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Last modified: November 11, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 11 November 2010

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

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

Nuxeo Introduces Plug-in Marketplace and CMIS Support for ECM Offerings
Charles Humble, InfoQueue

"Nuxeo has announced new releases of Nuxeo Enterprise Platform (Nuxeo EP), and Nuxeo Document Management (Nuxeo DM). The releases add support for both JBoss AS 5.1 and JBoss EAP 5.0.1. Nuxeo EP also offers a server based on Apache Chemistry OpenCMIS.

The CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) specification is an extremely young standard, only ratified by OASIS in May 2010, which aims to improve interoperability between Enterprise Content Management systems. It proposes a data model plus a set of generic services and several protocol bindings for these services, including Representational State Transfer (REST) using Atom convention and SOAP.

Nuxeo CEO Eric Barroca said that Nuxeo is contributing a lot of code to Apache Chemistry, which is effectively the reference implementation for CMIS. A number of other vendors are involved in the initiative including Adobe Systems, Alfresco Software, EMC Corporation (Documentum), Liferay, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Despite the lack of a TCK Barroca told us that there is already a working client implementation, Adobe Drive 2, which includes a preview connector for CMIS compliant repositories..."

According to the Nuxeo announcement: "The new 5.4 version of Nuxeo Enterprise Platform (Nuxeo EP) and Nuxeo Document Management (Nuxeo DM) also features support for Apache Chemistry OpenCMIS and OpenJDK, advanced query and navigation mechanisms, and the new Admin Center (to install and manage new components easily), which is directly connected to Nuxeo Marketplace... The new version of the Nuxeo EP reinforces a commitment to open standards by offering a server based on Apache Chemistry OpenCMIS. This server provides native support of queries with CMISQL (including JOINs), and supports REST and SOAP bindings. Additionally, Nuxeo DM and EP 5.4 provide support for OpenJDK, an open source Java Development Kit, opening up further possibilities for developers and architects to build and embed content management applications..."

See also: the Nuxeo announcement      [TOC]

OASIS Review: Solution Deployment Descriptor Specification Version 2.0
Merri Jensen (ed), OASIS Public Review Draft

Members of the OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee have submitted a Committee Specification Draft of Solution Deployment Descriptor Specification Version 2.0 for public review through December 11, 2010. Contributors to the specification include representatives from CA, Dell, Fujitsu Limited, IBM, Macrovision, SAP, SAS Institute, and Sun Microsystems.

Background: "Deployment and lifecycle management of a set of interrelated software, hereinafter referred to as a solution, is a predominantly manual operation because there is currently no standardized way to express installation packaging for a multi-platform environment. Each hosting platform or operating system has its own format for expressing packaging of a single installable unit but, even on these homogeneous platforms, there is no standardized way to combine packages into a single aggregated unit without significant re-creation of the dependency and installation instructions. The problem is compounded when the solution is to be deployed across multiple, heterogeneous, platforms. A standard for describing the packaging and mechanism to express dependencies and various lifecycle management operations within the package would alleviate these problems and subsequently enable automation of these highly manual and error-prone tasks.

This specification is an update to the OASIS Standard Solution Deployment Descriptor v1.0. It defines schema for two XML document types: Package Descriptors and Deployment Descriptors. Package Descriptors define characteristics of a package used to deploy a solution. Deployment Descriptors define characteristics of the content of a solution package, including the requirements that are relevant for creation, configuration and maintenance of the solution content. The semantics of the descriptors are fully defined, allowing software implementations to precisely understand the intent of the descriptor authors and to use the information provided in the descriptors to support solution deployment.

The package descriptor defines package content which includes artifacts whose processing results in deployment of the software package. The deployment descriptor defines metadata associated with those artifacts. The SDD package descriptor defines the package identity, the package content and various other attributes of the package. Each SDD consists of exactly one deployment descriptor and one package descriptor. The deployment descriptor is where the topology, selectability, inputs, requirements and conditions of the deployment are described..."

See also: the OASIS announcement      [TOC]

W3C Standard: Associating Style Sheets with XML Documents 1.0 Second Edition
James Clark, Simon Pieters, Henry S. Thompson (eds), W3C Recommendation

A revised version ("Second Edition") of the specification Associating Style Sheets with XML Documents 1.0 has been approved by W3C as a Recommendation. This document was produced by members of the XML Core Working Group as part of the W3C XML Activity. This second edition incorporates all known errata as of the publication date, clarifies several areas left unspecified in the earlier edition, and has been restructured to allow other specifications to reuse the rules for parsing pseudo-attributes from a string.

"Authors might have particular intentions as to how user agents are to present the information contained in their XML documents. This specification provides a non-intrusive mechanism, using a processing instruction, to provide links to one or more style sheets, i.e., resources specifying the desired rendering in a designated language. User agents will use these resources to control presentation of XML. This document allows style sheets to be associated with an XML document by including one or more processing instructions with a target of 'xml-stylesheet' in the document's prolog.

The first edition of this specification was admirably brief, but at the same time left many details unstated. This second edition aims to fill the gaps left in the first edition, while restructuring the presentation to provide for independent citation and re-use of the pseudo-attribute construct. Neither the syntax nor the semantics of the 'xml-stylesheet' processing instructions have been changed, beyond the restructuring just mentioned. Conformance constraints on processors have been eased slightly, in that xml-stylesheet processing instructions occurring within the internal or external subset may be ignored.

Some of the major changes which have been made: (1) Provided definitions for a number of terms used but not defined in the first edition; (2) Added a conformance section, distinguishing between processor and document conformance, all of which was implicit in the first edition; (3) Identified a number of error cases, which were implicit in the first edition's appeal to the parallel with element start tag processing, and specified expected processor behaviour; (4) In recognition of deployed processor behaviour, allowed xml-stylesheet processing instructions to be ignored unless they are among the [children] of the document information item; (5) Added a number of references, but removed the explicit dependence on the HTML 4.0 specification by adding descriptions of the meanings of each of the pseudo-attributes consistent with their HTML 4.0 use but brought up-to-date; (6) Removed the (non-normative) Rationale section, as it contained a number of out-of-date assumptions; (7) Made the type pseudo-attribute optional, as agreed by existing erratum..."

See also: the XML Core Working Group      [TOC]

NIST to Develop Roadmap for Cloud Computing Standardization Efforts
Nicholas Hoover, InformationWeek

"The U.S. federal government's standards organization plans to develop a roadmap for cloud computing standards and guidance, as announced by National Institute of Standards and Technology officials at a two-day government cloud computing forum. Developing a roadmap will help prioritize standards efforts, looking to remove perceived barriers to cloud adoption around security, interoperability, portability and reliability...

The new effort, the NIST Strategic Cloud Computing initiative, is targeted both at vendors and at government, according to NIST's Patrick Gallagher: 'On the one hand, it's imperative to understand the challenges federal CIOs face. On the other, we have to leverage the enormous technological resources that exist in the cloud provider community; I envision this roadmap as a dialogue between these two sides'...

NIST's initial plan is to define targeted government cloud computing use cases and determine the priorities, risks and obstacles to making those use cases a reality within government. The agency then will help build a neutral cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy, and finally create a roadmap. In the end, the effort may lead to standards, guidance, research and development prioritization, prototypes and pilots of reference implementations, and perhaps even new administration policy on cloud computing...

Dawn Leaf, NIST cloud computing program manager, provided an update on an early-stage cloud standards effort called Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart Adoption of Cloud Computing (SAJACC). Since May 2010, when NIST announced the effort, the agency has launched a Web portal that includes draft use cases the agency thinks will be key to the development of future cloud standards..."

See also: the NIST Cloud Computing Use Cases      [TOC]

Last Call: Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) Media Types
Krishna Sankar and Arnold Jones (eds), IETF Internet Draft

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has issued a Last Call review for the specification Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) Media Types. IESG has received a request to consider the version -02 Internet Draft as an IETF Proposed Standard. The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits final comments on this action; please send substantive comments to the IETF by 2010-12-09. This memo includes a request to IANA to register the following media types: 'application/cdmi-domain'; 'application/cdmi-capability'; 'application/cdmi-container'; 'application/cdmi-object'; 'application/cdmi-queue'.

Details: "The Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is the functional interface that applications will use to create, retrieve, update and delete data elements from the cloud. As part of this interface the client will be able to discover the capabilities of the cloud storage offering and use this interface to manage containers and the data that is placed in them. In addition, metadata can be set on containers and their contained data elements through this interface.

A storage cloud is a storage service hosted either on-premise or off-premise, definitely across a network. An important part of the cloud model, in general, is the concept of a pool of resources that is drawn from, on demand, in small increments (smaller than what one would typically purchase by buying equipment). By abstracting data storage behind a set of service interfaces and delivering it on demand, a wide range of actual offerings and implementations are possible. The only type of storage that is excluded from this definition is that which is delivered, not based on demand, but on fixed capacity increments.

The CDMI defines a set of functional interfaces (data paths) and management interfaces (control paths) to create, retrieve, update, and delete data elements from a storage cloud. Another important concept in this standard is that of metadata. When managing large amounts of data with differing requirements, metadata is a convenient mechanism to express those requirements in such a way that underlying data services can differentiate their treatment of the data to meet those requirements. CDMI also defines an extensible metadata system for storage clouds... As part of the CDMI interface, the client will be able to discover the capabilities of the cloud storage offering and to use this interface to manage containers and the data that is placed in them..."

See also: the SNIA Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) specification      [TOC]

Unicode 6: XML Entities Draft
David Carlisle, Blog

Unicode Version 6.0 was published last month, and the proposals for Unicode 6.1 are firming up, both of these releases have significant new characters for mathematical use, so I have updated the Editors' draft of 'XML Entity Definitions for Characters'. The main source file 'unicode.xml' has been updated to contain information for all characters in Unicode 6.0, and the provisional allocations for the Arabic Math Alphabets in Unicode 6.1. There is no change to the set of entity names or the MathML or HTML dtd derived from these sources.

Although this document is styled as an editors' draft for an update to the current recommendation, there are no immediate plans to publish a formal update to the W3C recommendation. However I hope to track changes to Unicode in this editors' draft, and perhaps once the proposals to add Arabic mathematical characters to Unicode are all processed, we may try to submit this for formal review as a Proposed Edited Recommendation (PER).

Most of the new characters in Unicode 6.0 are not directly related to Mathematics, although the large collection of 'emoji' derived from characters used in the Japanese mobile phone industry provides some interesting characters that I'm sure could be used for mathematical operators... However there are some specifically mathematical characters including new heavy (ultra bold) plus and minus (U+2795 and U+2796) which may find use either in display contexts or as additional operators distinct from the usual plus and minus...

The mathematical alphabets (bold, fraktur, double-struck, etc.) that are in Unicode, and available as values in MathML 2's mathvariant attribute fit well with the mathematical traditions using the Roman and Greek alphabets but don't really work with other alphabets, notably Arabic..."

See also: the Editor's Draft      [TOC]

Web Developers Tackle Advanced Font Controls
Stephen Shankland, CNET

"The Web, ever more sophisticated, is feeble as a publication medium when it's compared to what can be done with layout software [...] but that's beginning to change. The change is significant: digital publishing is moving to the Web, but the array of new devices such as iPads and Kindles pose a challenge. Should those overseeing the designs create native applications for those devices or Web pages that will work on just about any device? For the latter to be a competitive option, the Web has to match up better.

A foundation for change was built with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a standard for Web page formatting that's now growing in significance and power. One big element here is support for the '@font-face' technology and the related Web Open Font Format, which together are letting Web developers specify downloadable fonts and use online font repositories such as TypeKit for a more polished, customized look.

A new phase is under way now, though. Firefox browser developer Mozilla has begun work on CSS features to permit higher-end font controls: ligatures, kerning, small caps, a way to specify use of typeset fraction characters rather than spelled-out versions, support for monospaced numbers... Also under development is better support for bidirectional and vertical text, which accommodates languages with characters written top to bottom or right to left. Anne van Kesteren, who works on standards for browser maker Opera, offers a brief introduction to the new bidirectional text controls in HTML5.

Adobe is working on both browser code and Web standards to advance the effort. For the browser work, it's relying on a partnership with ally Google. Here's how this particular set of stars align: Adobe's AIR programming foundation includes both the Flash Player and Adobe's version of the WebKit browser engine; WebKit is the foundation of Google's Chrome; and Google is supporting Flash Player on Android and building it directly into Chrome.

See also: Adobe's adaptive layout      [TOC]

Rethinking OOXML Validation, Part 1
Alex Brown, Blog

"At the recent ODF Plugfest in Brussels, I was very interested to hear Jos van den Oever of KOffice present on how ODF's alternative 'flat' document format could be used to drive browser based rendering of ODF documents. ODF defines two methods of serializing documents: one uses multiple files in a 'Zip' archive, the aforementioned 'flat' format combines everything into a single XML file. Seeing this approach in action gelled with some thoughts I'd been having on how better to validate OOXML documents using standards-based XML tools.

Unlike ODF, OOXML has no 'flat' file format: its files are OPC packages built on top of Zip archives. However, some interesting work has already been done in this area by Microsoft's Eric White: Microsoft Word can already save in an unofficial flat format which can be processed with standards-based XML tools like XSLT processors.

Rather than having to rely on Word, or stick only to word processing documents, I thought it would be interesting to explore ways in which any OOXML document could be flattened and processed using standards-based processors... Armed with knowledge gained from developing Office-o-tron, and looking again at Zip handling extension functions of the Calabash XProc processor, made me think there was a way XProc could be used to get the job done

OOXML documents are built using the Open Packaging Convention (OPC, or ISO/IEC 29500-2), a generic means of building file formats within Zip archives which also happens to underpin the XPS format. OPC's chief virtue (that it is very generic) is offset by much (probably too much) complexity in pursuit of this goal... Fortunately, the essence of what we need consists of two pieces of information [and] XProc can get both of these pieces of information for us... The result of applying this process is a rather large document, with all the expand elements referring to XML documents replaced by that XML document content—in other words, a flat OPC file. With the additional metadata we have placed on the containing c:file elements, we have enough information to start performing schema validation. I will look at validation in more depth in the next part of this post..."

See also: the Brussels ODF Plugfest October 2010      [TOC]


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