This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
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Paper Submissions for Balisage 2010 Conference Due April 16, 2010
Staff, Balisage Markup Conference 2010 Announcement
A Call for Participation has been (re-) published for "Balisage: The Markup Conference 2010." Balisage is an annual conference devoted to the theory and practice of descriptive markup and related technologies for structuring and managing information. The organizers welcome anyone interested in open information, reusable documents, vendor and application independence, and the other benefits of descriptive markup. Participants typically include XML users, librarians, archivists, computer scientists, XSLT and XQuery programmers, implementers of XSLT and XQuery engines and other markup-related software, Topic-Map enthusiasts, semantic-Web evangelists, members of the working groups which define the specifications, academics, industrial researchers, representatives of governmental bodies and NGOs, industrial developers, practitioners, consultants, and the world's greatest concentration of markup theorists. Discussion is open, candid, and unashamedly technical. Content-free marketing spiels are forbidden...
The main Balisage Conference will be held August 3-6, 2010, in Montréal, Canada. A Pre-conference Symposium "XML for the Long Haul: Issues in the Long-term Preservation of XML" will be held on August 2, 2010. The International Symposium will be chaired by Michael Sperberg-McQueen of Black Mesa Technologies. The Symposium brings together researchers, government analysts, archivists, preservationists, librarians, and XML practitioners to discuss the problems and challenges of deep time document encoding. Overview: "Nearly everywhere, people who create, store, query, or serve XML expect it to live a very long time. XML is platform- and application-independent, and by and large it is platforms and applications that vanish. If by encoding information in XML we have freed it from dependency on specific platforms or applications, have we succeeded in ensuring that the XML can live long into the future? Or is there more to it than using XML? How can we best ensure that our data, all our data, and its semantics survive this year, next year, ten years? Or into the next millennium? [...]
This year, support for attending Balisage 2010 will be available for some full-time students in the field of markup technologies and related disciplines including Computer Science, Library and Information Science, and Digital Humanities.
The deadline for Balisage 2010 Paper Submissions is April 16, 2010. Papers will be published in the online proceedings of the conference, as usual. Talks based on the accepted papers, will 30 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes for questions. Paper submissions must be proposed for full papers or very extensive draft papers. The paper is to be prepared in XML format according to the Balisage tag set — a subset of DocBook V5 available in DTD, XSD, and RNG formats. A resource Tag Library for Balisage Conference Paper Vocabulary Version 1.2 is available to assist in authoring. XSLT stylesheets are used for formatting and displaying Balisage papers; two stylesheets are included in the submission package provided to authors, with CSS files to go with their HTML results. One generates a 'preview' version for authoring and reviewing; the other generates an HTML page consistent with the appearance a published paper will take in the final conference proceedings. Both stylesheets are XSLT 1.0 and should work in standards-conformant processors including web browsers...
New W3C Working Draft for XQuery Scripting Extension 1.0
John Snelson, Don Chamberlin, Daniel Engovatov (et al, eds), W3C Technical Report
Members of the W3C XML Query Working Group have published a Working Draft for XQuery Scripting Extension 1.0, updating a draft released earlier in December 2008. The Working Group expects to advance this specification to Recommendation Status. This document represents the last version of XQuery Scripting Extension that is aligned with XQuery Update Facility 1.0. In future versions of the document, the Working Group intends to reposition XQuery Scripting Extension 1.0 against the XQuery 1.1 set of specifications... No implementation report currently exists, but a Test Suite for XQuery Scripting Extension 1.0 is now under development.
"One of the great strengths of XML is its flexibility in representing many different kinds of information from diverse sources. To exploit this flexibility, an XML query language must provide features for retrieving and interpreting information from these diverse sources... XQuery is designed to be a language in which queries are concise and easily understood. It is also flexible enough to query a broad spectrum of XML information sources, including both databases and documents... XQuery Version 1.0 is an extension of XPath Version 2.0. Any expression that is syntactically valid and executes successfully in both XPath 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 will return the same result in both languages. Since these languages are so closely related, their grammars and language descriptions are generated from a common source to ensure consistency, and the editors of these specifications work together closely...
The XQuery Scripting Extension (XQSX) extends XQuery 1.0, enabling it to serve as a scripting language in order to satisfy goals and requirements documented in "XQuery Scripting Requirements." A prerequisite for this extension is the XQuery Update Facility (XQUF). XQSX has the following properties: (1) It is a strict superset of XQUF, in the sense that all valid XQUF expressions are also valid XQSX expressions and have the same meaning. In the same sense, XQUF is a strict superset of XQuery 1.0. (2) It does not introduce any "modes" that affect the semantics of expressions. (3) As in XQUF, the result of an expression consists of an XDM instance and a pending update list, where an XDM instance is an unconstrained sequence of zero or more nodes and/or atomic values, as defined in the XQuery Data Model. A pending update list is an unordered collection of update primitives, representing node state changes that have not yet been applied, as defined in XQUF...
XQSX defines an evaluation order on many kinds of XQuery expressions, which is the order that operand expressions must be evaluated in order to determine what side-effects are visible to later expressions. An implementation may use any execution strategy as long as the result complies with the semantics of this ordering... A snapshot is a scope within which expressions are evaluated with respect to a fixed XDM instance and updates are held pending... In XQSX, each of the following expressions is both a snapshot and execution scope, where each ConcatExpr within an ApplyExpr, each initialization expression in a BlockVarDecl, the expression on the right-hand side of an AssignmentExpr, the expression in an ExitExpr, and the test expression in a WhileExpr..."
See also: the W3C XML Query (XQuery) Working Group
Using POST to Add Members to WebDAV Collections
Julian F. Reschke (ed), IETF Internet Draft
Members of the IETF WWW Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WEBDAV) Working Group have released an -06 level Internet Draft for Using POST to Add Members to Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) Collections. The specification defines a discovery mechanism through which servers can advertise support for POST requests with the expected 'add collection member' semantics.
From the Abstract: The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Extensions for the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) do not define the behavior for the 'POST' method when applied to collections, as the base specification (HTTP) leaves implementers lots of freedom for the semantics of 'POST'.
This has led to a situation where many WebDAV servers do not implement POST for collections at all, although it is well suited to be used for the purpose of adding new members to a collection, where the server remains in control of the newly assigned URL. As a matter of fact, the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) uses POST exactly for that purpose. On the other hand, WebDAV-based protocols such as the Calendar Extensions to WebDAV (CalDAV) frequently require clients to pick a unique URL, although the server could easily perform that task...
The 'Add-Member' URI of a WebDAV collection is a URI that will accept HTTP POST requests, and will interpret these as requests to store the enclosed entity as a new internal member of the collection; see Section 3 of RFC 4918 for the definition of 'internal member'. It MUST identify a resource on the same server as the WebDAV collection (the host and port components (RFC 2616, Section 3.2.2) of the URIs must match). If there are pre-conditions related to creating a resource in the collection using a PUT request, then those same pre-conditions apply to the new POST request behavior, and the same HTTP response body will be returned on failure..."
See also: WebDAV News from greenbytes GmbH
U.S. IT Pros Concerned About Cloud Security
Jabulani Leffall, Application Development Trends
Nearly half of U.S. IT professionals canvassed in a recent survey believe that the operational and security risks of cloud computing outweigh its benefits. That finding comes from the first annual 'IT Risk/Reward Barometer' report by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). The ISACA is a trade group consisting of enterprise IT administrators and IT audit specialists...
Despite the hype and enthusiasm surrounding cloud computing, many working in the enterprise space are still wary of adopting the technology, according to the March 2010 ISACA survey, which tapped into the opinions of more than 1,800 IT pros... About 45 percent of respondents said that the security risks of a cloud scenario, at least in the short term, exceed the operational benefits. Only 17 percent were bullish on cloud computing. The remaining 38 percent indicated that they thought the risks were appropriately balanced... But the report dug deeper. Only 10 percent of respondent organizations plan to use cloud computing for mission-critical IT services. Moreover, one-fourth of the respondents, or 26 percent, do not plan to use the cloud at all..."
According to the report summary: Cloud computing is an emerging technology that may help enterprises meet the increased requirements of lower total cost of ownership (TCO), higher return on investment (ROI), increased efficiency, dynamic provisioning and utility-like pay-as-you-go services. However, many IT professionals are citing the increased risks associated with trusting information assets to the cloud as something that must be clearly understood and managed by relevant stakeholders...
In the face of continued economic uncertainty and despite the potential to drive greater rewards, more than three-quarters of those surveyed believe that projects should offer the same or lower level of risk in 2010. Similarly, 79 percent will invest the same amount or only slightly more in risk management and compliance in 2010... The most common reason for practicing IT risk management was regulatory compliance (28 percent) versus business drivers such as improving the balance of risk taking with risk avoidance to improve return (8 percent)... Robert Stroud, international vice president of ISACA and vice president of IT service management and governance for the service management business unit at CA Inc: 'The cloud represents a major change in how computing resources will be utilized, so it's not surprising that IT professionals have concerns about risk vs. reward trade-offs... But risk and value are two sides of the same coin. If cloud computing is treated as a major governance initiative involving a broad set of stakeholders, it has the potential to yield benefits that can equal or outweigh the risks'..."
See also: the ISACA announcement
Oracle Upgrades Hyperion Financial Analytics Tool
Joab Jackson, ComputerWorld
"Oracle has augmented the capabilities of its Hyperion financial analytics software with new modules to help bean counters streamline specific financial management tasks. The new modules (Hyperion Disclosure Management, Hyperion Financial Close Management and Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting) are all components in the latest update of the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite of business intelligence tools, version 11.1.2...
The disclosure management module prepares documents that can be filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The software prepares these documents in the XML-based Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format, as per SEC regulations... The module gives financial personnel a checklist of tasks that need to be completed, along with the status of the work being done... Organizations would use the financial close module to speed the process of closing financial books during the end of a financial reporting cycle..."
According to the text of the announcement: "Integrated XBRL Capabilities Improve Accuracy and Speed of Financial Filings Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management helps companies ensure the completeness and accuracy of external and statutory financial reports, and their transformation into specifically stylized statutory filings using XBRL. In 2008, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated that public companies provide their financial statements to the Commission and on their corporate Web sites in XBRL. Companies with a valuation of $5 billion-plus were first to comply beginning in June 2009 to be followed by other domestic and foreign large accelerated filers using U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) in June 2010. Also coming into effect in June 2010 is a new and more stringent detailed tagging requirement.
Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management features include: (1) Extensive, built-in XBRL reporting capabilities (based on UBmatrix technology) spanning enterprise XBRL mapping at the document level or using source meta data, taxonomy viewing and extension, and instance document validation, generation and viewing; (2) Leveraging Microsoft Word for a simple end-user experience in the creation and management of financial reports and documents... Output from Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management supports various regulatory authorities including the SEC (U.S. GAAP) with full support for the new detailed tagging requirement, as well as European and Asian exchanges (IFRS—International Financial Reporting Standard)..."
See also: the announcement
Microgrids and Smart Energy
Toby Considine, AutomatedBuildings.com
"Last summer, the call 'Every end node is a microgrid focused smart energy standards activities. Like the regional grids, a microgrid is responsible for running its own operations, and for supporting its own needs. Like the regional grids, a microgrid uses market operations to acquire what it cannot make itself, and what it can buy more economically than it can make itself. Like the regional grids, a microgrid can contain microgrids that are responsible for their own operations...
The list of end nodes that might be microgrids starts with homes, commercial buildings, and industrial sites. Within an end node, different subsystems can interact much as they do within the larger grid. Building systems could bid for access to site-based power. Microgrid events can trigger demand response (DR) behaviors from the building systems or building zones. Microgrids can contain and be contained by other microgrids.
Buildings and sites can participate in local area microgrids. Campuses, and military bases present existing business models for microgrids. These grids can be managed as a collection of autonomous entities rather than as over-integrated control systems. Each building/microgrid could then bid for and obtain energy supply and reliability from a larger microgrid.
The models propagated by the District Energy Association can inform microgrid thinking. District energy is characterized by cogeneration, in which a single plant may make electricity, steam and hot water. Because steam can be used to power cooling, cogeneration systems often produce chilled water as well. Each of these products can be sold within the microgrid. The district energy plant then becomes the market maker, shifting modes of energy delivery to match the bids from the autonomous buildings it contains..."
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