be greatly missed by all of us..."

See also: the guest book

CEN/ISSS WS/eGov-Share: Reference Ontology and Metadata Schema
Staff, CEN/ISSS WS eGov-Share Public Review Document

On behalf of the and, Alain Dechamps announced that the CEN/ISSS WS eGov-Share has posted several drafts specifications (CWA). The CEN Workshop on 'Discovery of and Access to eGovernment Resources' (WS/eGov-Share) effort addresses "how existing eGovernment resources -- services, documentation, standards, processes, etc.—can be used and re-used with maximum benefit for the common good, particularly across politico-administrative boundaries. Discovery of and access to services is often difficult, often for sheer lack of classification, correct terminology or missing descriptions of services (in a wide sense), but also for lack of language or other semiotic skills. Among the eEHIC and eGov-Share CWA specifications for Public Comment is the "Reference Ontology and Metadata Schema." Full title: "CEN Workshop Agreement CEN/ISSS Workshop on Discovery of and Access to eGovernment Resources (CEN/ISSS WS/eGov-Share)—Sharing eGovernment resources: a practical approach for designers and developers—Part 1a: Reference Ontology and Metadata Schema." This document "specifies a reference ontology for eGovernment resources and a metadata schema building on that ontology. It also lists mappings for selected metadata schemata to the reference ontology and the metadata schema... Public authorities can aggregate information from many of the federated registries in- and outside of their own administration into portals and / or inner-agency information bases. Uniform and standardized mappings for the descriptions of services and other eGovernment resources across Europe is a prerequiste. It enables eGovernment resources to be retrievable across Europe and thus plays an important part in realizing an ecosystem of national and pan-European government services... Vocabularies and taxonomies are essential semantic assets for a common understanding and interpretation of properties. Their reuse is, however, currently limited as many of the key vocabularies are not yet available in standardized formats such as the RDF-based Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS). Such formats facilitate referencing and hence reusing specific terms in instance data that is mappable on this reference ontology. Sources used in the specification include: Dublin Core (DCMI Metadata Terms); FOAF (Friend-of-a-friend); SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System); ISO/IEC WD 24706 Information technology—Metadata for technical standards and specifications documents; ONIX (ONline Information eXchange) INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe) Draft Implementing Rules for Metadata; OWMS ( Web Metadata Standaard); EGMS (e-Government Metadata Standard). Full document list: CWA Part 0: Introduction; CWA Part 1a: Reference Ontology and Metadata Schema; CWA Part 1b: Protocol for the Syndication of Semantic Descriptions; CWA Part 2: Federated Terminological Resources; CWA Part 3: Establishment of a set of Soft Cultural Elements; CWA Part 4: Evaluation and Recommendations. eGov-Share contacts include the Workshop Chairman (Karl Wessbrandt), Workshop Secretariat (NEN; Tim Kniep), and CEN Management (Alain Dechamps).

See also: the Wiki source PDF

Use Cases and Requirements for Ontology and API for Media Object 1.0
WonSuk Lee, Tobias Buerger, Felix Sasaki (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Media Annotations Working Group, part of the W3C Video on the Web Activity, have released a First Public Working Draft for "Use Cases and Requirements for Ontology and API for Media Object 1.0."—"Anticipating the increase in online video and audio in the upcoming years, we can foresee that it will become progressively more difficult for viewers to find the content using current search tools. In addition, video services on the web that allows for upload of video, needs to display selected information about the media documents which could be facilitated by a uniform access to selected metadata across a variety of file formats. Unlike hypertext documents, it is more complex and sometimes impossible to deduce meta information about a medium, such as its title, author, or creation date from its content. There has been a proliferation of media metadata formats for the document's authors to express this metadata information. For example, an image could potentially contain EXIF, IPTC and XMP information. There are also several metadata solutions for media related content, including MPEG-7, Yahoo! MEDIA RSS, Google Videositemaps, VODCSV, TVAnytime and EBU P/Meta. Many of these formats have been extensively discussed in the deliverables XGR Vocabularies and XGR Image Annotation of the W3C Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group , which provide a major input to this Working Group. The 'Ontology for Media Object 1.0' specification will address the intercompatiblity problem by providing a common set of properties to define the basic metadata needed for media objects and the semantic links between their values in different existing vocabularies. It will help circumventing the current proliferation of video metadata formats by providing full or partial translation and mapping between the existing formats. The ontology will be accompanied by an API that provides uniform access to all elements defined by the ontology, which are selected elements from different formats. This document specifies the use cases and requirements that are motivating the development of the 'Ontology for Media Object 1.0'. The scope is mainly video media objects, but we take also other media objects into account if their metadata information is related to video..."

See also: W3C Video in the Web Activity

An Introduction to RESTful Services With WCF
Jon Flanders, MSDN Magazine

"This article is the first in a series of columns about building Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services using the architectural style known as Representational State Transfer (REST). REST has been a popular style for many years since its introduction in 2000. In this first column, I want to discuss some of the basic tenets of REST, as well as present an implementation of a RESTful service using WCF... An architectural style is a set of constraints that can be applied when building something. And an architectural style of software is something that describes the features that can be used to guide the implementation of a software system. REST is an architectural style that can be used to build software in which clients (user agents) can make requests of services (endpoints). REST is one way to implement a client-server architectural style—in fact, REST explicitly builds on the client-server architectural style... A service that uses the architectural style of REST is generally referred to as a RESTful service or endpoint. These are the basic building blocks of a RESTful endpoint: resources and their representations, URIs for those resources, and the parts of the uniform interface to which each URI will respond. There are more advanced features you can take advantage of, such as more explicit use of status codes and using hyperlinks to manage resource state, but for this example I'm going to stick to the basics... Why should you care. As a developer, you need motivation to learn and adopt any style, technology, or pattern. For implementing client-server applications, you likely have used another architectural style: remote procedure call (RPC). Whether you have used proprietary RPC systems such as DCOM or .NET Remoting, or used interoperable RPC technologies such as SOAP using ASMX or WCF, these are the implementations of the client-server style we've had on the Microsoft platform. So why learn or use REST? In my mind, there are two main reasons. First, REST offers some significant features and benefits over RPC technologies in many cases. Second, Microsoft is moving many of its own implementations away from RPC technologies (such as SOAP) and toward REST. This means that even if you aren't convinced or motivated to use REST to build your own systems, as more frameworks and technologies from Microsoft (and others) move to REST, you'll need to know how to interact with them..."

Schema for Web Services, Part I: Basic Datatypes
Dennis Sosnoski, InfoQueue

XML message exchange is the basis of most varieties of web services, including both SOAP and REST approaches. The use of XML creates some drawbacks, including potential issues with performance, but it also provides a level of abstraction which allows for loose coupling between the parties involved in an exchange. In order for that loose coupling to really work, though, you need to be able to define the structure of XML documents being exchanged in a way which allows verification of correct documents. The W3C's XML Schema definition language is the approach most widely used for these message structure definitions... Most web service applications don't work with XML documents directly, instead going through a data binding conversion layer within a web service toolkit. This is convenient for application developers, since it means they can work directly with data structures in their programming language of choice. But the data binding step needs to deal with mismatches between schema data types and structures and programming language data types and structures, and these mismatches can create problems for applications. If you want your web services to provide consistent, cross-platform compatibility (which is generally the whole point of using web services in the first place), you need to design your schema definitions to avoid potential problem areas -- or at least be aware of the risks involved in using problematic schema features. In this series of articles we're going to look at various types of problems that arise from the mismatch between schema and web service data bindings. For this first article we'll start at the most basic level, looking at simple data types and the problems they create...

Report Sees Cloud Trend for OSS Developers
Herb Torrens, Application Development Trends

A survey of more than 300 open source software (OSS) developers found that many plan to distribute their solutions as services over the Internet cloud. The survey, conducted by Evans Data Corp. in November 2008, found that 40 percent of respondents planned to go the services route in releasing software. Developers preferred to use Google's App Engine as their cloud provider, with more than 28 percent of respondents favoring it. The second choice was Amazon's cloud platform, favored by 15 percent of respondents. Nine percent of developers surveyed said they used Microsoft's or IBM's clouds. Just four percent said they used's cloud platform... The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based research firm found a few other trends among OSS developers. On the virtualization front, more than half (52 percent) of developers are using the Linux operating system in a virtualized environment. The database of choice for these developers is either an open source or commercial version of SQL, according to the survey. More than half of the SQL users in the survey used Sun's open source MySQL software. Mobile app stores represent an important distribution point for OSS solutions, the survey found. "More than 67 percent of developers we surveyed said they were going to increase revenues in the mobile apps market in the next 12 months," Andrews said. "Interestingly, more than 51 percent also admitted to us that they spend time on nonwork-related open source projects while at work."


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