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Last modified: April 16, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 16 April 2009

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Microsoft Corporation

W3C First Public Draft: Usage Patterns for Client-Side URI Parameters
T. V. Raman (ed), W3C Technical Report

W3C announced that members of the Technical Architecture Group (TAG) have published the First Public Working Draft of "Usage Patterns for Client-Side URI Parameters." The TAG decided at its 2-April-2009 teleconference to publish this version as a First Public Working Draft in order to get additional input from the Web community. Sections that need additional work are intentionally left as empty place-holder sections so that the Web community gets a sense of where we would like to take this document. At the beginning of the Web, we decided to encode server-side URI parameters with a "?". At the same time, the Web adopted "#" to attach fragment identifiers to URIs so that user-agents could address into specific locations in an HTML document. Nearly twenty (20) years later, the Web has built a strong set of conventions around how URI parameters are used. As transactional applications began moving on to the Web in the late 1990's, server-side parameters formed a core building block for how application state was communicated between client and server. In this phase of Web evolution, clients were still comparatively simple, and client-side URI parameters did not move beyond the use of fragment identifiers. But with Web 2.0 applications increasingly moving traditional client-side applications to the Web, we are now seeing a variety of design patterns beginning to emerge with respect to how client-side URI parameters are used in order to influence client interaction. The need to remain consistent with the prevalent Web architecture has seen these design patterns build on the existing mechanism of fragment identifiers in URIs. This finding enumerates the various emerging patterns along with their associated use cases as a means of documenting existing practice on the Web. The goal of this draft TAG finding is to initially collect the various usage scenarios that are leading to innovative uses of client-side URI parameters, along with the solutions that have been developed by the Web community. As highly interactive applications get built using Web parts (HTML, CSS and JavaScript component resources that are themselves Web addressable, there is an increasing need for encoding interaction state as part of the URI. The Web is beginning to discover and codify design patterns based on fragment identifiers for many of these use cases...

Example Use Case Scenarios: (1) When publishing multimedia streams, there is often a need to address into specific points in the multimedia stream, e.g., by using a time-index. (2) Interaction State And Browser History, AKA 'make the back button do the right thing'. For live examples of this design pattern, see GMail and Google Maps, both of which take extreme care to ensure that the back button works as the user would expect. These applications use iframe proxies to achieve the desired effect. (3) AJAX Libraries and State Management: Management of interaction state and browser history is one of the key affordances implemented in the [Dojo and GWT] libraries; history mechanisms in AJAX libraries like GWT and Dojo share a lot in common, and the approach can be traced back to Really Simple History (RSH)...(4) Web Command Lines: When applications can be built of Web parts, there is a need to configure them at the point the application is launched. (5) Passing Data Among Frames: Web applications that use multiple frames often need to pass data between them. (6) The Naked Hash-Ref: concerning use of a single "#" sign as the value of the href attribute on HTML anchors; this can be thought of as a relative URI with a null fragment identifier, where Web sites wishing to override the default-target behavior of anchors use this when attaching a JavaScript event-handler to anchor elements for mouse-clicks.

See also: published W3C TAG Findings

OASIS DocBook Technical Committee Publishes Revised Charter
Staff, OASIS Announcement

Members of the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee have approved a revised (clarified) Charter for its work in providing systems for writing structured documents using SGML or XML. Chaired by Norman Walsh, this OASIS Technical Committee was originally formed in 1998. According to the new Scope Statement: "The TC is engaged in evolving the suite of DocBook specifications. The scope of DocBook is computer hardware and software documentation. Broadly, this includes both print and online tutorial and reference documentation as well as online help, user guides, exercises and other ancillary forms of documentation. This effort will deliver on the following goals (1) Evolve DocBook using the most appropriate schema languages; (2) Address issues and enhancement requests that arise from experience with real-world DocBook implementations; (3) Add support for features that were deferred from previous versions of DocBook.

Details: Almost all computer hardware and software developed around the world needs some documentation. For the most part, this documentation has a similar structure and a large core of common idioms. The community benefits from having a standard, open, interchangeable vocabulary in which to write this documentation. DocBook has been, and will continue to be, designed to satisfy this requirement. For more than a decade, DocBook has provided a structured markup vocabulary for just this purpose. DocBook is now widely used in both commercial and Open Source environments including Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, GNOME, Hewlett-Packard, IBM Linux Technology Center, KDE, Linux Documentation Project, Mandriva, PHP, Red Hat, SUSE, Subversion, and Sun Microsystems, to name just a few. The OASIS DocBook Technical Committee is chartered to develop and maintain the DocBook family of specifications and to continue to support its ever growing user base. The TC currently supports the XML DocBook schema, a simplified authoring subset, and a variant for the publishing industry. The normative version of the DocBook Version 5.0 schema will be delivered using the RelaxNG schema language with additional constraints specified in Schematron. The Technical Committee may support other schema languages as appropriate, and may develop additional modules and derived document types... Upcoming projects for DocBook family of specifications include completion of the DocBook XML Document Type V5.0, The DocBook Publishers Schema V1.0, Simplified DocBook V1.2, and The DocBook XML Document Type V5.1.

See also: the support web site

Performing Hierarchical Restructuring Using ANSI SQL
Michael M. David,

"This the third in a series of DevX articles on the new hierarchical XML processing capabilities possible with navigationless database hierarchical processing. The first article covered the basics of processing full multipath hierarchical data queries, while the second article discussed combining hierarchical structures into larger hierarchical structures, and demonstrated a new, powerful, and unlimited way to mashup hierarchical structures. This article delves further into the topic, demonstrating advanced new multipath (nonlinear) hierarchical structure transformations. Like the previous articles, the processing follows correct hierarchical principles to derive correct hierarchical results. Today, the terms 'restructuring' and 'reshaping' are used interchangeably for XML structure transformation processes. However, these two basic types of XML hierarchical structure transformations need to be separately distinguished, because they are different in meaning, results, and use. (1) Restructuring is controlled by existing relationships in the data, while reshaping is controlled by the semantics of the current data structure. (2) Restructuring is performed by using new and unused relationships to restructure the data while reshaping uses the semantics of the current structure to mold the structure into some other shape. (3) Restructuring (using data relationships) can create a new structure and data with new semantics, while reshaping (using structure semantics) alters the structure without changing the data and its semantics. Restructuring and reshaping both have their uses. You usually use restructuring to match a structure to its use in an application, and you usually use reshaping to map a structure to some desired format... This article shows restructuring examples in SQL, which can perform the required operations without navigation or looping constructs. Specifying these SQL statements does require some thought—as you might expect for transformations. The results are correct because all operations are performed hierarchically by strictly following the hierarchical relationships in the SQL specified data structure. SQL's hierarchical structure operation helps considerably in specifying the transformations, and simplifies designing complex transformations without introducing errors. The techniques and principles used here for restructuring are equally valid for navigational and procedural transformations used in other XML processors, but the full nonlinear transformations shown in this article may be too difficult to perform procedurally. The SQL statements shown with the restructuring examples in this article each have an identification number used to fetch the statement and execute it in real-time using an ANSI SQL Transparent XML Hierarchical Processor prototype..." Related information in: "The Semantics of Meaningful XML Keyword Search Using SQL."

See also: Any-to-Any Data Structure Reshaping

W3C Chartering Discussion: Security Policy for APIs
Thomas Roessler, W3C List Posting

The W3C public list 'public-device-apis' presents initial discussion items for new work on Security for Access to Device APIs. An earlier W3C workshop report identified several topics as candidates for new work effort, including: Declaration of APIs, Policy Description for Device APIs, API Patterns And Standardization of Concrete APIs. From the recent message of Thomas Roessler: "Based on the outcomes from the workshop and the notes from the mobile web breakout session at the AC meeting, I'd propose the following in terms of a (rough) mission and scope, and would appreciate your feedback on this mailing list.

Scope: The W3C group would be chartered to produce a framework for the expression of security policies that govern access of Web applications and widgets to security-critical APIs. To achieve this goal, the group will need to deal with the following items: policy expression proper, identification of APIs, identification of web applications and Widgets. Out of scope would be: concrete APIs, policy management and discovery, fundamental changes to JavaScript. Principles: (1) Before inventing a new policy expression language, existing languages (such as XACML) should be reviewed for suitability; (2) The resulting policy model must be compatible with the existing same origin policy—as documented in the HTML5 specification; (3) the work should not be specific to either mobile or desktop environments, but may take differences between the environments into account. [Candidate] Liaisons: PLING (W3C Policy Languages Interest Group), HTML WG, WebApps WG, Geolocation WG, Mobile Web Best Practices WG, BONDI, OpenAjaxAlliance... Note: The Position Papers for the W3C "Workshop on Security for Access to Device APIs from the Web" are available online.

See also: the W3C Workshop Position Papers

CollabNet Bolsters ALM Platform, Teams with VMware
Jeffrey Schwartz, Application Development Trends

CollabNet, one of the leading independent distributed application lifecycle management (ALM) suppliers, on Tuesday released a new version of its ALM platform, adding support for cloud provisioning and upgraded Subversion and lab management. Emphasizing its focus on collaborative application development over dispersed teams, the company has renamed the SourceForge Enterprise offering to TeamForge. Officials at CollabNet said the new TeamForge 5.2 also comes with the Hudson continuous integration engine via an agile-ready plug-in. CollabNet is the sponsor of the open source Subversion project, a version control platform for software configuration management (SCM). The company has become a leading alternative supplier of SCM tools to the likes of Microsoft's Visual SourceSafe (VSS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS) and IBM Rational's ClearCase. But there are also numerous other SCM suppliers, including Serena PVCS, Borland StarTeam, CA Harvest, MKS Integrity, and namesake solutions from Perforce and AccuRev. Officials at CollabNet say 700 enterprises now use TeamForge for SCM, including Deutsche Bank, Oracle and Reuters. The U.S. Department of Defense also announced a large contract with CollabNet last fall.

According to Forrester Research, a growing number of organizations are using tools based on CollabNet's Subversion. Its survey last quarter of 479 application developers in the Americas found 23 percent use Subversion as one of their SCM tools. By comparison, 39 percent said they use VSS, 23 percent use TFS and 29 percent use ClearCase. Subversion is even more popular in Europe, according to Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond.... The company also announced a pact with virtualization vendor VMware to provide a compatible development environment for building applications in both public and private clouds. Under that agreement, the two will ensure that VMware Studio, a platform for building custom virtual appliances based on the Open Virtualization Format, works with the newly released TeamForge...

See also: the CollabNet announcement


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