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Last modified: December 09, 2009
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 09 December 2009

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Microsoft Corporation

Associating Style Sheets with XML Documents 1.0: Second Edition Draft
Henry Thompson and Paul Grosso, W3C Announcement

"The W3C's XML Core Working Group's charter includes maintenance of the specification "Associating Style Sheets with XML Documents 1.0 (First Edition)", published as a W3C Recommendation in June 1999. In response to comments on this specification, the Working Group has developed a draft Second Edition of the specification that is currently available for general review and comments.

This second edition incorporates all known errata as of the publication date, clarifies several areas left unspecified in the earlier edition, and has been restructured to allow other specifications to reuse the rules for parsing pseudo-attributes from a string. This edition, once it becomes a Recommendation, will supersede the previous edition of 29-June-1999."

From the document Introduction: "Authors might have particular intentions as to how user agents are to present the information contained in their XML documents. This specification provides a non-intrusive mechanism, using a processing instruction, to provide links to one or more style sheets, i.e. resources specifying the desired rendering in a designated language. User agents will use these resources to control presentation of XML.

XML defines an application as a software module which receives the information content of an XML document from an XML processor. An xml-stylesheet processor may be part of a larger XML application, or may function independently. In either case, an application is the consumer of the pseudo-attribute analysis defined in this specification. An xml-stylesheet processor is considered to be a conforming xml-stylesheet processor if it satisfies all must-level criteria in this specification that apply to xml-stylesheet processors; an xml-stylesheet processor does not have to check or enforce any of the constraints on documents... This specification is defined with reference to the vocabulary for XML provided by the XML Information Set. The productions in this specification use the same notation as used in the XML specification; tokens in the grammar that are not defined in this specification are defined in the XML specification...."

See also: the W3C XML Core Working Group

HTTP Authentication: Token Access Authentication
Eran Hammer-Lahav (ed), IETF Internet Draft

An initial version -00 Internet Draft has been published for the specification "HTTP Authentication: Token Access Authentication." The I-D has been submitted for the consideration of the IETF OAuth Working Group to be adopted as an official working group item per its current charter; it is presented in its raw form to assist in facilitating a more effective working group conversation...

"With the growing use of distributed web services and cloud computing, clients need to allow other parties access to the resources they control. When granting access, clients should not be required to share their credentials (typically a username and password), and should have the ability to restrict access to a limited subset of the resources they control or the access methods supported by these resources. These goals require new classes of authentication credentials.

The HTTP Basic and Digest Access authentication schemes defined by RFC 2617 enable clients to make authenticated HTTP requests by using a username (or userid) and a password. In most cases, the client uses a single set of credentials to access all the resources it controls which are hosted by the server. While the Basic and Digest schemes can be used to send credentials other than a username and password, their wide deployment and well-established behavior in user-agents preclude them from being used with other classes of credentials. Extending these schemes to support new classes would require impractical changes to their existing deployment.

The Token Access Authentication scheme provides a method for making authenticated HTTP requests using a token - an identifier used to denote an access grant with specific scope, duration, cryptographic properties, and other attributes. Tokens can issued by the server, self-issued by the client, or issued by a third party. The token scheme support an extensible set of credential classes, by enabling the server to declare the classes it supports. Token classes determine how tokens are obtained and the context in which they can be used. It also supports an extensible set of authentication methods and authentication coverage (the elements of the HTTP request such as the request URI or entity-body included in the authentication process). This specification defines four token authentication methods to support the most common use cases and describes their security properties. The methods through which clients obtain tokens supporting these methods are beyond the scope of this specification. The OAuth protocol defines one such set of methods for obtaining oauth-class token credentials..."

See also: the IETF Open Authentication Protocol (OAuth) Working Group

Combine Social Media APIs and XML-Based Data Formats
J. Jeffrey Hanson, IBM developerWorks

"This article explores the concepts, design, and implementation details pertaining to interacting with social media sites using various APIs and XML-based data formats such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS), Atom, Facebook Markup Language (FBML), OpenSocial Markup Language (OSML), SOAP, and plain old XML (POX). It is written for developers who seek to understand the social media environment and how to apply XML-based data formats across various APIs. XML-based data is ubiquitous across social media APIs, and XML-based data formats help to standardize and simplify the HTTP programming model across heterogeneous sites and services...

The term social media refers to sites and services that allow users to share media, content, data, and so on. Some of the more recognizable social media sites and services are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the vast array of sites and services offered by Google. News media is quickly being transformed to a social media delivery model as well. Social media delivery vehicles include online forums, weblogs, wikis, picture sharing, video sharing, bookmarking, and social activity streams. XML plays a big role in the exchange of data within the social media community. Social media providers use XML-based dialects extensively in APIs that they provide to enable access to their services.

A social media API is a framework of request/response interactions provided by a social media provider that enables third-party sites to build a sites, pages, services, and so on that interact with the social media provider's functionality. eBay, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and OpenSocial are a few examples of the providers exposing APIs for building social media applications and services..."

See also: MySpace and OpenSocial

IETF Specification for a Pronunciation Alphabet Registry
Daniel C. Burnett and ZhiWei Shuang (eds), IETF Internet Draft

IETF has published a first working draft for a "Pronunciation Alphabet Registry" specification. The document, intended for release as an IETF Informational RFC, describes a new registry for Pronunciation Alphabets such as pinyin, which can be used to describe pronunciations of words and phrases in a particular language.

The Pronunciation Alphabet Registry contains a list of Pronunciation Alphabet tags. This allows implementers a straightforward and reliable way to validate Pronunciation Alphabet tags. The Pronunciation Alphabet Registry will be maintained so that it is possible to validate all of the Pronunciation Alphabet tags under the provisions of this document or its revisions or successors. In addition, the meaning of the various Pronunciation Alphabet tags will be unambiguous and stable over time. The meaning of private use Pronunciation Alphabet is not defined here...

Pronunciation Alphabet tags can be used in the alphabet attribute of the phoneme element in the 'Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML)' [W3C Candidate Recommendation]. At some point in the future they may also be usable within the alphabet attribute of the phoneme and lexicon elements in the 'Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS) Version 1.0' which was published as a W3C Recommentation in October 2008.

The Pronunciation Alphabet Registry (PAR) consists of a text file including all registered Pronunciation Alphabet tags in the format defined in this section, plus copies of the registration forms... The Pronunciation Alphabet Reviewer moderates the '' mailing list, responds to requests for registration, and performs the other registry maintenance duties... The Pronunciation Alphabet Reviewer is appointed by the IESG for an indefinite term, subject to removal or replacement at the IESG's discretion...Qualified candidates should be familiar with this document and its requirements; be willing to fairly, responsively, and judiciously administer the registration process; and be suitably informed about the issues of pronunciation alphabets so that the reviewer can assess the claims and draw upon the contributions of experts in the use and definition of pronunciation alphabets and tag requesters... The Pronunciation Alphabet Reviewer must evaluate each suggested change, determine whether it conflicts with existing registry entries, and submit the information to IANA for inclusion in the registry..."

See also: Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML)

Process XML in the Browser Using jQuery
Uche Ogbuji, IBM developerWorks

"XML is SGML for the Web, but it hasn't made as big a splash on the Web as the XML community would like. The most prominent effort for XML on the Web, XHTML, has been dogged by politics and design-by-committee, and other ambitious, technically sound specs such as XForms and SVG have struggled with slow uptake. The success of XML on the Web has come in sometimes unexpected directions, including the popularity of Web feeds, XML formats such as the RSS flavors and Atom...

Many dynamic HTML developers are tired of the cross-browser pain and scripting quirks across browser. The emergence of several excellent JavaScript libraries makes life easier for developers. One of the most popular of these libraries is jQuery, which has been covered in several articles here on developerWorks. You can also use jQuery to process XML, if you learn how to drive around the monster potholes. This article shows how to use jQuery to process the Atom Web feed format. Web feed XML is perhaps the most pervasive XML format around, and the main fulfillment of the promise of XML on the Web. But most such formats use XML namespaces, which cause issues with many popular JavaScript libraries, including jQuery.

jQuery is all about packaging up all the tricks and workarounds for dealing with Web browser oddities, and the XML workbench introduced in this article is a first step towards such a reusable tool for those needing to deal with XML. You see how one of the biggest problems is dealing with namespaces. Once you get past that hurdle, jQuery gives you the tools to deal with the many sorts of irregular documents so aptly expressed with XML. You'll discover how readily the techniques developed processing Web feeds can be applied to many other XML formats within the browser. If you find jQuery and attendant workarounds unsuitable, another option is to use a JavaScript library more directly targeted at XML processing, such as Sarissa, which is worth an article of its own, but is not as widely used, nor as easy to deploy as jQuery.

See also: jQuery resources

How Buildings Will Communicate With the Smart Grid
Jim Sinopoli,

"The entire concept of the utility grid, buildings, vehicles, energy sources and energy storage all communicating with one another to enable the efficient use of energy is ambitious and breathtaking... The larger question is: what are the attributes and characteristics of the connection between smart buildings and the smart grid?

One of the top priorities of the Smart Grid is demand response, an economic mechanism to have customers reduce or increase demand. When used to reduce demand, utilities reduce their peak demand and the additional need for plant and the related capital costs.. If the demand response is anticipated, it is possible that typical building systems in non-residential buildings may be able to be scheduled to react. If it's dynamic however, as utility rates are projected to be, the grid must communicate real time with the building systems. The basis of that communication appears to be open standards-based technology such as XML, SOAP, and Web services, as indicated in version one of an Open Automated Demand Response communications specification. The communications standards for pricing formats and time-of-day schedules need to be established. While that framework looks solid it would take some advanced or enhanced building management systems to accommodate that communication and in turn adjust the energy-related building systems. The number of existing buildings that are currently capable of doing so is very small...

Standards and Protocols: The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) is responsible for coordinating the identification and development of the protocols and standards to achieve interoperability of Smart Grid devices and systems. After several iterations and public hearings for comment they released a draft report in September. NIST has identified applicable existing standards and also gaps where standards will need to be developed. The priority areas include: demand response, consumer energy efficiency, wide area situational awareness, electric storage, electric transportation, advanced metering infrastructure, distribution grid management, cyber security and network communications. They have identified 77 standards or specifications that can be used in the Smart Grid. Sixteen standards were initially identified as having strong consensus; that was expanded to 31 after public comment. An additional 46 standards were identified as potentially applicable...

See also: the Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Project

2010 a Boom Year for Cloud Computing?
Stephen Swoyer, Application Development Trends

There's still a lot of hype surrounding the platform, but if recent market research is any indication, computing in the clouds could achieve a breakthrough of sorts in 2010. According to Aberdeen Group, companies pursuing cloud strategies are able to realize significant savings, including a near 20 percent reduction in administrative costs, compared to non-adopters... Aberdeen's research comes with an obvious caveat: It isn't enough to simply develop a cloud computing strategy; successful cloud adopters—shops that reap the biggest benefits from their cloud implementations—must also develop appropriate support resources, such as a formal cloud computing team or task force, to better manage their cloud investments...

There's a kind of stratification between cloud adopters, according to Aberdeen. Enterprise-class shops tend to pursue cloud computing as a consequence of existing investments in virtualization and, to a lesser extent, green IT. In this sense, cloud computing could even be described as a logical continuation of extant virtualization or energy-efficiency efforts. One upshot of this is that enterprise IT organizations, more so than IT practices in small- and midsize (SMB) shops, have a disproportionate interest in private clouds. More than half (56 percent) of enterprise IT organizations are building their own private cloud-based infrastructures; less than one-fifth (20 percent) of SMB shops are doing as much..."

See also: Aberdeen Group analyst reports

Red Hat Open-Sources Virtualization Protocol
Antone Gonsalves, InformationWeek

Red Hat released to the open source community its SPICE protocol for virtual desktops. SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment), is a core component in the Linux distributor's Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops product, which is currently in beta and is scheduled for general availability next year. Red Hat took possession of SPICE in the September 2008 acquisition of Qumranet.. The technology is designed for desktops which use remote servers for data processing. SPICE improves the user experience when rendering bandwidth-intensive applications, such as video or voice over IP.

According to Red Hat: "The Spice project aims to provide a complete open source solution for interaction with virtualized desktop devices. The Spice project deals with both the virtualized devices and the front-end. Interaction between front-end and back-end is done using VD-Interfaces. The VD-Interfaces (VDI) enable both ends of the solution to be easily utilized by a third-party component... Currently, the project main focus is to provide high-quality remote access to QEMU virtual machine. Seeking to help break down the barriers to virtualization adoption by overcoming traditional desktop virtualization challenges, emphasizing user experience. For this purpose, Red Hat introduced the SPICE remote computing protocol that is used for Spice client-server communication. Other components developed include QXL display device and driver, etc... The Spice project plans to provide additional solutions, including: (1) Remote access for a physical machine; (2) VM front-end for local users, i.e., render on and share devices of the same physical machine..."

See also: the Red Hat announcement


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