This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Microsoft Corporation http://www.microsoft.com
- Approved RFC: iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP)
- White House Report: XML the Rx for Sharing Health Data
- Public Review: MADS/RDF (Metadata Authority Description Schema in RDF)
- Mobile Web Application Framework Match-Up: Use jQTouch
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Snapshot 2010
- GSMA Launches Embedded SIM Initiative to Support the Connected Future
- Collaboration in System Administration
Approved RFC: iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP)
Alexey Melnikov (ed), IETF Proposed Standard
IETF has announced approval and publication of the iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP) specification as an RFC at Proposed Standard level maturity. This document "specifies a binding from the iCalendar Transport-independent Interoperability Protocol - iTIP to Internet email-based transports. Calendaring entries defined by the iCalendar Object Model (iCalendar) are wrapped using constructs from RFC 5322 and MIME (RFC 2045, RFC 2046, RFC 2047, and RFC 2049), and then transported over SMTP." With the publication of this RFC, the IETF Calendaring and Scheduling Standards Simplification (CALSIFY) working group in the IETF Applications Area has concluded.
Details: This IETF memo is part of a larger set of specifications that form a framework for Internet calendaring and scheduling standards. The iCAL proposed standard (Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification - iCalendar) defines the iCalendar data format for representing and exchanging calendaring and scheduling information such as events, to-dos, journal entries, and free/busy information, independent of any particular calendar service or protocol.
The specification iCalendar Transport-Independent Interoperability Protocol — iTIP) complements the iCalendar object specification by adding semantics for group scheduling methods commonly available in current calendaring systems. These scheduling methods permit two or more calendaring systems to perform transactions such as publishing, scheduling, rescheduling, responding to scheduling requests, negotiating changes, or canceling.
In iMIP, where message binding to the MIME electronic mail transport is defined, an 'originator' and the 'recipient' of an iMIP message are specified. In the case of a 'request' method, the originator is the 'Organizer' and the recipient is an 'Attendee' of the event. In the case of a 'response' method, the originator is an 'Attendee' and the recipient is the 'Organizer' of the event. A MIME entity containing content information formatted according to this document will be referenced as a 'text/calendar' content type. It is assumed that this content type will be transported through a MIME electronic mail transport... In iTIP messages, only the 'Organizer' is authorized to modify or cancel calendar entries she organizes. That is, 'email@example.com' is not allowed to modify or cancel a meeting that was organized by firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, only the respondent has the authorization to indicate their status to the 'Organizer'. That is, the 'Organizer' MUST ignore an iTIP message from 'email@example.com' that declines a meeting invitation for 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. Implementations of iMIP SHOULD verify the authenticity of the creator of an iCalendar object before taking any action..."
White House Report: XML the Rx for Sharing Health Data
Alice Lipowicz, Government Computer News
A new report from the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology declares that the Health and Human Services Department should help develop and promote a universal exchange language and infrastructure for patient health care information that would more readily enable the data to flow between disparate systems. "Extensible Markup Language (XML), which has a long track record of facilitating interoperability among systems, should become the basis for health IT as well, the advisory group says...
Current electronic health care record systems are based on proprietary technologies, which make sharing difficult. XML would facilitate a new level of sharing, with metadata and common data elements that can be tagged with privacy and security restrictions, according to the report titled 'Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans: The Path Forward' (108 pages).
The universal language would be used by physicians, hospitals, researchers and public and private agencies to facilitate information sharing, states the 108-page report. The report calls on HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to develop guidelines to spur adoption of the universal exchange language that allows for transfer of patient health data while protecting privacy...
Under the new exchange system, patient data would be divided into small individual pieces, which are tagged for attributes, provenance, and required security and privacy provisions. This allows for a more sophisticated model for data exchange and for protection of privacy..."
Public Review: MADS/RDF (Metadata Authority Description Schema in RDF)
Sally H. McCallum, Library of Congress Announcement
The U.S. Library of Congress (LOC) announced that a MADS/RDF ontology developed at LOC is available for a public review period until January 14, 2011. The MADS/RDF (Metadata Authority Description Schema in RDF) vocabulary is a data model for authority and vocabulary data used within the library and information science (LIS) community, which is inclusive of museums, archives, and other cultural institutions. It is presented as an OWL ontology. McCallum notes that this RDF may become the underlying format for important data sets like LCSH and LC name authorities.
Based on the MADS/XML schema, MADS/RDF provides a means to record data from the Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) Authorities format in RDF for use in semantic applications and Linked Data projects. MADS/RDF is a knowledge organization system designed for use with controlled values for names (personal, corporate, geographic, etc.), thesauri, taxonomies, subject heading systems, and other controlled value lists.
MADS is closely related to SKOS, the Simple Knowledge Organization System and a widely supported and adopted RDF vocabulary. Unlike SKOS, however, which is very broad in its application, MADS/RDF is designed specifically to support authority data as used by and needed in the LIS community and its technology systems. Given the close relationship between the aim of MADS/RDF and the aim of SKOS, the MADS ontology has been fully mapped to SKOS.
Community feedback is encouraged and welcome. The MODS listserv for MADS/XML is maintained as part of the community work on MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema) and is the preferred forum for feedback... MODS is a schema for a bibliographic element set that may be used for a variety of purposes, and particularly for library applications..."
Mobile Web Application Framework Match-Up: Use jQTouch
Michael Galpin, IBM developerWorks
"The interest in mobile development, which includes mobile web applications, has never been higher. Some of the developers interested in mobile web approach it from either a desktop or a server-side background. However, many are looking to apply their current web development skills to the mobile web, so they don't want to learn something completely different just to start developing for mobile users.
This is part of the reason they are looking to the mobile web instead of native mobile development. In the world of web development, there are many client-side frameworks, but jQuery is arguably the most popular among them. So it stands to reason that there are many web developers interested in mobile who already know jQuery quite well. These developers will be pleased to learn about jQTouch - a web framework based on jQuery and designed for mobile web development.
Most of what makes jQTouch appealing is that it builds on top of jQuery. It is technically a jQuery plug-in that adds mobile-specific functions and styling to applications. In particular, it adds styles and visual effects designed to take advantage of the capabilities of the iPhone. Though many of its features work well on other mobile devices, jQTouch is definitely designed with the iPhone in mind.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Snapshot 2010
Elika J. Etemad (ed), W3C Technical Report
A W3C Working Draft has been published for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Snapshot 2010. This document collects together into one definition all the specs that together form the current state of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) as of 2010. The primary audience is CSS implementors, not CSS authors, as this definition includes modules by specification stability, not Web browser adoption rate.
Details: "When the first CSS specification was published, all of CSS was contained in one document that defined CSS Level 1. CSS Level 2 was defined also by a single, multi-chapter document. However for CSS beyond Level 2, the CSS Working Group chose to adopt a modular approach, where each module defines a part of CSS, rather than to define a single monolithic specification. This breaks the specification into more manageable chunks and allows more immediate, incremental improvement to CSS.
Since different CSS modules are at different levels of stability, the CSS Working Group has chosen to publish this profile to define the current scope and state of Cascading Style Sheets as of late 2010. This profile includes only specifications that we consider stable and for which we have enough implementation experience that we are sure of that stability. Note that this is not intended to be a CSS Desktop Browser Profile: inclusion in this profile is based on feature stability only and not on expected use or Web browser adoption. This profile defines CSS in its most complete form.
Note also that although we don't anticipate significant changes to the specifications that form this snapshot, their inclusion does are not mean they are frozen. The Working Group will continue to address problems as they are found in these specs. Implementers should monitor the 'www-style' list and/or the CSS Working Group Blog for any resulting changes, corrections, or clarifications..."
GSMA Launches Embedded SIM Initiative to Support the Connected Future
Staff, GSMA Announcement
"The GSMA [Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSM) Association] has announced the formation of a task force of mobile operators to explore the development of an embedded SIM that can be remotely activated. The move is expected to enable the design of exciting new form factors for mobile communications. It will also speed the development of M2M services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband to non-traditional devices such as cameras, MP3 players, navigation devices and e-Readers, as well as smart meters.
The GSMA-led task force comprises a group of leading technical experts drawn from operators including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Orange, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The group will work in cooperation with major SIM producers...
The task force will analyse market requirements and deliver a technical solution as an evolution of the current SIM provisioning mechanisms. The proposed embedded SIM solution will include programmable SIM card capabilities to enable remote activation.
The group is expected to complete the analysis of market requirements by January 2011. The resulting technical solution will be built on the principles of openness and standardisation. Devices featuring the new SIM activation capability are expected to appear in 2012. Traditional SIM-supported devices will continue to work on existing networks..."
Collaboration in System Administration
Eben M. Haber, Eser Kandogan, Paul Maglio; ACM Queue
"For sysadmins, solving problems usually involves collaborating with others. How can we make it more effective? [...] The human part of total system cost-of-ownership has been growing for decades, now dominating the costs of hardware or software. To understand why, and to try to learn how administration can be better supported, we have been watching system administrators at work in their natural environments. Over the course of several years, and equipped with camcorders, cameras, tapes, computers, and notebooks, we made 16 visits, each as long as a week, across six different sites. We observed administrators managing databases, Web applications, and system security; as well as storage designers, infrastructure architects, and system operators. Whatever their specific titles were, we refer to them all as system administrators, or sysadmins for short.
At the beginning of our studies, we held a stereotypical view of the system administrator as that guy (and it was always a guy) in the back room of the university computer center who knew everything and could solve all problems by himself. As we ventured into enterprise data centers, we realized that the reality was significantly more complex.
To describe our findings fully would take a book (which we are currently writing). In this short article, we limit ourselves to a few episodes that illustrate the kinds of collaboration we saw in system administration work and where the major problems lie. As we'll show from real-world stories we collected and our analyses of work patterns, it's really not just one guy in the back room...
One of our motivations for studying sysadmins is the ever-increasing cost of IT management. Part of this can certainly be attributed to the fact that computers get faster and cheaper every year, and people do not. Yet complexity is also a huge issue—a Web site today is built upon a dramatically more complicated infrastructure than one 15 years ago. With complexity comes specialization in IT management. With around-the-clock operations needed for today's enterprises, coordination is also a must. System administrators need to share knowledge, coordinate their work, communicate system status, develop a common understanding, find and share expertise, and build trust and develop relationships. System administration is inherently collaborative..."
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