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Last modified: March 19, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 19 March 2009

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

Richer Web Content Authoring with CSS and SVG: Five First Public Drafts
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C announced that the CSS and SVG Working Groups have delivered five new specifications for public review, aimed at enabling more compelling content creation with open Web technologies. The five drafts are: "SVG Transforms 1.0, Part 2: Language," "CSS 2D Transforms Module Level 3," "CSS 3D Transforms Module Level 3," "CSS Animations Module Level 3," and "CSS Transitions Module Level 3." SVG Transforms allows two-dimensional objects to be transformed using three-dimensional transformations. CSS 2D Transforms allows elements rendered by CSS to be transformed in two-dimensional space. CSS 3D Transforms extends CSS Transforms to allow elements rendered by CSS to be transformed in three-dimensional space. CSS Animations allow an author to modify CSS property values over time. CSS Transitions allows property changes in CSS values to occur smoothly over a specified duration. The two W3C Working Groups are working closely together to make implementing and authoring these features easy and consistent across Web languages.

See also: the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) web site

W3C Invites Feedback on the Redesigned Web Site
Staff, W3C Announcement

"W3C invites public feedback on a beta release of a W3C site redesign. The new site features a harmonized design, simplified information architecture, new style for technical reports, and new content, including calendars and aggregated blogs. W3C welcomes feedback on the usability of the site, links to useful information, contributions of content to new pages, and bug fixes. Readers are invited to take a 10-minute screencast tour of the site, to learn more about the redesign, and to find out how end users can help. Some of the primary redesign goals were: to modernize the look of the site and make it much easier to find information; to create a consistent navigation pattern across top pages; to follow the conventions used by many other sites (e.g., where links appear at the bottom of all pages, search box on every page, etc.); to surface content (e.g., blogs, tutorials) that have been on the site but not obvious to find; to make a useful aggregator of information contributed by the community (process just begun); to make the redesigned home page mobileOK, and to work so that all pages work reasonably well on mobile devices; to ensure pages meet WCAG 2.0 requirements; to relieve W3C groups (e.g., Working Groups) of some maintenance chores. A number of new features improve how we present information about technology, and the specifications themselves. For example, technologies have been organized into seven broad categories, as listed on the Standards page. The home page for each such category (e.g., the Web Design and Applications home page) includes a brief summary of technology areas covered by this broad category, followed by information about relevant events, talks, and blog posts in the W3C community. For each technology areas (e.g., "HTML & CSS"), the home page provides or will provide introductory material about the topic and links to other useful information such as tutorials, logos, and validators. There is now a page for each group of related specifications. The purpose of the page is to provide brief descriptions of related specifications, and how they all fit together. In addition, the page clearly states which specifications are standards, which are up-and-coming and which are obsolete. We have added a wrapper around specifications (just Recommendations for now), where the wrapper adds information below the title to enable one to find key information quickly, such as whether this document is the latest draft, whether it is a Web standard, a review end date (for non-Recs), and more. Context on the right hand side to find relevant resources (e.g., tutorials, errata, etc.). Note that those who wish to read the specification without this context may select the "print" style sheet to hide it, and thus gain back horizontal space... [OpEd note: Congratulations are herewith offered to the W3C team for this admirable success in making standards more accessible and usable.]

See also: the 10-minute screencast tour of the beta site

AtomSite 0.9 Released, Fully Utilizing Atom Extensibility
Jarrett Vance, Atom List Software Announcement

I just released the free, open-source AtomSite 0.9 web publishing platform. AtomSite was previously known as BlogSvc. This release is completely modular and it takes advantage of Atom extensions and AtomPub extensions. The AtomPub plug-in is core and enabled by default. The service document stores the site, workspace, and collection configuration. AtomSite can be used as both a CMS and blog engine. AtomSite is built using the ASP.NET MVC 1.0 framework, just released this week. It has some really nice features such as composite widgets, a theme view engine, plug-ins, OpenID, and more. The source code is available at [the web site]. Widgets Supports both composite and simple view type widgets; Supports three different scopes, Service, Workspace, Collection; Widget can register stylesheet dependency link; Widget can register javascript dependency link; Widget can include in-line script at bottom of page; Widget can have nested widgets; Widgets can be cached—with proper authorization support; Planned support for script/style compression and consolidation planned; Planned support for drag drop widget management planned...

See also: Atom references

Public Comment Invited: Unicode Character Database in XML
Staff, Unicode Consortium Announcement

A Proposed Update has been published for Unicode Standard Annex #42, "Unicode Character Database in XML." Overview: "In working on Unicode implementations, it is often useful to access the full content of the Unicode Character Database (UCD). For example, in establishing mappings from characters to glyphs in fonts, it is convenient to see the character scalar value, the character name, the character East Asian width, along with the shape and metrics of the proposed glyph to map to; looking at all this data simultaneously helps in evaluating the mapping. Directly accessing the data files that constitute the UCD is sometimes a daunting proposition. The data is dispersed in a number of files of various formats, and there are just enough peculiarities (all justified by the processing power available at the time the UCD representation was designed) to require a fairly intimate knowledge of the data format itself, in addition to the meaning of the data... This annex presents an alternative representation of the UCD, which is meant to overcome these difficulties. We have chosen an XML representation, because parsing becomes a non-issue: there are a number of XML parsers freely available, and using them is often fairly easy. In addition, there are freely available tools that can perform powerful operations on XML data; for example, XPATH and XQUERY engines can be thought of as a 'grep' for XML data and XSLT engines can be thought of as 'awk' for XML data. It is important to note that we are interested in exploring the content of the UCD, rather than in using the UCD data to process character streams. Thus, we are not concerned so much by the speed of processing or the size of our representation. Our representation supports the creation of documents that represent only parts of the UCD, either by not representing all the characters, or by not representing all the properties. This can be useful when only some of the data is needed...

See also: XML and Unicode

Adding eScience Assets to the Data Web
Herbert Van de Sompel, Carl Lagoze (et al.), Workshop Presentation

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Linked Data on the Web (LDOW 2009) Workshop, scheduled to be held April 29, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. Workshop objectives: "The Web is increasingly understood as a global information space consisting not just of linked documents, but also of linked data. More than just a vision, the Web of Data has been brought into being by the maturing of the Semantic Web technology stack, and by the publication of an increasing number of datasets according to the principles of Linked Data. Today, this emerging Web of Data includes data sets as extensive and diverse as DBpedia, Geonames, US Census, EuroStat, MusicBrainz, BBC Programmes, Flickr, DBLP, PubMed, UniProt, FOAF, SIOC, OpenCyc, UMBEL, and Yago. The availability of these and many other data sets has paved the way for an increasing number of applications that build on Linked Data, support services designed to reduce the complexity of integrating heterogeneous data from distributed sources, as well as new business opportunities for start-up companies in this space..." Paper abstract: "Aggregations of Web resources are increasingly important in scholarship as it adopts new methods that are data-centric, collaborative, and networked-based. The same notion of aggregations of resources is common to the mashed-up, socially networked information environment of Web 2.0. We present a mechanism to identify and describe aggregations of Web resources that has resulted from the Open Archives Initiative—Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) project. The OAI-ORE specifications are based on the principles of the Architecture of the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web, and the Linked Data effort. Therefore, their incorporation into the cyberinfrastructure that supports eScholarship will ensure the integration of the products of scholarly research into the Data Web..."

See also: the OAI-ORE specification web site

Social Science Metadata
Arofan Gregory, Pascal Heus, Jostein Ryssevik; RatSWD Working Paper

This document is published by the German Council for Social and Economic Data (Rat für Sozial- und WirtschaftsDaten). "Metadata, or data about data, play a crucial rule in social sciences to ensure that high quality documentation and community knowledge are properly captured and surround the data across its entire life cycle, from the early stages of production to secondary analysis by researchers or use by policy makers and other key stakeholders. The paper provides an overview of the social sciences metadata landscape, best practices and related information technologies. It particularly focuses on two specifications —the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange Standard (SDMX) — seen as central to a global metadata management framework for social data and official statistics. It also highlights current directions, outlines typical integration challenges, and provides a set of high level recommendations for producers, archives, researchers and sponsors in order to foster the adoption of metadata standards and best practices in the years to come." [Note: The RatSWD Working Papers series publishes empirical research findings based on data available through the informational infrastructure recommended by the RatSWD. In addition, articles can be submitted offering conceptual proposals for the production of administrative statistical data, ideas for the research work conducted by federal and state government agencies, and concepts for improving the empirical research infrastructure, as well as contributions dealing with the work of the RatSWD itself.]

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

Charter Proposed for OASIS Emergency Management Adoption Technical Committee

OASIS members have published a Proposed Charter for new Technical Committee to support adoption of emergency management specifications. The draft charter for the OASIS Emergency Management (EM) Adoption Technical Committee identifies the goal as one of collaboration "to provide expertise and resources to educate the marketplace on the value of the Emergency Management OASIS Standards. By raising awareness of the benefits offered by OASIS Emergency Management Standards (CAP and EDXL), the Emergency Management Adoption TC expects to increase the demand for, and availability of, CAP and EDXL conforming products and services, resulting in a greater choice of tools and platforms and an expanded community of EM standards users, suppliers, and consultants." Supporters of the proposed charter include representatives from CellCast Technologies, Contra Costa County Community Warning System, ESI Acquisition, Evolution Technologies, IEM, Lockheed Martin, OSS Nokalva, Starbourne Communications Design, Verizon, viaRadio Corporation, and Warning Systems. The OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee has produced four OASIS Standards, including Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Version 1.1, Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Distribution Element Version 1.0, Emergency Data Exchange Language Resource Messaging (EDXL-RM) 1.0, and Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Hospital AVailability Exchange (HAVE) Version 1.0. The proposed OASIS Emergency Management Adoption Technical Committee will refer suggestions and requests for changes to and clarification of the CAP, EDXL, and any other OASIS EM specifications to the Emergency Management Technical Committee. The OASIS Emergency Management (EM) Adoption Technical Committee will carry forward and expand upon the efforts of the existing [2009-03] Emergency Management [Implementation] Adoption Subcommittee, which was formed to "support the adoption of standards to enable information exchange which advance incident preparedness and response to emergency situations."

See also: XML and Emergency Management


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