This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Microsoft Corporation http://www.microsoft.com
- W3C Launches New Working Group for Device APIs and Policy
- Public Review Draft: The DocBook Publishers Schema Version 1.0
- Revised Internet Draft: NETCONF Monitoring Schema
- OGF Launches Open Cloud Computing Interface Working Group (OCCI-WG)
- Prefix Elements for Road and House Numbers in PIDF-LO
- SPARQL New Features and Rationale
- The Kantara Initiative and the Global Identity Landscape
- Oracle Next-Generation Middleware Provides Foundation for Innovation
- The Better Office Alternative: SoftMaker Office
- Two Centuries On, a Cryptologist Cracks a Presidential Code
W3C Launches New Working Group for Device APIs and Policy
Robin Berjon and Frederick Hirsch (Co-Chairs), W3C Announcement
W3C has announced the launch of a new Device APIs and Policy Working Group, co-Chaired by Robin Berjon (Vodafone) and Frederick Hirsch (Nokia). The mission of the Device APIs and Policy Working Group, chartered through July 31, 2011, is "to create client-side APIs that enable the development of Web Applications and Web Widgets that interact with devices services such as Calendar, Contacts, Camera, etc. Additionally, the group will produce a framework for the expression of security policies that govern access to security-critical APIs.
In December 2008, the W3C held a workshop on Security for Access to Device APIs from the Web. The goal of this workshop was to gather information and experiences in the device API space, to start building community consensus about possible standardization work within W3C, and to gather requirements to guide such work. The following high priority topics identified in this workshop are addressed in the new WG charter: (1) Declaration of APIs such as Contacts—The mechanisms by which a widget or Web Application can declare a dependency (with possible security consequences) on an API; (2) API Patterns—What should be similar across many APIs, e.g. API design, error handling etc. (3) Concrete APIs—Specific APIs that should be standardized; (4) Policy Description—An XML or other formalism describing a security policy for concrete APIs.
Several specifications were submitted as starting points for this group's deliverables, including Nokia's calendar API; Nokia's camera API; Nokia's contacts API; Nokia's messaging API; Nokia's System Info API; Nokia's DeviceException Interface; BONDI APIs—including Application Launcher, Messaging, User Interaction, File System, Gallery, Device Status, Application Configuration Camera, Communication Log, Contact, Calendar, Task; BONDI Architecture and Security; Other BONDI specifications...
Public Review Draft: The DocBook Publishers Schema Version 1.0
Scott Hudson (ed), OASIS Public Review Draft
Members of the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee, Chaired by Norman Walsh, have released an approved Committee Draft of "The DocBook Publishers Schema Version 1.0" for public review, ending August 31, 2009.
Abstract: "For more than a decade, DocBook has provided a structured markup vocabulary for hardware and software documentation. DocBook is now widely used in both commercial and Open Source environments. DocBook has a very broad element set, and applies to much more than just technical documentation. The DocBook TC is engaged in evolving the suite of DocBook specifications. The community benefits from having a standard, open, interchangeable vocabulary in which to write structured content. DocBook has been, and will continue to be, designed to satisfy this requirement.
The OASIS DocBook SubCommittee for Publishers is chartered to develop and maintain official variants of DocBook in support of the publishing industry. Specifically, the subcommittee will focus on schema and stylesheet customizations to support: periodicals as regularly published technical notes or journals, book publishing (such as business, legal, medical, and other non-technical domains), educational textbooks and other document types as appropriate for this industry. The DocBook Publishers Schema is based on DocBook 5.0, and delivered in the normative RelaxNG Schema format."
The DocBook Technical Committee welcomes bug reports and requests for enhancement (RFEs) from the user community. The current list of outstanding requests is available through the SourceForge tracker interface... Of the 361 total elements in the full DocBook standard, the Publishers schema has been simplified to exclude 149 elements from full DocBook. Modifications have been made to 11 patterns from the DocBook schema. Additions to the schema include: the Dublin Core metadata elements (54) and 6 new elements.
See also: the announcement
Revised Internet Draft: NETCONF Monitoring Schema
Mark Scott, Sharon Chisholm, Martin Bjorklund (eds), IETF Internet Draft
Members of the IETF Network Configuration (NETCONF) Working Group have published a version -05 draft for the NETCONF Monitoring Schema. The Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF) defined in RFC 4741 provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices. It uses an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based data encoding for the configuration data as well as the protocol messages. The NETCONF protocol operations are realized on top of a simple Remote Procedure Call (RPC) layer.
The updated NETCONF Monitoring Schema specification defines a NETCONF data model (in XML Schema) to be used to monitor the NETCONF protocol. The monitoring data model includes information about NETCONF datastores, sessions, locks and statistics. This data facilitates the management of a NETCONF server. This document also defines methods for NETCONF clients to discover data models supported by a NETCONF server and defines a new NETCONF 'get-schema' operation to retrieve them.
Background: "Today, NETCONF capabilities exchange is the only standardized method a client can use to discover the functionality supported by a NETCONF server. This works well for static protocol capabilities but is not well suited for capabilities which could change during a session. Considerations such as different schema formats, feature optionality and access controls can all impact the applicability and level of detail the NETCONF server sends to a client during session setup. Through updated monitoring data NETCONF clients can adjust their capabilities throughout a session. Specifically the details returned can be used by a client to determine whether retrieval of new schema information is required and includes the information required to facilitate the retrieval. The methods defined in this document address the need for further means to query and retrieve schema and netconf state information from a NETCONF server. These are provided to complement existing base NETCONF capabilities and operations and in no way affect existing behaviour... The "NETCONF Monitoring Schema" may be used to monitor the NETCONF protocol; it provides information about NETCONF sessions...
OGF Launches Open Cloud Computing Interface Working Group (OCCI-WG)
Staff, Open Grid Forum Announcement
The Open Grid Forum (OGF) has officially launched the Open Cloud Computing Interface Working Group (OCCI-WG). It will as much as possible complement and build on existing work such as the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF), as well as serving as an integration point for others standards efforts including DMTF and SNIA.
According to the WG Charter: "Cloud computing currently is covered by three models offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), which all involve the on-demand delivery of computing resources. There are a growing number of providers offering IaaS solutions for elastic capacity, whereby server "instances" are executed in their proprietary infrastructure and billed on a utility computing basis (typically virtual machines on a per instance per hour basis). There are also a number of commercial and open source products which seek to replicate this functionality in-house while exposing compatible interfaces so as "hybrid cloud" operating environments can be created. The Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) group will deliver an API specification for remote management of cloud computing infrastructure, allowing for the development of interoperable tools for common tasks including deployment, autonomic scaling and monitoring. The scope of the specification will be all high level functionality required for the life-cycle management of virtual machines (or workloads) running on virtualization technologies (or containers) supporting service elasticity."
OGF OCCI-WG is being coordinated by Thijs Metsch (Sun Microsystems), Andy Edmonds (Intel), Alexis Richardson (Rabbit Technologies and CohesiveFT), and Sam Johnston (Australian Online Solutions). Contact coordinators: Ignacio M. Llorente (DSA-research/UCM and OpenNebula) is co-founder and former chair of the group...
Prefix Elements for Road and House Numbers in PIDF-LO
Brian Rosen (ed), IETF Internet Draft
A first public draft for Prefix Elements for Road and House Numbers in PIDF-LO has been published as an IETF I-D. The IETF XML-based Presence Information Data Format (PIDF) specification was designed for communicating privacy-sensitive presence information and which has similar properties. PIDF-LO extends PIDF by describing an object format for carrying geographical information on the Internet.
In RFC 4119 (A Presence-based GEOPRIV Location Object Format) one can define a PIDF for 123 Main Street but not 123 Boulevard Coranado. There is an STS CAtype for a suffix, but no corresponding prefix. RFC 5139 ("Revised Civic Location Format for Presence Information Data Format Location Object - PIDF-LO") added PRM Premodifier and POM Postmodifier, but those are not suitable for the purpose. Similarly, one can express 123B Main, but not H123 Main. Although one can include such letters in the house number, most addressing authorities keep the number numeric only to facilitate sorting, and have prefix and suffix fields for alphanumerics that appear in front of or following the numeric house number. To remedy this situation, new CAtypes are required: STP for a street (road) prefix, and HNP for a house number prefix.
SPARQL New Features and Rationale
Kjetil Kjernsmo and Alexandre Passant (eds), W3C Technical Report
The W3C SPARQL Working Group is seeking public feedback on a Working Draft for "SPARQL New Features and Rationale." While RDF is a directed, labeled graph data format for representing information in the Web, the "SPARQL Query Language for RDF" specification defines the syntax and semantics of the SPARQL query language for RDF. SPARQL can be used to express queries across diverse data sources, whether the data is stored natively as RDF or viewed as RDF via middleware. SPARQL contains capabilities for querying required and optional graph patterns along with their conjunctions and disjunctions. SPARQL also supports extensible value testing and constraining queries by source RDF graph. The results of SPARQL queries can be results sets or RDF graphs. The W3C RDF Data Access Working Group published three SPARQL recommendations (Query Language, Protocol, and Results Format) in January 2008. SPARQL has become very widely implemented and used since then.
"SPARQL New Features and Rationale" is a simple introduction to planned new features of the language, including an explanation of its differences with respect to the previous SPARQL Query Language Recommendation (SPARQL/ Query 1.0). It also presents the requirements that have motivated the design of the main new features, and their rationale from a theoretical and implementation perspective.
Required new SPARQL features include: Aggregate functions; Subqueries; Negation; Project expressions; Update; and Service description. Time-permitting features include: BGP extensions for entailment regimes e.g., OWL flavors, RDFS, RIF; Property paths; Commonly used SPARQL functions—e.g. string manipulation functions; Basic federated query Query language syntax—commas in select lists, IN/BETWEEN operator...
See also: the SPARQL Working Group Wiki
The Kantara Initiative and the Global Identity Landscape
Mirko Zorz and Roger Sullivan, Help Net Security
Roger Sullivan serves as president of the Kantara Initiative Board of Trustees and president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board. From the interview: "Kantara Initiative has been co-founded by Concordia Project, DataPortablity Project, Information Card Foundation, Internet Society, Liberty Alliance, OpenLiberty.org and XDI.org. The Kantara Initiative membership structure is based on a bicameral governance model where the Board of Trustees and Leadership Council work hand-in-hand as peers in steering the direction of the organization. The bicameral model ensures that all members and participants can have a voice within Kantara Initiative...
The Kantara Initiative membership structure is unique in that it has been organized to ensure that there are zero barriers to participation. Membership levels allow for maximum industry-wide participation and include Participant, Member and Trustee categories, which individuals and organizations join depending on the size of the organization and type of desired participation...
Since launching the Kantara Initiative name at the April 2009 RSA Conference members of the identity community have proposed nearly 20 initial work and discussion groups. All groups are open to every Kantara Initiative member - as well as to the public - and anyone can suggest a new group to the Leadership Council at any time. Groups are formed by members and participants to address common issues and problems related to specific industries... Proposed groups are being approved on an ongoing basis by the Leadership Council and include Concordia Use Cases, Consumer Identity eGovernment, Federated Identity Model Agreement & Commentary (FIMAC), Health Identity and Assurance, Identity Assurance and Accreditation, Identity Provider Selection, ID-WSF Evolution (OAuth Extensions), Japan, Multi-Protocol Identity Selection, Multi-Protocol Relying Party Deployment, Privacy and Public Policy, Telecommunications Identity, User Driven Information Technology and Volunteered Personal Information (VPI)..."
See also: the Kantara Initiative web site
Oracle Next-Generation Middleware Provides Foundation for Innovation
Staff, Oracle Announcement
On July 1, 2009, Oracle announced availability of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, the next generation of the industry's leading middleware product suite. Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g is a modern application infrastructure that significantly improves the agility and intelligence of business applications while enabling organizations to exploit new hardware and software architectures for efficient IT execution and cost savings. Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g—complete, integrated and hot-pluggable, best-of-breed middleware suite,—offers increased functionality across its product portfolio, including new, innovative capabilities in Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebLogic Suite, Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle Identity Management.
Oracle Platform Security Services (OPSS), a new layer for security services available through Oracle Fusion Middleware, delivers the industry's first Service-Oriented Security foundation... Oracle Web Services Manager and Oracle Access Manager have significant enhancements to provide integrated access control including message encryption, identity propagation, and policy management for Web-based applications and Web services in a heterogeneous, multi-vendor environment. Oracle Identity Federation now features the Universal Federation Framework, extending connectivity to a broad set of protocols including SAML 2.0, Microsoft CardSpace, Liberty, WS-Federation, and more. Oracle Identity Federation 11g has also passed Liberty Alliance SAML 2.0 Interoperability Testing, thereby demonstrating how user-driven, identity-enabled applications can interoperate across networks, devices and regions. Oracle also announced Oracle Identity Analytics, an integrated audit and compliance solution. Oracle Identity Analytics provides rich compliance dashboards, along with intelligent analytics, by aggregating identity data from multiple enterprise systems, applications, and network monitoring solutions into an Identity Warehouse.
See also: Oracle Identity Management
The Better Office Alternative: SoftMaker Office
Randall C. Kennedy, InfoWorld
"In the kingdom of business productivity, Microsoft Office reigns supreme. Its dominating position atop the word processing, spreadsheet, and presentations heap seems virtually unassailable. Its file formats define an industry, and its component applications are often synonymous with the underlying tasks they perform...
With an eye toward the all-important requirement of seamless interoperability, I evaluated the latest and greatest that the competition has to offer. In the following sections, I take a look at OpenOffice.org 3.1 and SoftMaker 2008 to determine if these suites have what it takes to stage the ultimate palace coup and bring down the king once and for all. I also explore the recently leaked Microsoft Office 2010 Community Technical Preview (CTP) build and explain why I believe that the company's flagship productivity offering is so hard to kill...
Bottom line: SoftMaker Office shows that good things often still come in small packages. The product's compact footprint and low overhead make it ideal for underpowered systems, and its excellent compatibility with Office 2003 file formats means it's a safe choice for heterogeneous environments where external data access isn't a priority. With a promising beta release just around the corner, SoftMaker's star is definitely on the rise..."
Two Centuries On, a Cryptologist Cracks a Presidential Code
Rachel Emma Silverman, WSJ Online
"For more than 200 years, buried deep within Thomas Jefferson's correspondence and papers, there lay a mysterious cipher—a coded message that appears to have remained unsolved. Until now. The cryptic message was sent to President Jefferson in December 1801 by his friend and frequent correspondent, Robert Patterson, a mathematics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. President Jefferson and Mr. Patterson were both officials at the American Philosophical Society—a group that promoted scholarly research in the sciences and humanities—and were enthusiasts of ciphers and other codes, regularly exchanging letters about them... The overall calculations necessary to solve the puzzle were fewer than 100,000, which Dr. Smithline says would be "tedious in the 19th century, but doable." After about a week of working on the puzzle, the numerical key to Mr. Patterson's cipher emerged -- 13, 34, 57, 65, 22, 78, 49. Using that digital key, he was able to unfurl the cipher's text..."
See also: Harvard Magazine
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