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Last modified: June 09, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 09 June 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.

Open Text Looks to ECM Standard (CMIS)
Martin Courtney,

"The CMIS standard could provide common interface to manage structured and unstructured data. [...] John Shackleton is chief executive of Open Text, an enterprise content management (ECM) company that provides software to help corporates and large government organisations manage different types of digital content and integrate that content with other software applications. He recently told 'Computing' why the forthcoming content management interoperability services (CMIS) 1.0 standard, currently being finalised by OASIS, is a vital component for organisations looking to deal effectively with the morass of data being created." Shackleton: "Organisations are trying to deal with the explosion of email content, and to integrate structured [database] data and unstructured data [email text, audio, video, HTML web pages and so on]. Other organisations are in acquisition mode, which means they inherit multiple information repositories, ERP systems, and other data sets. CMIS offers a common interface for all that information, regardless of how it was originally created, which was not previously available, so that organisations can manage and analyse both structured and unstructured data side by side. This can alert them to information patterns they did not previously know about, or see business opportunities that were previously hidden, for example... We already have prototype software with CMIS 1.0 built in, though we are obviously working with the rest of the group to ensure compatibility. The biggest issue the media content types and file formats CMIS has to handle is changing all the time..."

See also: CMIS references

Standards and the Smart Grid: The U.S. Experience
Andrew Updegrove, ConsortiumInfo Bulletin

Abstract: "The managers of the aging United States electrical power grid have for some time planned to upgrade it to increase the quality of power on the grid and decrease the risks of power outages. They have also realized the potential for "Smart Grid" technology to be deployed to turn the existing system into an interactive, two-way energy network that recruits home and business owners to create electricity from alternative energy during off-peak hours that can be sold back into the grid when demand is high. Such a system can also conserve energy, lower its costs, and better absorb shocks that might otherwise bring down the system. Growing concerns over national dependence on foreign oil, the increasing costs of permitting and constructing new power generation facilities, and the need to decrease national emissions of greenhouse gasses led Congress to buy into this vision in 2007, when it mandated the creation of a Smart Grid. The current economic crisis provided a new administration in Washington with the opportunity to dramatically increase funding in the 2009 economic stimulus bill in order to speed the transition to a Smart Grid while producing thousands of new "green" manufacturing jobs. The operations of a Smart Grid, however, will be dependent on the rapid selection, and often development, of hundreds of new standards of many types. In this article, I review what a Smart Grid can achieve, the Congressional mandate and funding for the development of the standards needed to enable it, the process being used to select these standards, and the broad range of standard setting organizations that will provide them."

W3C Group Note: Requirements for Japanese Text Layout
Yasuhiro Anan, Hiroyuki Chiba (et al, eds), W3C Task Force Note

W3C reports that participants in the Japanese Layout Task Force (representing four W3C Working Groups: CSS, Internationalization Core, SVG, and XSL Working Groups) have published a Group Note for "Requirements for Japanese Text Layout". This document describes requirements for general Japanese layout realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO. The document is mainly based on a standard for Japanese layout, JIS X 4051. However, it also addresses areas which are not covered by JIS X 4051. A Japanese version is also available.

From the document 'Introduction': "Each cultural community has its own language, script and writing system. In that sense, the transfer of each writing system into cyberspace is a task with very high importance for information and communication technology. As one of the basic work items of this task force, this document describes issues of text composition in the Japanese writing system. The goal of the task force is not to propose actual solutions but describe important issues as basic information for actual implementations... This document was created by the W3C Japanese Layout Task Force. The Task Force has discussed many issues and harmonized the requirements from user communities and solutions from technological experts. It includes the following participants: (1) Japanese text composition experts—the editors of "JIS X 4051:Formatting rules for Japanese documents"; (2) Internationalization and standardization experts in Japan —from Microsoft, Antenna House, JustSystems; (3) Members of the W3C CSS, SVG, XSL and i18n Core Working Groups. This task force also constitutes an important innovation due to its bilingual work-flow. Discussion is mainly conducted in Japanese, because of the Japanese composition issues, but minutes and one mailing list were in English. To support development, the task force held face-to-face meetings with participating Working Groups. The document itself was also developed bilingually, and is published bilingually...

See also: the Japanese Layout Task Force Home Page

NIST Digital Signature Standard Expands Key Sizes, Adds Security
William Jackson, Government Computer News

"A new version of the federal standard for digital signatures increases the allowable key sizes for the approved digital signature algorithm and adds requirements for using an approved elliptic curve algorithm. The changes are included in the final version of Federal Information Processing Standard 186-3, the Digital Signature Standard (DSS), which the secretary of the Commerce Department has approved. It is the third iteration of a standard originally published in 1994. Since then, advances in computing power have made it easier to crack the original 512- and 1,024-bit keys specified in the standard... 'With advances in technology, it is prudent to consider larger key sizes,' according to the statement Commerce published in the Federal Register announcing its approval of the standard. 'FIPS 186-3 allows the use of 1,024-, 2,048- and 3,072-bit keys'... FIPS 186 defines methods for digital- signature generation that can be used to protect electronic data and verify and validate those signatures. The standard originally specified only the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) as an approved tool. Later revisions added versions of Elliptic Curve DSA (ECDSA) and the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm..."

Bibliographic information: Digital Signature Standard (DSS). FIPS PUB 186-3 (Federal Information Processing Standards Publication). Category: Computer Security. Subcategory: Cryptography. Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8900. 130 pages. Issued: June, 2009. Abstract: "This Standard specifies a suite of algorithms that can be used to generate a digital signature. Digital signatures are used to detect unauthorized modifications to data and to authenticate the identity of the signatory. In addition, the recipient of signed data can use a digital signature as evidence in demonstrating to a third party that the signature was, in fact, generated by the claimed signatory. This is known as non-repudiation, since the signatory cannot easily repudiate the signature at a later time." Federal Register Summary: "This notice announces the Secretary of Commerce's approval of Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 186-3, Digital Signature Standard (DSS). FIPS 186-3 is a revision of FIPS 186-2. The FIPS specifies three techniques for the generation and verification of digital signatures that can be used for the protection of data: the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA), the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), and the Rivest-Shamir-Adelman (RSA) algorithm. Although all three of these algorithms were approved in FIPS 186-2, FIPS 186-3 increases the key sizes allowed for DSA, provides additional requirements for the use of RSA and ECDSA, and includes requirements for obtaining the assurances necessary for valid digital signatures. FIPS 186-2 contained specifications for random number generators (RNGs); this revision does not include such specifications, but refers to NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-90 for obtaining random numbers."

See also: FIPS PUB 186-3, June 2009

Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC)
Philip Hoyer, Mingliang Pei, Salah Machani (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Provisioning of Symmetric Keys (KEYPROV) Working Group have releases an updated publication for the Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC) specification in XML, HTML, and text format. This release represents a Second Working Group Last Call for comments, and the development team requests feedback by June 27, 2009. Section 11 of the document defines the XML schema for PSKC; Appendix A presents the Use Cases, and Appendix B outlines the most relevant requirements that are the basis for this technical work.

From the 'Introduction': With increasing use of symmetric key based systems, such as encryption of data at rest or systems used for strong authentication such as those based on one-time-password (OTP) and challenge response (CR) mechanisms, there is a need for vendor interoperability and a standard format for importing and exporting (provisioning) symmetric keys. Traditionally, for example vendors of authentication servers and service providers have used proprietary formats for importing and exporting these keys into their systems, thus making it hard to use tokens from vendor 'Foo' with a server from vendor 'Bar'. This document defines a standardized XML-based key container, called Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC), for transporting symmetric keys and key related meta data. The document also specifies the information elements that may be required when the symmetric key is utilized for specific purposes, such as the initial counter in the MAC-Based One Time Password (HOTP) algorithm. It also requests the creation of a IANA registry for algorithm profiles where algorithms, their related meta-data and PSKC transmission profile can be recorded for centralised standardised reference..."

See also: the IETF Provisioning of Symmetric Keys (KEYPROV) Working Group

W3C Invites Implementations of XQuery Update Facility 1.0
Don Chamberlin, Michael Dyck, Daniela Florescu (et al. eds), W3C TR

Members of the W3C XML Query Working Group have published an update to the Candidate Recommendation of "XQuery Update Facility 1.0". The XML Query WG republished this document on 9-June-2009, to reflect changes made in response to comments received so far during the Candidate Recommendation period. A Test Suite for the document is under development; implementors are encouraged to run this test suite and report their results. At this time, three features are considered to be at risk: (1) Revalidation modes other than "skip"; (2) the Update Facility Static Typing Feature; (3) XQueryX Conformance. They may be removed if implementations of them do not exist at the end of the Candidate Recommendation period.

"XQuery Update Facility 1.0" defines an update facility that extends the XML Query language, XQuery. Specifically, the document defines the syntax and semantics of an extension to XQuery 1.0 called the XQuery Update Facility 1.0. This language extension is designed to meet the requirements for updating instances of the "XQuery/XPath Data Model (XDM)", as defined in the "XQuery Update Facility Requirements" document. The XQuery Update Facility 1.0 provides facilities to perform any or all of the following operations on an XDM instance: (1) Insertion of a node; (2) Deletion of a node; (3) Modification of a node by changing some of its properties while preserving its node identity; (4) Creation of a modified copy of a node with a new node identity. Additionally, the document defines an XML syntax for the XQuery Update Facility 1.0. The most recent versions of the two XQueryX XML Schemas and the XQueryX XSLT stylesheet for the XQuery Update Facility 1.0 are also available.

See also: the W3C XML Query (XQuery) Working Group

Nokia Targets Web Developers
Marin Perez, InformationWeek

Nokia has introduced a set of developer tools that seeks to make it easier for Web developers to create widgets for mobile phones: Web Runtime plug-ins for Microsoft's Visual Studio, Adobe's Dreamweaver, and Aptana Studio, enabling third parties to create mobile widgets using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, and other standard Web development code. The company said this should streamline the development process, as well as attract a new set of content creators who may not have mobile experience.

According to the text of the announcement: "Nokia WRT widgets provide mobile users instant access to customizable information or tools drawn in real-time from the Internet. Popular widgets range from breaking news headlines to stock-market tickers, social network status updates, flight arrival schedules, localized daily weather and more. Nokia's WRT is built on the same open-source, industry standard WebKit project environment used by Web Browser for S60, Nokia's full-HTML browser for the latest devices running on Nokia's S60 platform. The world's leading smartphone platform, S60 on Symbian OS accounts for more than 180 million devices cumulatively shipped by S60 licensees, including Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo and LG."

See also: the Nokia announcement


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