This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Microsoft Corporation http://www.microsoft.com
IT Heavyweights Back Telecom Cloud Forum (ECBC)
Jeffrey Schwartz, Application Development Trends
"The telecommunications industry has joined the effort to forge interoperability, security and common service levels among cloud providers by forming a consortium backed by some key cloud providers, enterprise customers, and hardware and software vendors. The TM Forum, an established telecom industry association, launched the Enterprise Cloud Buyers' Council (ECBC) at its annual Management World Americas conference in Orlando this week. The ECBC is backed by some key providers including Microsoft, IBM, CA, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and EMC, as well as telecom providers AT&T, BT, Telecom Italia and Nokia Siemens Networks... Noticeably absent from the list of backers are leading cloud providers Amazon and Google. Some analysts were quick to question the need for another cloud computing consortium, noting numerous other groups such as the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum and the Distributed Management Task Force's Open Cloud Standards Incubator...
The ECBC's goal is to forge common API's for developers, security, product definitions, SLAs, benchmarking, federated cloud stores and interoperability among cloud services. It has agreed to follow the initiatives of the DMTF and the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF), an organization focused on providing service delivery, as well as guidelines from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)... The ECBC has six major enterprise customers on board representing such industries as pharmaceuticals, retail and banking, and has been conducting ongoing discussions with a number of key influencers..."
According to ECBC: "TM Forum's Cloud Services Program will establish a healthy and vibrant ecosystem composed of buyers and sellers of all types. This creates a virtuous circle by encouraging dialog and open exchange of ideas that enable requirements and solutions to be presented, discussed, understood and implemented. (1) Cloud Buyers: providing the Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council, enabling greater efficiency and clarity in purchasing cloud services... will include metrics, service levels and address the unique needs of key industry verticals including Financial Services and Government, as well as the common needs of large IT organizations horizontally across industries. (2) Cloud Service Providers: identifying top supplier and integration priorities in product development and operational management for Infrastructure and Software cloud services (IaaS & SaaS)... (3) Cloud Technology Suppliers: advancing functionality and removing cost out of today's business and software solutions through best practices, benchmarks, processes, applications, information, common interfaces, and other management technologies related to cloud computing and communications products, services, and resources...."
See also: the ECBC web site
ECMAScript Version 5 Released
Alex Blewitt, InfoQueue
With that in mind, ECMAScript 5 aims to be backwardly compatible with the currently in-use ECMAScript 3 version (to foster quicker adoption across browsers), as well as providing for stricter constraints for developers to avoid common coding pitfalls. The introduction of strict mode aims to avoid common coding problems in ECMAScript applications...
See details in the Ecma International announcement.
See also: the ECMAScript Language Specification
W3C Invites Implementations of Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Format 1.0
John Schneider, Takuki Kamiya, Daniel Peintner (et al, eds), W3C Technical Reports
Members of the W3C Efficient XML Interchange Working Group have issued a call for implementations in connection with the advancement of EXI 1.0 documents to Candidate Recommendation stage. Two key documents include "Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Format 1.0" and "Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Primer." The EXI Working Group plans to submit the EXI specification for consideration as a W3C Proposed Recommendation when the following exit criteria have been met: (1) A test suite is available that tests each identified EXI format 1.0 feature, both required and optional. (2) At least two implementations, at least one of which is publicly available, have demonstrated interoperability of each feature. The working group will create an implementation report based on gathered evidence and make it available on its group web page. (3) The Working Group has responded formally to all issues raised against this document during the Candidate Recommendation review period.
Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) format is a very compact representation for the Extensible Markup Language (XML) Information Set that is intended to simultaneously optimize performance and the utilization of computational resources. The EXI format uses a hybrid approach drawn from the information and formal language theories, plus practical techniques verified by measurements, for entropy encoding XML information. Using a relatively simple algorithm, which is amenable to fast and compact implementation, and a small set of datatype representations, it reliably produces efficient encodings of XML event streams. The grammar production system and format definition of EXI are presented.
The companion Primer document is comprised of two major parts. The first part describes the structure and content of an EXI document with and without compression. More specifically, it describes the concept of an EXI stream and how it is generated using EXI grammars, as well as the implications on structure and content ordering in an EXI stream when compression is enabled. As a practical application of the concepts from the first part, the second part presents a complete bit-level description of an EXI document..."
See also: the EXI Primer
Sieve Email Filtering: Sieves and Display Directives in XML
Ned Freed and Srinivas Saisatish Vedam (eds), IETF Internet Draft
The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced approval of the specification "Sieve Email Filtering: Sieves and Display Directives in XML" as an IETF Proposed Standard. This document is a product of the IETF Sieve Mail Filtering Language Working Group. The IESG contact persons are Lisa Dusseault and Alexey Melnikov. The document has been discussed and reviewed in the SIEVE Working Group. There is consensus in the Working Group to publish this document as a Proposed Standard. A number of implementors have expressed interest in this specification, and least one implementation already exists.
Summary: This specification describes a way to represent Sieve email filtering language scripts in XML. Representing sieves in XML is intended not as an alternate storage format for Sieve but rather as a means to facilitate manipulation of scripts using XML tools. The XML representation also defines additional elements that have no counterparts in the regular Sieve language. These elements are intended for use by graphical user interfaces and provide facilities for labeling or grouping sections of a script so they can be displayed more conveniently. These elements are represented as specially structured comments in regular Sieve format.
Background: "Sieve, defined in RFC 5228, is a language for filtering email messages at or around the time of final delivery. It is designed to be implementable on either a mail client or mail server. It is meant to be extensible, simple, and independent of access protocol, mail architecture, and operating system and it is intended to be manipulated by a variety of different user interfaces. Some user interface environments have extensive existing facilities for manipulating material represented in XML. While adding support for alternate data syntaxes may be possible in most if not all of these environments, it may not be particularly convenient to do so. The obvious way to deal with this issue is to map sieves into XML, possibly on a separate backend system, manipulate the XML, and convert it back to normal Sieve format.
The fact that conversion into and out of XML may be done as a separate operation on a different system argues strongly for defining a common XML representation for Sieve. This way different front end user interfaces can be used with different back end mapping and storage facilities.Another issue with the creation and manipulation of sieve scripts by user interfaces is that the language is strictly focused on describing email filtering operations. The language contains no mechanisms for indicating how a given script should be presented in a user interface. Such information can be represented in XML very easily so it makes sense to define a framework to do this as part of the XML format. A structured comment convention is then used to retain this information when the script is converted to normal Sieve format..."
XML and Its Many Children: Bringing Order to a Digital World
Andrew Updegrove, ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Today
"Prior to the advent of computers, information was necessarily stored in tangible media that was searchable and understandable only through visual examination. With the advent of the Internet, both the opportunity and the challenge of automated access to knowledge were magnified a billion times. In the 1990s, it became clear that the riches of digitized data could only be mined if elements of text could be identified in such a way that they could be readily exchanged between computer systems of any type without losing knowledge of their own format and structure. Moreover, by permanently "tagging" elements of text with semantic, as well as formatting information, the data in documents could become self-aware, allowing information to be more intelligently searched, manipulated, and compiled.
The mechanism invented to achieve this end was a standard called the Extensible Business Language (XML), a tool that was strict enough to achieve the interoperable exchange of information, but flexible enough to allow the creation of a derivative based language to order and make greater sense of any domain of knowledge. In this article, I describe the origins, development and impact of XML, and the standards development organizations that maintain and continue to develop these essential tools of the Digital Age..."
See also: the interview with Tim Bray
Japanese Standard for ODF
Rick Jelliffe, O'Reilly Technical
"Based on a cryptic twitter from Dr Murata, it looks like the Japanese standard for ODF has been released. Congratulations to all involved, it is a good step forward to enable competition, substitution and industry in this area...
I gather that JIS standards are always in Japanese, so transposition from an international standard to a national standard involves translation, which is where experts like Muratasensei fit in. Readers will know Murata Makoto from standards such as XML, RELAX NG and DSDL. He is particularly involved in SC34 work, notably WG1 (schema languages), WG4 (OOXML) and WG6 (ODF.) Translation is actually a brilliant method for thorough review, because one language may require precision where another (English) allows fuzziness. Muratasensei is a strong supporter of ODF and document standards, but also a relentlessly hardnosed reviewer of its details, as you would want...
I hope Japanese people interested in open source or open standards will find the ODF JIS translation a good encouragement to participate in OASIS (and JIS) more. If Japanese users do not participate in ODF 1.2 development (either through OASIS TC directly, or through JIS and SC34, or just through the public comments) there is no guarantee that Japanese typesetting or cultural conventions will be enabled in ODF (or OOXML for that matter.) Ditto for Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and so on..."
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