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Last modified: June 02, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 02 June 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

Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v1.2 Submitted for OASIS Standard Approval
Jacob Westfall (ed), OASIS Public Review Draft

OASIS announced that the Emergency Management Technical Committee has submitted version 1.2 of the Common Alerting Protocol for consideration as an OASIS Standard. The submission package includes an XML Schema as well as the prose Committee Specification in three formats: authoritative editable source, HTML, and PDF. Three OASIS member companies have certified that they are using CAP v1.2: Warning Systems, Evolution Technologies, and Mitre. Balloting of the specification will begin on 16-June-2010 and extend through 30-June; the ballot details for approval of CAP v1.2 as an OASIS Standard are available online.

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a component of a larger framework, the Emergency Data Exchange Language family of standards. CAP is "a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. CAP also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. And CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience.

The CAP specification provides an open, non-proprietary digital message format for all types of alerts and notifications. It does not address any particular application or telecommunications method. The CAP format is compatible with emerging techniques, such as Web services, as well as existing formats including the Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) used for the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Enhanced capabilities include: (1) Flexible geographic targeting using latitude/longitude shapes and other geospatial representations in three dimensions; (2) Multilingual and multi-audience messaging; (3) Phased and delayed effective times and expirations; (4) Enhanced message update and cancellation features; (5) Template support for framing complete and effective warning messages; (6) Compatible with digital encryption and signature capability; (7) Facility for digital images and audio... Key benefits of CAP will include reduction of costs and operational complexity by eliminating the need for multiple custom software interfaces to the many warning sources and dissemination systems involved in all-hazard warning. The CAP message format can be converted to and from the native formats of all kinds of sensor and alerting technologies, forming a basis for a technology-independent national and international warning internet..."

See also: OASIS Emergency Management TC specifications

W3C Publishes First Draft of SPARQL 1.1 Federation Extensions
Eric Prud'hommeaux and Andy Seaborne (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C SPARQL Working Group have published a First Public Working Draft for SPARQL 1.1 Federation Extensions. The specification defines the syntax and semantics of a SPARQL 1.1 Query extension for executing distributed queries. The WG solitits feedback on this new Working Draft, and draws attention to some 21 open issues on SPARQL, accessible via the SPARQL Working Group Issue Tracking

Summary: "RDF is a directed, labeled graph data format for representing information in the Web. This specification defines the syntax and semantics of the SPARQL query language for RDF. SPARQL can be used to express queries across diverse data sources, whether the data is stored natively as RDF or viewed as RDF via middleware. SPARQL contains capabilities for querying required and optional graph patterns along with their conjunctions and disjunctions. SPARQL also supports aggregation, subqueries, creating values by complex expressions, extensible value testing, and constraining queries by source RDF graph.

The growing suite of SPARQL query services offer consumers an opportunity to merge data distributed across the web. A small number of extensions to SPARQL 1.1 enable expression of the merging queries. In particular, a SERVICE allows one to direct a portion of a query to a particular SPARQL query service, just as a GRAPH directs queries to particular named graphs. A BINDINGS keyword adds a compact syntax for tranfering results which constrain a query. The combination of these extensions allows one to compose a query which delegates parts of the query to a series of services. The "SPARQL 1.1 Federation Extensions" specification defines the syntax and semantics of these extensions.

Additionally, W3C announced the update of five (5) other SPARQL specifications: (1) SPARQL 1.1 Query adds support for aggregates, subqueries, projected expressions, and negation to the SPARQL query language. (2) SPARQL 1.1 Update defines an update language for RDF graphs. (3) SPARQL 1.1 Service Description defines a vocabulary and discovery mechanism for describing the capabilities of a SPARQL endpoint. (4) SPARQL 1.1 Uniform HTTP Protocol for Managing RDF Graphs describes the use of the HTTP protocol for managing named RDF graphs on an HTTP server. (5) SPARQL 1.1 Entailment Regimes defines conditions under which SPARQL queries can be used with entailment regimes such as RDF, RDF Schema, OWL, or RIF..."

See also: the W3C Semantic Web Activity

Representation of Uncertainty and Confidence in PIDF-LO
Martin Thomson and James Winterbottom (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Geographic Location/Privacy (GEOPRIV) Working Group have published a revised Internet Draft for the Representation of Uncertainty and Confidence in PIDF-LO, updating the previous draft of November 27, 2009. PIDF-LO, defined in IETF RFC 4119 ("A Presence- Based GEOPRIV Location Object Format") and updated in RFCs 5139 and 5491, describes an object format for carrying geographical information on the Internet. This location object extends the Presence Information Data Format (PIDF), which was designed for communicating privacy-sensitive presence information and which has similar properties. PIDF (Common Profile for Presence (CPP) Presence Information Data Format) is a common presence data format for CPP-compliant Presence protocols, and also defines a new media type "application/pidf+xml" to represent the XML MIME entity for PIDF.

In "Representation of Uncertainty and Confidence in PIDF-LO," key concepts of uncertainty and confidence as they pertain to location information are defined. Methods for the manipulation of location estimates that include uncertainty information are outlined. Location information represents an estimation of the position of a Target. Under ideal circumstances, a location estimate precisely reflects the actual location of the Target. In reality, there are many factors that introduce errors into the measurements that are used to determine location estimates.

The process by which measurements are combined to generate a location estimate is outside of the scope of work within the IETF. However, the results of such a process are carried in IETF data formats and protocols. This document outlines how uncertainty, and its associated datum, confidence, are expressed and interpreted. It assumes a basic understanding of the principles of mathematics, particularly statistics and geometry... Uncertainty is a product of the limitations of measurement. In measuring any observable quantity, errors from a range of sources affect the result. Uncertainty is a quantification of that error. It is helpful to think of the uncertainty and confidence as defining a probability density function (PDF). The probability density indicates the probability that the true value lies at any one point. The shape of the probability distribution depends on the method that is used to determine the result...

This Internet Draft provides a common nomenclature for discussing uncertainty and confidence as they relate to location information. The document also provides guidance on how to manage location information that includes uncertainty. Methods for expanding or reducing uncertainty to obtain a required level of confidence are described. Methods for determining the probability that a Target is within a specified region based on their location estimate are described. These methods are simplified by making certain assumptions about the location estimate and are designed to be applicable to location estimates in a relatively small area..."

See also: the IETF Geographic Location/Privacy (GEOPRIV) Working Group

WS-Calendar: Doing Things at the Right Time
Toby Considine,

Last month, the WS-Calendar Technical Committee (TC) released a draft for comments. This is a small component among standards, but one that can help integrate building systems into the businesses that inhabit them. Already there are early attempts to integrate this specification into energy, into the enterprise, as well as into building operations.

WS-Calendar builds upon [the iMIP, iTIP, and calDAV] specifications to bring schedules and synchronization to web services and inter-process communications. We created WS-Calendar to create, share, invoke, adjust, and track coordinated response between domains and organizations. By domains, I mean different groups that speak different languages. WS-Calendar will see use in financial instruments and building systems, in energy markets and in enterprise systems, in PDAs and electric cars...

We can expect that enterprise systems will soon support this information sharing. Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle all participated in the WS-Calendar process. I have heard of a trial use of WS-Calendar directly from a Microsoft Exchange server. The makers of registrar's office software, used to schedule college classes, are looking to communicate class schedules, and the number of students in each class, directly with the building systems...

WS-Calendar is based on a suite of documents, all currently seeking comments. xCal defines a standard way to render iCalendar information in XML. CalWS is a web service standardizing the API for Calendaring and Scheduling functions on any platform supporting calendaring. WS-Calendar is the component for inter-domain communications..."

See also: OASIS WS-Calendar Version 1.0 Specification

Google Offers Cloud Storage to Developers
Abel Avram, InfoQueue

"Google Storage for Developers (GSD) is a new RESTful service providing data storage which is replicated across several data centers located in US. GSD is called 'for Developers' because data is transferred and accessed though an API based on regular HTTP commands like GET, POST, PUT, HEAD, and DELETE.

The service is currently in preview phase being offered to a limited number of current Google service developers (sign-up link), each account receiving 100GB of storage and 300GB of bandwidth. Data is stored as objects organized in a flat hierarchy inside buckets. Buckets are also organized in a flat hierarchy inside an account, all buckets sharing one common namespace across GSD. Each account is allowed to create up to 1,000 buckets, and each object can be as large as 100GB, but those numbers are supposed to increase when the preview phase is over..."

According to the Google blog 'BigQuery and Prediction API': "Google has had to develop sophisticated internal tools to process data more efficiently. We know that some of these tools could be useful to any developer, so we've been working to create external versions that we can share with the world. We're excited to introduce two new developer tools to get more from your data: BigQuery and Prediction API. These two tools can be used with your data stored on Google Storage for Developers.

(1) BigQuery enables fast, interactive analysis over datasets containing trillions of records. Using SQL commands via a RESTful API, you can quickly explore and understand your massive historical data. BigQuery can help you analyze your network logs, identify seasonal sales trends, or find a needle in a haystack of big data. (2) Prediction API exposes Google's advanced machine learning algorithms as a RESTful web service to make your apps more intelligent. The service helps you use historical data to make real-time decisions such as recommending products, assessing user sentiment from blogs and tweets, routing messages or assessing suspicious activities..."

See also: the Google blog article

Requirements to Extend the IETF Datatracker for WG Chairs and Authors
Ed Juskevicius (editor), IETF Internet Draft

In the category 'Software Automation Tools for Specification Production and Publication': IETF (Proto) published an updated Internet Draft for "Requirements to Extend the Datatracker for WG Chairs and Authors." From the summary: "The IETF Datatracker is a web-based system for managing information about Internet-Drafts (I-Ds), RFCs and several other important aspects of the IETF process. The Datatracker can be used to obtain a lot of information about the status and progression of Internet-Drafts that have been sent to the IESG for review and publication. In contrast, the Datatracker can only provide a little information about the status of any I-D that has not been sent to the IESG; the Datatracker can only report on the availability status of an I-D (e.g., Expired, Active, Replaced, Withdrawn, published as an RFC) and identify if an I-D has been adopted as an IETF working group (WG) document.

This document specifies requirements for new functionality to be added to the Datatracker to make it possible for IETF working group Chairs and/or their delegates to provide detailed information about the working group status of I-Ds, and to manage working group I-Ds from their earliest stages. The goal is to allow document authors (and others) to obtain more visibility into the status of I-Ds adopted by WGs and to increase the amount of information about the status of any I-D in any IETF WG for the benefit of all IETF participants.

In addition to General requirements, the specification covers: (1) Privilege and Access Control requirements—For everyone, For IETF Working Group Chairs, For Delegates of IETF WG Chairs, For WG Document Shepherds, For the Responsible Area Director) (2) Inputting and updating WG document status information—WG Document States and WG Document Status Annotation Tags; (3) Special requirements for some WG I-D states and conditions—Candidate WG Document, WG Document, In WG Last Call, WG Consensus: Waiting for Write-Up, Submitted to IESG for Publication, Revised I-D Needed annotation tag; (4) WG Status of I-Ds that are not updated by Chairs or Delegates; (5) WG document status change reporting requirements; (6) WG document status reporting requirements; (7) Error handling requirements.

A companion document 'Definition of IETF Working Group Document States' "defines the states that may be used to describe the status of an Internet-Draft (I-D) that is associated with an IETF working group (WG). The first state can be used to describe an I-D that is being considered for adoption by a working group, and the last state describes an I-D that has been submitted to the IESG. Appendix A explains the different states used by IETF Area Directors to describe the status of I-Ds after they have been sent to the IESG for evaluation and publication... The IETF Datatracker tool will be enhanced to make it possible for working group Chairs to provide more transparency into the status and progression of working group documents to authors and other members of the IETF community..."

See also: the updated Definition of IETF Working Group Document States

Fedora Version 13 Supports NetBeans IDE
John K. Waters, Application Development Trends

"The fate of the open source NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE) has been in doubt since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in January 2010. But at least one vendor is continuing to invest in the IDE. Fedora, the free Red Hat-sponsored Linux distribution, has released Fedora 13, which includes support for NetBeans 6.8, the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 specification.

Fedora is developed and maintained by the Fedora Project, under the sponsorship of Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat, provider of the leading commercial enterprise Linux distro. "The Fedora Project reciprocates by contributing everything built in Fedora back to the open-source community...

The Fedora community had developers in mind with this release. It includes new features designed to make rapid application development easier by allowing devs working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) in Fedora to get more complete information when debugging with gdb....

New shared network interface technology enables virtual machines to use the same physical network interface cards as the host operating system. Fedora 13 also features improvements in performance for KVM networking and large multi-processor systems..."

See also: the Release Notes for Fedora 13

SNOMED-CT Management via Semantic Web Open Source Tools Available
Chimezie Ogbuji, Blog

"I just committed my working copy of the set of tools I use to manipulate and serialize SNOMED-CT (the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine) and the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) as OWL/RDF for use in clinical terminology research...It is still in a very rough form and probably not usable by anyone other than a Python / Semantic Web hacker... However, I'm hoping to get it to a shape where it can be used by others. I had hesitated to release it mostly because of my concerns around the SNOMED-CT license, but I've been assured that as long the hosting web site is based in the united states and (most importantly) the software is not released with the SNOMED distribution it should be okay.

A corresponding Wiki describes the command-line invocation. It leverages InfixOWL and rdflib to manipulate the OWL/RDF. Basically, once you have loaded the delimited distribution into MySQL, you can run the command-line, giving it one or more list of SNOMED-CT terms (by their identifiers) and it will return an OWL/RDF representation of an extract from SNOMED-CT around those terms. The library also requires MySQLdb and an instance of MySQL to work with...

An example [is provided] for running the command-line to extract a section around the term Diastolic Hypertension and piping the result to the FuXi commandline in order to select a single class (sno:HypertensiveDisorderSystemicArterial) and render it using my preferred syntax for OWL (the Manchester OWL syntax)... This example uses the '-n short' option, which renders extracts in OWL via the short normal form which uses a procedure described in the SNOMED-CT manuals that produces a more canonical representation, eliminating redundancy in the process..."

SNOMED (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine) according to the U.S. NLM Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) documentation, in SNOMED-CT (SNOMED Clinical Terms) "is an extensive clinical terminology that was formed by the merger, expansion, and restructuring of SNOMED RT (Reference Terminology) and the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) Clinical Terms, also known as the Read Codes. It is the most comprehensive clinical vocabulary available in English or any language. SNOMED CT is concept-oriented and has an advanced structure that meets most accepted criteria for a well-formed, machine-readable terminology. It has been designated as a U.S. standard for electronic health information exchange in Interoperability Specifications produced by the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel and has also been adopted for use by the U.S. Federal Government, through the Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI) Initiative, for several clinical domains..."

See also: SNOMED references

STIX Fonts Version 1.0 Released
Evan Owens, American Institute of Physics (AIP) announcement

"After more than 10 years in development, the STIX Fonts are now available for free download from the Scientific and Technical Information Exchange Project web site. The mission of the (STIX) font creation project is the preparation of a comprehensive set of fonts that serve the scientific and engineering community in the process from manuscript creation through final publication, both in electronic and print formats. Toward this purpose, the STIX fonts will be made available, under royalty-free license, to anyone, including publishers, software developers, scientists, students, and the general public.

The Unicode-based OpenType fonts have been designed to support the full range of characters and symbols needed in STM publishing, for both print and online formats. The fonts include more than 8,000 glyphs in multiple weights, sizes, and slants and support the complete range of Latin alphabets, as well as Greek and Cyrillic. The largest component of the fonts is devoted to the thousands of mathematical operators and technical symbols necessary to report research.

The initial release (version 1.0) provides the STIX Fonts as a set of 23 OpenType fonts, a format suitable for use by most dedicated STM typesetting programs, equation editors, and other applications. A second release (version 1.1) containing advanced OpenType support required by applications like Microsoft Office will follow by the end of 2010. The third release (version 1.2) will be a set of Type 1 fonts suitable for use with LaTeX, a standard tool in the mathematics and science communities and is expected to be completed in 2011. The STIX Fonts are released under the SIL Open Font License (OFL), a license designed specifically for collaborative font projects and to provide a free and open framework in which fonts may be shared and improved in partnership with others.

Speaking on behalf of the STI Pub coalition of publishers who developed the fonts, Tim Ingoldsby of the American Institute of Physics said: 'This project, which received funding support as well as the contributions of many staff members from the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Mathematical Society, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Elsevier, represents a significant step forward in the STM publishing process. Now individual researchers can come to a single source to obtain a free set of fonts that they can be assured contains substantially every character or symbol needed for reporting their results'..."

See also: the STI Pub Coalition web site


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