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Last modified: April 29, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 29 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:

DSDL Part 7: Character Repertoire Description Language (CREPDL)
MURATA Makoto (et al.,) Candidate Final Draft International Standard

Members of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, Subcommittee SC 34, 'Document Description and Processing Languages' have released a draft/candidate FDIS version of Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) — Part 7: Character Repertoire Description Language (CREPDL), intended to become ISO/IEC FDIS 19757-7:2009(E). "ISO/IEC 19757 defines a set of Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) that can be used to specify one or more validation processes performed against Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents. A number of validation technologies are standardized in DSDL to complement those already available as standards or from industry. The main objective of ISO/IEC 19757 is to bring together different validation- related technologies to form a single extensible framework that allows technologies to work in series or in parallel to produce a single or a set of validation results. The extensibility of DSDL accommodates validation technologies not yet designed or specified. ISO/IEC 19757 consists of several parts, under the general title Information technology — Document Schema Definition Language (DSDL), including: Part 1: Overview; Part 2: Regular-grammar-based validation — RELAX NG; Part 3: Rule-based validation — Schematron; Part 4: Namespace-based validation dispatching language (NVDL); Part 5: Extensible datatypes; Part 7: Character repertoire description language (CREPDL); Part 8: Document schema renaming language (DSRL); Part 9: Namespace and datatype declaration in Document Type Definitions (DTDs)...

This part [7] of ISO/IEC 19757 provides a language for describing character repertoires. Descriptions in this language may be referenced from schemas. Furthermore, they may also be referenced from forms and stylesheets... follows. Clause 5 introduces kernels and hulls of repertoires. Clause 6 specifies the syntax of CREPDL schemas. Clause 7 specifies the semantics of a correct CREPDL schema; the semantics specify when a character is in a repertoire described by a CREPDL schema. Clause 8 defines CREPDL processors and their behaviour. Finally, Annex A describes differences of conformant CREPDL processors, and Annex B provides examples of CREPDL schemas... An CREPDL schema shall be an XML document (W3C XML) valid against the the NVDL (ISO/IEC 19757-4) script in Clause 6.3, which in turn relies on the RELAX NG (ISO/IEC 19757-2) schema in Clause 6.2. The elements allowed in the RELAX NG schema is of the namespace (W3C XML-Names) ''. Further constraints on the character content of the char, kernel or hull elements are shown in Clause 6.4..."

See also: DSDL references

OASIS UBL Guidelines for Customization Version 1.0
Michael Grimley, Mavis Cournane, Tim McGrath, G. Ken Holman, Jon Bosak (eds), OASIS Public Review Draft

The OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee has released Public Review Draft 02 of the "UBL Guidelines for Customization Version 1.0" specification. The public review period ends June 28, 2009. From the 'Introduction': The OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee (UBL TC) has produced a vocabulary that, for many user communities, can be used as is. However, the TC also recognizes that some user communities must address use cases whose requirements are not met by the UBL off-the-shelf solution. These Guidelines are intended to aid such users in developing custom solutions based on UBL. The goal of these UBL customization guidelines is to maintain a common understanding of the meaning of information being exchanged between specific implementations. The determining factors governing when to customize may be business-driven, technically driven, or both. The decision should driven by real world needs balanced against perceived economic benefits... UBL is provided under the OASIS Royalty Free on Limited Terms policy, and this should be recognized in any customizations. OASIS policies support implementations, subsets, and extensions of OASIS works as long as they acknowledge derivation from OASIS works and do not incorrectly claim compliance with or identity with an OASIS work. If you modify the UBL Invoice schema, for example, you cannot claim that it is still the UBL Invoice schema, but you should acknowledge that the new work was derived from the UBL Invoice schema...

Once the need to customize UBL has been determined, designers must decide whether the result will be UBL conformant or UBL compatible. Although the UBL TC will not be involved in determining or certifying whether customizations are conformant, compatible, or otherwise, we supply these definitions as a point of reference for those who might... UBL conformance at the instance and schema level means that there are no constraint violations when validating the instance against a UBL standard schema. A UBL conformant instance is an instance that validates against a UBL standard schema (and does not violate any of the Additional Document Constraints specified in the UBL standard). A UBL conformant schema is a schema that will validate only UBL conformant instances. The UBL TC publishes the UBL standard schemas as OASIS technical specifications. These provide the base vocabulary that ensures common understanding...

See also: the announcement

W3C Publishes First Drafts of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Modules
Anthony Grasso and Doug Schepers (eds), W3C Technical Reports

Members of the W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Working Group have published three first public draft modules. SVG is a language for describing vector graphics, but it is typically rendered to a display or some form of print medium.

The first new publication, the SVG Compositing Specification, adds support for raster and vector objects to be combined to produce eye catching effects via advanced alpha compositing, masks, and clipping paths. By defintion, compositing is the process by which the colors of objects (and their surrounding regions) are combined together. In addition to its regular color values (such as red, green, and blue), an object may contain a channel to represent the transparency of the color. This channel is commonly known as an alpha channel and is often said to represent the 'opacity' of an object. In effect the opacity of an object controls how much of the object's color is used when compositing. Compositing involving the alpha channel is referred to alpha compositing. By default SVG Tiny 1.2 uses Simple Alpha Compositing that gives a resultant effect of overlaying the object on to the background. If the overlayed object contains transparency, the color of the background may show through the overlayed object. The SVG Compositing Module extends the Simple Alpha Compositing model in SVG Tiny 1.2. This SVG module supports advanced alpha compositing, which may be used each time a new element is placed on the canvas; clipping paths; masks, which are container elements which can contain graphics elements or other container elements which define a set of graphics that is to be used as a semi- transparent mask for compositing foreground objects into the current background...

The two other new specifications are for SVG Referenced Parameter Variables: Part 1 (Primer) and Part 2 (Language). The Referenced Parameter Variables specification is an SVG 2.0 Module to provide a declarative way to incorporate parameter values into SVG content. Often, users may wish to create a single resource, and reuse it several times with specified variations, and this specification provides a means to do so without the use of script. Although originally designed for use in SVG, some aspects of this specification are defined in XML and are accessed via presentation properties, and therefore could be used in other environments, such as HTML styled with CSS and XSL:FO.

See also: SVG Referenced Parameter Variables Primer

Cloud Computing: Patterns for High Availability, Scalability, and Computing Power With Windows Azure
Joshy Joseph, MSDN Magazine

During the last decade, the decoupling of interfaces from implementation, scalable hosting models, service orientation, subscription-based computing, and increased social collaboration became the goals of distributed systems. Now, Internet-hosted distributed applications with connectivity to internal applications — often referred as Software plus Services (S+S) — are gaining popularity. Organizations are leveraging datacenters hosted by third parties to alleviate concerns about hardware, software, reliability, and scalability. These are just some of the new architecture trends that help you build interoperable applications that scale, reduce capital expenditure, and improve reliability. Cloud computing offers many of these benefits. A cloud computing platform enables applications to be hosted in an Internet- accessible virtual environment that supplies the necessary hardware, software, network, and storage capacities and provides for security and reliability, removing much of the burden of purchasing and maintaining hardware and software in-house. In the cloud, you can develop, deploy, and manage applications as you have in the past and integrate these services to your on-premise applications. You pay only for the time, resources, and capacity you use while scaling up to accommodate the changing business needs. In this article, the author examines the typical cloud platform architecture and some common architectural patterns, along with their implementation on the Windows Azure offering from Microsoft...

The Cloud applications layer houses applications that are built for cloud computing. These applications expose Web interfaces and Web Services for end users, enabling multitenant hosting models. Some functions include connecting disparate systems and leveraging cloud storage infrastructure to store documents. These services fall under the umbrella of Software as a Service (SaaS). Security services Security services ensure token provisioning, identity federation, and claims transformation. These services are built on the open standards, WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-Federation, SAML protocols, and OpenID, for greater interoperability. Management interfaces cut across all the layers...

There are a number of architecture and design patterns and best practices that help you select a cloud platform and implement cloud services and applications. In general, these patterns fall into four categories: compute, storage, communication, and management... Communication patterns patterns address message exchange. Azure technology leverages Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and REST APIs for Web service communication. You must consider partial trust models and the stateless nature of the application while implementing communication patterns. Administration patterns Administration patterns differentiate two core aspects of service management: service deployment and service-level-management. Deployment patterns organize service definition, configuration, and monitoring, while other patterns address service-level management and regular operational maintenance...

ECMAScript 5 Updates Don't Break New Ground, But They Are Useful
Jeff Cogswell, eWEEK

ECMAScript 5 was recently released, a full ten (10) years after the previous version of the language came out. After all this time, the updates are not groundbreaking, but they are useful. ECMAScript, which most people call JavaScript, is primarily used in Web browsers. 'JavaScript' is a trademarked name owned by Sun, and is just one of many implementations of the ECMAScript language. Browsers have obviously changed drastically since 1999, so an update to the ECMAScript language has been needed for some time... Edition 5 has been published as a final draft, and it probably won't be approved until late 2009 as an official specification... the language includes a new strict mode feature. Technically speaking, strict mode is a subset of the language. When running in strict mode, the runtime engine will not allow certain aspects of the language to function — aspects that could result in buggy programming. For example, the with statement is particularly useful for writing shorthand code. Under strict mode, however, you cannot use the with statement...

Next up is full built-in support for the JSON protocol. Programmers always need a way to store and transfer data. Often, XML is the preferred format for storing the data. However, XML must be parsed, and then data structures must be built based on the contained data. JSON is a different animal altogether. Like XML, JSON is a text-based format for storing data. But unlike XML, it can be directly parsed by an ECMAScript or JavaScript interpreter. Indeed: JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. That's because essentially JSON is JavaScript code, or at least a subset of JavaScript code. Variables can be populated simply by passing the JSON text through the eval function, thus skipping huge steps that are otherwise required with formats such as XML. JSON data can be easily stored on a Web server in text files or in a database. Using AJAX, an ECMAScript program can retrieve the data and evaluate it; with Edition 5 of ECMAScript, this function is built right into the language..."

The ECMAScript Language Specification (Ecma/TC39/2009/025 — ECMA-262) is freely available online. According to the announcement: "The ECMAScript, Fifth Edition candidate specification has been developed by Ecma TC39 whose membership includes all major browser vendors. The Candidate milestone designates that the authoring process is complete. This now begins a testing and validation phase of the project where TC39 members will create and test implementations of the candidate specification to verify its correctness and the feasibility of creating interoperable implementations. The test implementations will also be used for web compatibility testing to ensure that the revised specification remains compatible with existing web applications. TC39 members Opera, Mozilla, and Microsoft have each committed to participating in this testing process. Testing is expected to be complete by mid-July 2009. It is anticipated that any technical errors and ambiguities will be resolved during this process, and that a final draft of the specification can be agreed upon in September for submission to the Ecma General Assembly for final approval in December 2009. It is anticipated that this will result in a fast-track submission to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for revision of ISO/IEC 16262... Work on future ECMAScript editions continues as part of the previously announced ECMAScript Harmony project..."

See also: the specification

New DB2 V9.7 pureXML Features: Enhance Scalability of XML Data
Cynthia M. Saracco and Matthias Nicola, IBM developerWorks

Since 2006, DB2 9 has provided companies with a common application programming interface and database management platform for data modeled in tables and XML hierarchies. This hybrid database management architecture enables companies to extend their traditional relational database environments to directly manage XML messages and documents without the need to shred or map this data into individual columns of various tables — thereby transforming XML into traditional SQL data types. Instead, XML data can be stored intact in its native hierarchical format alongside relational data. Applications can retrieve relevant portions of the XML data with ease and efficiency. Applications can also easily integrate XML data and relational data. With many organizations striving to create flexible and reliable IT environments that offer greater insight into critical business operations, core information management systems are under more pressure to adapt to ever-changing business needs.

To help companies address this challenge, IBM enhanced its DB2 9.7 features for pureXML in several important ways... New features in DB2 9.7 enable administrators to leverage new database design options for XML data, including hash partitioning (database partitioning), range partitioning (table partitioning), and multi- dimensional clustering. These options can help companies accommodate large data volumes, exploit parallel processing environments, simplify the addition or removal of time-sensitive data, and speed performance of many types of queries. Used individually or together, these DB2 design options enable organizations to incorporate XML data into their relational data warehouses; create operational data stores for XML messages, documents, and data feeds; and improve scalability of XML transaction processing workloads. This article summarizes the new pureXML capabilities, explains how they can be used, and discusses sample application scenarios.

See also: the DB2 pureXML enablement wiki

Internet Key Exchange Protocol: IKEv2
Charlie Kaufman, Paul Hoffman, Yoav Nir, Pasi Eronen (eds), IETF Internet Draft

IP Security (IPsec) provides confidentiality, data integrity, access control, and data source authentication to IP datagrams. These services are provided by maintaining shared state between the source and the sink of an IP datagram. This state defines, among other things, the specific services provided to the datagram, which cryptographic algorithms will be used to provide the services, and the keys used as input to the cryptographic algorithms. Establishing this shared state in a manual fashion does not scale well. Therefore, a protocol to establish this state dynamically is needed. This memo describes such a protocol — the Internet Key Exchange (IKE)...

This document replaces and updates RFC 4306 and RFC 4718. IKE performs mutual authentication between two parties and establishes an IKE security association (SA) that includes shared secret information that can be used to efficiently establish SAs for Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) or Authentication Header (AH) and a set of cryptographic algorithms to be used by the SAs to protect the traffic that they carry. In this document, the term "suite" or "cryptographic suite" refers to a complete set of algorithms used to protect an SA. An initiator proposes one or more suites by listing supported algorithms that can be combined into suites in a mix-and-match fashion. IKE can also negotiate use of IP Compression (IPComp) in connection with an ESP or AH SA. The SAs for ESP or AH that get set up through that IKE SA we call "Child SAs"... IKE is expected to be used to negotiate ESP or AH SAs in a number of different scenarios, each with its own special requirements...

See also: Cryptographic Key Management

File Backup and Synchronization Made Easy
Scott Mitchell, MSDN Magazine

If you work for a smaller company with a limited IT staff, or if you make your living as an independent software consultant or run a micro-ISV, the important decisions about backing up your workstation's data are likely to fall on your shoulders. If the responsibility for creating, managing, and executing routine backups is yours, check out SyncBackPro (version 5.3) from 2BrightSparks. Getting started with SyncBackPro involves creating one or more profiles, where each profile spells out the source files, the destination location, options as to whether the files are compressed or encrypted when copied to the destination, whether to overwrite previous backup content or to version the data, and so forth. Once defined, a profile can be executed immediately, according to a schedule, every specified number of minutes or hours, whenever any of the source files or folders changes, or whenever Windows is shut down. SyncBackPro can also synchronize the files and folders between a source and a destination or mirror the contents of the source on the destination site. SyncBackPro works with a variety of backup sources and destinations. In addition to using folders on the workstation or network, you can also perform backups using FTP or SFTP, e-mail, or removable media such as DVD burners. And the FTP and e-mail options can be used as either a backup source or destination. This is especially useful if you have a Web site managed by a Web host provider and you want to maintain a copy of the contents on your local computer — just create a SyncBackPro profile that periodically backs up your important data from the Web site's FTP server to your workstation...

What impressed me most about SyncBackPro is how it balances its many features with ease of use. With each profile there are countless settings and configuration options at your disposal. Take logging, for example. There are about a dozen choices as for which information is logged, who the log file should be e-mailed to (if anyone), and whether the log should only be e-mailed if certain circumstances unfold. And if the wealth of configuration options isn't sufficient, you can write your own scripts against SyncBackPro's runtime API to perform custom logic. Despite this level of customization, SyncBackPro remains easy to use. Creating a new profile launches a wizard that walks through the basic settings. The options screen offers an 'Easy' mode that streamlines the number of configuration options to the most essential ones. And both the online and offline documentation is well written and rife with screen shots, videos, and step-by-step instructions. A freeware edition of SyncBack is available as well..."


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