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Last modified: March 29, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 29 March 2010

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
ISIS Papyrus

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 WG 1 New Work Item Proposal for Document Packaging
Alex Brown, Rick Jelliffe (et al), ISO SC 34 Proposed NP

A Proposed NP on Document Packaging is being discussed within Working Group 1 of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Document Description and Processing Languages. The topic was discussed on the 'dsdl-discuss' mailing list ('ISO Zip proposal') by Alex Brown, Rick Jelliffe, Jirka Kosek, David Carlisle, Dave Pawson, and others. The 2010-03-26 proposal in document N 1396 was circulated to the SC 34 members for consideration at the SC 34 Plenary Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden. "This proposal is for an International Standard that specifies a minimal file format for combining multiple resources into a single resource (termed a 'package'). Stored resources are optionally compressed, and have some technical associated metadata, such as a checksum. For packages in which stored resources are XML documents, the proposed standard shall specify mechanisms by which such documents, and the relationships between them, may be exposed for validation purposes.

Cooperation and liaison: SC 34 expects to benefit from its existing liaisons with OASIS, ECMA and W3C—these bodies have specifications which reference non-standard versions of the proposed packaging mechanism. The NWI is said to satisfy an essential market requirement since "There are current JTC 1 standards that have an immediate requirement for this standard, as the technology proposed for standardization is already a basis for their normative provisions." The technology is [mature]—well established and used by a number of International and de facto standards; the compression mechanism used is standardized by IETF as RFC 1951. The proposed Standard would ensure the names of package resources can use characters of the Universal Character Set (UCS) ISO/IEC 10646.

From Annex A: "Today many electronic documents are embodied not in wholly proprietary formats, but in formats built on the foundation of standards. One increasingly common approach is to specify formats in which XML documents and other digital resources are stored together in an archive based on a minimal implementation of what is known as the 'ZIP' format. Examples of document-centric formats which take this approach include: (1) ISO/IEC 26300 - Open Document Format for Office Applications; (2) ISO/IEC 29500 - Office Open XML; (3) EPUB - standardized by The International Digital Publishing Forum; (4) W3C Widget Packaging and Configuration; (5) ADL SCORM. Note also that ITTF makes documents available in ZIP-compatible packages. However, despite the widespread use of the ZIP format, it has never been standardized.

Such a pervasive format as ZIP would benefit greatly from being an International Standard. In practice, formats using ZIP for document packaging use a small and well-established subset of the overall current non-standard technology which can be quickly standardized. SC 34 has had strong indications from its experts and liaisons that a standardized, ZIP-compatible Document Packaging format would be of immense value, and wishes to ballot this NP to gather member body feedback. The deliverables of this project shall be: [i] Specification of a minimal compressed archive format suitable for immediate use with the document standards named above, [ii] Specification of XML serializations of archive data for validation purposes, [iii] Specification of a mechanism for exposing archived document structure, when those archived documents are XML..."

See also: the list archives for 'dsdl-discuss'

Call for Public Review: Topic Maps Constraint Language (TMCL)
Lars Marius Garshol, ISO SC 34 / WG3 Announcement

The editors of the Topic Maps Constraint Language (TMCL) specification have published an editor's draft for public review. "As far as the editors are aware, this draft is complete and correct. This draft is out for review until April 25, 2010. After that date the editors will correct any issues that have been identified during the review, and then submit it to ISO for FDIS ballot. Once that happens TMCL is finished, and only very minor corrections will be possible... Interested parties need to review the current draft as soon as possible...

This International Standard defines a Topic Maps vocabulary for representing constraints on Topic Maps instance data, defined using English prose. The vocabulary is defined in terms of validation, that is, verifying whether or not a given topic map conforms to the constraints. It may have many other applications, but these are not described in this International Standard.

TMCL is a constraint language for Topic Maps, allowing definitions of Topic Maps schemas to be written in a precise and machine-readable form. This makes it possible to validate a topic map against a TMCL schema to see if it conforms to the constraints in the schema, and also enables a number of other uses, such as schema-driven editors, object mappings, and so on. TMCL is defined as a Topic Maps vocabulary consisting of a number of topic, association, occurrence, and role types, identified by Published Subject Identifiers (PSIs), and defined using English prose. TMCL defines the concept of validation, by which a given topic map is valid according to a schema if it conforms to all the constraints in that schema and a number of additional constraints which apply to all topic maps independent of schema. TMCL does not have any syntax of its own, since it is defined simply as a Topic Maps vocabulary. However, a number of CTM templates are defined in this standard in order to facilitate authoring of TMCL schemas using CTM.

Related specifications include: ISO 13250-1: Topic Maps Overview; ISO 13250-2: Topic Maps Data Model - TMDM; ISO 13250-3: Topic Maps XML Syntax - XTM 2.0; ISO 13250-4: CXTM - Canonicalization; ISO 13250-5: Topic Maps Reference Model - TMRM; ISO 13250-6: CTM - Compact Notation; ISO 13250-7: GTM - Graphical Notation; ISO 18048: TMQL... SC34/WG3 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG3) is a working group of SC34, which itself is a subcommittee of Joint Technical Committee 1 of the ISO and IEC. SC34 has three working groups, where WG1 deals with markup languages, WG2 with information presentation, and WG3 with information association..."

See also: the comments web site

IETF Proposed Standard: vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV)
Cyrus Daboo (ed), IETF Standards Track Internet Draft

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has approved the specification vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV) in the Internet Draft 'draft-ietf-vcarddav-carddav-10.txt' as an IETF Proposed Standard. This document is the product of the IETF vCard and CardDAV (VCARDDAV) Working Group. The IESG contact persons are Alexey Melnikov and Peter Saint-Andre; Alexey Melnikov is both the responsible AD and the IETF shepherd for this document.

This specification defines extensions to the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol to specify a standard way of accessing, managing, and sharing contact information based on the vCard format... Address books containing contact information are a key component of personal information management tools, such as email, calendaring and scheduling, and instant messaging clients. To date several protocols have been used for remote access to contact data, including Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Internet Message Support Protocol (IMSP), and Application Configuration Access Protocol (ACAP), together with SyncML used for synchronization of such data.

WebDAV, defined in RFC 4918, offers a number of advantages as a framework or basis for address book access and management. Most of these advantages boil down to a significant reduction in design costs, implementation costs, interoperability test costs and deployment costs... a CardDAV address book is modeled as a WebDAV collection with a well defined structure; each of these address book collections contain a number of resources representing address objects as their direct child resources. Each resource representing an address object is called an "address object resource". Each address object resource and each address book collection can be individually locked and have individual WebDAV properties... A CardDAV server is an address-aware engine combined with a WebDAV server. The server may include address data in some parts of its URL namespace, and non-address data in other parts... This specification uses vCard as the default format for address or contact information being stored on the server. However, this specification does allow other formats for address data provided that the server advertises support for those additional formats...

Working Group Summary: Early revisions of the document used a vcarddav- specific action 'MKADDRESSBOOK'. After some WG discussions it became clear that a more generic MKCOL action would be a better HTTP design. The document was updated accordingly. There are at least four (4) independent client and five (5) independent server implementations of this document..."

See also: the list of CardDAV implementations

Developers Release OpenSSL V1.0.0: Open Source Toolkit for SSL/TLS
Staff, OpenSSL Project Team Annnouncement

"The OpenSSL project team is pleased to announce the release of version 1.0.0 of the open source toolkit for SSL/TLS. This new OpenSSL version is a major release and incorporates many new features as well as major fixes compared to 0.9.8n.

The OpenSSL Project is a collaborative effort to develop a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured, and Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols as well as a full-strength general purpose cryptography library. The project is managed by a worldwide community of volunteers that use the Internet to communicate, plan, and develop the OpenSSL toolkit and its related documentation... We consider OpenSSL 1.0.0 to be the best version of OpenSSL available and we strongly recommend that users of older versions upgrade as soon as possible.

The most significant changes in OpenSSL version 1.0.0 are: RFC 3280 path validation: sufficient to process PKITS tests; Integrated support for PVK files and keyblobs; Change default private key format to PKCS#8; CMS support: able to process all examples in RFC 4134; Streaming ASN1 encode support for PKCS#7 and CMS; Multiple signer and signer add support for PKCS#7 and CMS; ASN1 printing support; Whirlpool hash algorithm added; RFC3161 time stamp support; New generalised public key API supporting ENGINE based algorithms; New generalised public key API utilities; New ENGINE supporting GOST algorithms; SSL/TLS GOST ciphersuite support; PKCS#7 and CMS GOST support; RFC4279 PSK ciphersuite support; Supported points format extension for ECC ciphersuites; ecdsa-with-SHA224/256/384/512 signature types; dsa-with-SHA224 and dsa-with-SHA256 signature types; Opaque PRF Input TLS extension support; Updated time routines to avoid OS limitations...

OpenSSL is based on the excellent SSLeay library developed by Eric A. Young and Tim J. Hudson. The OpenSSL toolkit is licensed under an Apache-style licence, which basically means that you are free to get and use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes subject to some simple license conditions..."

See also: the OpenSSL Project web site

Cloud-Based Mobile Applications on the Rise
Herman Mehling,

Analysts predict a bright future for mobile cloud computing, finding that the number of enterprise customers using cloud-based mobile apps will mushroom. The dominant force in mobile apps is likely to be cloud computing, according to ABI Research in its recent study. Mobile cloud applications move the computing power and data storage away from mobile phones and into the cloud, bringing apps and mobile computing not just to smartphone users but a wide spectrum of mobile subscribers.

ABI Research forecasts that the number of mobile cloud computing subscribers worldwide will rise from 42.8 million in 2008, (approximately 1.1 percent of all mobile subscribers) to more than 998 million in 2014 (nearly 19 percent). One area the report explores is cloud-based, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies, and why those are important to mobile applications. PaaS encompasses various services for software development and deployment, for instance those offered by Google Checkout, Amazon Web Services, and

Hoping to tap into this burgeoning market is FeedHenry, a Waterford, Ireland-based company that seeks to export its cloud-based PaaS solution to the United States. The vendor claims it is the first company to deliver an end-to-end, cloud-based solution for building and deploying cross-platform mobile apps using open standards in a carrier-grade development environment. Platforms served by FeedHenry include Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Symbian smartphones, as well as popular social media sites. FeedHenry CTO Richard Rodger: 'Developers don't have to learn a new development language for each handset type because our technology platform is based on open standards... FeedHenry applications are built using standard web technologies — HTML, JavaScript, and CSS -- which make application development open to a wide community of developers.

Understanding Unified Messaging (UM)
Clinton M. Banner, IEEE IT Professional

Unified messaging provides simplified management of different messaging systems through a single, unified interface. However, it is unlikely that any single UM solution will ever establish interoperability with every possible type of stratified messaging system. From a practical perspective, a UM system's success depends on the wise selection of specific messaging systems to integrate... [but] there's no single UM system under development that will take over the messaging market. Mobile messaging systems such as SMS and MMS are expanding in the US (US users sent more than one trillion SMS messages in 20082) and will remain a significant force in the mobile messaging market for years to come. In addition, we can't assume that the variety of email and IM systems will decrease. New messaging systems will likely continue to be developed and deployed...

Relatively few PC-based systems support unified IM, SMS, MMS, and voicemail messaging. A hallmark of true UM capability will be full convergence of messaging systems across different messaging device types... Pidgin and Meebo are examples of client-based UM solutions that provide a unified user interface with connectivity to multiple popular IM systems. Both are primarily for computer desktop environments using a client or Web page. Fring is a similar client-based UM solution that was developed for mobile devices.

A great deal of work seeks to define UM functionality based on open standards. For example, Converged IP Messaging is a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-centric approach to UM managed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). CPM's stated goal is to define an enabler to allow for both the consolidation of present and the creation of future interpersonal interactive multimedia communication services which accommodate different user experiences such as deferred and Immediate Messaging, session-based messaging, and half duplex/full duplex conferencing. The CPM effort aligns with other standards to include OMA standards as well as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) specifications defined by the Third-Generation Partnership Projects (3GPP and 3GPP2.)

Enhanced messaging (EM) is another example. It's a SIP-centric approach focused on messaging for mobile 2G devices defined by the CTIA's Wireless Internet Caucus Enhanced Messaging Action team. EM leverages some OMA standards work, but it focuses on integrating mobile messaging with IP-based messaging systems across mobile carriers. Both CPM and EM define requirements and standards that are moving the industry toward an open, comprehensive UM solution. There's hope that UM will indeed encourage industry movement toward open standards and increased interoperability, and away from a fragmented and proprietary messaging future..."


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