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Last modified: September 17, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 17 September 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.

OASIS Identity Management Forum 2009: Exploring Security Challenges
Staff, OASIS Announcement

"As national and international governments endeavor to provide open, transparent, and trusted services, the challenges of managing citizens' identities and access to information require careful planning, a strong policy focus, and attention to standards and interoperability. The risks, rewards, and repercussions of transparent government will be explored at Identity Management 2009, an OASIS IDtrust forum that will be held 29-30 September at the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The OASIS Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) Technical Committee will hold a F2F meeting in conjunction with the Forum."

Identity Management 2009 is sponsored by Microsoft. Lee Nackman, corporate vice president of the Identity and Security Division at Microsoft: "Promoting widespread use of secure and trustworthy digital identities, while preserving personal privacy and protecting civil liberties, is a critical challenge for governments and the technology industry. Working with government leaders, industry partners and consortia like OASIS, Microsoft is committed to the technical and policy innovation needed to provide citizens with safe access to resources and services, in both the public and private sectors. Identity Management 2009 will provide an ideal forum for knowledge sharing and collaboration in this area."

See also: the OASIS Identity Management Forum 2009 web site

Proposal for XML Namespaces in OMG Specifications
Tom Rutt (ed), OMG Final Proposal Document

Object Management Group (OMG), like several other consortia, sponsors an initiative to define the use of XML namespaces in technical specifications. The (draft) "Proposal for XML Namespaces in OMG Specifications" (Version 1) has been prepared for submission to the OMG Architecture Board.

Summary: "Currently, within the OMG there is no consistency in how namespaces are defined and associated with XML schemas, XMI documents, and WSDL documents for OMG Specs. Moving forward, it has been suggested that the OMG should have a policy for XML Namespaces associated with OMG specs...

For consistency, the most important aspect of this proposal is that a URL used for any OMG XML namespace always resolves to a RDDL document describing that namespace, and that document be in a dated directory within the file hierarchy associated with the OMG specification which defines the namespace. The RDDL document is a special type of XHTML file, which contains explanatory text describing important aspects of the namespace definition, as well as specialized html links to related resources...

This proposal specifies a specific policy for URLs used for OMG schema and WSDL descriptions, which requires that the URL used for an OMG XML namespace be in a dated directory within the directory of the OMG specification which defines the namespace. The explanatory text in the OMG RDDL document for the namespace needs to include the policy used for defining and versioning the URI used for that namespace. This proposal includes a draft of the text defining the namespace versioning policy. The use of a dated URL, rather than a fixed version number, in a namespace name allows for evolution of the namespace, through subsequent XSD files which refine the valid productions in that namespace..."

Two TAG Findings are especially relevant in connection with this OMG document: Associating Resources with Namespaces (June 25, 2008) and The Disposition of Names in an XML Namespace (January 09, 2006).

See also: Namespaces in XML

Revised Internet Draft: Defining Well-Known URIs
Mark Nottingham and Eran Hammer-Lahav (eds), IETF Internet Draft

This revised Internet Draft, published previously under the titles "Site-Wide Metadata for the Web" and "Host Metadata for the Web," defines a path prefix for "well-known locations" in URIs.

From the document Introduction in Defining Well-Known URIs: "It is increasingly common for Web-based protocols to require the discovery of policy or metadata before making a request. For example, the Robots Exclusion Protocol specifies a way for automated processes to obtain permission to access resources; likewise, the Platform for Privacy Preferences tells user-agents how to discover privacy policy beforehand.

While there are several ways to access per-resource metadata (e.g., HTTP headers, WebDAV's PROPFIND (RFC 4918), the perceived overhead associated with them often precludes their use in these scenarios. When this happens, it is common to designate a 'well-known location' for such metadata, so that it can be easily located. However, this approach has the drawback of risking collisions, both with other such designated 'well-known locations' and with pre-existing resources.

To address this, this memo defines a path prefix for these 'well-known locations', '/.well-known/'. Future specifications that need to define a resource for such site-wide metadata can register their use to avoid collisions and minimise impingement upon sites' URI space..."

See also: the IETF 'Apps-Discuss' list for application-layer protocols

OASIS Members Form DITA in Composite Environments Subcommittee (DiCE)
Staff, OASIS Announcement

Members of the OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Technical Committee have created a new "DITA in Composite Environments Subcommittee (DiCE)", initially chaired by Seth Park (Freescale Semiconductor).

According to the published 'Charter for a Proposed OASIS DITA TC Subcommittee': Many DITA users have expressed the desire to publish destination formats using content from both DITA and non-DITA data sources. Some users have implemented this functionality by relying on specialized processing; however, those solutions are often non-generic, coded to solve specific issue rather than a general class of the problem.

The goals of the DiCE Subcommittee are to: (1) Define DITA's role in a composite data format environment; (2) Establish best practices for integrating DITA in a composite environment; (3) Provide baseline processing architecture to enable DITA to participate in composite environments; (4) Identify and recommend DITA architectural requirements to enable DITA participation in a composite environment; (5) Determine the classification of source content types and define supporting DITA syntax to express the nature and restrictions of the relation. The DiCE work is intended to enhance interoperability, tool support, data-driven meaning, and data provider support.

See also: the OASIS DITA Technical Committee web site

CSS Working Group Updates Candidate Recommendation of CSS3 Media Queries
H. Wium Lie, Tantek Çelik, Daniel Glazman (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group now invite implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of "Media Queries." HTML4 and CSS2 "currently support media-dependent style sheets tailored for different media types. For example, a document may use sans-serif fonts when displayed on a screen and serif fonts when printed. 'screen' and 'print' are two media types that have been defined. Media queries extend the functionality of media types by allowing more precise labeling of style sheets.

A media query consists of a media type and zero or more expressions to limit the scope of style sheets. Among the media features that can be used in media queries are 'width', 'height', and 'color'. By using media queries, presentations can be tailored to a specific range of output devices without changing the content itself...

This Media Queries specification will exit the CR stage the following conditions have been met: at least two interoperable implementations have been created (passing the respective test case in the CSS test suite); publication of a Test Suite; a minimum of another six months of the CR period must elapse...

See also: the W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Authorization Extensions
Mark Brown and Russell Housley (eds), IETF Internet Draft

"This document specifies authorization extensions to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) Handshake Protocol. Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is being used in an increasing variety of operational environments, including ones that were not envisioned at the time of the original design for TLS. The extensions introduced in this document are designed to enable TLS to operate in environments where authorization information needs to be exchanged between the client and the server before any protected data is exchanged. The use of these TLS authorization extensions is especially attractive when more than one application protocol can make use of the same authorization information.

The format and content of the authorization information carried in these extensions is extensible. This document references SAML Assertion and X509 Attribute Certificate authorization formats, but other formats can be used. Future authorization extensions may include any opaque assertion that is digitally signed by a trusted issuer. Recognizing the similarity to certification path validation, this document recommends the use of TLS Alert messages related to certificate processing to report authorization information processing failures..."

See also: SAML references

XProc and SMIL: Orchestrating Pipelines
Philip Fennell, O'Reilly Technical

Although the W3C's XML Pipeline Language (XProc) hasn't even left the stable yet, people are already looking beyond what it was originally designed for. Previous threads on the XProc mailing list discussed the topics of parallel step execution, process orchestration and comparisons with the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)...

Last year I was involved in the aggregation of results from several term extraction services; we chose Apache Cocoon to handle the pipeline processing of requests and transforms. To make our service more efficient we added a parallel request transformer component that would explicitly make concurrent requests and merge any results returned within a set period of time. The act of making explicit concurrent requests improved the performance of the service considerably...

How do you extend XProc to handle new features like explicit concurrency? Firstly, XProc is very extensible, you can write extension steps or extension attributes (in their own namespace) for an implementation. There's already an EXProc community that has been formed, following in the footsteps of EXPath and EXSLT, it's job is to co-ordinate extensions across implementations. It occurred to me, as a result of those mailing list treads, that there is another rather intriguing possibility. If you want to dictate the active duration of a pipeline step i.e., when it starts, how long it runs for, if it should repeat, how often it should repeat and under what circumstances it should start and stop (step orchestration) then you could use the W3C's Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) to describe these types of behaviours..."

See also: the Introduction to Xproc, An XML Pipeline Language

Microsoft Releases Office Web Apps Technical Preview
Nicholas Kolakowski, eWEEK

"Microsoft has offered users of Windows Live the chance to experiment with a limited technical preview of Office Web Apps, the online version of its Office productivity suite. The beta version of Web Apps will be released at some point during Fall 2009. Microsoft has been developing stripped-down, browser-accessible versions of its productivity programs in an attempt to head off challenges from Google Apps and other free cloud-based applications...

Office Web Apps will support a wide range of browsers, according to Microsoft, including Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. The platform will also support previous versions of Office, including 2003, 2007, 2010 and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. Other functionality includes the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit Excel Web App or OneNote Web App documents from within the browser. A 'Publish' feature lets users push Excel data or PowerPoint presentations to third-party Websites, blogs or wikis; the embedded portions of those documents will then be automatically updated whenever a user makes a change..."

Some screen shots are provided in the InfoWorld article by Neil McAllister: "First Glimpse: Microsoft Office Web Apps. Microsoft's Technical Preview of Web-based Editions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Shows that Google is in for a Fight."

See also: PC World


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