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Last modified: May 20, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 20 May 2010

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

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

ZigBee Alliance Publishes ZigBee Smart Energy Version 2.0 Documents
Staff, ZigBee Alliance Announcement

"Through June 4, 2010, the ZigBee Alliance is accepting comments on the Draft 0.7 Document of "ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0." The public release of this draft 0.7 document has been accelerated to meet the NIST standards review timeline. Dave Robin writes: "Continuing in the spirt of trying-on-REST-for-size, I've updated the discussion document to be REST oriented, with the SOAP mapping coming later, showing examples in actual HTTP. I also merged in the pub/sub doc that I had previously sent. Overall, I think this is a pretty nice merger of the "classic" simple text value services from Addendum c mapped to REST, with the new CSML/XML based capabilities, and ideas borrowed from Atom Publishing and OData/GData..."

From the specification: "The purpose of this document is to define the application protocol used by the Smart Energy Profile release 2.0. Per Requirements 'DataModel-1', this application protocol is built to map directly to IEC 61968, the common information model, and is expected to follow a RESTful architecture. The Smart Energy Profile Application Protocol is designed to meet the requirements stated in the Smart Energy Profile 2.0 Marketing Requirements Document and the Smart Energy Profile 2.0 Technical Requirements Document...The empowerment of consumers to manage their usage and generation of energy is a critical feature of the Smart Grid and is a basis of innovation for new products and services in energy management. To enable this capability, information flow between devices such as meters, smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, energy management systems, and renewable energy and storage elements needs to occur in an open, standardized, and interoperable fashion. The draft specification you are now holding is intended to fulfill those needs..."

"ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0 will be IP-based and offer a variety of new features. Given the important role ZigBee Smart Energy plays in the Smart Grid, the ZigBee Alliance is taking unprecedented steps for an open organization engaged in standards development. It has made three documents that guide development available for public review: Market Requirements Document, draft Technical Requirements Document and the draft 0.7 Specification.

The Alliance develops its standards as an open and participation-based organization using well defined consensus processes that gather numerous contributions from industry and technical experts. The Alliance has already entered into a number of liaison relationships with key stakeholder groups to engage directly in the cooperative development process for the HAN and the Smart Grid. Those groups include NIST, HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, ESMIG, DLMS, IETF and IPSO..."

See also: the Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Project

Balisage Contest: Solve the Modern Tower of Babel Wiki Markup Problem
Staff, Balisage 2010 Markup Conference Organizers Announcement

"As part of the Balisage 2010 Conference, MarkLogic has put forth a challenge in the form of a contest. The goal of the contest is to encourage markup experts to review and to research the current state of wiki markup languages and to generate a proposal that serves to de-babelize the current state of affairs for the long haul... The winner will be announced on August 3, 2010 at the conference and will take home a choice of an Apple 15" (i5) MacBook Pro, Apple MacBook Air, or USD $2000.

In the past few decades, as a planet, we've succeeded tremendously in standardizing a number of technologies (yay us!). Wiki technology (other than its underlying use of web technologies as a platform) is not solidly in this list. There is a lot of content available today in a variety of wiki syntaces. This syntax is not standardized. Some argue it shouldn't be. Go beyond the existing debates, diatribes, and arguments. Put us on a practical track to fixing this and ensuring we will have access to this content for the long haul.

To enter the contest, you must propose a set of concrete steps (organizational, social, and/or technological) that will enable wiki content interchange, a real WYSIWYG editor, and/or wiki syntax standardization.

Entries will be evaluated based on criteria that include: (1) How well does the entry understand the current state of the art? (2) How well does the entry identify key stake holders and actors (including history, motivation, and so on (3) Is the entry clear on its objectives? -- the summary allows for some variance here. (4) Is the approach/vision elegant, clever, or mind-changing? (5) Are the set of steps actionable and implementable? [...]

See also: the Balisage 2010 Markup Conference web site

HTML 5, Geolocation APIs, and Web Services Mobile Mashups
Michael Galpin, IBM developerWorks

"HTML 5 is a very hyped technology, but with good reason. It promises to be a technological tipping point for bringing desktop application capabilities to the browser. As promising as it is for traditional browsers, it has even more potential for mobile browsers. Even better, the most popular mobile browsers have already adopted and implemented many significant parts of the HTML 5 specification.

In this five-part series, you will take a closer look at several of those new technologies that are part of HTML 5, that can have a huge impact on mobile Web application development. In each part of this series you will develop a working mobile Web application showcasing an HTML 5 feature that can be used on modern mobile Web browsers, like the ones found on the iPhone and Android-based devices...

Geolocation by itself is somewhat of a novelty. It allows you to determine where the user is. However, just knowing this and reporting it to the user would not be very useful. Why would anyone care about their exact latitude and longitude? It is when you start using this in combination with other data and services that can make use of location, that you start to produce some interesting results. Almost all of these services will want a user's latitude and longitude as part of their input. Often this is all you need...

[The article thus shows you] how to use geolocation APIs in a mobile Web application. GPS can sound very sexy, but complicated. However, as see here, the W3C standard for geolocation provides a very simple API. It is straightforward to get a user's location and track that location over time. From there you can pass the coordinates to a variety of Web services that support location, or perhaps you have your own location aware service that you are developing. In Part 2 of this series on HTML 5 and mobile Web applications, we will look at how to take advantage of local storage to improve the performance of mobile Web applications..."

See also: HTML5, vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML

W3C Recharters Forms Working Group as Part of XForms Activity
Staff, W3C Announcement

The W3C Forms Working Group has been rechartered through March 2012 under the leadership of Leigh Klotz and Steven Pemberton. The mission of the Forms Working Group, part of the XForms Activity, is to "develop specifications for binding data, logic and user interface on the web, producing a system that scales from low-end devices through to the enterprise level.

XForms is a markup language that addresses the modern needs of electronic forms. It is based on XML and can deliver the collected values as an XML document. It addresses questions of authorability, usability, accessibility, device independence, internationalization, integration into different host languages, and reducing the need for scripting...

During the production of XForms 1.0 and XForms 1.1, the working group has kept a wiki of future features for adoption in later versions. These features have been roughly divided into 'low-hanging fruit' features that can easily be adopted into a new version, and requirements that need more work to find suitable solutions. An example of the first type is the ability to read and write other data formats than just XML-based ones. An example of the second type is the ability to keep parallel data structures in sync using the XForms constraint system...

Based on these requirements, the Working Group will: (1) Advance modules of XForms 1.2 along the Recommendation Track; (2) Work on a new deliverable, XForms 2.0; (3) Work on alignment with XPath 2.0 and XML Schema 1.1; (4) Maintain the XForms 1.1 specification, manage errata, and publish revisions as appropriate; (5) Further develop the XForms for HTML specification as a specification of how XForms is now used with HTML as the host language; (6) Gather further use cases and requirements; (7) Create and maintain test suites for all deliverables on the Recommendation track; (8) Provide schemas in XML Schema, Relax NG, and NVDL for wider integration of XForms technologies; (9) Monitor implementations and produce interoperability reports in support of the W3C process; (10) Possibly organize workshops or interoperability meetings as appropriate..."

See also: the W3C Forms Working Group web site

Google Tries Freeing Web Video with WebM
Stephen Shankland, CNET

"Google has unveiled an open-source, royalty-free video format called WebM, lining up commitments from Mozilla and Opera to support the encoding technology in their browsers and pledging to support it on its YouTube site... It's not yet clear how much success Google will have spreading WebM, but the company has big Web ambitions, a powerful brand, heavy influence through the popularity of YouTube, and deep pockets to help handle any legal threats to the WebM project...

The format is based on the VP8 technology that Google acquired from On2 Technologies in February. It also uses the Ogg Vorbis audio technology from the Xiph.Org Foundation. The 'codec' technology for encoding and decoding video competes with H.264, a format that Apple and Microsoft prefer but that comes with steep licensing fees and restrictions that keep it out of open-source software. That includes Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chromium, the open-source project underlying its Chrome browser..."

From the WebM Project web site: "What is WebM? WebM is an open, royalty-free media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container. VP8 is a highly efficient video compression technology that was developed by On2 Technologies.... A key factor in the web's success is that its core technologies such as HTML, HTTP, and TCP/IP are open and freely implementable. Though video is also now core to the web experience, there is unfortunately no open and free video format that is on par with the leading commercial choices. To that end, we started the WebM project, a broadly-backed community effort to develop an open web media format.

WebM was built for the web. By testing hundreds of thousands of videos with widely varying characteristics, we found that the VP8 video codec delivers high-quality video while efficiently adapting to varying processing and bandwidth conditions across a broad range of devices. VP8's highly efficient bandwidth usage and lower storage requirements can help publishers recognize immediate cost savings. Also, the relative simplicity of VP8 makes it easy to integrate into existing environments and requires comparatively little manual tuning in the encoder to produce high-quality results..."

See also: the WebM Project web site

Europe Sets Broadband Strategy
W. David Gardner, InformationWeek

"The European Commission says moving to a single broadband market would overcome a host of challenges and improve its citizens' access to high-speed Internet. In its Digital Agenda report released this week, the EC bemoaned the European community's broadband lag behind South Korea, Japan, and the United States, and proposed moving to a single broadband market. The current approach with each country generally providing its own broadband is rife with problems, according to the Digital Agenda report...

Noting also the low research & development Internet budgets of most countries, the Digital Agenda report urged individual countries to double their R&D budgets. Kroes said 40% less is invested in broadband by European countries than in the United States. The report called for all Europeans to have basic broadband by 2013 and for Europeans to have 30-Mbps broadband by 2020. While the commission's proposals were ambitious and laid out specific goals, it didn't spell out how the implementations would be financed..."

From the text of the announcement: "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have driven half of the productivity growth in Europe over the past 15 years. Six out of ten Europeans regularly use the internet. However, if Europe wants to fully exploit the potential benefits of the digital economy, it must step up a gear and provide faster broadband and an internet people trust, improve citizens' skills, and encourage even more ICT innovation. The European Commission will propose specific measures in these areas with its Digital Agenda for Europe, a flagship of the Europe 2020 strategy, to be launched shortly.

In 2009 the EU broadband market was, once again, the largest in the world. Almost a quarter of EU citizens (24.8%) have a fixed broadband subscription. Although connection speeds are increasing, with 80% of fixed broadband lines in the EU now offering speeds above 2 Mbps, only 18% of them are above 10 Mbps. While these speeds are sufficient for basic web applications, they are not sufficient for more advanced applications like TV on demand. Europe 2020 set ambitious targets for all Europeans to have access to broadband of 30 Mbps or above. Higher speeds will require a move to next generation access networks (NGA). The EU lags significantly behind countries like Korea and Japan in the deployment of such networks. Migration to higher broadband capacity is an important structural challenge for the whole telecoms sector..."

See also: the announcement and references


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