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Last modified: November 19, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 19 November 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.

Review of OASIS Naming and Design Rules Specification
Staff, OASIS UBL TC Announcements

Members of the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee announced the release of "Universal Business Language (UBL) 2.0 Naming and Design Rules" Public Review Draft Version 02, with invitation for comment through 1-December-2009. This specification was previously submitted for a 60-day public review, announced September 13, 2006. The Naming and Design Rules specification "documents the naming and design rules and guidelines for the construction of XML components for the UBL vocabulary. It conveys a normative set of XML schema design rules and naming conventions for the creation of UBL schemas for business documents being exchanged between two parties using XML constructs defined in accordance with the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification. The UBL NDR primary objectives are to provide the UBL TC with a set of unambiguous, consistent rules for the development of extensible, reusable UBL schemas...

As presented in the Introduction: "XML is often described as the lingua franca of e-commerce. The implication is that by standardizing on XML, enterprises will be able to trade with anyone, any time, without the need for the costly custom integration work that has been necessary in the past. But this vision of XML-based 'plug-and-play' commerce is overly simplistic... A standard business language must strike a difficult balance, adapting to the specific needs of a given company while remaining general enough to let different companies in different industries communicate with each other... The UBL effort addresses this problem by building on the work of the electronic business XML (ebXML) initiative. UBL is organized as an OASIS Technical Committee to guarantee a rigorous, open process for the standardization of the XML business language. The development of UBL within OASIS also helps ensure a fit with other essential ebXML specifications..."

The document XML Naming and Design Rules Implementation Verification from UN/CEFACT Applied Technologies Group NDR (XML Naming and Design Rules) was also released as part of the Open Development Process (ODP) 6, as of August 04, 2009. This XML Naming and Design Rules specification "defines an architecture and set of rules necessary to define, describe and use XML to consistently express business information exchanges. It is based on the World Wide Web consortium suite of XML specifications and the UN/CEFACT Core Components Technical Specification. This specification will be used by UN/CEFACT to define XML Schema and XML Schema documents which will be published and UN/CEFACT standards. It will also be used by other Standards Development Organizations who are interested in maximizing inter- and intra-industry interoperability...

All UN/CEFACT business information modeling and business process modeling employ the methodology and model described in UN/CEFACT CCTS. CCTS provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information to support and enhance information interoperability. The foundational concepts of CCTS are Core Components (CC) and Business Information Entities (BIE). CCs are building blocks that can be used for all aspects of data modeling, information modelling and information exchange. CCsare conceptual models that are used to define Business Information Entities (BIEs). CCs include Aggregate Core Components (ACCs), Basic Core Components (BCCs) and Association Core Components (ASCCs). Business Information Entities (BIEs) include Aggregate Business Information Entities (ABIEs), Basic Business Information Entities (BBIEs) and Association Business Information Entities (ASBIEs)..."

Draft Charter for OpenID Attribute Exchange 1.1 Working Group
Nat Sakimura, OpenID Announcement

An announcement was posted for a draft Charter to create OpenID Attribute Exchange 1.1 Working Group, to "separate out the 2.0 and 1.1 discussion. The goal is to produce an updated version of the Attribute Exchange (AX) and Simple Registration (SREG) Extensions. The extensions should be backwards-compatible with AX 1.0... OpenID Attribute Exchange is "an OpenID service extension for exchanging identity information between endpoints. Messages for retrieval and storage of identity information are provided.

An 'attribute' is a unit of personal identity information that is identified by a unique URI. It may refer to any kind of information. A reference example of defining attribute types is provided by D. Hardt, D. 'Schema for OpenID Attribute Exchange' (May 2007). The service extension defines two message types for transferring attributes: fetch and store. Fetch retrieves attribute information from an OpenID Provider, while store saves or updates attribute information on the OpenID Provider. Both messages originate from the Relying Party and are passed to the OpenID Provider via the user agent as per the OpenID Authentication protocol specification...

Information Model: The OpenID Attribute Exchange service extension provides a mechanism for moving identity information between sites, as such its information model is simple: An attribute is associated with a Subject Identifier; An attribute has a type identifier and a value; An attribute type identifier is a URI; An attribute value can be any kind of data... An identifier for a set of attributes. It MUST be a URI. The subject identifier corresponds to the end-user identifier in the authentication portion of the messages. In other words, the subject of the identity attributes in the attribute exchange part of the message is the same as the end-user in the authentication part. The subject identifier is not included in the attribute exchange..."

See also: the OpenID List posting

Emergency Text Messaging Using SIP MESSAGE
Jong Yul Kim, Wonsang Song (et al, eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Emergency Context Resolution with Internet Technologies (ECRIT) Working Group have published an initial -00 Internet Draft for Emergency Text Messaging Using SIP MESSAGE. It describes best current practices on how to use the SIP MESSAGE method for emergency text messaging from citizen and visitors to authorities.

The ECRIT working group was chartered to study "Internet technologies available to describe location and to manage call routing. The WG describes when these may be appropriate and how they may be used. This group is considering emergency services calls which might be made by any user of the Internet, as opposed to government or military services that may impose very different authentication and routing requirements. The group will show how the availability of location data and call routing information at different steps in session setup would enable communication between a user and a relevant emergency response center...

The SIP MESSAGE method (RFC 3428) is used for page-mode messaging. In page mode, each individual message is sent independently and not as part of any session. On the other hand, there are session-mode text messaging standards such as the Message Session Relay Protocol (MSRP), per RFC 4975, and Real Time Text (RTT), per RFC 5194, where every message is part of a session with a definite start and end. Which mode to use in an emergency depends on what the endpoint is capable of.

This document assumes that the Emergency Services network (ESInet) and PSAPs are SIP-based infrastructures. However, the caller-facing access network may or may not be IP based. Emergency messages may be sent end-to-end using the SIP MESSAGE method, or it may be in a different format and protocol in the caller side and have to be converted to SIP MESSAGE somewhere along the path towards the call taker. Therefore, we also describe recommendations on how a SIP MESSAGE is formed from non-SIP text protocols... Caller UAC follows the rules of SIP MESSAGE and those of 'Framework for Emergency Calling using Internet Multimedia'. The UAC may include location information in the body as type 'xml/pidf-lo' with a corresponding Geolocation header field, or include a reference to the location information in the Geolocation header field as specified in 'Location Conveyance for the Session Initiation Protocol'...

See also: XML and Emergency Management

Exploring HTML 5's Audio/Video Multimedia Support
Kurt Cagle,

"The idea of specific video and audio tags within HTML would have been technically impossible in HTML 3 and even somewhat infeasible in HTML Version 4. Because HTML 4.0 essentially was a 'frozen' version, the specific mechanism for displaying content has been very much format dependent (e.g., Apple QuickTime Movies and Flash video) and usually relies upon tags with varying parameters for passing the relevant information to the server. As a result, video and audio embedding on web pages has become something of a black art...

Its perhaps not surprising then that the 'audio' and 'video' tags were among the first features to be added to the HTML 5 specification, and these seem to be the first elements of the HTML 5 specification that browser vendors implemented. These particular elements are intended to enable the browser to work with both types of media in an easy-to-use manner. An included support API gives users finer-grained control...

Theoretically, the 'video' and 'audio' elements should be able to handle most of the codecs currently in use. In practice, however, the browsers that do currently support these elements do so only for the open source Ogg Vorbis and Theora standards. The names may not be familiar to you... The Ogg Vorbis standard is both open source and high fidelity, compared with the better-known MPEG formats. As such, Ogg Vorbis is a popular format for storing audio tracks for games and online applications. The HTML 5 specification does not give any preference to Ogg Vorbis/Theora over other formats, but it is the one supported by Firefox (exclusively, at this point). The Chrome and Safari teams both have announced intentions to support the two standards in addition to others...

By all indications, the browser vendors view the multimedia aspects as perhaps the most crucial in the developing HTML 5 standard. Given the complexity of both types of media and the prospect of being able to better promote video and audio usage within web browsers, it's hardly surprising. However, before HTML 5 multimedia becomes ubiquitous, the state of the art for these browser implementations still has a ways to go technically..."

See also: the video element in an HTML 5 draft

Review of Fujitsu's IaaS Cloud API Submission to DMTF
William Vambenepe, Oracle Blog

"Things are heating up in the DMTF Cloud incubator. Back in September 2009, VMWare submitted its vCloud API to the group. Last week, the group released a white paper titled 'Interoperable Clouds'. And a second submission, from Fujitsu, was made last week... The Fujitsu submission is called an 'API design'. What this means is that it doesn't tell you anything about what things look like on the wire. It could materialize as another 'XML over HTTP' protocol (with or without SOAP wrapper), but it could just as well be implemented as a binary RPC protocol. It's really more of an esquisse of a resource model than a remote API. The only invocation-related aspect of the document is that it defines explicit operations on various resources (though not their input and outputs). This suggest that the most obvious mapping would be to some XML/HTTP RPC protocol (SOAPy or not). In that sense, it stands out a bit from the more recent Cloud API proposals that take a 'RESTful' rather than RPC approach. But in these days of enthusiastic REST-washing I am pretty sure a determined designer could produce a RESTful-looking (but contorted) set of resources that would channel the operations in the specification as HTTP-like verbs on these resources..."

According to the text of the announcement: "Fujitsu's next generation IaaS platform, Trusted-Service Platform, will provide capabilities that enable customers to create, configure, expand, and delete a user's virtual ICT (Information and Communication Technology) system dynamically in a self-serve manner via the Internet. Operations can be directed either by the actual user through the web browser or by software through a 'cloud API.' Using the cloud API, an adaptive and flexible system can be developed, such as a system which increases or decreases the number of deployed virtual servers corresponding to the system load. Over the next few years, along with the increasing demand for cloud services, several service providers including Fujitsu will offer IaaS. A standardized cloud API greatly reduces customer dependency on one particular cloud provider thus allowing them to switch to a provider with the optimal service level without the need for changing their applications. The same cloud API is applicable to an 'enterprise cloud,' which is an enterprise system owned by customers and operated privately using cloud technologies. Customers can choose to run the same application system either on the cloud providers' IaaS or on the customer's own datacenter depending on business requirements such as capital expenditure, operational cost, and compliance..."

See also: the Fujitsu announcement

W3C Mobile Web for Social Development Roadmap
Stephane Boyera (ed), W3C Interest Group Note

Members of the W3C Mobile Web For Social Development (MW4D) Interest Group have published a Group Note for the "Mobile Web for Social Development Roadmap." The Mobile Web for Social Development Interest Group is part of the Mobile Web Initiative. This document describes some of the current challenges of deploying development-oriented services on mobile phones. It suggests the most promising directions for lowering barriers to developing, deploying and accessing services on mobile phones and thereby creating an enabling environment for more social-oriented services to appear.

From the Abstract: "This document is the heart of the MW4D IG work. Its purpose is to understand the current challenges of deploying development-oriented services on mobile phones, evaluate existing technologies, and identify the most promising directions to lower the barriers of developing, deploying and accessing services on mobile phones and thereby creating an enabling environment for more social-oriented services to appear.

This document is divided into two major parts. The first part presents the major challenges today for both developing and accessing mobile services, potential ways to bridge them with existing tools, technologies and infrastructure, and potential research directions to follow to provide a more comprehensive resolution or solution. The second part focuses on presenting the major technologies and the major options existing today to deploy content and applications on mobile phones. For each of these technologies, the document presents a short analysis of the technology's potential and the requirements in terms of infrastructure, devices, targeted end-users, and costs associated with implementation and delivery..."

See also: the W3C Mobile Web for Social Development (MW4D) Interest Group

Last Call Working Draft: XML Entity Definitions for Characters
David Carlisle and Patrick Ion (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Math Working Group have published a Last Call Working Draft for the specification "XML Entity Definitions for Characters." The document defines several sets of names which are assigned to Unicode characters. Each of these sets is also implemented as a file of XML entity declarations.

Background: "It is difficult to write science fluently if scientific characters are not available for use. It is difficult to read science if corresponding glyphs are not available for presentation. In the majority of cases it is preferable to store characters directly as Unicode character data or as XML numeric character references. However, in some environments it is more convenient to use the ASCII input mechanism provided by XML entity references. Many entity names are in common use, and this specification aims to provide standard mappings to Unicode for each of these names. It introduces no names that have not already been used in earlier specifications.

The entity names in the sets starting with the letters 'iso' were first standardized in SGML and updated in ISO9573-13-1991. The W3C Math Working Group has been invited to take over the maintenance and development of these sets by the original standards committee (ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34). The sets with names starting 'mml' were first standardized in MathML and those starting with 'xhtml' were first standardized in HTML Version 4..."

See also: the W3C Math Home

Updated IETF Internet Draft: Collection Synchronization for WebDAV
Cyrus Daboo and Arnaud Quillaud (eds), IETF Internet Draft

A posting by Arnaud Quillaud to the IETF VCARDDAV Working Group list reports on the update of "Collection Synchronization for WebDAV," a specification which defines an extension to WebDAV to support efficient synchronization of the contents of a WebDAV collection.

WebDAV, presented in RFC 4918, defines the concept of 'collections' which are hierarchical groupings of WebDAV resources on an HTTP server. Collections can be of arbitrary size and depth (i.e., collections within collections). WebDAV clients that cache resource content need a way to synchronize that data with the server (i.e., detect what has changed and update their cache). This can currently be done using a WebDAV 'PROPFIND' request on a collection to list all members of a collection along with their DAV:getetag property values, which allows the client to determine which resources were changed, added or deleted. However, this does not scale well to large collections as the XML response to the 'PROPFIND' request will grow with the collection size. This specification defines a new WebDAV report that results in the server returning to the client only information about those resources which have changed, are new or were deleted since a previous execution of the report on the collection. Additionally, a new property is added to collection resources that is used to convey a 'synchronization token' that is guaranteed to change when resources within the collection have changed.

This draft addresses several, if not all, of the comments from the last version; the open issues section still contains two significant items, to be discussed... (1) Added definition of sync-token WebDAV property; (2) Added references to SEARCH, CalDAV, CardDAV as alternative ways to first synchronize a collection; (3) Added section defining under which condition each state change (new, modified, removed) should be reported. Added reference to BIND; (4) Incorporated feedback from Julian Reschke and Ciny Joy; (5) More details on the use of the 'DAV:valid-sync-token' precondition..."

See also: the IETF vCard and CardDAV (VCARDDAV) Working Group

Why Tim O'Reilly Sees Microsoft as a Proponent of the Open Web
Clint Boulton, eWEEK

"At the Web 2.0 Expo, Tim O'Reilly predicts that Microsoft will emerge as a leading proponent of the open Web, despite the company's tradition of fostering its own proprietary operating systems and development languages. O'Reilly says Microsoft's recent deals to index Twitter tweets and use Wolfram Alpha's APIs for computational data show a shift in its willingness to work with other Web companies. Moreover, the Windows Azure cloud computing operating system is designed to work with open-source technology...

While O'Reilly was making his case about the various factions fighting it out for our interest (and dollars) online, more evidence of this openness emerged at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference. Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said Microsoft would release its Windows Azure cloud services operating system in 2010. But the big news was that instead of just supporting the company's .NET programming language, it will support PHP, MySQL and other open-source tools. For example, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg said his company is launching a site called that runs on SQL Azure. That Microsoft would trumpet the existence of a customer so early on in Azure's young career is not big news, but Automattic makes WordPress, a blogging platform based on open-source tools..."

See also: Web 2.0 Expo SF


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