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Last modified: February 08, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 08 February 2010

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.

Design Notes for Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) 2.0 Working Draft
Jeff Caruso, Fabio Giannetti, Tony Graham (et al, eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C XSL Working Group has published a Working Draft for Design Notes for Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) 2.0. This document is a Working Group Draft containing proposals for an eventual XSL-FO 2.0 Recommendation. Public feedback is solicited. The Working Group (actually the Formatting Objects Subgroup) is short of resources, and would be interested in organizations or individuals in a position to help us work on the Specification... Comments on this document should be made using bugzilla, or comments can also be sent by email to; members of the XSL-FO Task Force will enter them into bugzilla...

The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) has two parts: (1) a language for transforming XML documents (XSLT); (2) an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics (XSL-FO). This document describes features and changes introduced for version 2.0 of the XSL-FO part of XSL.

The document describes initial design notes for version 2.0 of the Formatting Object (FO) part of XSL. The final document will be a complete specification, but the early Working Drafts, including this one, give only design notes and discussion of new features and changes..."

See also: the W3C XSL Working Group

SKS (Secure Key Store) API and Architecture
Anders Rundgren, Technology Report

"This document describes the API (Application Programming Interface) and architecture of a system called SKS (Secure Key Store). SKS is essentially an enhanced smart card that is optimized for on-line provisioning of cryptographic keys and associated attributes.

All operations inside of an SKS are supposed to be protected from tampering by malicious external entities but the degree of internal protection may vary depending on the environment that the SKS is running in. That is, an SKS housed in a smart card which may be inserted in an arbitrary computer must keep all data within its protected memory, while an SKS that is an integral part of a mobile phone processor may store credential data in the same external Flash where programs are stored, but sealed by an SKS-resident 'master key'. The Device Certificate and its associated Attestation Private Key form the foundation for the mechanism that facilitates secure provisioning of keys, also when the surrounding middleware (for self-contained SKSes NB) and network are unsecured. The Cryptographic Engine performs in addition to standard cryptographic operations on private and secret keys, the core of the provisioning operations which from an API point-of-view are considerably more complex than the former. A vital part of the Cryptographic Engine is a high quality random number generator since the integrity of the entire provisioning scheme is relying on this. The Credential Database holds keys and other data that is related to keys such as protection and extension objects...

Provisioning API: Although SKS may be regarded as a 'component', it actually comprises of three associated systems: The KeyGen2 protocol, the SKS architecture, and the provisioning API described in this document. These items are tightly matched in order to create a secure and interoperable system. A question that arises is of course how compatible this scheme is with respect to existing protocols, APIs, and smart cards. The answer is simply: NOT AT ALL. A reason why SKS still may serve a purpose is that few of the current protocols, APIs and smart cards support secure on-line provisioning to end-users. in fact, smart cards are almost exclusively personalized by more or less proprietary software used by specific card administrators or by automated production facilities. It is evident that (at least) mobile phones need a scheme that is more consistent with the on-line paradigm since SIM-cards due to operator-bindings do not scale particularly well..."

Author's note to the IETF KEYPROV Working Group list: "In case you are interested in Key provisioning, APIs and Cryptography you may want to take a peek in the following document: The primary feature is that the described scheme allows you to provision keys and associated protection objects and attributes using on-line methods that can be technically at the same security-level as traditional smart card production performed in secured environments. The initial target was embedded key containers in mobile phones but I think that it could have a place in a next-generation of smart cards as well. It would be particularly useful for replacement cards since such cards may be needed right away, making physical distribution a real nuisance. I had to abandon my plans to use an 8-bit MCU for the proof-of-concept; now the requirment is a fairly powerful 32-bit ARM processor..."

See also: Cryptographic Key Management

Media Server Markup Language (MSML) Published as IETF Informational RFC
Staff, IETF Announcement

The IETF RFC Editor announced that a new Request for Comments is now available in online RFC libraries: Media Server Markup Language (MSML). The Media Server Markup Language (MSML) is an XML language used to control the flow of media streams and services applied to media streams within a media server. It is used to invoke many different types of services on individual sessions, groups of sessions, and conferences. MSML allows the creation of conferences, bridging different sessions together, and bridging sessions into conferences.

Section 16 provides the XML Schema. MSML specification consists of a set of XML schemas, all of which may be used together or any sub-set of the schemas may be used for each MSML package... Each package contains a single schema file, 'package-name'-datatypes.xsd. This schema file can be included by its extended package(s). Every package optionally contains another schema file, 'package_name'.xsd, which can be used directly to build or validate MSML scripts for a given package. The complete MSML schema ('msml.xsd') includes all the individual MSML packages. Packages include: MSML Core, MSML Conference Core Package, MSML Dialog Packages, MSML Audit Packages.

Details: "Media servers contain dynamic pools of media resources. Control agents and other users of media servers (called media server clients) can define and create many different services based on how they configure and use those resources. Often, that configuration and the ways in which those resources interact will be changed dynamically over the course of a call, to reflect changes in the way that an application interacts with a user. For example, a call may undergo an initial IVR dialog before being placed into a conference. Calls may be moved from a main conference to a sidebar conference and then back again. Individual calls may be directly bridged to create small n-way calls or simple sidebars. None of these change the SIP dialog or RTP session. Yet these do affect the media flow and processing internal to the media server.

MSML may also be used to create user interaction dialogs and allows the application of media transforms to media streams. Media interaction dialogs created using MSML allow construction of IVR dialog sessions to individual users as well as to groups of users participating in a conference. Dialogs may also be specified using other languages, VoiceXML, which support complete single-party application logic to be executed on the media server. [Note: This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for informational purposes. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.]

First Open Source Reference Implementation of IGF 1.0
Phil Hunt, Independent Identity Blog

"Over the past few months, a good deal of progress has been made around IGF and the open source implementation around it. In particular, last fall, Liberty Alliance ratified the IGF 1.0 specification as final. In mid January 2010 we published ArisID 1.1, the first open source implementation of IGF 1.0. Finally in late January, we checked in the first implementation of an open source provider based on OpenDS 2.2

"ArisID is an API for accessing and managing personal or identity related information using CARML as an XML data model. In addition to being useful from a privacy perspective, CARML enables important new developer features... If the principles of using an XML data model sounds familiar, it should. ArisID follows very similar architecture to Java Persistence Architecture. The key difference is that use of the CARML data model does not assume the pre-existance of a particular database or LDAP schema. Instead, a developer is able to create an application specific data model and write code as if the data model were a straight forward database. Then, at runtime, the provider layers of the API can be configured to connect to many different types of data repositories and network configurations including multiple directories or databases. With little effort, developers are able to create sophisticated applications that have much greater deployment flexibility in the types of data sources and repositories they can support, including remote and third-party sources.

Details: "The second release of the ArisID API represents the first release based on the official IGF 1.0 final specification from Liberty Alliance. ArisID has been upgraded to support the official CARML 1.0 specification which is part of the the Identity Governance Framework (IGF) 1.0 specification. There is now enhanced support for J2EE embedding. As an APL 2.0 project, ArisID uses Apache libraries by default. However, in production use, it is now possible for deployers to use libraries popular in other application servers such as Oracle WebLogic or Sun GlassFish, or other servers. ArisID now allows the ability to switch DOM Parsers, switch WS-Policy implementations, and Logging libraries (such as Java Util Logging or Log4J). For more information and configuration options, consult the ArisID Configuration wiki. Dynamic Ws-Policy Privacy Constraints can now be added to all operations. This means that run-time constraints can be added to transactions enabling dynamic conditions to be added to static constraints specified in the CARML declaration..."

Project Aristotle from openLiberty has as a goal "to leverage existing proven technology from the identity services industry and make it available through a simplified open-source API. By using the Aristotle Identity API, developers are freed from having to become experts in protocols such as LDAP or federated identity service protocols such as SAML, ID-WSF, OpenID, or WS-Trust. They are able to create their own identity "silo", while still enjoying the benefits of integration in standards based identity services."

See also: the ArisID 1.1 Release Notes

Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g Available
Staff, DDJ

"Oracle has announced the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware... Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a free set of certified plug-ins, enabling WebLogic developers to support Java EE and Web Service standards where Eclipse is the preferred Integrated Development Environment (IDE) within an organization. As part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse supports development with technologies including Database, Java SE, Java EE, Web Services, XML, and the Spring Framework.

This release delivers an extension to Eclipse with unique Oracle WebLogic Server features, WYSIWYG Web page editing, SCA support, JAX-WS Web Service validation, an integrated tag and data palette, and smart editors. Also new with this release is Oracle's AppXRay feature, a design time dependency analysis and visualization tool that makes it easy for Java developers to work in a team setting, greatly reduce runtime debugging, and improve code quality. The new features in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g are intended to allow Oracle WebLogic Server developers to reduce the number of code cycles and increase code quality by catching errors at design time...

OEPE provides support for WebLogic SCA container. You use it to populate the Spring context file and bundle as part of any regular Java EE deployment bundles, such as EAR or WAR... JAX-WS Web Service validation helps find errors and conflicts in Java Web Service annotations that could easily be missed by the developer..."

See also: the Oracle announcement

URN Namespace for National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
Brian Rosen (ed), IETF Internet Draft

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has received a request to consider the document URN Namespace for National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 'draft-rosen-urn-nena-01.txt' as an Informational RFC. The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits final comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the IETF by 2010-03-04.

"The document describes the Namespace Identifier (NID) 'nena' for Uniform Resource Names (URN) resources published by National Emergency Number Association (NENA). NENA defines and manages resources that utilize this URN name model. Management activities for these and other resource types are provided by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Registry System (NRS).

NENA is the 'Voice of 9-1-1' in North America. NENA's mission is to foster the technological advancement, availability and implementation of a universal emergency telephone number system (9-1-1). In carrying out its mission, NENA promotes research, planning, training and education. The protection of human life, the preservation of property, and the maintenance of general community security are among NENA's objectives. NENA serves as a link in the delivery of emergency services. 9-1-1 has, throughout its evolution, become recognized as an asset of the North American public.

NENA is currently in the process of setting standards, processes and procedures for the use of an IP-based Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) for all public safety entities in North America. This activity is supported by a membership composed of private and public sector entities that have an interest in 9-1-1 and public safety. This effort, dubbed 'Next Generation 9-1-1' (NG9-1-1) is based in large part on IETF standards for interactive media session establishment and emergency calling... Some of the solutions being developed by NENA need XML namespaces that are managed so that they are unique and persistent. To assure that the uniqueness is absolute, the registration of a specific Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace ID (NID) for use by NENA was deemed appropriate..."

See also: XML and Emergency Management

Energy-Efficient Computing: A Conversation with Steve Furber about ARM
David Brown, ACM Queue

"Steve Furber is principal designer of the highly successful ARM (Acorn RISC Machine) processor. Currently running in billions of cellphones around the world, the ARM is a prime example of a chip that is simple, low power, and low cost. Furber led development of the ARM in the 1980s while at Acorn, the British PC company also known for the BBC Microcomputer, which Furber played a major role in developing. In our interview this month he shares some of the lessons on energy-efficient computing he has learned through working on these and subsequent projects..."

SF: "My current work is building a million-processor, massively parallel machine. It's a brain-modeling application, so we want to build very large event-driven neural networks. We find that using very large numbers of small processors is a power-efficient approach to this problem. One of the interesting things to observe as you get into biologically inspired architectures is that even with the best electronics we know how to build, we're still many orders of magnitude less energy efficient than the biology we're trying to model...

There are basically two big research questions in this project. The first is, can massively parallel computing accelerate our understanding of how the brain operates? We still really don't know the fundamental principles at work in the information processing inside the brain, and that is a scientific grand challenge in its own right. The second question reflects that back: as our understanding of brain function grows, are there lessons there that we can apply back into producing machines that are more power efficient, more reliable when built on unreliable components, and maybe easier to use? One of my standard frustrations with today's computer technology is every time I get a new operating system or buy a new machine, I have to spend a month learning how to use it. Why doesn't it spend a month learning how to be used by me so I can just carry on doing my job the same way? [...]"

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

OASIS Web Services Calendar (WS-Calendar) TC to Create Common Scheduling Standard

OASIS has announced the formation of a new Web Services Calendar (WS-Calendar) Technical Committee, chartered to adapt existing calendaring and scheduling specifications toward development of a "Common Scheduling" standard to define how schedule and event information is passed between and within services. The committee will deliver a specification for creating, retrieving, updating, and deleting calendar events on a schedule. This includes a standard schema and semantics for schedule and interval information for use in other web services.

While the initial motivation for WS-Calendar work came from the smart grid domain (schedule and interval for energy transmission and payments), the TC proposers feel that a common scheduling specification for web services would be applicable to a wide range of industry requirements where transactions and business processes depend critically upon scheduling. Time synchronization, schedule alignment, and performance alignment are nearly universal business process concerns, as described in the WS-Calendar TC Charter...

The WS-Calendar TC will start work with the canonical XML serialization of the updated iCalendar specification (IETF RFC 5545, Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification — iCalendar), currently published as a IETF Standards Track Internet Draft: iCalendar XML Representation. CalConnect plans to contribute this canonical XML serialization iCalendar document to the WS-Calendar TC. The iCalendar XML draft is being developed by the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium (CalConnect) XML Technical Committee (TC-XML) and reviewed in IETF... The WS-Calendar TC Charter notes that definitive work on schedule and interval is found in the IETF standards iCalendar, iTIP, and iMIP. Updated versions of the November 1998 standards have been produced within IETF by the Calendaring and Scheduling Standards Simplification (CALSIFY) Working Group.

Several previous technical activities have focused upon development of markup-language formalisms to represent iCalendar information, including: (1) RDF Calendar: An Application of the Resource Description Framework to iCalendar Data; (2) iCalendar in XML Format (xCal-Basic); (3) Guideline for Use of XML with iCalendar Elements; (4) iCalendar DTD Document (xCal); (5) The iCalendar DTD Document; (6) The iCalendar XML DTD. Principals in the iCalendar XML Representation work feel that critical mass may now have been reached such that developers of calendaring and scheduling applications will now recognize the benefits of standardized XML format and support adoption of the CalConnect/IETF specification. The ongoing effort toward standardization of an iCalendar XML Representation takes cognizance of the vCard XML Schema specification being developed within the IETF vCard and CardDAV (VCARDDAV) Working Group. Participants in the CalConnect and IETF working parties sense that benefits will come from alignment of the two XML representation formats.


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