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Last modified: July 20, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Tuesday, 20 July 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

OWLlink Protocol Specification Contributed to W3C
Staff, W3C Announcement

The World Wide Web Consortium has acknowledged receipt of a Member Sumbission for a multi-part OWLlink Protocol specification. This contribution was made on July 01, 2010 by Clark & Parsia LLC, Creative Commons, Daimler Chrysler Research and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, NTT DOCOMO, Stanford University, University of Aberdeen, Computing Science, University of Manchester, and Vrije Universiteit. Other W3C member organisations have expressed support for this submission, including Alcatel-Lucent, BT, IBM Corporation, and University of Oxford.||The OWLlink protocol "provides an implementation-neutral mechanism for accessing OWL reasoner functionality. OWLlink is a refinement of the DIG protocol most notably with respect to query and language expressivity. It relies on OWL 2 for the primitives of the modeling language, and is thus fully compatible with OWL. The OWLlink core cover basic reasoner management, assertion of axioms and elementary ask functionality. An extension mechanism is provided to easily add any required functionality in a controlled way to the core language. A concrete binding is based on the OWL 2 XML-Serialization OWL/XML transported via HTTP. Further defined bindings are the OWLlink HTTP/Functional binding making use of the OWL Functional syntax and the OWLlink HTTP/S-Expression binding. The eight (8) document titles are: OWLlink: Structural Specification and All Embedded Graphics; OWLlink: HTTP/XML Binding and the Corresponding XML Schema Document; OWLlink: HTTP/Functional Binding; OWLlink: HTTP/S-Expression Binding; OWLlink Extension: Retraction and All Embedded Graphics; OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/XML Binding; OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/Functional Binding; OWLlink Extension: Retraction HTTP/S-Expression Binding.||From the W3C Team Comment on the OWLlink Protocol Submission: "OWL reasoners are complex systems that, often, must be accessed via the Web. An HTTP based protocol is necessary for that purpose, in order to transfer possibly complex queries over the Web and get back query results. Clients should be able to upload ontologies, possibly remove some of the axioms or facts, and query subsumption hierarchies, class memberships, etc. OWLlink's Structural Specification defines a general, implementation-neutral protocol to access the functionalities of a reasoner acting as an (OWLlink) server. This general mechanism is defined in term of UML. Separate documents define bindings of this general protocol with different syntaxes that can be used to communicate with reasoners over HTTP... OWLlink may play a major role in the management and the usage of OWL 2 reasoners; as such, it may become an important element in the deployment and usage of such reasoners on the Semantic Web... A technical comment: the HTTP protocol is using exclusively HTTP POST, including for operations like queries for which a HTTP GET might be more natural. It would be good if the designers of OWLlink also considered using HTTP GET and, in general, RESTful protocol design wherever appropriate for newer versions..."||The OWLlink protocol "is based on extensive discussions with users of OWL and the DIG protocol, mostly within the informal DIG [Description Logic Implementation Group] Working Group. The authors and submitters acknowledge the contribution made to the original DIG protocol and the abondoned DIG 2.0 draft specification by members of the DIG Working Group, from which OWLlink inherits some ideas..."

See also: the W3C Team Comment on the OWLlink Protocol Submission

OASIS Group to Examine Cloud Standards
Dave Kearns, Network World

"[Apropos of a Cloudchaser podcast on 'Identity and the Enterprise Cloud'] One issue that came up, and which we mostly danced around, was the issue of standards. Now we all know that there are lots of standards in identity (SAML, WS-Federation, OpenID, CardSpace, etc.) but so far none is perfect for the cloud. Still, work is going on.||The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has recently formed a technical committee (TC) to examine this issue, called the 'Identity in the Cloud' TC. It's headed by IdM veterans Tony Nadalin of Microsoft and Anil Saldhana of Red Hat.||According to the IDCloud TC charter: 'The purpose of the OASIS Identity in the Cloud TC is to collect and harmonize definitions, terminologies and vocabulary of Cloud Computing, and develop profiles of open standards for identity deployment, provisioning and management. Where possible, the TC will seek to re-use existing work. The TC will collect use cases to help identify gaps in existing Identity Management standards. The use cases will be used to identify gaps in current standards and investigate the need for profiles for achieving interoperability within current standards, with a preference for widely interoperable and modular methods.'||The membership includes: Alfresco Software, CA, Capgemini, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, eBay, IBM, Jericho Systems, Microsoft, Novell, Ping Identity, Red Hat, SafeNet, SAP, Skyworth TTG Holdings, Symantec, Boeing, the U.S. Department of Defense and VeriSign. That's an excellent cross-section of business and technology organizations, providers and users..."

See also: the IDCloud Technical Committee Charter and CFP

W3C Working Draft: HTML Media Capture
Ilkka Oksanen and Dominique Hazael-Massieux (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Device APIs and Policy Working Group have published a Working Draft for the HTML Media Capture specification. The document "defines HTML form enhancements that provide access to the audio, image and video capture capabilities of a device. In its current form, the document represents the first part of the split of the previous version of this document which focused on the integration of media capture in HTML forms based on an extension to the FileAPI. The second part of the split focused on programmatic access to the capture devices will be published separately. The Working Group is looking for feedback on the general approach of this new version, and will coordinate with the HTML and Web Applications Working Group to ensure the proper progress of this document...||Details: "The 'HTML Media Capture' specification defines a new interface for media files, a new parameter for the accept attribute of the HTML input element in file upload state, and recommendations for providing optimized access to the microphone and camera of a hosting device. This specification builds upon the security and privacy protections provided by the HTML5 ('input type="file"') and the FileAPI specifications; in particular, it is expected that any offer to start capturing content from the user's device would require a specific user interaction on an HTML element that is entirely controlled by the user agent.||In addition to the security requirements already highlighted in the HTML5 and FileAPI specifications, implementors should take care of additional leakage of privacy-sensitive data from captured media. For instance, embedding the user's location in a captured media metadata (e.g. EXIF) might transmit more private data than the user might be expecting...||HTML5 defines the accept attribute to take no parameters on MIME types. This specification proposes to use a MIME type parameter, and so will require coordination with the HTML5 Working Group. The capture parameter can take one of the following values: camera, camcorder, microphone, filesystem. These values indicate which source the file picker interface should preferably present to the user by default...."

See also: W3C Ubiquitous Web Applications

GIS Applications Take to the Clouds
Nicole Hemsoth, High Performance Computing (HPC) in the Cloud

"Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications have been moving into the cloud with increased momentum but like other fields where software drives the business model, the move from complex software to the software as a service cloud model was slow to catch on due to the business of delivering software—not the technological constraints of doing so.||This presents a new market for those previously locked out of GIS due to high startup costs and a potential paradigm shift for how this niche segment of the software industry does business from now on. The GIS example is representative not only of how large-scale application areas are tentatively approaching the cloud from a technological and business model standpoint, but how such shifts can begin to have an instant impact on the new user groups enabled by the delivery model...||According to Earl Dodd, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Supercomputing Centers: 'the cloud computing paradigm is the future of GIS/HPC cloud technology has the potential to scale up GIS software and boost its volumetrics to solve geospatial data processing challenges must faster than previously possible'... One can easily advocate, as RMSC's Earl Dodd does at length, that the cloud can enable access to supercomputing might for those who need it most—that is, those who can least afford it.||According to Philip O'Doherty, CEO of of GIS firm eSpatial, 'we know the potential that GIS and online mapping and analysis can offer to solve complex business problems, but can GIS software and the use of spatial data evolve to meet the needs of a world that consumes its software as a service in the cloud or do we need to rip it all up and start again?' He is making an argument that for the first time in history, it will be possible for smaller software providers using the SaaS model to break into a once-locked industry and deliver to a new market of GIS consumers in an on-demand fashion without up-front costs..."

Sitecore CMS Version 6.3 Provides Cloud Computing Solution
Staff, Sitecore Announcement

"Sitecore, a leading provider of .NET Web Content Management System (CMS) software has announced the availability of Sitecore CMS 6.3. This solution is for global businesses interested in cost-effectively deploying website delivery centers with a cloud computing strategy. Sitecore customers and partners can now place Web servers in multiple geographies worldwide, allowing for more consistent and responsive website visitor experiences. In addition, this solution enables multiple content authoring servers worldwide to improve content authoring and CMS return on investment.||Sitecore's dynamic delivery architecture has evolved to a fully balanced architecture that is well-suited for cloud deployment or with a more traditional server configuration. To maintain consistency between the content management and content delivery layer, Sitecore CMS 6.3 is designed with load-distribution, redundancy and scalability—a benefit for content owners and website visitors.||When using a cloud-based delivery model, Sitecore provides the ability to quickly scale to additional needs without the costs associated with a 24X7 environment for hosting Web applications. Furthermore, a cloud computing strategy can shorten time to market and can be more adaptive as new capabilities and functionality are added to a Web solution...||Sitecore's Web Content Management System (CMS) and portal software solutions enable companies to deliver compelling Web experiences. Sitecore's award-winning CMS software makes it easy for businesses to create and update dynamic, full-featured websites of all types. Sitecore's industry leading flexibility and scalability allows companies to better leverage their content, improve customer experience and drive business growth. Thousands of public and private organizations utilize Sitecore solutions for their websites [including] including Computer Associates, Costco, ISS, Lloyds of London, Microsoft, Omni Hotels, Sara Lee, Siemens, Thomas Cook and Toshiba..."

HTML5 in W3C Cheatsheet Format
Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C Blog

The W3C cheatsheet is a mobile-friendly Web application that provides a compilation of useful knowledge extracted from W3C specifications. It is an open source tool made freely available for use by Web developers.||Dominique now writes: "From the very first release of the cheatsheet, I've received requests to include the various new elements and attributes of the HTML5 specification in the cheatsheet. At long last, I've finally managed to integrate these new elements in the latest release of the cheatsheet, where you will now find all the new, changed, obsolete and removed elements and attributes in HTML5 highlighted...||All the data are extracted from 'HTML: The Markup Language Reference', the specification maintained by Mike Smith that describes the markup aspects of HTML5. As always, this comes with a number of bug fixes, UI improvements (thanks to Sorin Stefan), and this release is both available in the Web version and in the Android application..."||The document 'HTML: The Markup Language Reference' provides a non-normative reference describes the HTML markup language and covers details to help producers of HTML content create documents that conform to the language. It is intended to complement the normative conformance criteria defined in the specification 'HTML5: A Vocabulary and Associated APIs for HTML and XHTML', as well as information in related deliverables published by the HTML Working Group and from other sources.

See also: The HTML Markup Language Reference

Solve the Data Management Conflict Between Business and IT
Brad Peters, Information Management

Despite the evolution in data management over the past 20 years, the tension between IT and business users is still difficult to reconcile. IT wants data control and centralization; business users want the ability to quickly explore and analyze data on their own. The end result is business data treated like a precious object that IT guards and business users can look at but not touch.||One thing remains clear: business intelligence, the ability to analyze and report on key business data, is critical. Most companies today understand the value of the data in their organization but struggle to empower the organization to derive real business value from it. Reconciling the data management battle between IT and business users would go a long way to unleash the business value of information. But how does a company get there?||The BI sandbox has recently emerged as a way for IT to solve the influx of requests for access to enterprise data, while allaying their concerns about data management and security. According to industry analyst firm Forrester Research, a sandbox is defined as a 'data exploration environment where a power user can analyze production, clean data with near complete freedom to modify data models, enrich data sets and run the analysis whenever necessary, without much dependency on IT and production environment restrictions.' BI sandboxes provide a new way to liberate the business user to explore data without jeopardizing the original data source...||The benefits of creating rapid sandboxes are in addition to the general benefits of SaaS BI—affordable and manageable subscription pricing, with no need to purchase additional hardware or software. Solution updates happen automatically, without intense IT involvement. Ready for IT and business users to get along? Bring on the BI sandbox..."


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