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Last modified: March 08, 1999
SGML/XML News. What Was New, Relatively New, or New in the 'SGML/XML Web Page' in 1998?

Related News:   Current SGML/XML News   XML News -   XML Articles -   [SGML/XML News for 1997] -   [SGML/XML News for 1996] -   [SGML News for 1995]

  • December 24, 1998. The Ontogenics Metadata Mediator research project "has three primary goals: 1) creating a Web-based 'mediator' utility for translating models to and from XMI; 2) prototyping a vendor independent XML representation for business rules; 3) UML extensions for integrating rules into the methodology and model repository." In particular, Ontogenics Corporation is "building on the proposed XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) standard that includes a full XML representation for UML, designing a standard, XML-based interchange language for business rules. This Rule Markup Language (RML) is designed as an extension to the XMI proposed standard, including appropriate integration with the Unified Modeling Language (UML) representation. A UML markup language is a part of the XMI proposal and is also an extension of the core metadata exchange definition. . . Our Repository Translation Service is a software tool that leverages the XMI language to translate common repository models between tools, or between repositories. The Repository Translator also includes Web-based model editors and model viewers that are built directly on the XMI representation, so these utilities can edit or view contents from many sources."

  • December 24, 1998. Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems) has posted an announcement concerning the deadline schedule for the XTech '99 Conference presentations. The "soft" deadline of Monday, December 14, 1998 "has been changed to a 'hard' deadline of Friday, January 8, 1999. The change reflects a growth in the size and importance of the conference that requires increased lead time in the planning and preparation of printed schedules. Where formerly we were asking for early proposals but allowing late submissions to within a few weeks of the conference, we are now setting one deadline for all submissions well in advance of the conference." The XTech '99 Conference (March 7 -11, 1999, San Jose Convention Center) is presented by the Graphic Communications Association, co-hosted by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), and sponsored by Sun Microsystems. For additional information, see the main conference entry for XTech '99.

  • December 24, 1998. A communique from Michail Medvinsky provides a URL for an 'xdCatalog system' and describes the first public version of the XML-Data Cataloging System. "XML-Data xdCatalog parser is a validating XML-Data cataloging system. The main objectives of this product are to enable the XML software developer to construct a self-describing information mapping system, as well as provide the regular features of XML, such as DTD validation and parsing." Its principal features: "1) XML-Data DTDs, optimization, validation and reporting - with support for XML inheritance, XML Foreign key and Primary Key functionalities, Data path search, TypeEquivalence and aliasing, Namespaces, DataType checking, Automatic DTD resolution; 2) Validation of data streams as well as Creation of the walkable XML Tree; 3) Parser Interfaces." An XDREP tool is provided to help the user explore some of the functions of the xdCatalog. Additional information is provided in the online documentation. The author has made the source code available for download and provides installation instructions; he invites user comments.

  • December 22, 1998. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has released a revised version of its DTD for patent documents - ST32 US Patent Grant. The revision of 1998-December-4 under the editorship of Bruce B. Cox revises the DTD "to comply with latest revisions to Red Book and XML 1.0 (except empty tags and UNICODE)." The FPI: "-//USPTO//DTD ST.32 US Patent Grant v1.0 1998-12-08//EN". "This DTD was developed by the USPTO in August of 1997 to support the publishing of patent documents. It was derived from version 3.4 of the WIPO Standard ST.32 DTD. The original DTD was modified to handle only those elements used by the USPTO. It incorporates the CALS table and equation models, and handles graphics as external entities." The DTD itself is supplied in Appendix A of the PTO's "Red Book" SGML Data Format Definition. The larger collection of technical specifications documentation provides a "detailed description of the organization and content of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Data/SGML. The Patent Data/SGML will consist of patent data records appearing in the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), as defined by this documentation, the ST32US Document Type Definition (DTD) file, reference Appendix A, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standard ST. 32, reference Appendix B [Appendix B: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standard S32 - Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)]. The SGML tag identifiers, and the appropriate data content, described in this document are used for the creation and subsequent use of the compound data of U.S. Patent documents." Document samples and related reference materials are provided in the other appendices. For other information, see the database entry "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)."

  • December 22, 1998. Norman Walsh has posted an announcement to the Davenport Group indicating that major additions are planned for DocBook version 3.1 "Since the OASIS TC meeting in Chicago, the DocBook Technical Committee has been working hard to finalize DocBook 3.1. We expect it to be released in January. Along with a number of smaller changes, DocBook 3.1 will introduce two new, substantial constructs: QAndASet and MediaObject. In two following messages, I'll summarize the content models and semantics of QAndASet and MediaObject. If you have comments, particularly if you think these elements fail to address your needs in these areas, please post them to the list." Thus, in DocBook 5, Graphic and InlineGraphic will probably be removed. The new MediaObject will address several needs: "1) include multimedia content other than graphics; 2) providing alternative presentations for multimedia objects; 3) add captions to multiple graphics within a figure." As planned, "QAndASet provides a framework for sets of 'Questions and Answers'. A QAndASet can be broken into QAndADivs (with titles). Each set (or division) contains one or more question/answer pairs." Note that Norman Walsh continues to play a leading role in the development and maintenance of DocBook, including the creation of an XML version of the DocBook 3.0 DTD, and the DSSSL Modular DocBook Stylesheets. Norm is also authoring a reference document to be published by O'Reilly & AssociatesDocBook: The Definitive Guide.

  • December 22, 1998. IBM alphaWorks has released several new technologies on its Web site, including LotusXSL - An experimental implementation of the Construction Rules section of the XSL World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Draft. This experimental application is being developed jointly by IBM and Lotus. The LotusXSL processor is written in Java and conforms to the construction rules features of the draft XSL specification released by the W3C [today - WD-xsl-19981216]. LotusXSL is packaged as a JavaBean for use in client or server applications, as an applet for use in Java-enabled web browsers, and as a command-line Java program. Summary: "XSL provides a mechanism for formatting and transforming XML, either at the browser or on the server. It allows the developer to take the abstract data semantics of an XML instance and transform it into a presentation language such as HTML. LotusXSL implements an XSL processor in Java, and can interface to APIs that conform to the October 1 Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification. The processor can be used from the command line or from an wrapper applet, or it can be used as a submodule of other programs, and accessed via the API. The LotusXSL processor is designed to help our customers and others in the web community gain early experience with the very latest XSL technology. This announcement also highlights both Lotus' and IBM's active role in advancing openstandards such as W3C's XML and XSL."

  • December 22, 1998. Jani Jaakkola has announced the availability of Sgrep version 191a. "Sgrep-1.91a has been made available in source and binary forms. Binaries are available for Win32, HP-UX, Linux, OSF1 and Solaris platforms. Sgrep is a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns." Among the new features in Sgrep version 1.91a: "1) nearness operators for both ordered and unordered nearness; 2) support for 16-bit wide query terms - this really means that Sgrep now supports Unicode; 3) support for UTF-16 and UTF-8 encodings; 4) the 'parenting' operator is now an order of magnitude faster in the common case; 5) Sgrep now emits and parses #line-directives, which allows for more accurate error reporting; 6) an option to query terms from index files." For more information on sgrep, see the announcement and the online description.

  • December 22, 1998. DataChannel Inc. recently announced the "Immediate Availability of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Implementations, Delivering the Most Advanced XML Framework in a Java-based Parser." The Beta 2 version of the Java XML parser (XJ2) has been co-developed with Microsoft Corporation. The XJ2 Beta 2 enhanced features include: "1) XSL support - apply style sheets to XML data and display or transform the data in a dynamic and flexible way that can be easily customized; 2) XSL pattern matching of XML Data; 3) full support for the W3C XML DOM Recommendation; 4) a validating XML engine - fully supports W3C XML 1.0 and XML Namespaces; native XML support in Java means that developers can count on the full XML processing capabilities being present to read and manipulate the data they move between their applications and components across different platforms; 5) support for XML Schemas; 6) server-side XML and XSL." The parser is now available for download. In this connection, note that the Microsoft Repository SDK Version 2.1 with new XML support is also available. SDK version 2.1 has updated application development samples and a new version of the Open Information Model.

  • December 22, 1998. A revised W3C Working Draft on Ruby for review by W3C members and other interested parties has been published. References: WD-ruby-19981221, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft, 21-December-1998. Ruby text is a "run of text that appears in the immediate vicinity of another run of text ('ruby base') and serves as an annotation or a pronunciation guide associated with the base. Ruby, as used in Japanese, is described in JIS-X-4051." The new Ruby Working Draft is published by the W3C Internationalization Working Group. The WD specification extends HTML/SGML to support ruby text typically used in East Asian documents. Familiarity with both HTML 4.0 and XML-ized HTML (HTML-XML) [on the part of the reader] is assumed." Ruby elements are defined in two DTD versions: one declaration per element for SGML [= HTML4] and one for XML-ized HTML [= HTML-XML].

  • December 22, 1998. A new online Status Update from Mozilla.Org [December 19, 1998] provides new information on the XPToolkit module, the Editor (composer), RDF and HT (HyperTree), and NGLayout. See 'XML in Mozilla' for other references to Mozilla and Gecko.

  • December 21, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of a new version of XT - a Java implementation of the tree construction part of XSL. This release of XT (Version 19981220) supports the new W3C Working Draft for the Extensible Stylesheet Language Version 1.0 (WD-xsl-19981216). The new version of Clark's XT is not backwardly compatible with the previous XSL WD specification; older stylesheets will need to be updated. XT is characterized as an "alpha test version, which has had very little testing. . . intended as a tool for learning about XSL [and] not for getting real work done."

  • December 18, 1998. Steve Muench and Mark Scardina (Oracle) have posted announcements about the 'PLSXML' XML utilities and demos recently released by Oracle, including the Oracle XML Parser for Java Beta. "PLSXML is a set of PL/SQL-based XML utilities and demonstrations. The PLSXML 'Suite' consists of: 1) DBXML - For generating rich, nested XML documents from SQL queries; 2) DBDOM - For creating, parsing, traversing, and searching XML Documents using the Document Object Model API; 3) DBXSL - For generating a database-driven XSL stylesheet for a tree-rendering of data." The set of utilities in PLSXML have been created "to help prototype and illustrate ideas for integrating XML with the Oracle database in future releases. However, these current prototypes can help Oracle customers understand what is possible using current Oracle technology and might prove useful as they prototype applications using Oracle and XML together as part of their application architecture. The PLSXML utilities and demos will work with: any production version of the Oracle7 or Oracle8 database, any production version of the Oracle Web/Application Server 2.1 or higher, or the Internet Explorer 5.0 Beta 2 Browser." Features of the Oracle XML Parser for Java Beta [Early Adopter Pre-Release]: 1) supports validation and non-validation modes; 2) built-in Error Recovery until fatal error; 3) supports W3C XML 1.0 Recommendation; 4) intergrated Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1.0 API; 5) integrated SAX 1.0 API; 6) supports W3C Proposed Recomendation for XML Namespaces; 7) Supports documents in the following encodings: UTF-8, UTF-16, ISO-10646-UCS-2, ISO-10646-UCS-4, US-ASCII, EBCDIC-CP-US, ISO-8859-1, Shift_SJIS." See the full text of the announcements for other details.

  • December 18, 1998. Vincent Quint of W3C/INRIA has announced the availability of a new Working Draft of the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0 specification. References: WD-xsl-19981216, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 16-December-1998. The editors are James Clark (responsible for the 'Tree Construction' portion) and Stephen Deach of Adobe (responsible for the 'Formatting Objects' portion). Relative to the previous Working Draft of 18-August-1998, this WD "adds additional functionality to what was described in the previous draft, however the basic design of the previous draft remains unchanged." Abstract: "XSL is a language for expressing stylesheets. It consists of two parts: 1) a language for transforming XML documents, and 2) an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics. An XSL stylesheet specifies the presentation of a class of XML documents by describing how an instance of the class is transformed into an XML document that uses the formatting vocabulary." The new WD specification is available in HTML, XML, and PDF formats. Discussion on this second WD version is invited and comments can be sent to the editors at; public discussion of XSL takes place on the XSL-List mailing list. For more information on the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), see the dedicated document.

  • December 17, 1998. Sun Microsystem's "Java Project X: Java Services for XML Technology" is the new name for the Java services formerly released as the "Sun XML Library." On December 01, 1998, this development project was renamed Java Project X, and moved to "Early Access 2" with API updates, some speedup, and minor bug fixes. Java Project X is the codename for a set of core XML-enabling services written completely in the Java programming language. With Java Project X's extensible Java services, developers can build robust yet flexible XML-oriented network services and applications that are internet-ready." This release requires JDK 1.1.6 or later or JDK 1.2, and approximately 3.5M bytes of disk space. Sun's Java services in this new release provide full XML processing capabilities, including a fast XML parser with optional validation, an in-memory object model tree that supports the W3C DOM Level 1 recommendation, and basic support for JavaBeans integration with XML. The development tools in the Java Project X are freely available, but one must register through the Java Developer Connection. The second early access release is addressed to Java developers who want access to Sun's fast and fully conformant core XML software for their development. The library supports an optional in-memory object model tree for manipulating and writing XML structured data. The library is 'core' in the sense that significant XML based applications can be written using only this functionality, and that it is intended that other XML software be layered on top of it. That is, it is a building block for developers." According to the Release Notes, the Java Project X library conforms fully with open standards: "1) the parsers conform to the W3C's XML 1.0 recommendation; 2) the parse tree supports the XML (core) part of W3C's DOM Level 1 recommendation; 3) in combination, the two also support the current W3C XML Namespaces proposed recommendation; 4) the parser supports the SAX 1.0 API; 5) the entity resolution used within the parser normally conforms to the IETF's RFC 2376 registration for XML-related MIME content types, [but] this can be overridden as required." Background to some of this development by Sun is provided by Dave Brownell in "XML and Java Technology - An Interview with Dave Brownell. [Part One]," from, 'The Source for Java Technology'. See "Java Project X" for other information.

  • December 17, 1998. Steve DeRose (Brown University, and editor of the W3C's XPointer and XLink Specifications) has posted a provisional listing of 'XPointer/XLink Implementations, and requests that reviewers contact him about additions and corrections to the list. The XML Linking Working Group has been set up (Bill Smith, Chair), and is actively working to finalize the XML Pointer Language (XPointer) Working Draft in preparation for its becoming a W3C Proposed Recommendation. Steve has also prepared an introductory document "What is XML Linking?" which explains the design work of the XML Linking Working Group. For other information, see the posting and the dedicated document XML Linking Language (XLink and XPointer).

  • December 17, 1998. Dr. James David Mason, as Acting Chairman of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34, has published a "Business Plan for JTC1/SC34" which reports on the subcommittee's scope, working groups, current projects, liaison relationships, and so forth. The report reflects the fact that "ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Information Technology -- Document Description and Processing Languages" is a relatively new subcommittee under its current charter. The document should be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand the work of SC34, which is responsible for many important standards in the text-processing domain (e.g., SGML (ISO 8879), DSSSL (ISO/IEC 10179), HyTime (ISO/IEC 10744), Topic Navigation Maps (ISO/IEC 13250), ISMID, Registration Procedures for SGML Public Identifiers (ISO/IEC 9070), SPDL (ISO/IEC 10180), Fonts (ISO/IEC 9541), Font Registration (ISO/IEC 10036), and others.

  • December 17, 1998. A recent press release "VRML Consortium Expands Charter to Become Web3D Consortium" describes the ratification of a new charter by the membership of the VRML Consortium. The new Web3D Consortium "has also initiated an internal, fast-paced process to define an interoperable set of lightweight and extensible component 3D standards to flexibly address the needs of a wide range of Internet and broadcast applications. This process has the backing and support of key industry members and is expected to promote interoperability with standards such as DHTML, XML, DOM and MPEG-4 to encourage the ubiquitous deployment of reliable 3D content." Len Bullard (Intergraph Public Safety) has also reported on XML-DEV that efforts are underway within the W3D Consortium Enterprise Working Group to create XML DTDs for the Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML) [current VRML97 nodes]. For additional information, see the dedicated database entry "XML and VRML."

  • December 16, 1998. Bob DuCharme posted an announcement for the online availability of Chapter 2 of his book, SGML CD: "Editing SGML Documents with the Emacs Text Editor." This Adobe Acrobat version of Chapter 2 (99 pages) "assumes no initial knowledge of Emacs and provides a basic introduction to creating and navigating simple text files before it covers PSGML - Lennart Staflin's add-in that turns Emacs into a menu-driven, validating, SGML/XML editor." From Staflin's page: "PSGML has several functions for editing SGML documents. Indentation according to element nesting depth and identification of structural errors (but it is not a validating SGML parser). Menus and commands for inserting tags with only the contextually valid tags. Attribute values can be edited in a separate window with information about types and defaults. Structure based editing includes movement and killing; and also several commands for folding editing." Bob says: "The SGML CD book is a tutorial and user's guide to free SGML/XML software, and you can link to all the software from the web page whether you want to buy the book or not. I have my own time- and keystroke-saving PSGML tricks (mostly in the form of .emacs lines) and I'm curious about those of other PSGML users, so I'll be posting a Web page of my own and soliciting those of others to add in a few weeks. Feel free to send them to me anytime; I'll credit all contributors." For other information on the PSGML 'GNU Emacs Major Mode' for editing SGML coded documents, see the main database entry.

  • December 16, 1998. A new XML White Paper from SoftQuad Software, Inc. provides an introduction to the Extensible Markup Language and offers some illustrated examples explaining "What XML is Good For." Several other documents on the SoftQuad Web site now reveal more clearly what the XMetaL 'user-friendly XML editor' is to look like. Previously announced for release in March 1999, the XMetaL editor is to "provide authors with a familiar word processing-like environment and a rich array of powerful authoring aids including multiple document views and context sensitive property inspectors. The user interface features configurable window management, customizable toolbars, and tear off menus. The Resource Manager provides drag and drop management of boilerplate text, document fragments, logos, macros and more, both locally and across corporate networks. XMetaL conforms to numerous standards including SGML, XML, CALS tables, DOM, CSS, and HTML. Its extensive customization capabilities maximize author productivity by enabling the delivery of content specific interfaces. For delivering customization and integration services XMetaL supports industry standard interfaces including COM, DOM, JavaScript and VBScript." A Beta Program for XMetaL, to commence in mid-January, has been offered to potential reviewers. For more on SoftQuad Software's XML/SGML/HTML products, see the entry in "XML Industry Support."

  • December 15, 1998. Tony Graham of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. has made the full text of his MT '98 presentation available online. See "Unicode: What Is It and How Do I Use it?" The document abstract: "The rationale for Unicode and its design goals and detailed design principles are presented. The correspondence between Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 is discussed, the scripts included or planned for inclusion in the two character set standards are listed. Some products that support Unicode and some applications that require Unicode are listed, then examples of how to specify Unicode characters in a variety of applications are given. The use of Unicode in SGML and XML applications is discussed, and the paper concludes with descriptions of the character encodings used with Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646, plus sources of further information are listed." Several other papers from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference are also online; see references in the annotated agenda.

  • December 14, 1998. A communique from Christophe Reubrez describes a new French-speaking Web site devoted to XML: "XML Francophone." The site developers will use the forum to popularize and disseminate XML-related information for the French-speaking community. They plan to publish a directory of the XML partners within the French-speaking and will host contributions from French-speaking individuals wishing to share their knowledge and opinions about XML and its economical and cultural import community. "The first contribution hosted by this site is a bilingual article by Emmmanuel Lazinier "Documents Coming Alive -- How XML Will Transform the Way we Design and Exploit Documents", in which the author sets out to demonstrate that XML might well be "the hallmark of an upcoming revolution in man's communication and, even further, cognition." A version of this paper is also available in French.

  • December 14, 1998. Rick Jelliffe has announced a new project at Academica Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, designed to help the developers of Chinese XML software. The "Chinese XML Now!" Web site hosts a Chinese XML FAQ document, a collection of small XML files for testing XML well-formedness, a "Chinese Numberplate" Logo intended to help Chinese users select appropriate XML software, and other resources. Documents are available in Chinese using various encodings: UTF-8, Big5, and GB 2312. The Chinese XML Now! Web site also contains references to a variety of computing resources generally useful in the realm of "multilingual" XML. Jelliffe writes: "Anyone who is doing Chinese XML is welcome to participate. At this early stage in the game, the intent of the site is primarily to provide useful material for Western developers: we want to make it easy for the first generation of XML tools to support Chinese. But as more XML activity grows on this side of the Pacific, we anticipate the site will become primarily targetted to Chinese-language people. Part of this may also involve creating or porting useful utilities. Academia Sinica is the leading Chinese research institution. It has many projects which will require Chinese XML in the near future. "Chinese XML Now!" is a project to help develop XML infrastructure we can use and share." For other references, see "Chinese XML Now!" Note also that Rick Jelliffe's book on XML (The XML and SGML Cookbook. Recipes for Structured Information) contains several chapters especially informative for developers interested in the multilingual aspects of XML document encoding and processing.

  • December 10, 1998. Jean-Philippe Théberge reported that a French mailing list for XML has been created. To subscribe to the discussion forum, send "subscribe" in the body of an email message to Postings should then be sent to See the document "SGML/XML Discussion Groups and Mailing Lists" for descriptions of other XML discussion groups, including lists conducted in Spanish, Italian, and German.

  • December 10, 1998. Jani Jaakkola has announced the availabilty of "sgrep-1.90a - An SGML and XML Search and Indexing Tool." Sgrep is a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns. New features in Sgrep version 1.90a include: 1) query operators that support direct containment, so that one may query children and parents of given elements; 2) the sources are available under GPL-license for those interested in compiling sgrep; 3) Sgrep now uses GNU autoconf, so compiling sgrep under Unix-systems should be easy; 4) bug fixes. This version of Sgrep contains the sources, Win32 binaries, and binaries for HP-UX, Linux, OSF1 and Solaris. The Win32 binary also includes the m4 macro processor. For more information on Sgrep, see README file, the overview, or the main database entry.

  • December 10, 1998. IBM Japan's alphaWorks project at the Tokyo Research Laboratory has released a new version of `XML for Java', now renamed to `XML Parser for Java.' Changes in XML4J version 1.1.9 include: conformance to the XML Namespaces Proposed Recommendation, improved memory usage in SAX mode, addition of -nowarn, -stdout options to XJParse, handling of wildcards by XJParse, and bug fixes. The IBM XML Parser for Java "is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents." IBM offers a commercial license for XML Parser for Java at no cost.

  • December 08, 1998. The W3C WebCGM Profile, as part of the W3C Graphics Activity, has advanced to a W3C Proposed Recommendation, PR-WebCGM-19981207. Its principal authors are David Cruikshank, John Gebhardt, Lofton Henderson, Roy Platon, and Dieter Weidenbrueck. "WebCGM is a profile of the ISO Computer Graphics Metafile standard (ISO/IEC 8632:1992), tailored to the requirements for scalable 2D vector graphics in electronic documents on the World Wide Web. [It is] an 'intelligent graphics' profile, which means that in addition to graphical content based on CGM Versions 1-3, the profile includes non-graphical content based on CGM Version 4, Application Structures. The non-graphical content allows the definition of hierarchies of application objects, as well as the association of metadata, such as link specifications and layer definitions, with the objects. CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) has been an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster picture definition since 1987. It has been a registered MIME type since 1995. CGM has a significant following in technical illustration, electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, amongst other application areas. WebCGM has been a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, in collaboration with W3C staff under the W3C-LA project. It represents an important interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementors of CGM, and thereby unifies current diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications. WebCGM's clear and unambiguous conformance requirements will enhance interoperability of implementations, and it should be possible to leverage existing CGM validation tools, test suites, and the product certification testing services for application to WebCGM. While WebCGM is a binary file format and is not 'stylable', nevertheless WebCGM follows published W3C requirements for a scalable graphics format where such are applicable. The design criteria for the graphical content of WebCGM aimed at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of metadata elements is standardized in WebCGM, to support the functionalities of: hyperlinking and document navigation; picture structuring and layering; and, search and query on WebCGM picture content."

  • December 08, 1998. A featured "Site of the Week" at Ontology.Org is Syncra Software, which has recently issued a white paper titled "Recommendations for using Extensible Markup Language (XML) in Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) Communications." Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment is "a collection of new business practices leveraging the Internet and existing technologies to radically reduce inventories and expenses while improving customer service. . . the advances central to this program involve collaboration between retailers, distributors, and suppliers on forecasting data and assumptions driving to a single shared forecast of consumer demand." Syncra Software's product Syncra Ct, using JavaBeans and Enterprise JavaBeans, "helps synchronize the planning and forecasting processes among multiple parties. Syncra Ct is the first product to implement the current Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment guidelines from the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association. For trading partner communications, it employs CPFR message types such as X12 EDI 830 and 852, SIL, and XML formats. At the same time, it integrates directly with the major ERP, SCM and APS applications. Integration with legacy enterprise systems is also straightforward and reliable. Syncra Ct connects trading partners' planning and forecasting systems, allowing each trading partner to view product forecasts and replenishment plans over the Internet, private networks, or dial-up connections." From the white paper abstract: "The VICS Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) Voluntary Guidelines prescribe two data format standards for exchanging messages among trading partners: X12 EDI and Standard Interchange Language (SIL). In the months since the CPFR Guidelines were developed, the World Wide Web Coalition (W3C) has approved another standard for structured data interchange: Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML, because of its tight integration with other Internet specifications, and wide support from soft-ware vendors, is a promising alternative data format for CPFR communications. This document addresses strategic concerns and current progress in the mapping of CPFR data interchange requirements to an XML Document Type Definition (DTD), for use with XML parsers and other Internet tools."

  • December 08, 1998. Ellen Maremont Silver (O'Reilly) posted an announcement on the growing importance of Perl for processing XML documents: "New Perl Module Enables Application Developers to Use XML. Expands Capabilities for Business-to-Business Communication of Data and Language." The posting describes the new Perl module XML::Parser which "allows Perl programmers building applications to use XML, and provides an efficient, easy way to parse (break down and process) XML document parts. For Windows, XML::Parser is available as part of the ActivePerl package at The XML::Parser package for Windows will be upgradeable when the next version comes out using Perl Package Manager, also included in ActivePerl. For UNIX, XML::Parser is available from the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) at" For other information on Perl/XML, see the database section "XML and Perl" and the "Perl XML FAQ" by Jonathan Eisenzopf.

  • December 08, 1998. Andrew M. Kuchling (CNRI) announced the release of Version 0.5 of the Python/XML distribution. The code for the Python/XML distribution is being developed "bazaar-style" by contributors from the Python XML Special Interest Group. "The Python/XML distribution contains the basic tools required for processing XML data using the Python programming language, assembled into one easy-to-install package. The distribution includes parsers and standard interfaces such as SAX and DOM, along with various other useful modules. Version 0.5 can be considered a beta release." Changes in the version 0.5 of the Python/XML release include enhanced DOM implementation, addition of a Unicode type as the subpackage xml.unicode.wstring, and upgrading of several subpackages. For other information on Python/XML, see "XML and Python" or "Python for XML/SGML Processing."

  • December 08, 1998. A new submission from Excosoft AB to the W3C defines a "DrawML Specification." References: NOTE-drawml-19981203, W3C Note, 03-Dec-1998. Designed as an XML application, "DrawML is a 2D scalable graphics language designed to facilitate the creation of simple technical drawings. Furthermore (and most importantly), DrawML focuses on the process of maintaining and refining a drawing. A drawing should be as easy to update as the document it resides in. The reason for the focus on maintenance is the increased importance of intranets. Up to now internet technology has been used primarily for publishing. People working within an intranet expect to create and change documents on-the-fly. Drawml drawings are embedded in XML documents in the same way as tables are embedded. Elements from the parent DTD are reused inside drawings. DrawML defines algorithms to handle positioning, resizing and rubberband connections between visual elements. The submission includes a DTD and two Java class definitions: DrawMLShape and DrawMLPainter." Excosoft contact addresses are provided in the Submission Request, and a more complete description of DrawML is given in the W3C 'Comment on the DrawML submission', from Chris Lilley.

  • December 07, 1998. Richard L. Goerwitz of the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group has announced the availability of 'beta' binary and source distributions for Xmlparse, an XML Validator Built Using Stock Programmer's Tools." Richard wrote Xmlparse, in part, in order to demonstrate "that it really is possible to write a reasonable Unicode-aware validator using some recent, patched versions of these tools." A technical report "STG's XML 1.0 Reference Validator" provides documentation on the background to this validating parser. Xmlparse RPM binaries are available for RedHat Linux 4.2 and 5.2; also for Sun SPARC Solaris 2.4+. In order to compile Xmlparse, you will need some version of GNU Flex augmented with James Lauth's Unicode patches, as per documentation. An example of how Xmlparse may be used as a back end for a web-based validation system is provided in the XML validator maintained by Brown University's Scholarly Technology Group: see The author solicits feedback on the software, including bug reports and patches.

  • December 07, 1998. A recent Microsoft announcement describes the XML Interchange Format (XIF) as "an interchange format for meta data described by the Open Information Model (OIM). OIM is a set of meta data specifications to facilitate sharing and reuse in the application development and data warehousing domains. OIM 1.0 consists of over 200 types organized in easy-to-use and easy-to-extend subject areas. . . The XML Interchange Format (XIF) for OIM enables the exchange of meta data between heterogeneous repositories and tool stores. . . As an open, industry-standard model accommodating meta data of software development and data warehousing tools, the Open Information Model (OIM) provides a content-rich, yet vendor-neutral specification of meta data. Vendors supporting XIF will be able to import and export meta data, such as analysis and design models, component descriptions, and data warehousing transformations." See also "Microsoft Announces News about Microsoft Repository and the Open Information Model." Viasoft and Unisys have issued press releases announcing support for XIF; see the section "XML Industry News."

  • December 07, 1998. "Reformulating HTML in XML" is the title of a W3C Working Draft published '5th December 1998' (WD-html-in-xml-19981205). The editors are Dave Raggett (W3C), Frank Boumphrey (HTML Writers Guild), Murray Altheim (Sun Microsystems), and Ted Wugofski (Over the Moon Productions). The working draft "reformulates HTML 4.0 as an XML application and defines the corresponding namespaces. Document profiles are introduced as a basis for interoperability guarantees for different subsets or supersets of HTML in an increasingly heterogeneous environment. Rather than restate the semantics of HTML 4.0, these are defined by the W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.0 unless otherwise overridden in this specification. Compatibility with existing HTML browsers is possible by following a small set of guidelines." Produced by the W3C HTML Working Grouph as part of the W3C HTML Activity, this working draft "is intended for early discussion in a process leading to drafting a Proposed Recommendation on reformulating HTML as an application of XML. . . Voyager is the code name for HTML reformulated as an application of XML. Voyager specifies document profiles as XML namespaces each with their own web address (URI). The HTML Working Group will specify a set of Voyager Document Profiles for use in particular domains (such as mobile and television). . . It is expected that non-W3C entities (companies, consortiums, other standards organizations) will specify Platforms. Platforms consist of Voyager Profiles, platform-specific technologies, constraints, and usage requirements. [Thus] Voyager is more than the reformulation of HTML in XML. Voyager modularizes HTML into a collection of tag sets. These tag sets are building blocks which developers may use to build innovative products with World Wide Web connectivity. More importantly, these tag sets serve as design points of conformance for the content community."

  • December 02, 1998. Software developers at Language Processing Technology Ltd. announced the availability of a new XML DTD/Document Editor. Xpert is an XML document and DTD editing tool [aka 'XML-based Integrated Information Management System'] which "enables you to create your XML document and DTD in a easy and fast way; it also provides Editor for stylesheet and browser." The developers of Xpert request user feedback on the tool, which is now available for download.

  • December 02, 1998. New database entry for IBM's Bean Markup Language. The Bean Markup Language (BML) was released by the IBM alphaWorks lab in conjunction with several other XML tools and technologies at the XML '98 Conference, November 1998. BML and the other software tools were distributed on CDROM, and are available now for download as well. Written in Java for all Java platforms, BML is "an XML-based component configuration or wiring language customized for the JavaBean component model. The language is designed to be directly executable; i.e., processing a BML script will result in a running application configured as described in the script. The BML language can be used to create new beans, access, and configure beans by setting/getting their properties and fields, bind events from some beans to other beans, and call arbitrary methods in beans." The developers of the Bean Markup Language have provided two implementations of BML: "the first is an interpreter that 'plays' a BML script to create the desired bean hierarchy (which is then a running application). This is implemented using reflection and is very small approximately a 35K jar file (without class compression). The second implementation is a compiler that compiles any BML script into reflection-free Java code. The advantage of this is that it allows one to capture the inter-component structure of the application using a first-class language designed for that purpose and yet be able to compile it into 'regular' Java code with basically no performance loss."

  • December 01, 1998. Ralph Ferris of Fujitsu Software Corporation has posted an announcement for a new XLink/XPointer Developer's List. The email forum has been launched "in order to promote wide discussion of XLink/XPointer development issues." To subscribe to the new xlxp-dev list, send an email message to with the following in the body of the message: subscribe xlxp-dev. Other mailing lists dedicated to XML and related markup technologies are referenced in the master list of "SGML/XML Discussion Groups and Mailing Lists." Information on the W3C's XML Linking Language is accessible in the main XLink/XPointer document.

  • December 01, 1998. A document on the management of user preferences has been issued by the W3C as a NOTE: "Composite Capability/Preference Profiles (CC/PP): A User Side Framework for Content Negotiation." References: NOTE-CCPP-19981130, W3C NOTE 30 November 1998. Its editors are Franklin Reynolds (Nokia Research Center), Johan Hjelm (W3C/Ericsson), Spencer Dawkins (Nortel), and Sandeep Singhal (IBM). This public review draft is a "revision of the working draft dated 1998-10-05, incorporating suggestions received in review comments and further deliberations of the W3C Mobile Access Interest Group. It also incorporates suggestions resulting from reviews by members of the IETF CONNEG working group and the WAPForum." Overview: "A Composite Capability/Preference Profile (CC/PP) is a collection of the capabilities and preferences associated with user and the agents used by the user to access the World Wide Web. These user agents include the hardware platform, system software and applications used by the user. User agent capabilities and references can be thought of as metadata or properties and descriptions of the user agent hardware and software. In this note we describe a method for using RDF, the Resource Description Format of the W3C, to create a general, yet extensible framework for describing user preferences and device capabilities. This information can be provided by the user to servers and content providers. The servers can use this information describing the user's preferences to customize the service or content provided. The ability of RDF to reference profile information via URLs assists in minimizing the number of network transactions required to adapt content to a device, while the framework fits well into the current and future protocols being developed a the W3C and the WAP Forum."

  • December 01, 1998. A recent communique from Heikki Toivonen (CITEC Software Ltd., Vaasa, Finland) describes Citec's MultiDocZilla product, now under development. Citec is working on a project to enhance the upcoming Netscape Communicator 5.0 with SGML/XML/HyTime capabilities. They are using the Next Generation Layout engine as a base and are adding features that are essential to customers in fields that have rigorous demands for technical documentation, such as the aircraft, automotive, military and telecommunications industries. MultidocZilla is a successor to Citec's Multidoc Pro processor and SGML browser. MultidocZilla was first demonstrated at the XML '98 Conference in Chicago, and is due to be released in the first quarter of 1999. A MultidocZilla preview program will soon be available for interested parties. Those that have a serious interest in this technology, are willing to participate in product testing and think they may have something to contribute may contact for details. See also the recent press release.

  • November 30, 1998. Dick Grune (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) presented a paper on SGML/XML parsing in the closing plenary session at the Markup Technologies '98 Conference. The presentation title: "Parsing - Who Needs It? SGML/XML and Computer Science." The slides and text from this presentation are now available online, and may be of interest to parser designers and other software developers. Overview: "SGML was clearly not designed to interface seamlessly with existing computer science parsing techniques. Most of these techniques were already very well-known in the beginning of the 80s, when SGML was designed. The syntax issues of SGML in ISO 8879 are expressed in completely novel terminology and the parsing requirements do not match known algorithms and techniques. The results were not favourable: few computer scientists have worked on parsing SGML, although many software designers and programmers have. Most computer scientists found parsing SGML a less than attractive challenge, and some were daunted by its alien terminology. The situation has deteriorated with the advent of HTML, which had a syntax defined more or less by what Netscape or Microsoft could get away with. Unsurprisingly, this did not lead to a strong basis and stable software. The developers of XML got the point, and did it right, both from the parsing point of view, the terminology, and the SGML compatibility." [from the Introduction] Note that the text of Dick Grune's book Parsing Techniques - A Practical Guide is available online. The book "treats parsing in its own right, in greater depth than is found in most computer science and linguistics books. It offers a clear, accessible, and thorough discussion of many different parsing techniques with their interrelations and applicabilities, including error recovery techniques. Unlike most books, it treats (almost) all parsing methods, not just the popular ones. . ."

  • November 30, 1998. Simon St.Laurent posted an announcement for the availability of the Coins technology draft specification, Version 4. Coins Version 4 is being developed under an Open Source Software license, and its source code is freely available for download. Coins ['Connecting XML Elements and JavaBeans'] is "an extensible system for processing XML documents, and provides a simple API for processing XML documents as trees of object. Coins supports the use of pre-existing Java Beans, providing several alternative approaches to connecting the data of an XML document with various types of Java objects." Coins thus "provides a general infrastructure for building Java applications and processing XML documents. The association between application document elements and application classes is mediated by Coins, which are the classes that are used to instantiate the DOM elements. There are several types of Coin classes, which provide different kinds of services to application objects, depending on the level of integration desired. Coins binding documents specify the application objects that are to be associated with the DOM instance that is created when an application document is loaded into a Coins document cache, the initialization of these application objects, and the construction of relationships, beyond those of the DOM, between them." Coins version 4.0: "1) loads documents into a configurable, high-performance document cache; 2) supports multiple caches; 3) associates objects with document elements based on the document markup language, using a binding group and binding documents; 4) allows applications to share binding groups or use their own; 5) allows binding groups to share binding documents or use their own; 6) provides complete flexibility for associating separately developed Java classes and markup languages; 7) provides full access to document structure, content, and attributes, including hyperlinks within and between documents; 8) supports W3C DOM API, supports namespaces, supports a subset of XLink and XPointer; 9) supports a flexible computation model useful for client, server, and embedded applications; 10) supports a simple yet powerful security model; 11) uses its own mechanisms for bootstrapping, thus allowing easy configurability and customization; 12) supports new URL ClassPath protocol." Paul Rabin (JXML, Inc.) is the Technical Editor of the Coins version 4.0 draft specification. See further information on Coins from the JXML web site.

  • November 27, 1998. The W3C XML Fragment Working Group has recently completed a set of requirements and has submitted the document to the W3C as a NOTE, "XML Fragment Interchange Requirements Version 1.0.". References: NOTE-XML-FRAG-REQ-19981123, W3C Note 23-Nov-1998; Editor: Paul Grosso (Arbortext). The W3C Fragment Working Group is chaired by Paul Grosso of Arbortext, and is one of five principal working groups involved in the W3C XML Activity. This WG has been chartered "to define a way to send fragments of an XML document without having to send all or part of the parent document as well; the delivered fragments can either be viewed or edited immediately or accumulated for later use, assembly, or other processing." The Requirements document abstract: "The XML standard supports logical documents composed of possibly several entities. It may be desirable to view or edit one or more of the entities or parts of entities while having no interest, need, or ability to view or edit the entire document. The problem, then, is how to provide to a recipient of such a fragment the appropriate information about the context that fragment had in the larger document that is not available to the recipient. The XML Fragment WG is chartered with defining a way to send fragments of an XML document -- regardless of whether the fragments are predetermined entities or not -- without having to send all of the containing document up to the part in question. This document specifies the design principles and requirements for this activity." Note: see now the posting from Paul Grosso inviting comment: "Publication of W3C XML Fragment WG Requirements Document," 1998-12-01.

  • November 27, 1998. Five (5) new white papers on XML are now available from the web site of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). Contributed by OASIS Members and Sponsor Members, these white papers are designed "to provide in-depth information to help the readers better understand the state of structured information standards today and where they will be tomorrow." References with brief abstracts/extracts are provided in the collection of "XML Articles and Papers."

  • November 26, 1998. General information is now available for the XTech '99 Conference, to be held March 7-11, 1999 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California. XTech '99 is presented by the Graphic Communications Association, co-hosted by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), and sponsored by Sun Microsystems. The Conference Co-Chairs are Jon Bosak (Chair, W3C XML Activity; Sun Microsystems) and Tim Bray (Co-Editor, W3C XML Specification; Textuality, Inc.).

    "XTech '99 brings the XML community's technical leaders together with developers and technical managers for an intense look at the leading edge of XML software technology and culture. It is intended for application developers, system architects, system integrators, technical publishing professionals, Web developers, technical managers, academics, and anyone with a need to know about the latest applications of XML technology. Client-and server-oriented technical tracks will discuss the technical nuts and bolts of XML implementation, with a sharp focus on working tools and applications. Technical issues involved will include interoperability, vocabularies, back-end processing and front-end display, and use of the growing family of XML-based standards. Pre-conference tutorials provide both background and in-depth technical discussion to bring attendees up to speed on the latest developments with XML, its related family of standards, vocabularies, and implementation issues. Tutorials will be one or two days in length. The XML Interoperability Exposition, XIO '99, offers an opportunity for the world's leading developers and suppliers of XML technology to demonstrate the interoperability of their tools. XIO '99 exhibitors will be challenged to show XML interoperability using a selection of XML documents and data files provided by the conference chairs." Proposals for tutorials and conference presentations should be sent to, ideally prior to Monday, December 14, 1998. For more information about participation in the exposition (XIO '99), contact Julie Desmond at +1 617 698 0277 or via email.

  • November 26, 1998. Allen Renear (President, ACH) posted a reminder that the deadline for submission of abstracts, for papers and panels sessions for the ACH/ALLC '99 Conference is December 1, 1998. The ACH and ALLC invite submissions of 1,500 to 2,000 words on any aspect of humanities computing, defined broadly as the use of computing methodologies in humanities research, teaching, or archives. Typically, several presentations at the annual ACH/ALLC conference will focus upon unique challenges in the design and application of markup for 'humanities text' in support of computer-assisted textual research. Now in its 19th year, "the conference welcomes work across the humanities disciplines, including (but not limited to) languages and literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, and art history; the creative arts, such as creative writing, art and music; cultural studies and anthropology; computational linguistics and corpus linguistics." The 1999 joint annual conference of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing ("Digital Libraries for Humanities Scholarship and Teaching") will take place from June 9-13, 1999 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. It will be hosted by the Electronic Text Center, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, and the The Instructional Technology Group of ITC (Information Technology and Communication). For other information, see the main conference information page.

  • November 26, 1998. Marion Elledge of GCA has posted a final call for papers for the XML Europe '99 Conference. XML Europe '99 will be held April 26-30, 1999, in Granada, Spain at the Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos. All papers must be submitted electronically to by December 4, 1998. From the announcement: "XML Europe is the GCA's annual comprehensive event on applications, trends, and technologies that support the use of the Extensible Markup Language and the Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879). The use of XML has gown steadily over the past two years, showing that the Web is more than just a publishing medium; it is changing the way organizations do business today. XML is a hot new tool for e-commerce and EDI applications and has brought an additional focus to this conference. XML Europe '99 focuses on both the management decisions and technological choices facing corporate and commercial publishers in this era of increased competition, falling prices, and sophisticated consumers. Whether you are publishing on the Internet/Intranet, CD, paper, or on all of them, XML Europe '99 will provide a programme offering insights at the management, user, and technical expert level for improving your business processes." For other information, see the call for participation, the welcome letter, or the general information page.

  • November 25, 1998. John Price-Wilkin (University of Michigan, Humanities Text Initiative) has posted an announcement concerning the availability of final reports from the summer meeting TEI and XML in Digital Libraries. Sponsored by the Digital Library Federation, the meeting was held on June 30 - July 1, 1998, Jefferson Building LJ119, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Included in the reports is a presentation from C.M. Sperberg-McQueen, [Plenary:] "XML and What It Will Mean for Libraries." "The meeting focused, for the first time, on library applications of the TEI Guidelines, specifically in the digital library setting. Invited guests included Michael Sperberg-McQueen (co-editor TEI Guidelines and co-editor XML specification; University of Illinois, Chicago) and Lou Burnard (co-editor TEI Guidelines; Oxford University). Final reports and recommendations from the three workgroups are now available online at" In this connection, readers may wish to scan the document dedicated to one aspect of SGML/XML and digital libraries initiatives: "MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging) and SGML/XML."

  • November 25, 1998. Lars Marius Garshol recently announced that his XSA system for "exchanging information over the network and automatically acting on it is almost ready for use." The application has been polished, documented (complete with a DTD), and supported with working code. Lars solicits feedback on the (beta) application design and code functionality of XSA, which may be reviewed at XSA (XML Software Autoupdate) is "an XML-based system that allows anyone who is interested to discover new versions of software products as they are released automatically by polling XML documents describing the products. It is mainly intended to help software index maintainers keep their indexes up to date." Here's how it's designed to work: "every software maintainer publishes a small XML file (the XSA document) which lists that maintainer's software products, version numbers and relevant addresses. Any maintainer of a software list that knows the URL of the XSA document can then set up a program to automatically check the XSA document for new releases and changes to product names and addresses." The XSA application would appear to be very useful, if indeed software maintainers can be urged to keep XSA documents up-to-date.

  • November 25, 1998. A communique of November 22, 1998 from Ralf Westphal draws attention to "a (very) informal propsal for an XML language to help transform RDBMS 'legacy data' to XML. XOSL - Xml Ole db Stylesheet Language - is being designed to make the conversion of table based data to XML as easy as possible by bringing the conversion code and the target format (XML) as close together as possible." The XOSL web site at has an overview, links to a XOSL reference manual, and "lots of sample code and a proof-of-concept COM-component to help one understand XOSL's intention."

  • November 25, 1998. A large number of product and business announcements concerning SGML/XML were made at the XML '98 Exposition, Conference, and Markup Technologies '98 Conference in Chicago, November 15-20, 1998. Some of the more important news items are summarized below. Other stories are now referenced in the "XML Articles" section and in the "XML Industry News" section. Additional notices will be posted in the XML Industry News section soon. Dale Dougherty (Songline Studios) has prepared a conference report for XML '98, "XML '98: The Gathering."

  • November 23, 1998. Ten days ago, the W3C Web page listing Position Papers for QL'98 - The [W3C] Query Languages Workshop registered thirteen papers. As of November 23, 1998, some forth-nine (49) papers are listed. We have in clear evidence a broad interest in XML and Query Languages.

  • November 23, 1998. IBM may have made the largest splash at the software exposition of the recent Chicago XML '98 Conference. If we measure by the sheer 'number of new XML tools and technologies introduced', there would be no doubt, since IBM [alphaworks] demonstrated some nine new XML technologies, issued on a CDROM disc to exposition attendees as well. In addition, IBM has launched a new Web site, designed as a "portal [which] will provide the Internet community with the latest information, tools, and educational resources relating to this emerging [XML] standard." A transcript of Simon Phipps' chat entitled "IBM, e-business, & XML" is available online.

    The nine new IBM tools "to support the emergence of the new standard in data integration and interchange are part of alphaWorks' growing collection of XML tools that support the needs and objectives of developers as they explore developing applications based on the XML standard." They are available online as well as on CDROM. In summary: 1) Bean Markup Language (BML) is an XML-based language for accessing and configuring JavaBeans. The BML language can be used to create new beans, access and configure beans by setting/getting their properties and fields, bind events from some beans to other beans, and call arbitrary methods in beans. 2) The XML Editor Maker automatically builds visual editors from XML schemas (e.g. DTDs). Given a DTD, the Editor Maker builds a Java editor that can be used to edit XML documents. 3) DataCraft provides an XML view of databases and enables the publishing of XML forms to the web. This visual and navigational query system is based on XML and RDF (Resource Description Framework). 4) Dynamic XML with Java adds XML power to server-side Java (JSP) and Java-based work flow applications. It is a processor which allows developers to seamlessly integrate Java into XML documents by automatically transforming and interpreting XML files which contain Java code. 5) PatML is a pattern match and replacement system for transforming XML documents to XML or non-XML documents. The user specifies a set of rules for pattern matches and replacement, and the system automatically compiles these rules such that any given XML document can be transformed based upon these rules. 6) TeXML is an XML document formatting solution. It provides a path from XML into the TeX formatting language. From there, users may process to PostScript or another print format. 7) BeanMaker eliminates the required writing of Java classes to process XML documents. The XML BeanMaker automatically generates Java bean classes for any given Document Type Definition (DTD), and code to provide evidence in support of those beans. 8) XMLTreeDiff is a package of beans that provide the ability to efficiently differentiate and update DOM trees, just like 'diff' and 'patch' differentiate and update data files. 9) XML Productivity Kit is a companion technology to the XML Parser for Java, which provides the next level of programming resources needed to quickly build and deploy robust XML applications using the Java language."

  • November 23, 1998. In a 'Standards Update' session at the Chicago Markup Technologies '98 Conference, Dr. James D. Mason (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Acting Chairman; Lockheed Martin Energy Systems) presented a report on the current status of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Working Groups, which is now documented in the "Resolutions of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 9-13 November 1998" [ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 N0023]. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 (Information Technology -- Document Description and Processing Languages) is now the ISO subcommitee responsible for "standardization in the field of document structures, languages and related facilities for the description and processing of compound and hypermedia documnts." This ISO subcommitee has liaison relationships to other standards bodies, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Working Group 1 (Information Description) activities are to include: SGML (ISO 8879), SDIF (ISO 9069), Registration Procedures for SGML Public Identifiers (ISO/IEC 9070), Technical Reports (ISO TR 9573), Conformance Testing for SGML System (ISO/IEC 13673), and APIs for document processing. The activities of Working Group 2 (Information Presentation) are to include: DSSSL (ISO/IEC 10179), Fonts (ISO/IEC 9541), Font Registration (ISO/IEC 10036), SPDL (ISO/IEC 10180), and Font Services (ISO/IEC TR 15413). The activities of Working Group 3 (Information Association) are to include: Hypermedia, HyTime (ISO/IEC 10744), Topic Navigation Maps (ISO/IEC 13250), ISMID -- Interchange Standard for Modifiable Interactive Documents, [ISO-] HTML (ISO/IEC 15445), and SMDL (ISO/IEC 10743).

  • November 23, 1998. As acting convenor of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG3, Eliot Kimber has issued a request for comments on the draft Topic Navigation Map (Topic Map) standard, ISO/IEC 13250, which is now out for ballot to become a final committee draft (CD). Eliot says: "The Topic Map standard is similar to RDF in some ways (but has an essentially different focus and intended domain of application). It is also designed to be implementable using Xlink. It defines a relatively simple (but still powerful) approach to representing rich relationships among information objects. If you are working with Xlink, especially extended links, or thinking about how you might use them productively, I urge you to take a look at the standard." The current draft 'Final CD Text for ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Navigation Maps [ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 N008]' is available in HTML, SGML, and PDF formats. See, in addition to the full text of Kimber's posting, a collection of articles on Topic Navigation Maps from Michel Biezunski, and the local database entry, "Topic Navigation Maps." Note: A sample topic map has been installed on the HyTime User's Group Web site; "this map should work with Fujitsu's latest HyBrick distribution. The sample demonstrates the Topic Map ideas and demonstrates the use of Xlink and Xpointers, in particular, using out-of-line extended links." [Kimber]

  • November 23, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of the expat - XML Parser Toolkit Version 1.0.1, containing bug fixes. Expat "is an XML 1.0 parser written in C which aims to be fully conforming, but is currently not a validating XML processor. . . [the distribution] contains the xmlwf application, which uses the xmlparse library. The arguments to xmlwf are one or more files which are each to be checked for well-formedness. An option -d dir can be specified; for each well-formed input file the corresponding canonical XML will be written to dir/f, where f is the filename (without any path) of the input file. A -x option will cause references to external general entities to be processed." A new test version of expat which adds support for checking of lexical aspects of XML namespaces specification is also available. Expat is released under the Mozilla Public License Version 1.0, but wDWith this release of expat, 'as a special exception', one may elect to use the GNU General Public License. See related information in the database entry, 'expat - XML parser in C'.

  • November 18, 1998. At the XML '98 Conference in Chicago, SoftQuad Software Inc. publicly announced XMetaL, described as a "full-featured XML/SGML content authoring tool." The XML/SGML editor will be available in March 1999 at $495 for a single user license. The rendering model is CSS for now, and the tool provides an interactive CSS stylesheet editor. DTDs are no longer required to be compiled. Users familiar with the SoftQuad Author/Editor and HoTMetaL products will find many familiar editing features in XMetaL, which "provides authors with a familiar word processing-like environment and a rich array of powerful authoring aids, including multiple document views and context-sensitive property inspectors. The user interface features configurable window management, customizable toolbars and tear-off menus. XMetaL's Resource Manager provides drag-and-drop management of boilerplate text, document fragments, logos, macros and more, both locally and across corporate networks. XMetaL's extensive customization capabilities maximize author productivity by enabling the delivery of content specific interfaces. For delivering customization and integration services, XMetaL supports industry standard interfaces including COM, DOM, JavaScript and VBScript. XMetaL creates documents that conform to arbitrary XML and SGML DTDs (both ASCII and compiled). XMetaL conforms to numerous standards including SGML, XML, CALS tables, DOM, CSS and HTML." See the full text of the SoftQuad announcement for other details.

  • November 18, 1998. The W3C document "Namespaces in XML" has been published as a Proposed Recommendation. The editors are Tim Bray, Dave Hollander, and Andrew Layman. The review period for this proposed recommendation ends on December 18, 1998. Within two weeks following December 18th, the document would be expected to advance to a W3C Recommendation.

  • November 17, 1998. Inso Corporation has extended the functionality of its DynaText Professional Publishing System to incorporate a powerful set of electronic performance support features. DynaText hypertext documents thus become interactive user interfaces for task-driven operations, similar functionally to IETMs (Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals).

    According to a recent announcement, "Inso Corporation and General Dynamics Defense Systems' TechSight business unit today announced DynaText/Technicians Edition (TE) at the XML '98 eXpo. DynaText/TE is an advanced document delivery system jointly developed by Inso and TechSight that provides a complete, integrated environment for technicians performing installation, maintenance, and repair procedures on complex equipment. DynaText/TE enables manufacturers in industries such as airline/aerospace, transportation, tele-communications, Department of Defense, and heavy equipment manufacturing to reduce maintenance and repair costs by helping technicians to be more efficient and provide higher quality and more timely service. A set of plug-ins to the DynaText Professional Publishing System, DynaText/TE provides specialized components that are used to process and search 'intelligent' SGML/XML documents - documents that encode expert knowledge and processing logic. Operating on these intelligent documents, and through support for interoperability with other applications, DynaText/TE enables technicians to quickly find relevant information to efficiently conduct procedures. DynaText/TE includes a 'conduct procedure mode' to guide technicians through procedures in a step-by-step manner. The step-by-step environment supports complex-graphics viewing and, through support for dynamic data exchange, provides two-way communication with external processes such as diagnostic, work-order, and parts-ordering systems. This unparalleled, open, and interoperable system provides technician with a single environment - from start to finish - for effectively completing complex procedures." See the complete text of the press release for other details.

  • November 17, 1998. SoftQuad HoTMetaL and XMetaL (an XML editor under development) have been given a new lease on life with the recent formation of SoftQuad Software, Inc. An announcement from the new company carries the title "SoftQuad Software, Inc. Formed by Management Buyout of SoftQuad, Inc., Affirms Commitment to HTML, XML Market Leadership." An earlier press release from SoftQuad Software, Inc. revealed that the assets of SoftQuad had been sold to a group that included several SoftQuad employees. The new announcement clarifies many details about the participants and about the new company's goals for SGML/XML/HTML product development.

  • November 17, 1998. "Object Design, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise and embedded data management solutions, today announced eXcelon, a revolutionary eXtensible Markup Language (XML) data server that enables companies to build enterprise Web applications using XML. XML is a new universal data standard from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). eXcelon is a high-performance, highly scalable data server that caches and serves all information to enterprise applications and Web servers as XML. eXcelon is an easy-to-use, general-purpose solution that works with all data sources, application servers and client software and it fully complies with XML and all related standards as defined by the W3C. eXcelon can be used as an application cache for existing data sources, or as a complete data management system for new XML-based applications. eXcelon automatically stores, caches and delivers XML data across the middle tier of multi-tier applications and guarantees that the data will be kept 100 percent up-to-date and transactionally consistent at all times." See the full press release for other information.

  • November 17, 1998. webMethods Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have announced a collaborative XML development effort to create "data-driven Web applications, including sophisticated new technology for querying XML documents. . . By addressing common application requirements such as query and data retrieval, Microsoft and webMethods are helping evolve XML from a document-centric markup language to the basis for a new generation of interoperable enterprise and Internet distributed applications." See further details in the text of the announcement.

  • November 13, 1998. Among the thirteen position papers submitted for QL'98 - The [W3C] Query Languages Workshop thus far is a proposal for an XML Query Language (XQL) based upon XSL pattern syntax. The paper was authored principally by Jonathan Robie (Texcel, Inc.), Joe Lapp (webMethods, Inc.), and David Schach (Microsoft Corporation), with contributions by Michael Hyman and Jonathan Marsh (both of Microsoft Corporation). The XQL paper proposes to use the XSL pattern language as the basis for a general query mechanism. "The XML Query Language (XQL) is a notation for addressing and filtering the elements and text of XML documents. XQL is a natural extension to the XSL pattern syntax. It provides a concise, understandable notation for pointing to specific elements and for searching for nodes with particular characteristics. This proposal was provided in September 1998 to the XSL Working Group ( as input when considering extensions to the XSL pattern syntax. XQL [thus] builds upon the capabilities XSL provides for identifying classes of nodes, by adding Boolean logic, filters, indexing into collections of nodes, and more. XQL is designed specifically for XML documents. It is a general purpose query language, providing a single syntax that can be used for queries, addressing, and patterns. XQL is concise, simple, and powerful." A companion document by the same authors "Querying and Transforming XML, also submitted as a QL '98 position paper, "describes the benefits of basing query and transformation languages for XML on the XSL transformation language and the extensions to the pattern language proposed here." Compare the proposal "XML-QL: A Query Language for XML," submitted to the W3C as a NOTE (NOTE-xml-ql-19980819) on August 7, 1998. XML-QL uses a 'SELECT-WHERE construct, like SQL, and borrows features of query languages recently developed by the database research community for semistructured data.' See other references in "XML and Query Languages."

  • November 13, 1998. The "XML Extractor/ Assembler" is an approach to the generation of XML from legacy data, under development by News Internet Services. An XML Extractor demo (for Windows NT) may be downloaded. The XML Extractor is NIS' tool for exporting data from relational databases into XML, released as Open Source under the LGPL License. See also, referenced in the XML Articles section, the description by Jeff Walsh: "XML Integration Tool for Databases Revealed," InfoWorld Volume 20, Issue 45 (November 9, 1998).

  • November 13, 1998. Enno Derksen posted an announcement for the first 'general use' version (1.05) of XML::DOM. XML::DOM is a perl module for building DOM Level 1 compliant document structures. It uses the XML::Parser module (currently version 2.16), written by Clark Cooper. The XML::Parser module itself is a Perl interface to James Clark's expat XML parser. The XML::DOM::Parser "parses XML strings or files and builds a data structure that conforms to the API of the Document Object Model as described at; when you create an XML::DOM::Parser object, the parse and parsefile methods create an XML::DOM::Document object from the specified input. This Document object can then be examined, modified and written back out to a file or converted to a string. module adds several node types that are not part of the DOM spec (yet.) These are: ElementDecl (for <!ELEMENT ...> declarations), AttlistDecl (for <!ATTLIST ...> declarations), XMLDecl (for <?xml ...?> declarations) and AttDef (for attribute definitions in an AttlistDecl.)" The XML::DOM::Parser module may be downloaded from For more on DOM, see "W3C Document Object Model (DOM), Level 1 Specification."

  • November 13, 1998. A third W3C Working Draft of the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P 1.0) Specification has been published as part of the P3P Activity. References: WD-P3P-19981109, W3C Working Draft 9-November-1998. "The P3P 1.0 specification consists of three sub-specification documents. P3P 1.0 compliant implementations must abide by the conformance requirements of each. 1) Syntax Specification; 2) Harmonized Vocabulary Specification; 3) Base Data Set Specification. The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) enables Web sites to express their privacy practices and enables users to exercise preferences over those practices. P3P compliant products will allow users to be informed of site practices (in both machine and human readable formats), to delegate decisions to their computer when appropriate, and to tailor their relationship to specific sites. P3P uses XML (using the RDF data model) for the exchange of structured data and assertions." A data schema corresponding to the P3P base data set documents the required base data elements and sets.

  • November 13, 1998. Simon St. Laurent posted an announcement "Creating an Open Source XLink SAX Parser Filter" which describes preliminary work on an XLink Filter, and invites contributions/comments. "The XLink Filter Project is attempting to create a layer that can rest between a SAX-compliant parser and Java applications that uses the SAX API to retrieve information from XML documents. The XLink Filter will be an open source software project, built using Java. The XLink Filter project hopes to provide support for the entire XLink specification, and provide sample applications that implement the actions involved in linking. Initially, the filter will support simple and extended links between documents that have been visited by the user; eventually, it will provide support for extended hub groups to allow pre-fetching of links." For other XLink software, see "XLink/XPointer Software."

  • November 11, 1998. Marshall Industries has announced a new initiative called ECMData designed to "enable the automatic retrieval, indexing, and cataloging of electronic manufacturers' data sheets and technical papers over the Internet." ECMData (Electronic Component Manufacturer Data Sheet Inventory Specification) is a proposed standard that would use XML as the principal document format, as presented in the Electronic Component Manufacturer Datasheet Library DTD. Related standards are planned for parametric part information (ECMparameter) and standard pricing information (ECMprice). See other references in the database entry, "ECMData - Electronic Component Manufacturer Data Sheet Inventory Specification."

  • November 11, 1998. Oracle Corporation has published a technical whitepaper outlining the company's plans for XML in Oracle8i. See: "XML Support in Oracle8i and Beyond." According to the associated XML Overview, "broad efforts are underway within Oracle to deliver additional XML capabilities up and down our product stack. With its integrated Java and XML support to complement its industry-leading portability, reliability, and scalability, Oracle8i gives developers a leg up in satisfying the increasing demand for access to information. Oracle8i and XML help companies create strategic advantage by dramatically simplifying the acquisition, integration, repurposing, and exchange of information over the Internet. Once that XML-based information is safely stored in an Oracle database, it can be searched and mined and processed and presented in familiar, powerful ways." The press release clarifies that "Oracle XML Support Enhances Oracle8i and iFS, and Crosses Entire Internet Platform: XML support in Oracle8i is comprised of three key components: The Oracle XML Parser provides programmatic processing of XML documents or document fragments. Oracle iFS (Internet File System), the new next-generation file system included with Oracle8i that gives users 'write once, read anywhere' content in a heterogeneous enterprise, will include XML support to automate parsing and rendering of data between XML and the database. In addition, XML-enabled 'section searching' in Oracle interMedia will provide more precise searches over structured documents. See also the Oracle entry in the 'XML Industry Support' page, and "Built-in database support will integrate with DOM on client side", a Seybold Report article by Mark Walter.

  • November 09, 1998. The new technical journal Markup Languages: Theory & Practice represents a landmark publication in the domain of markup theory and practice. Three elements of good news: (1) the journal is very affordable, even for individuals; (2) the first issue has already appeared, and (3) the first issue is superb! The inaugural issue of MLTP begins with an introductory commentary by the editors C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen and B. Tommie Usdin, welcoming the readership and outlining the objectives of the new journal. The lead feature article by Steve DeRose and Andries van Dam charts the course for a future generation of intelligent hypertext software - by taking a look back at the FRESS system and some other computer-aided hypertext systems built in the 1960s. An article by Richard Matzen analyzes the problems of DTD complexity in the case of DTDs that use exceptions, proposing models and software tools to deal with these issues. An article by José Carlos Ramalho and colleagues at the University of Minho, Portugal, addresses what is now recognized as a serious limitation in SGML(-based) markup languages: that content validity in marked-up documents is at risk because these markup languages can neither formally express nor validate primitive 'ontological' and relational semantics governing the encoded information. Alan Karben presents a wonderful case study and success story involving the content-reuse system of The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, which makes extensive use of SGML and XML. Lauren Wood 'describes the motivation behind the work on the W3C DOM, as well as the rationale behind some of the design decisions.' In a book review essay entitled "Structure Rules!," Chet Ensign weighs in on the side of DTDs that 'Matter After All.' Shorter review articles and squibs include Tony Graham's "Character Set Refresher" and annotated Tables of Contents by Deborah A. Lapeyre supporting Chet Ensign's book review essay. For other information on the journal, see the MIT Web site, the journal announcement, and the description in the serials document.

  • November 09, 1998. Richard Tobin (Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh) reports that the RXP-based XML checker now has an option to validate as well as check for well-formedness. Use the checkbox on the form. 'A few minor aspects of validity are not checked, such as PE nesting.' See the list of other online XML checking and validating tools: "Check or Validate XML."

  • November 09, 1998. A technical overview and introduction to the W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project has been published in the form of a NOTE, "The Platform for Privacy Preferences." References: NOTE-P3P-CACM-19981106, P3P Note 06-November-1998. The document editors include Joseph Reagle (W3C/LCS/MIT) and Lorrie Faith Cranor (AT&T Labs-Research). Summary: "The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) provides a framework for informed online interactions. The goal of P3P is to enable users to exercise preferences over Web sites' privacy practices. P3P applications will allow users to be informed about Web site practices, delegate decisions to their computer agent when they wish, and tailor relationships with specific sites. At a high level, P3P can be viewed simply as a protocol for exchanging structured data. An extension mechanism of HTTP1.1 is used to transport information (proposals and data elements) between a client and service. At a more detailed level, P3P is a specification of syntax and semantics for describing information practices and data elements. The specification uses XML and RDF to capture the syntax, structure, and semantics of the information."

  • November 09, 1998. Further information is available concerning QL'98 - The Query Languages Workshop, announced by the W3C Technology and Society Domain in October. The Query Languages Workshop will be held December 3-4, 1998, in Boston. The scope of this W3C Workshop on Query Languages is "to begin the discussion of query languages for the Web (with particular emphasis on querying XML and RDF), of the needed requirements for such query language(s) , and of proposing solutions. We expect that the workshop will clarify the shared and individual needs of different W3C groups like XML, RDF, P3P, DOM." A list of workshop presentation titles is now available, as well as a FAQ document and a list of Participants. See also the main conference entry. See other references in "XML and Query Languages."

  • November 09, 1998. Norman Walsh has announced the availability of the Modular DocBook Stylesheets, version 1.23. These DSSSL stylesheets may be used with James Clark's Jade and the DocBook DTD to process DocBook documents. The announcement contains references to the ChangeLogs since the last non-beta version.

  • November 09, 1998. Uche Ogbuji posted an announcement for 4DOM Version 0.6.0. 4DOM is a CORBA-aware implementation of the W3C's Document Object Model written in Python. "4DOM is a close implementation of the DOM, including DOM Core level 1, DOM HTML level 1, and a few utility and helper components. 4DOM was designed from the start to work in a CORBA environment. Currently, the open-source Python orb, Fnorb is supported, indeed required. 4DOM is designed to allow developers rapidly design applications that read, write or manipulate HTML and XML." Compare also the ongoing work by members of the Python XML SIG to create DOM implementations in Python, including the PyDOM package from Stefane Fermigier.

  • November 06, 1998. An updated version of the WebCGM Profile has been submitted to the W3C by The Boeing Company, the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), Inso Corporation, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and Xerox Corporation. Principal authors of the document are David Cruikshank (The Boeing Company), John Gebhardt (Intercap Graphics Systems), Lofton Henderson (Inso Corporation), and Roy Platon (CCLRC). Development of Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM - ISO 8632:1992) is supported by the CGM Open Consortium, a non-profit international consortium 'dedicated to accelerating the further adoption, application, and implementation of the Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM), the international standard for open interchange of structured graphical objects and their associated attributes.' An effort toward "SGML/CGM Harmonization" is being promoted by OASIS. With this publication of the W3C NOTE, the 'WebCGM profile' specification enters its 'last call' for review comments, which will end on November 23, 1998.

    The document abstract: "CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) has been an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster picture definition since 1987. It has been a registered MIME type since 1995. CGM has a significant following in technical illustration, electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, amongst other application areas. WebCGM is a profile for the effective application of CGM in Web electronic documents. WebCGM has been a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, of which a number of we submitters are active members and contributors, in collaboration with W3C staff under the W3C-LA project. It represents an important interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementors of CGM, and thereby unifies current diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications. WebCGM's clear and unambiguous conformance requirements will enhance interoperability of implementations, and it should be possible to leverage existing CGM validation tools, test suites, and the product certification testing services for application to WebCGM. While WebCGM is a binary file format and is not "stylable", nevertheless WebCGM follows published W3C requirements for a scalable graphics format where such are applicable. The design criteria for the graphical content of WebCGM aimed at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of metadata elements is standardized in WebCGM, to support the functionalities of: hyperlinking and document navigation; picture structuring and layering; and, search and query on WebCGM picture content." See also the W3C submission request, and the W3C Staff Comment on the WebCGM Submission from Chris Lilley.

  • November 06, 1998. On November 4, 1998, Microsoft announced the availability of a beta version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 for technical evaluation. This release of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 beta was "designed to give IT managers and PC enthusiasts an opportunity to evaluate the technology, provide feedback and become familiar with the technologies early in the development process." This release is said to have "improved support for key standards, including the Document Object Model (DOM), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and Extensible Markup Language (XML). The beta version 'supports direct browsing of XML source files using XSL or cascading style sheets, just as users can browse HTML documents. For example, users can add XML files to their Favorites folder and can inspect XML files in the History list. XML file authors specify the CSS or XSL style sheet to be used for displaying the XML file by using the notation described in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) note. The beta version supports the transformation part of the W3C XSL specification, and may be used for direct browsing of XML files and from the XML DOM. The IE 5 beta also includes an "XML Schema and Data Types Preview" - 'this release of XML Schema with data type support as a technology preview that may be useful for developers interested in building prototypes and gaining experience with schema and rich data types. XML Schema as implemented in this technology preview can be thought of as the subset of the XML-Data submission that corresponds to the feature set proposed for Document Content Description (DCD). Unlike the unique document type definition (DTD) syntax, XML Schema allows you to define the rules governing the relations between elements and attributes using a standard XML instance syntax, which can be parsed and managed using XML applications. . . XML Schema also adds support for namespaces, data types, and such useful features as range constraints. Namespace support is integrated into native browsing of XML files, XSL, and the XML DOM programming interfaces." See the dedicated page 'Microsoft Support for XML' or the Microsoft Web site.

  • November 04, 1998. The W3C Scalable Vector Graphics Working Group has published a working draft defining "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Requirements." References: WD-SVGReq-19981029, W3C Working Draft, 29 Oct 1998. From the document introduction: "The W3C has chartered a Scalable Vector Graphics working group to produce a specification for an SVG format, written as a modular XML tagset and usable as an XML namespace, which can be widely implemented in browsers and authoring tools and which is suitable for widespread adoption by the content authoring community as a replacement for many current uses of raster graphics. This will mean that the graphics in Web documents will be smaller, faster, more interactive, and be displayable on a wider range of device resolutions from small mobile devices through office computer monitors to high resolution printers. This will be a significant advance in Web functionality. Interoperability, both in multiple browsers across multiple platforms and in multiple authoring tools (both read and write), is a prime focus. The SVG working group decided to solicit public review and feedback at the earliest possible point to best ensure that SVG meets the Web community's needs for a vector graphics language specification. This document reflects early SVG working group discussions on what SVG should and should not be. The working group has not reached consensus on all topics, so the document below sometimes describes particular features as open issues that are still under discussion. This document lists both SVG Design Goals and SVG Detailed Requirements. The SVG Design Goals describe the high-level objectives which SVG should attempt to achieve. These design goals should also act as the criteria by which proposed features are judged. The SVG Detailed Requirements contains the actual list of proposed features."

  • November 04, 1998. A 'Last Call' for review has been issued on the W3C initial stylesheet linking draft, edited by James Clark. See: Associating stylesheets with XML documents Version 1.0 (WD-xml-stylesheet-19981001). This WD specifies a mechanism that "allows a stylesheet to be associated with an XML document by including one or more XML processing instructions with a target of xml-stylesheet in the document's prolog." A cover letter from the W3C Syntax WG co-chair Joel Nava provides some rationale for the specific PI syntax that is being proposed by the XML Syntax Working Group in this initial specification (for example, the PI vis-à-vis an element or attribute based solution 'somewhere along the lines of XLink or the XML Namespace mechanism [which] would be more appropriate. . .').

  • November 04, 1998. Richard James Anderson posted an announcement for an 'early version' of his ActiveX SAX control. "The control still has a long way to go, but it can parse most files that do not contain references to external entities. It suports a number of interfaces to provide an application or other component with a stream of XML events, based upon SAX (The Simple API for XML). The control is built upon a XML/SAX parser written in C++ by Richard Anderson. [The XML parser itself has no dependancies to any external dlls or controls, so it can be used on any 32 bit version of Windows without the need for IE4 to be installed.] The ActiveX SAX control download includes a sample VB6 app for reading and processing XML files. It just loads the XML file into a tree control, and shows the SAX events in a list control. Of course, the control can be used to anything that supports COM automation controllers."

  • November 04, 1998. Work in progress: "Perl XML FAQ," by Jonathan Eisenzopf. The FAQ document covers: where to find an XML parser written in Perl, mailing lists for XML and Perl, the DOM module for Perl, XML related modules that are available or in development. . . (etc.). See also: "XML and Perl."

  • November 03, 1998. Ralph E. Ferris of Fujitsu Software Corporation has announced that HyBrick V0.8 with XLink/XPointer is Now Available for download. HyBrick Version 0.8 features: 1) HyBrick includes a DSSSL renderer and XLink/XPointer engine running on top of SP and Jade; 2) XLink/XPointer are supported on the local file system; 3) XPointer is implemented as a subset of the HyTime property set; 4) Link traversal can use either 'New' or 'Replace' to display a new page. This latest version of the Fujitsu HyBrick browser with support for XLink/XPointer is now available from Fujitsu's Web site, [click on 'hb08.exe']. Note: 'HyBrick V.08 is now also available from FSC's Web site. This version has an English-language menu, but is otherwise identical to the version on Fujitsu's Web site in Japan. I have also added some files to the distribution to show more of HyBrick's formatting capabilities.' See also: "HyBrick - SGML/XML Browser."

  • November 03, 1998. Simon St.Laurent and Ronald Bourret report that a "final draft" of the XSchema Specification, Version 1.0 is now available (November 1, 1998). Public comments on the draft should be posted to the XML-DEV mailing list. General information on the XSchema project is available at 'The XSchema project is a cooperative effort, based on the xml-dev mailing list, [designed to] provide a means for XML developers to describe their XML document structures using XML document syntax.' See also the database entry, XSchema.

  • November 03, 1998. G. Ken Holman (Crane Softwrights Ltd.) posted a description of a 'literate DSSSLstylesheet environment' package that has been using for a while to write a DSSSL script and its associated documentation in a single file. This tool is available for download. Description: "CSLDSSSL is an Annotatable DSSSL Stylesheet document model, where the annotations and documentation are captured in rich element structure, interspersed with the actual DSSSL code recognized by the DSSSL engine in the architectural instance of the stylesheet. The environment produces both HTML and printed documentation of the rich markup. The Annotatable DSSSL Stylesheet document model CSLDSSSL.DTD is rich with element content that contains parts, sub-parts, cross-references, and other constructs in addition to raw DSSSL code. The supporting documentation DSSSL stylesheet CSLDSSSL.SGM renders the rich embedded markup into documentation in three formats: print semantics, HTML markup, and distilled DSSSL code." See also the online documentation.

  • November 03, 1998. Philippe Le Hégaret posted an announcement for the release of KOML version 1.1. KOML (Koala Object Markup Language) is "an XML application to serialize Java Objects in an XML document. This new version includes bug fix and a minor change in the language. It is backward compatible with the version 1.0."

  • November 03, 1998. A paper outlining potential areas of cooperation between the WAP Forum [Wireless Application Protocol] and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is presented in a W3C NOTE, "WAP Forum - W3C Cooperation White Paper." References: NOTE-WAP-19981030, W3C Note 30 October 1998. The NOTE editors are Johan Hjelm (W3C / Ericsson), Bruce Martin (WAP Forum / Unwired Planet), and Peter King (WAP Forum / Unwired Planet). "The WAP Forum is dedicated to enabling advanced services and applications on mobile wireless devices, such as cellular telephones. The W3C is dedicated to leading and advancing the development of the World Wide Web. This document describes the problem area of mobile access to information on the web, which is common to the two groups. Direct overlaps in future development occur in the areas of intelligent proxies and protocol design; of XML applications; and in content adaption, e.g through the use of vector graphics and style sheets. Instead of developing diverging sets of solutions, it is the intent of both groups to find common solutions." See more on the XML connection in: "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

  • November 03, 1998. The W3C has released a revised working draft document "Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schema Specification." References: WD-rdf-schema-19981030, W3C Working Draft 30 October 1998. This WD incorporates suggestions "received in review comments and further deliberations of the W3C RDF Schema Working Group. With the publication of this draft, the RDF Schema specification enters 'last call'. The last call period will end on November 30, 1998." Summary: "Resource description communities require the ability to say certain things about certain kinds of resources. For describing bibliographic resources, for example, descriptive attributes including 'author', 'title', and 'subject' are common. For digital certification, attributes such as 'checksum' and 'authorization' are often required. The declaration of these properties (attributes) and their corresponding semantics are defined in the context of RDF as an RDF schema. A schema defines not only the properties of the resource (Title, Author, Subject, Size, Color, etc.) but also may define the kinds of resources being described (books, web pages, people, companies, etc.). . . .The Resource Description Framework is part of the W3C Metadata Activity. The goal of this activity, and of RDF specifically, is to produce a language for the exchange of machine-understandable descriptions of resources on the Web. A separate specification describes the data model and syntax for the interchange of metadata using RDF." See this related specification: Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification (WD-rdf-syntax-19981008), W3C Working Draft 08 October 1998. See also the database entry "Resource Description Framework (RDF)."

  • November 03, 1998. Fred L. Drake (Corporation for National Research Initiatives - CNRI) posted an announcement for XBEL - The XML Bookmark Exchange Language. Summary: "The Python XML-SIG has developed a new XML document type for use as an Internet bookmark interchange format. The document type definition and documentation are available at XBEL supports the bookmarking capabilities of all major browsers. Demonstration conversion software is available to support Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Opera. The Grail browser will support XBEL directly in the next release." For other information and references, see the database entry: "The XML Bookmark Exchange Language (XBEL)."

  • November 03, 1998. Added database entry for "MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging) and SGML/XML." MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) refers to a suite of related standards (USMARC, Can/MARC, UKMARC, InterMARC, CCF, etc.) used for bibliographic control within the library science and 'digital libraries' communities. 'MARC' is based upon ISO 2709, Format for Information Exchange (INEX). 'USMARC' is based on ANSI Z39.2, American National Standard for Bibliographic Information Interchange. Conversion from MARC to SGML/XML (and the reverse) has been addressed in several different efforts. The AACR2 volume (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) used by cataloging specialists has itself been converted into SGML format. We expect to see increased interest in the development of interchange DTDs and software supporting conversions involving MARC, together with work on facilitating interoperability with the TEI (header), Dublin Core, RDF, and other metadata formats.

  • November 03, 1998. James Tauber announced an 'early alpha' version of FOP [A Formatting Object to PDF Translator], which "takes the FO output of something like XT and produces a PDF file."

  • October 29, 1998. The development and use of the Encoded Archival Description is now very nicely documented, thanks to the recent appearance of two article collections, for which I have prepared an annotated set of abstracts. In August 1998, The Society of American Archivists published two special issue volumes dedicated to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) in the society's journal, The American Archivist. Both issues were guest edited by Jackie M. Dooley, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, University of California, Irvine. The EAD Document Type Definition (DTD) represents the formal part of a standard for encoding archival finding aids using the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and the Extensible Markup Language (XML). This standard is maintained by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress (LC) in partnership with the Society of American Archivists. The publication of these two special issues of The American Archivist coincides with the recent release of the Version 1.0 of EAD SGML/XML DTD and with the publication of the definitive EAD documentation in the Encoded Archival Description: Tag Library Version 1.0.

  • October 28, 1998. The W3C has received a submission from Adobe Systems Incorporated, CNET Incorporated, Microsoft Corporation, Sun Microsystems Inc., and Vignette Corporation, in the form of a NOTE: "The Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol." References: NOTE-ice-19981026, W3C Note 26 October 1998. The editors include: Neil Webber (Vignette Corporation); Conleth O'Connell (Vignette Corporation); Bruce Hunt (Adobe Systems); Rick Levine (Sun Microsystems); Laird Popkin (News Internet Services); Gord Larose (Channelware Inc.). The abstract: "This document describes the Information and Content Exchange protocol for use by content syndicators and their subscribers. The ICE protocol defines the roles and responsibilities of syndicators and subscribers, defines the format and method of content exchange, and provides support for management and control of syndication relationships. We expect ICE to be useful in automating content exchange and reuse, both in traditional publishing contexts and in business-to-business relationships. ICE is built as an application of XML, and also makes use of HTTP. ICE can leverage a number of other emerging W3C efforts." The ICE authoring team "has identified two areas of special interest for future work: 1) How to define a constraints mechanism that will meet the needs of ICE and possibly leverage other emerging W3C schema efforts such as XML-Data, DCD, XSchema, etc.; 2) How to define a usage data model that will allow businesses to exchange information about how the syndicated content is being used." See also the announcement and W3C Staff Comment. Communiques regarding the submission may be directed to Brad Husick (Vignette). Other information in ICE is available in the database section, "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol."

  • October 26, 1998. The annual SGML/XML meeting of the Norwegian SGML Users' Group [SGML brukergruppe i Norge] is scheduled for December 2 - 3, 1998. The theme for SGML/XML Norge '98 is "SGML/XML as a Contribution to Fulfill Knowledge Management." It will be held in Bolkesjø (Oslo), Norway. Paul Prescod is to be the Keynote Speaker. See the main conference entry for other information.

  • October 26, 1998. New database entry for the Development Markup Language (DML) Initiative, which has produced a provisional XML DTD and several sample DML documents. The Development Markup Language (DML) Initiative proposes to "define and implement an Internet markup language specific to the development community which will facilitate transparency, learning and coordination of action. Longer term objectives involve the creation of a framework process within which the development community can establish universal standards on sharing a variety of information types. This initiative will create a framework within which multiple actors, and groups of actors, can interact with one another to establish their own standards, while still adhering to a single overall process. These sub-standards will directly serve the needs of those who create them, while ensuring a basic level of compatibility with the larger universe of development information." Development information envisioned by the planners includes 'content related information' (hard data on health or population) and 'process information' (project activity information, organisational information, individual contact information and project oriented lessons learned). Among DML's design goals: "1) support the markup of information describing the development activities of organizations working in the area of international development; 2) support the valid markup of records that contain only the mandatory data elements described by the current CEFDA standard; 3) support markup that extends CEFDA in areas that have already been formally or informally identified as requiring more complete, detailed or more extensive information; 4) allow for multilingual markup; 5) developed quickly and hould be easily usable by a wide range of browser software, style sheets and other software."

  • October 26, 1998. Jon Bosak posted a 'Call for Papers' for WWW8, the Eighth International Conference on the World Wide Web, to be held in Toronto, May 11-14, 1999. The paper submission deadline is November 23, 1998.

  • October 26, 1998. Eitan Gurari announced a new version of TeX4ht ("LaTeX and TeX for Hypertext:"), tested "on Unix, Win 95, and DOS platforms, and should be portable to other platforms as well. The examples in the manual relate to configurations tailored for HTML 3.2, HTML transitional 4.0, CSS, XML, and MathML." See or the Ohio State CIS server. For XML/MathML, see "XML and MathML from LaTEX using TeX4ht."

  • October 22, 1998. New database entry for CommerceNet's eCo Framework Project and Working Group. "In response to the growing use of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and proliferation of independent XML-based eCommerce protocols, CommerceNet is chartering the eCo Framework Project and Working Group. The eCo Framework Project is chartered by CommerceNet with sponsorship by Veo Systems Inc. and other companies to be added. The goal of the project is to develop a common framework for interoperability among XML-based application standards and key electronic commerce environments. The project's working group will develop a specification for content names and definitions in electronic commerce documents, and an interoperable transaction framework specification. The eCo Framework Working Group is chartered to define a common framework from an ever-growing complement of electronic commerce related specifications, including Catalog Information Specification, Channel Definition Format (CDF), Common Business Library (CBL), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Internet Content Exchange (ICE), Open Buying on the Internet (OBI), Open Financial Exchange (OFX), Open Trading Protocol (OTP), and XML. The working group, modelled after the successful Davenport and XML working groups, includes industry experts from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Sun Microsystems, RosettaNet, and Veo Systems." Veo Systems is sponsoring a project through CommerceNet's eCo Working Group to create a public XML registry.

  • October 20, 1998. Version 1.0 of the DMTF's CIM XML encoding specification was announced on October 19, 1998. The announcement reported, in part: "The XML Encoding Specification defines XML elements, written in Document Type Definition (DTD), which can be used to represent CIM classes and instances. As part of the DMTF's Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) roadmap, the XML specification will enable companies to leverage Web technologies to manage enterprise systems. The Common Information Model (CIM) is an object-oriented information model standardized within the DMTF for the purposes of providing a conceptual framework within which any management data may be modeled. Allowing CIM information to be represented in the form of XML, brings all of the benefits of XML and its related technologies to management information modeled using the CIM meta-model. WBEM is a set of management and Internet standard technologies developed to unify the management of enterprise computing environments. It provides the ability for the industry to deliver a well-integrated set of standards-based management tools, leveraging emerging technologies such as XML and CIM." For more on the DMTF's CIM, see the database entry "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • October 20, 1998. Sean McGrath (Digitome Electronic Publishing) posted an announcement for a half-day XML tutorial prior to the Seventh International Python Conference. The tutorial "Programming XML from Python" will be offered on Tuesday, November 10, 1998. The tutorial session will be taught by Sean McGrath and Paul Prescod. McGrath will also present a paper "A Python Based Production System for High Volume Electronic Publishing" (Lumberjack, XML). See also the database section: "XML and Python."

  • October 20, 1998. Michael Kay has announced the availablility of SAXON Version 3.1. The new version has enhancements requested by users. "SAXON is a java class library that sits on top of a SAX Parser or DOM implementation, providing a variety of facilities that help the application to process an XML document. It is designed primarily to support applications handling specific document types (as opposed to general-purpose tools), especially applications doing XML-to-HTML or XML-to-XML transformations. SAXON works in principle with any SAX 1.0 conformant parser (the latest version is tested with xp, xml4j, SUN XML Library, Ælfred) or with any implementation of the latest DOM specification (tested with docuverse and xml4j; should work with SUN again when they upgrade to the latest spec). The download includes source and object code, documentation, and sample applications. One of the sample applications is a DTD Generator which has proved popular in its own right."

  • October 20, 1998. Ronald Bourret posted a communique to the XML Dev mailing list indicating that the final review version of XSchema is now available for comment; "if no technical questions are raised, the spec will be considered final on Monday, 26 Oct." See the XSchema entry for additional references.

  • October 20, 1998. Norman Walsh continues to maintain and update the Modular DocBook Stylesheets. "Version 1.19 includes support for several new languages (Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Portuguese), reworked language support, and a number of enhancements/bug fixes."

  • October 20, 1998. Sebastian Rahtz announced the availability of jadetex test version 2.3. This release has a reworking of vertical spacing, support for the "score" flow object, and revised entity lists. See the "Jadetex Package."

  • October 17, 1998. The W3C Technology and Society Domain has annnounced a special workshop on query languages. QL '98: The W3C Query Languages Workshop. December 3 - 4, 1998. DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, Boston, Massachussets. The workshop is a W3C member-only event, though selected experts invited from W3C members can participate. . . the program of the workshop will be published on the web with public access, and will include tutorial and position papers. Rationale for the workshop is given as follows (in part): ". . .query languages are the 'second generation' tool that can increase the use of emerging web standards, facilitating the development of new applications that analyze and process data on the Web. [Thus, the] scope of the W3C Workshop on Query Languages is to begin the discussion of query languages for the Web (with particular emphasis on querying XML and RDF), of the needed requirements for such query language(s), and of proposing solutions. We expect that the workshop will clarify the shared and individual needs of different W3C groups like XML, RDF, P3P, DOM. Moreover, the Workshop will take in particular account the related needs of commercial databases and of companies relying on querying technologies." Position papers must be sent via e-mail to the W3C Contact and Workshop Chair Massimo Marchiori by the 18th of November, 1998. See the Call for Participation for other details.

  • October 16, 1998. The W3C has acknowledged a submission from Unisoft Wares Inc. for the XFDL facility: "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 4.0." References: NOTE-XFDL-19980902, W3C Note, September 2, 1998. Editors: John Boyer (UWI.Com), Tim Bray (Textuality), and Maureen Gordon (UWI.Com). The NOTE "describes an XML syntax for the Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL). The purpose of XFDL is to solve the body of problems associated with digitally representing complex forms such as those found in business and government. The requirements include support for high precision layout, supporting documentation, integrated computations and input validation, multiple overlapping digital signatures, and legally binding auditable transaction records, by maintaining the whole form as a single unit such that digital signatures can capture the entire context of transactions." The W3C Staff Comments relate the NOTE to other W3C work under HTML, XML, CSS/XSL, DOM, the Electronic Commerce Interest Group, and the Digital Signature (DSig) working group. Also noted: "XFDL provides full non-repudiation and auditability by storing the form template, data, and internal logic in a single filethat can be digitally signed. XFDL also offers built-in logic, calculations, type checking, enclosures, and online help. . . W3C policy is to separate content and presentation. XFDL combines content, layout, actions and digital signature. Obviously, on many topics the XFDL submission relates to a large number of W3C activities." See the announcement for contact addresses. For other information, see the database entry "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)."

  • October 16, 1998. XML applications: new database entry for FIXML - A Markup Language for the FIX Application Message Layer. An updated entry for the Open Trading Protocol (OTP).

  • October 16, 1998. Geir Ove Grønmo posted an announcement for the release of Version 0.20 of xmlarch. The xmlarch module "contains an XML architectural forms processor written in Python. It allows you to process XML architectural forms using any parser that uses the SAX interfaces. The module allow you to process several architectures in one parse pass. Architectural document events for an architecture can even be broadcasted to multiple DocumentHandlers. (E.g., you can have two handlers for the RDF architecture, three for the XLink architecture and perhaps one for the HyTime architecture.) The architecture processor uses the SAX DocumentHandler interface which means that you can register the architecture handler (ArchDocHandler) with any SAX 1.0 compliant parser." New features in xmlarch version 0.20 include: 1) better documentation; 2) full support for renaming - includes support for #CONTENT, #ARCCONT, #DEFAULT and #MAPTOKEN; 3) a facility to access information about the original events - EventTracker; 4) Normalizer (renamed to Prettifier) is now more complete and generates 'prettified' output. Also some bug fixes. For background information on architecture processing, see "Architectural Forms and SGML/XML Architectures."

  • October 15, 1998. Your (US) tax dollars at work: according to an announcement of October 14, 1998, Reed Technology and Information Services has been "awarded a $172 million contract by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to convert hard-copy patent application files into electronic form. Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) will replace the PTO's current system of tagging information in their database. The SGML format is independent of operating systems and will provide the PTO and its customers much more flexible delivery methods. 'The SGML format should make data easier for users to search and will enable Internet access.' Also increasing is the volume of patents processed from 3,300 per week currently to an average of 4,000 or more than 200,000 annually. The PTO will eventually replace the data capture contract with a project that will allow SGML patent documents to go directly into publication. The system should be in place by 2003 and will be tested this coming year. The SGML-to-publication system will save the PTO $20 million a year."

  • October 14, 1998. Veo Systems, Inc. has announced the public release of the Common Business Library specification, Version 1.1. The resources are available on the Veo server, and have also been "submitted for review to two important industry ecommerce initiatives, CommerceNet's eCo Framework Project and RosettaNet. CBL includes a recommended base set of XML data elements, attributes, and definitions that are common to many business domains -- such as address, price, quantity, and purchase order. Reusing these components speeds the development of ecommerce standards and applications, and more importantly facilitates their interoperation. Built from existing standards, the CBL specification fulfills the promise of XML (Extensible Markup Language) by clearly defining a set of common data elements for the open exchange of catalog content, purchase orders, invoices and other business documents." See the complete press release: "Veo Systems Announces The Common Business Library to Accelerate XML Applications in Electronic Commerce. Veo Systems Delivers Version 1.1 of Specification to CommerceNet and RosettaNet to Become Standard XML Components for Electronic Commerce."

  • October 14, 1998. Ken MacLeod posted an announcement for a preliminary version of XML::Grove::ToObjects - a tool for simple mapping from XML to Perl objects. "According to the options you provide, XML-Grove-ToObjects will create Perl objects from XML elements or store the value of an XML element in an already created Perl object."

  • October 14, 1998. Jérémy Callès announced a new release of the Koala XSL engine. The Koala XSL engine is an XSL processor written in Java, using the Simple API for XML (SAX 1.0) and the Document Object Model (DOM 1.0) API. Version 0.7b2 now supports the W3C Recommendation for DOM Level 1.0. There is new support for the parent anchor (".."), and numerous bugs have been fixed. The software is available for download. Koala XML services including the Koala XSL engine are also accessible directly via the Web.

  • October 14, 1998. Microsoft clarified its plans for XML support in the MS Windows operating system and in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. 'XML 1.0, XSL, XML DOM, and XML Namespaces'. Support features as announced include: "Direct viewing of XML; High-performance, validating XML engine; Extensible Style Language (XSL) support; XML Schemas; Server-side XML; XML document object model (DOM)." See the Microsoft press release for details: "Microsoft to Deliver Advanced XML Support. Windows to Include Industry's Most Complete Implementation of XML and XSL."

  • October 13, 1998. James Clark has announced the public availability of Jade Version 1.2.1. Most of the changes are 'to make it build better on various systems'. Windows binaries are now compiled using Visual C++ 6.0, and there's a new .tar.gz source distribution for Unix systems. Jade (James' DSSSL Engine) is an "implementation of the DSSSL style language that features: 1) an abstract interface to groves - designed to be implementable on top of a database, in addition to simple in-memory implementations; 2) an in-memory implementation of this interface built with SP; 3) a style engine that implements the DSSSL style language; 4) a command-line application, jade, that combines the style engine with the spgrove grove interface and five backends - XML representation of the flow object tree, RTF, TeX, MIF, and SGML [SGML-to-SGML transformations]." See the database entry for other references.

  • October 13, 1998. Jonathan Borden posted an announcement describing 'the development of a set of components which provide XML Metadata Object Persistence (XMOP). These components provide for the automatic persistence of COM and Java objects in an XML DTD format known as the Simple Object Definition Language (SODL).' Details: "The Simple Object Definition Language (SODL) is an XML IDL DTD which allows objects to be described in a fashion compatible with Interface Definition Language (IDL) used in COM and CORBA object systems. SODL is a simplfied XML IDL designed to be compatible with currently available and widely used non-XML IDLs. SODL allows objects to be described as well as serialized for transport across networks. These serialization/marshalling techniques can be readily integrated into Object RPC over XML transports. SODL is the DTD employed for the XML Metadata Object Persistence (XMOP) service of the XPository(tm) system. The initial implementation of XMOP (XML Metadata Object Persistance) uses the SODL 1.0 DTD and is compatible with Microsoft IDL and COM Automation objects."

  • October 13, 1998. Guy-Philippe Halleman (Tetrasix) reported on the release of Java freeware for MAJIX 1.0, which 'converts Word files into XML'. It is a converter "entirely written in Java which produces XML from RTF." According to the announcement, the conversion tool is highly customizable, 'recognizes pictures', converts Word tables, and produces well-formed XML documents.

  • October 12, 1998. Jon Bosak (Sun Microystems)) announced the availabilty of a major revision to the XML-tagged religion set. The collection includes a group of four religious works (The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Quran, and The Book of Mormon) "marked up for electronic publication from publicly available sources. The texts were originally marked up (1992) as an exercise in SGML DTD and style sheet design, and in 1996 were released along with a companion Shakespeare set as the earliest examples of real documents marked up in XML. The current distribution conforms to the XML 1.0 Recommendation released February 8, 1998." Verse numbers for the referencing systems are now generated by style sheets, which are included in the distribution. These texts are used as benchmarks for XML parsers by some developers. Other samples of XML documents are referenced in the Examples database section.

  • October 12, 1998. Updated database entry for the DMTF Common Information Model (CIM). On October 6, 1998, the DMTF Board approved several XML specifications (final versions for public release) relating to XML encoding for CIM information.

  • October 09, 1998. Apropos of managing DTD fragments, designing modularized DTDs, DTD subsetting, namespaces, (etc.), readers will be interested to survey Lou Burnard's Web page entitled The Pizza Chef: a TEI Tag Set Selector, recently referenced in an announcement. Lou Burnard (European editor for the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines) has created the tool to help users design their own TEI-conformant document type definition. The TEI DTD itself is very large, but its modular construction and heavy use of 'classes' (defined in parameter entities) allow the user to select desired tag sets for a project and thus 'make up their very own view of the TEI DTD, including their own modifications and restrictions.' The Pizza Chef tool "allows you to select the TEI tagsets you want from a menu, and also to pick out individual elements for inclusion, exclusion, or modification. You can then download a customized DTD subset, or a completely compiled (i.e., non parameterized) DTD for use by e.g., SoftQuad's Rulesbuilder." Clever, no? See also the TEI Web site. Another strategy for subsetting large (complex, overly-general) DTDs uses architectural processing; see the abstract for the paper to be presented by Gary Simons at the November Markup Technologies '98 Conference ("Using Architectural Processing to Derive Small, Problem-specific XML Applications from Large, Widely-used SGML Applications").

  • October 09, 1998. The W3C has released a revised WD version of the document Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification (WD-rdf-syntax-19981008), W3C Working Draft 08 October 1998. The editors are Ora Lassila (Nokia Research Center) and Ralph R. Swick (World Wide Web Consortium). The document "introduces a model for representing RDF metadata as well as a syntax for encoding and transporting this metadata in a manner that maximizes the interoperability of independently developed web servers and clients. The syntax presented here uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML). This document is a revision of the public working draft dated 1998-08-19 incorporating suggestions received in review comments and further deliberations of the W3C RDF Model and Syntax Working Group. With the publication of this draft, the RDF Model and Syntax Specification enters 'last call'." The last call period will end on October 23, 1998.

  • October 09, 1998. InDelv reports that it "has shipped beta release 1.01 of its new InDelv TI XML platform. This release has a reduced feature set and limited documentation and is intended for use by experienced XML developers. It is capable of rendering XML using XSL, supporting XLL based hypertext and building end user applications using XML. It also includes a prototype VML implementation. This release is available for free public download at"

  • October 09, 1998. The IBM Tokyo Alphaworks Laboratory has released version 1.1.4 of the IBM XML Parser in Java (October 7, 1998). The new version of XML4J provides support for the REC-DOM-Level-1-19981001 W3C DOM Specification Version 1.0 (1-October-1998), and includes additional support for 18 different EBCDIC encodings; performance has been significantly improved (it now runs 'twice as fast' as version 1.0.9), and numerous bugs have been fixed. From Kent Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama, XML4J "is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents." See "IBM XML for Java" for other details.

  • October 09, 1998. Work in progress, from Andreas Saremba, Siemens Business Services, Berlin. Pomade: Poor Man's DSSSL Environment. "Pomade does the following things that are not difficult but tiresome for an experienced Jade user: 1) It lets you add application specific catalog files to those defined in SGML_CATALOG_FILES. In addition, you may specify which directories are to be searched for files whose SYSTEM identifiers do not contain a fully qualified path name. 2) It builds a top level DSSSL script that does not only invoke your main script responsible for the actual work, but also contains your current configuration choices (fonts, margins etc.) 3) If instructed to do so, it builds a temporary catalog file that maps PUBLIC identifiers used in the DTD or in a DSSSL script to SYSTEM identifiers reflecting your current choices. It also makes sure that this catalog file overrides the other catalog files. 4) It builds a Jade call with all necessary parameters for the output format(s) of your choice." See the online sources and documentation. Related resources: "DSSSL Software Tools and Applications."

  • October 09, 1998. Sebastian Rahtz recently announced the preparation of a new 'catalogue of Unicode positions and their corresponding entity names in various sets, including MathML, and the LaTeX equivalent. Each Unicode character may be mapped to several entities'. The document is presented in XML format. Rahtz credits several other people for advice and earlier work: David Carlisle, Robert Streich, Nico Poppelier, Rune Mathisen, and Vidar Gundersen. See references to related resources in the section "Entity Sets and Entity Management."

  • October 09, 1998. Updated entry for the "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)." Some additional context is provided for the OMG's RFP, and summaries are provided for two alternative submissions which feature XML in a less central role than the XMI proposal.

  • October 09, 1998. On September 28, 1998, Gavin M. Roy posted an announcement to the XML Developers List concerning the design of XMLTP (XML Transfer Protocol), "a common protocol for sending and executing upon XML data. This concept is different then embedding XML in HTML, or other traditional mechanisms. By creating a common protocol, server daemon, and client/server architecture, we can, in essence, create a system that by using a modular plug in technology, similar to Apache's, that will provide a system that is: platform independent, reliable, scalable, and multi-functional." See further details and links in the database entry "XMLTP.Org - XML Transfer Protocol."

  • October 08, 1998. Pam Gennusa (Database Publishing Systems Ltd.) has posted an announcement concerning the XML Europe '99 Conference Call for Participation. XML Europe '99 will be held on April 26-30, 1999, at the Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos de Granada, Granada, Spain. The conference is presented by GCA and co-sponsored by OASIS. Pamela Gennusa is the conference chair. Paper submissions are due by December 4,1998 and notifications will be made by January 11, 1999. A number of other events will be held in conjunction with the conference, including a two-day OASIS European Workshop on the preceding week, and ISO SGML committee meetings for ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34. The XML Europe '99 conference site on the GCA server provides other information about tracks, conference tutorials, submissions, exhibits, and related events.

  • October 08, 1998. Mats Hultemark (Chairman of the Swedish SGML Users' Group) reported on a successful two-day XML Seminar and Workshop in Göteborg, Sweden, conducted by Eliot Kimber. A full workshop report is now available online. Kimber's presentation slides for "Why Do We Need XML?" are also online. See the conference entry for other information.

  • October 06, 1998. Steven Noels posted an announcement with updated information concerning the SGML/XML BeLux '98 Conference, "XML & SGML in Action." Fifth Annual Conference on the Practical Use of SGML/XML. October 20 - 21, 1998 - Antwerp, Belgium. The special focus of this conference is "Applications in the field of linguistic engineering and multilinguality." A program listing and presentation abstracts are now available.

  • October 06, 1998. Among the recently added citations in XML Articles and Papers, note especially "Component Interoperability with XML," by David Carlson. In Component Strategies Volume 1, Number 4 (October 1998), pages 14-17. Carlson's other articles on XML published in Component Strategies and Object Magazine are also now available online from the Ontogenics Web site.

  • October 06, 1998. Bart Bauwens (Alcatel Telecom) posted an announcement "RDF Vocabularies as Content Language Within FIPA ACL" which describes a workgroup's attempt to use RDF based vocabularies as content language embedded in the FIPA ACL. 'FIPA, the Foundation for Intelligent and Physical Agents ( is an organization which tries to standardize on a set of generic agent technologies. One of its most important (normative) specifications is the Agent Communication Language (ACL).' Interested parties should contact Bauwens for particulars.

  • October 06, 1998. New database entry for Motorola's VoxML - Voice Markup Language. VoxML is identified by Motorola as 'The Markup Language for Voice Applications'. "The main goal of Motorola's VoxML effort is to offer a common approach and broadly supported platform for voice applications just as HTML provides for Web based applications. VoxML technology enables the application interface to be in the form of dialogues: navigation and input is produced via speech recognition of end-user's voice and output is produced via text-to-speech technology or recorded audio samples. The VoxML language is based on the W3C eXtensible Markup Language (XML) standard. As such, the language follows all of the syntactic rules of XML with semantics that support the creation of interactive speech applications."

  • October 06, 1998. Peter Flynn (University College Cork) announced the availability of a new release of The XML FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language. Recent changes for Version 1.4.1 (6 October 1998) are listed at the head of the document.

  • October 06, 1998. Don Park announced the availability of Docuverse DOM SDK PR3 as 'the first publicly available implemention of the final Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification'. Note: "PR3 does not include the output framework support as originally planned but it does support serialization of the Core DOM objects. Support for serialization of HTML DOM objects as well as full output framework and PSE support will be in PR4."

  • October 06, 1998. Ranjit Padmanabhan posted an announcement for the development of an XML-based Human Resources Markup Language (HRML), from HireScape. "HireScape is committed to developing and supporting standards that streamline HR-related transactions. Our first area of focus is on helping develop "HR EDI" standards by which "recruitment data" can be transacted between entities such as corporations, job boards, applicant tracking systems, enterprise staffing applications, etc. The emergence of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) has provided a technically sound basis for expressing such standards. HRML (Human Resources Markup Language) is compliant with XML syntax, and in this, the first release, we present a 'well-formed' (non-type-valid) syntax for representing job listings. We are formalizing this with a DTD, which will very soon be made publicly available." Note (1998-10-14): Chuck Allen posted a follow-up note to XML-L indicating a related interest in human resources data exchange; "I have a similar interest in XML for HR data exchange. I have developed a 'work-in-progress' DTD that defines markup for job postings. I have the DTD and a couple sample files available for download [now 1998-12-16] at Feel free to use, redistribute, critique, etc." See: "XML-HR Initiative - Human Resources."

  • October 02, 1998. "Schema for Object-oriented XML" (SOX) has been submitted as a NOTE to the W3C. Reference: NOTE-SOX-19980930. The authors are Matt Fuchs (Veo Systems), Murray Maloney (Muzmo Communication), and Alex Milowski (Veo Systems). Its abstract (in part): "This document proposes a schema facility, Schema for Object-oriented XML (SOX), for defining the structure, content and semantics of XML documents to enable XML validation and higher levels of automated content checking. The SOX proposal is informed by the XML 1.0 [XML] specification as well as the XML-Data submission [XML-Data], the Document Content Description submission [DCD] and the EXPRESS language reference manual [ISO-10303-11]. SOX provides an alternative to XML DTDs for modeling markup relationships to enable more efficient software development processes for distributed applications. SOX also provides basic intrinsic datatypes, an extensible datatyping mechanism, content model and attribute interface inheritance, a powerful namespace mechanism, and embedded documentation. As compared to XML DTDs, SOX dramatically decreases the complexity of supporting interoperation among heterogenous applications by facilitating software mapping of XML data structures, expressing domain abstractions and common relationships directly and explicitly, enabling reuse at the document design and the application programming levels, and supporting the generation of common application components. A SOX document, or schema, is a valid XML document instance according to the SOX DTD, that represents a complete XML DTD-like structure. It has a document root element, and a representation of syntax that one would expect from a complete DTD, symbolically generated through the XML document instance." See also the announcement (with the complete abstract) and the Core XML DTD for SOX. Other components in the submission include the HTML Text DTD, the Core schema for SOX, the HTML Text schema module, and the Typedefs schema module. The W3C staff comment by Dan Connolly summarizes: "W3C is pleased to receive the Schema for Object-oriented XML submission from Veo Systems Inc. [The submission] documents experience with problems of structured information exchange, and proposes solutions based on that experience, as do the XML-Data and DCD submissions. The W3C Membership has recently begun work on XML Schemas in the XML Schema Working group of the XML Activity, with related work in the Metadata (RDF) Activity and the HTML Activity. The [SOX] specification will be brought to the attention of the participants of these Activities for consideration." See also the main database entry.

  • October 02, 1998. A recent article on XML by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems, W3C XML WG Chair) sets out to 'dispel some myths about XML'. This is a fine essay: recommended reading for anyone you know who might be trying to make sense of the XML phenomenon from the flurry of marketing hyper-activity. See: "Media-Independent Publishing: Four Myths about XML." In IEEE Computer Volume 31, Number 10 (October 1998), pages 120-122. The four myths: (1) XML is a Conspiracy Led by Microsoft; (2) XML is an Extension of HTML; (3) XML Can Drive Web Browsers by Itself; (4) XML is Just for Data.

  • October 02, 1998. The Linguistic Data Consortium located at the University of Pennsylvania has announced the release of a new text corpus in the JURIS (Justice Department Retrieval and Inquiry System) collection, from the U.S. Department of Justice. The new two-CDROM JURIS set contains a total of 694,667 document units in 1664 individual text files, with text data ranging from the 1700's to the early 1990's. Examples come from Case Law, Executive Orders, Treaties and other International Agreements, Federal Regulations, Administrative Law, Department of Justice Briefs, Freedom of Information Act, Indian Law, Statutory Law, Immigration and Naturalization Law, Tax Law, etc. As with much of the LCD corpus material, these documents are structured in SGML: "The text files are all formatted using a set of SGML tags to mark document boundaries, and to mark major structural features within documents. As with file organization, the markup is derived from the document structures as provided by the Justice Department." The LDC believes that "the best formatting mechanism for text is Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)." JURIS itself is an online, computerized information retrieval system designed and maintained by the Department of Justice; the system was originally designed for Department of Justice use only but the availability of JURIS was expanded as a result of Executive Order 12146 dated July 18, 1979. Also recently released by LDC is a corpus of "1997 Mandarin Broadcast News Speech and Transcripts." These data are encoded using "SGML tagging to identify story boundaries, speaker turn boundaries, and phrasal pauses; these tags include time stamps to align the text with the speech data. Word segmentation (white-space between words) is included. A working DTD is provided, and the markup is consistent with that of the 1997 English and Spanish Hub-4 collections." For more information on the LDC and its role in the encoding of natural language texts for linguistic research, see the main database entry "Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC)."

  • October 01, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium has published the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification, Version 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. Reference: REC-DOM-Level-1-19981001. Lauren Wood (SoftQuad, Inc.) is the W3C DOM WG Chair. Editors include: Vidur Apparao, Steve Byrne, Mike Champion, Scott Isaacs, Ian Jacobs, Arnaud Le Hors, Gavin Nicol, Jonathan Robie, Robert Sutor, Chris Wilson, and Lauren Wood. The document is available online in HTML, Postscript, PDF, and plain text formats.

    W3C DOM Recommendation Abstract: "This specification defines the Document Object Model Level 1, a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, a standard model of how these objects can be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them. Vendors can support the DOM as an interface to their proprietary data structures and APIs, and content authors can write to the standard DOM interfaces rather than product-specific APIs, thus increasing interoperability on the Web. The goal of the DOM specification is to define a programmatic interface for XML and HTML. The DOM Level 1 specification is separated into two parts: Core and HTML. The Core DOM Level 1 section provides a low-level set of fundamental interfaces that can represent any structured document, as well as defining extended interfaces for representing an XML document. These extended XML interfaces need not be implemented by a DOM implementation that only provides access to HTML documents; all of the fundamental interfaces in the Core section must be implemented. A compliant DOM implementation that implements the extended XML interfaces is required to also implement the fundamental Core interfaces, but not the HTML interfaces. The HTML Level 1 section provides additional, higher-level interfaces that are used with the fundamental interfaces defined in the Core Level 1 section to provide a more convenient view of an HTML document. A compliant implementation of the HTML DOM implements all of the fundamental Core interfaces as well as the HTML interfaces." For other information on DOM, see the main database entry, "W3C Document Object Model (DOM), Level 1 Specification."

  • October 01, 1998. The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a submission from Compaq Computer Corporation, Macromedia Inc., and Microsoft Corporation: "Timed Interactive Multimedia Extensions for HTML (HTML+TIME). Extending SMIL into the Web Browser." Reference: NOTE-HTMLplusTIME-19980918. Authors: Patrick Schmitz (Microsoft), Jin Yu (Compaq/DEC), and Peter Santangeli (Macromedia). The document "presents Timed Interactive Multimedia Extensions for HTML (HTML+TIME). HTML+TIME builds upon the SMIL recommendation to extend SMIL concepts into HTML and web browsers. The proposal includes timing and interactivity extensions for HTML, as well as the addition of several new tags to support specific features described in the SMIL 1.0 spec. HTML+TIME also adds some extensions to the SMIL timing and synchronization model, appropriate to the Web browser domain. HTML+TIME is not intended to supplant SMIL. The SMIL 1.0 standard supports many applications that need to describe multimedia presentations, independent of HTML and traditional web browsers. HTML+TIME is closely aligned with SMIL to make it simple for authors and tools to use both specifications. [. . .] As presented, the proposal focuses on integrating time-based information into HTML only. However, other XML-based formats (e.g., vector graphics languages) could benefit from a similar integration. The submission already gives an example for VML. It thus seems interesting to examine whether the proposal can be generalized to allow integration of time-based functionality not only into HTML, but into general XML-based languages. This requires a study whether it is possible to define generic rules on how to integrate time-based functionality with XML-based formats. Of course, HTML integration is an important and necessary first step and case study in this development." See the the announcement and the W3C Staff Comment by Philipp Hoschka, Dave Ragget, and others.

  • September 29, 1998. New database entry for CBL - Common Business Library. "The Common Business Library (CBL) is being developed by Veo Systems, Inc. as a set of building blocks with common semantics and syntax to ensure interoperability among XML applications. CBL consists of an extensible, public set of XML DTDs and modules, supported by reference documentation and samples. CBL includes analogues to the basic business forms used in X12 EDI transactions and components common to many XML-based commerce specifications, such as OTP, OBI, and ICE. These specifications can be mapped to each other using their common basis in business data elements. CBL (version 1.1) has been submitted to CommerceNet, RosettaNet, and other organizations with XML initiatives and is available for public use at no cost. CBL consists of information models for generic business concepts including: 1) business description primitives like companies, services, and products; 2) business forms like catalogs, purchase orders, and invoices; 3) standard measurements, date and time, location, classification codes. Industry-specific XML applications that reuse CBL for generic information and common business documents can be developed more quickly and better understood in other domains because of their common elements. CBL may be considered as 'glue' that connects pieces of existing e-commerce functionality."

  • September 29, 1998. New database entry for WDDX - Web Distributed Data Exchange. Allaire Corporation's WDDX "uses XML to store and exchange data across the Web using HTTP. Different languages that implement WDDX need only implement simple serialization and deserialization stubs that transform language native data objects into WDDX, and vice-versa. This process provides a universal data format that is common to dominant Web programming languages. Because it is based on XML, this data structure can be easily transferred and accessed over HTTP, though WDDX can be shared and used in any text-based environment, such as flat-files, a relational database, etc. WDDX embraces a common subset of data structures used in contemporary Web programming environments. In particular, WDDX supports the exchange of structures (a.k.a. associative arrays, data dictionaries, or hash tables), arrays, recordsets, lists, strings, date/times, and boolean values. WDDX is based on the same ISO standards as XML, ensuring international time/date, numeric and currency compatibility. WDDX also relies on dynamic expression evaluation and data introspection capabilities in languages such as JavaScript, Perl, and ColdFusion to facilitate transparency in data exchange." [from J. Allaire's White Paper]

  • September 28, 1998. Ken MacLeod posted an announcement concerning Casbah and Lightweight Distributed Objects (LDO). "Casbah is a distributed application development environment slanted towards scripting, like Python, Perl, and Tcl. The core Casbah components are support for multiple languages, a virtual/distributed, hierarchical data-store (URL space), and the software and protocols for distributing this between processes and systems. The latter component is the most relevant to this thread and is called Lightweight Distributed Objects (LDO). LDO includes specifications for serializing objects using XML or a binary format, for encoding remote requests as objects to be serialized and transmitted, and an API for using the remote requests and serialization. LDO is patterned after Apple's (nee NeXT's) Distributed Objects used in MacOS X Server and, before that, in OpenStep and NextStep. LDO is not Casbah-specifc and is intended to be reusable outside of Casbah. LDO is nearing a 0.1 release and has implementations available in Python and Perl."

  • September 28, 1998. Philippe Le Hégret posted an announcement for the release of an application named KOML, "Koala Object Markup Language." KOML "is a 100% pure Java solution based upon Koala XML serialization, which provides an easy way to serialize and deserialize any Java Objects in an XML document." Koala XML serialization is said to be XML 1.0 and SAX 1.0 conformant. Koala (Toolkit for Advanced Software Dvelopment - Kit d'Outils pour un Atelier Logiciel Avancé) is a project under the French computer company Bull, operating as a software research team, 'hosted at INRIA Sophia-Antipolis since its creation in 1986, and is now part of a common project (Dyade, Joint applied research center from Bull and INRIA) that focuses on human-machine interface topics from the software point of view.'

  • September 28, 1998. John Cowan has released beta code for two SAX 'Parser Filters' supporting XML namespaces and XML inheritance. "A parser filter looks like a standard SAX parser, but relies on an underlying real parser to do the work, and adds some extra service. The NamespaceFilter provides an implementation of the XML Namespaces WD. All element and attribute names are resolved to the form "URI^localpart", where URI may be null. The circumflex character is not legal in either URIs or localparts. The non-SAX methods mapElementName() and mapAttributeName() convert element or attribute names to "URI^localpart" form according to the current set of namespace prefixes. The InheritanceFilter provides support for inheritable attributes. By default, only xml:space and xml:lang are inheritable, but applications may call the non-SAX method inheritable() to specify other inheritable attributes. The abstract class ParserFilter provides the basic mechanism for writing parser filters."

  • September 28, 1998. As testimony to the rapidly-evolving support for XML in Perl, Clark Cooper has announced the availability of version 2.10 of XML::Parser. The XML::Parser extension module is a perl interface to James Clark's XML parser, expat. This release of XML::Parser uses a new test version of expat from James Clark (release 19980924) for supporting namespaces. It also includes the completed version of Cooper's xmlfilter application. This filter will drop or keep elements and/or attributes in an XML document when these are designated by name or by a pattern, writing the output to another well-formed XML document.

  • September 28, 1998. John E. Simpson announced the opening of a new new Web site for ax XML markup language FlixML, ''. "FlixML is an XML application whose ostensible purpose is for marking up descriptions of B movies." Also featured on the web site is John Simpson's new book, Just XML, published by Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference.

  • September 28, 1998. Adam P. Harris reported on DSSSList that "Jade 1.2 and other integrated DSSSL and SGML related packages are now available for Debian. This includes libsp, libgrove, libspgrove, and libstyle available as shared and static libraries; all compiled with egcs' g++, and libstdc++2.9; SGML catalog integration; docbook (v3.0) and docbook-stylesheets (v1.3); etc." Debian is a free, or Open Source, operating system that uses the Linux kernel. Adam says that he and the "other Debian developers have been trying hard to make Debian the premier platform for Linux-based (and soon, hurd-based) SGML and DSSSL development."

  • September 25, 1998. SoftQuad is acquired, in part. "Further accelerating its XML-based enterprise content management strategy, Interleaf, Inc. announced today the acquisition of the Panorama product line and an engineering group with extensive XML/SGML expertise from SoftQuad Inc., a Toronto-based provider of content publishing tools for the Internet and corporate intranets. Interleaf purchased the Panorama product line, a leading-edge collection of SGML publishing and viewing products, to expand its content management and complex publishing offerings. The Panorama product line includes Panorama Publisher, Panorama Viewer, Panorama CDWeb Publisher and Author/Editor. Interleaf has also hired several [SoftQuad] XML/SGML engineers, who are expected to contribute to the development of BladeRunner, Interleaf's enterprise content management solution which is slated for general availability in December 1998. Effective immediately, the Panorama product line - including the Panorama Publisher, Panorama Viewer, Panorama CDWeb Publisher and Author/Editor 3.5 - are being supported through Interleaf technical support." From the press release, "Interleaf Acquires Technology and XML/SGML Expertise From SoftQuad. Acquisition Supports Interleaf's XML-Based Enterprise Content Management Strategy."    And . . . what about XMetaL? According to an email communique from an Interleaf official, "The HoTMeTaL, XMetaL products are not part of the acquisition." In a separate press release: "In making today's announcements, Richard Rabins, CEO, SoftQuad International Inc. said 'with the sale of the Panorama product line to Interleaf, we are executing this first step in our announced strategy of divesting SoftQuad Inc. We are in ongoing discussions with other parties about the sale of SoftQuad Inc.'s remaining businesses'. On June 10, 1998 SoftQuad International Inc. announced [. . .] it intended to explore the possible sale or spin-off of its SoftQuad Inc. subsidiary."

  • September 25, 1998. On September 16, 1998, Sun Microsystems, Inc. released an 'Early Access 1' version of The Sun XML Library. As described by David Brownell at the Montréal XML Developers' Conference, the XML Library is "a highly modular XML library that has been developed by the Java Software Division of Sun. The XML library is written in the Java programming language and provides support for the latest version (July) of the W3C DOM APIs and for the SAX 1.0 API. The XML package includes fast validating and nonvalidating XML parsers, preliminary support for XML Beans, and examples, including an XML Validation Service." The September 16th version is the first early access release, "addressed to Java developers who want access to Sun's fast and fully conformant XML library core for their development of extensible, conformant XML-enabled services and applications. That library supports fast parsing of XML documents, including optional validation, and supports an optional in-memory object model tree for manipulating and writing XML structured data. In addition, the core functionality supports an implementation of the W3C DOM APIs and the XML Namespaces proposal. The library is 'core' in the sense that significant XML based applications can be written using only this functionality, and that it is intended that other XML software be layered on top of it. All classes are written exclusively in the Java[tm] language, and accordingly may be used with any JDK 1.1 conformant system, including JDK 1.2 conformant systems. Developers have expressed strong interest in seeing XML enabling technology emerge from Sun because of the key role Sun has played in developing the XML specification and in creating the Java platform. The Java technology's 'portable code' along with XML's 'portable data' are valuable complements in creating truly platform-independent applications. Through the early access release, developers have an unique opportunity to participate in defining and evolving the XML Library." [adapted from the XML Library 'README' and FAQ documents]

  • September 24, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of Jade version 1.2. Jade (James' DSSSL Engine) is an "implementation of the DSSSL style language that features: 1) an abstract interface to groves - designed to be implementable on top of a database, in addition to simple in-memory implementations; 2) an in-memory implementation of this interface built with SP; 3) a style engine that implements the DSSSL style language; 4) a command-line application, jade, that combines the style engine with the spgrove grove interface and five backends - XML representation of the flow object tree, RTF, TeX, MIF, and SGML [SGML-to-SGML transformations]. New features in this release of Jade include: 1) a MIF backend written by Kathleen Marszalek and Paul Prescod, sponsored by ISOGEN International Corp; 2) an enhanced TeX backend written by Kathleen Marszalek, sponsored by Novaré International, and an associated LaTeX macro package by Sebastian Rahtz; 3) configure/autoconf support from Cees de Groot which should make it easier to install on Unix boxes."

  • September 23, 1998. A detailed agenda and schedule has now been published for the Markup Technologies '98 Conference. The new agenda page identifies the key speakers and supplies abstracts for the presentations. Immediately following the XML '98 Conference, the Markup Technologies '98 Conference ("SGML, XML, and Beyond: Making Generalized Markup Work") is presented by the Graphic Communications Association and co-sponsored by the MIT Press. November 19 - 20, 1998, McCormick Place South, Chicago, Illinois, USA. The conference chair is B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.); co-chairs are Deborah A. Lapeyre and C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen. An online registration form is available from the main conference Web site.

  • September 23, 1998. Tony Graham of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. has announced the public availability of an early version of xslide. The xslide package features an Emacs major mode for editing XSL stylesheets. This version supports font lock highlighting (so that the important information stands out), a function for inserting element and attribute names, a function for inserting matching start- and end-tags, automatic completion of end-tags, automatic indenting of elements, comprehensive abbreviations table to further ease typing, etc. The current version of xslide (Version 0.1, September 22, 1998) has been tested using NTEmacs 19.34.1. The package is available from the Mulberry Technologies FTP server at Note that Tony Graham is also the developer and maintainer of tdtd - An Emacs Macro Package for Editing SGML/XML DTDs. Other XSL resources hosted by Mulberry are accessible via the Web site. For other XSL software, see the main section "XSL Software Support."

  • September 22, 1998. Philippe Le Hégaret, on behalf of the Koala Project, has announced the availabilty of an online Koala XML Validation Service. See the page "Check or Validate XML" for links to six other online XML checking tools.

  • September 22, 1998. Ken MacLeod posted an announcement for the release of his XML::Grove 0.04 Perl Module. The XML::Grove Perl 5 Module defines a set of objects representing XML documents. It "includes modules for accessing the XML objects, converting XML content to strings, and writing XML. Groves are generally created by calling a parser or grove building module that returns an XML::Grove object. The XML::Grove object then contains the root element of the document and may contain errors generated during the parsing or building, entities and notations used within the document, or other parser or grove builder specific information." This version of the XML::Grove Perl Module adds support for Clark Cooper's updates to XML::Parser.

  • September 22, 1998. Guy Bobenrieth announced the availability of ExCost6666 - 'a new version of the Cost extension derived from Cost21'. "ExCost stands for Expat and Cost. The first is James Clark's parser widely used from Perl to Mozilla, and the second is the very powerful extension for TCL that allows it to parse ESIS file and handle them in a event or tree driven behaviour. ExCost allows the same functionality that Cost does for SGML, but for XML."

  • September 22, 1998. Andrea Marchetti of the Istituto per le Applicazioni Telematiche (Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerche/National Research Council of Italy) has reported on the preparation of an Italian translation of the XML 1.0 specification. Other translations of XML 1.0 are available in German, Spanish, and Romanian; see the section "XML/XLL/XSL Specifications: Reference Documents."

  • September 22, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of a new version of XT. XT is a Java-based implementation of the tree construction/transformation part of the W3C Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). XT uses Clark's XP, a high-performance XML parser in Java. The principal change in this version is XT's responsiveness to an initial tag <xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" xmlns="" result-ns="">: XT "will recognize that you are generating HTML rather than XML and output the result tree accordingly."

  • September 21, 1998. Michel Biezunski announced the availability of a new "extensively revised" Committee Draft (CD) version of the Topic Navigation Maps Standard. The text constitutes material that is to be processed as a final Committee Draft, DIS, and ISO in the ISO SC34 committee. The document is available in HTML and PDF formats. This ISO/IEC 13250 Committee Draft version (21 September 1998) has been edited by Michel Biezunski, Martin Bryan, and Steven R. Newcomb. The Topic Navigation Maps Standard "provides a standardized notation for interchangeably representing information about the structure of information resources used to define topics, and the relationships between topics. A set of one or more interrelated documents that employs the notation defined by this Standard is called a Topic Navigation Map (TNM). In general, the structural information conveyed by TNMs includes: 1) groupings of addressable information objects. Objects so grouped are said to form a topic (or, are said to share the semantics of the topic); 2) relationships between topics (associations). In TNMs, a topic consists of locations where information relevant to a particular concept can be found. A TNM defines a multidimensional topic space - a space in which the only locations are topics, and in which the distances between topics are measurable in terms of the number of intervening topics which must be visited in order to get from one topic to another, and the kinds of relationships that define the path from one topic to another, if any, through the intervening topics, if any. The base notation of TNMs is SGML; an interchangeable Topic Navigation Map always consists of at least one SGML document, and it may include and/or refer to other kinds information resources. XML can be also used as a base notation for TNMs."

    "Topic navigation maps enable multiple, concurrent views of information objects. These views may be object oriented, relational, hierarchical, a combination of these, and/or other views. An unlimited number of topic navigation maps may be overlaid on a given bounded object set. Topic navigation maps may assign properties to information objects for the following applications, among others: 1) Qualifying the content and/or data contained in information objects as topics to enable navigational tools like indexes, cross-references, citation systems, or glossaries; 2) Linking topics to enable navigation between them, which might result in virtual document assembly, thesaurus-like interfaces to corpora, knowledge bases, etc.; 3) Filtering an information set to create views adapted to specific users or purposes, for example, management of multilingual documents, management of access modes depending on security criteria, delivery of partial views depending on user profiles, semantic domains, etc.; 4) Structuring unstructured information objects, or merging unstructured information bases with structured ones. The overlay mechanism of topic navigation maps can be considered as an external markup mechanism, in the sense that an arbitrary structure is imposed on the information without altering its original form." [From the Scope statement and Introduction] See additional information on Topic Maps in the main database entry.

  • September 21, 1998. Two reviews of currently available XML tools have been published recently. The first is introduced by Michael J. Miller, Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine, in an AnchorDesk special report. In the main article "Why XML Matters," members of the PC Magazine staff Ben G. Gottesman (PC Magazine Labs, Technical Director), William Robert Stanek, Jay Munro, and David Lidsky review twenty-seven (27) XML tools in several categories: Authoring Tools; Database and Data Integration Solutions; XML Parsers; Browsers; Office Suites; Applications Development Environments; Document Management Systems; XML vs. HTML in Database Applications; XML Authoring Tools; Searching with XML. Also, as described by Dale Dougherty of Songline Studios Inc., has "put up a listing of commercial authoring tools. There are nineteen tools listed. For each tool, we provide a good description, along with references to our articles, as well as our assessment of the tool. We also invite users to comment on their experiences with a particular authoring tool."

  • September 16, 1998. According to a press release The Open Applications Group Supports Supply Chain and XML, "Release 6 of the Open Applications Group Integration Specifications accelerates component integration and electronic commerce by adding capabilities for Supply Chain Integration and Extensible Markup Language (XML)." And: ". . .the Open Applications Group has been working for several months with emerging software-tools and associated vendors to ensure high quality in the implementation of OAGIS in XML. The machine-readable Document Type Definitions (DTDs) necessary to define integration content to XML have been published on the OAGI website and are available for public access." The Open Applications Group, Inc. "is a nonprofit consortium of enterprise application software developers, formed in February 1995 to create common standards for the integration of enterprise business applications. Member companies are building specifications to standardize integration between enterprise business applications. Open Applications Group specifications are complementary to interoperability work currently underway by other standards organizations such as Object Management Group (OMG) and the Open Group." See the main database entry.

  • September 16, 1998. A W3C Working Draft "Namespaces in XML" was published on September 16, 1998. References: WD-xml-names-19980916, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 16-September-1998. The editors are Tim Bray (Textuality), Dave Hollander (Hewlett-Packard Company), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). With the publication of this working draft, the Namespace specification entered its 'last call' for comments. See the database entry "Namespaces in XML" for a description of the W3C work on namespaces.

  • September 16, 1998. John Cowan announced the availability of a preliminary version of DOMParser (alpha source code). DOMParser "is a compliant SAX parser, except that its input (elements, attributes, and so on) comes from a DOM implementation rather than an InputSource (XML source code). An additional method, parse(Document d), is introduced to parse DOM Document objects. A demo program is also available, based on the SAX ByteStreamDemo and using the Docuverse DOM SDK as the DOM. DOMParser also implements Locator, although it returns no useful information from it. However, the non-interface method DOMParser.getCurrentNode() can be used to determine the current DOM Node being parsed."

  • September 16, 1998. Geir Ove Grønmo (STEP Infotek) posted an announcement for a new release of, an XML architectural forms processor written in Python. Version 0.11 fixes some bugs and implements a new package structure; the demo tools have been updated to support the new structure. The module "allows you to process XML architectural forms using any parser that uses the SAX interfaces. The module "allows you to process several architectures in one parse pass. Architectural document events for an architecture can even be broadcasted to multiple DocumentHandlers (e.g., you can have 2 handlers for the RDF architecture, 3 for the XLink architecture and perhaps one for the HyTime architecture). The architecture processor uses the SAX DocumentHandler interface which means that you can register the architecture handler (ArchDocHandler) with any SAX 1.0 compliant parser."

  • September 16, 1998. The two most recent issues of The Gilbane Report on Open Information & Document Systems contain feature articles that will be of general interest. The July/August issue (Volume 6, Number 4) has an article on the DOM, written by the W3C DOM WG Chair Lauren Wood, co-authored with (her husband) Tim Bray: "The W3C Document Object Model (DOM) - A Programmer's View of Documents." The May/June issue of the Gilbane Report (Volume 6, Number 3) features an article on stylesheets by Jared Sorensen: "The Style Sheet Landscape." Summaries of these two articles are provided in the bibliography entries; see the separate document "XML Articles and Papers."

  • September 16, 1998. Eve L. Maler (ArborText Inc.) posted an announcement for an updated version of the XML specification DTD ("-//W3C//DTD Specification::19980910//EN") and the accompanying design report, Data Modeling Report Prepared for the W3C XML Specification DTD, (Revision 1.2, 10 September 1998). The XML specification DTD was developed for use with the XML family of W3C specifications (e.g., XML, XLink, XPointer, DOM, etc.); it is an XML-compliant DTD based in part on the TEI Lite and Sweb DTDs. The major contributors to the XML specification DTD design are: Jon Bosak, Sun (XML chair), Tim Bray, Textuality and Netscape (XML co-editor), Dan Connolly, W3C (W3C staff contact), Eve Maler, ArborText (DTD maintainer), Gavin Nicol, Inso (DOM member), C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen, University of Illinois (XML co-editor), Lauren Wood, SoftQuad (DOM chair), and James Clark (XSL editor). See the main section "XML/XLL/XSL Specifications: Reference Documents" for related resources.

  • September 11, 1998. A document "Using XSL and CSS Together" was submitted by Håkon Lie and Bert Bos as a W3C NOTE. References: NOTE-XSL-and-CSS-19980911, W3C Note, 11 September 1998. The document abstract: "This W3C Note describes how XSL and CSS can be used together. In particular, it discusses how XSL can be used as a bridge between complex XML-based documents and the CSS formatting model. It gives an outline of a system for displaying documents in XML-based formats as human-readable, or human-audible, text. To use the CSS properties in the language of XSL, it is necessary to invent an XML-based syntax, compatible with XSL, to represent CSS's properties. No new CSS properties, or other formatting semantics, are defined in this document." For related information on XSL, see the main section.

  • September 11, 1998. Now online: "Bringing XML into the World of Objects. Using Schemata in Software Development." By Matthew Fuchs and Murray Maloney [Veo Systems]. Slides from the presentation at the XML Developers' Conference, August 21, 1998. "Veo has been developing CBL, a library of XML components for common business transactions to become the basis for electronic commerce. Building something as complex as CBL, and getting it right, requires a tight iterative loop between specifying CBL components on the one hand and testing them in actual software on the other. We needed to drastically reduce the cycle time for each iteration to have a hope of delivering a product within the same millenium we started in. We chose to develop an object-oriented schema language, the Business Interface Description Language (bidl) to do this. . ." Veo will present further details on the schema language at the Chicago conference(s) in November 1998, and plans to submit the design to the W3C: "Veo Systems will submit an XML Schema language proposal to the W3C for consideration by the XML Schema Working Group. The hallmarks of this submission are support for an object-oriented type system, extensible content models and a sophisticated datatyping mechanism for content."

  • September 10, 1998. An announcement was made on CTS for the release of MetaMorphosis 3.0. "MetaMorphosis is a target-driven SGML/XML tree transformer. Parsers for other input formats may easily be plugged into MetaMorphosis using the freely available tree representation API (MMdb-API). The software runs on MS Windows95/98/NT, Linux, and Solaris. Version 3.0 represents a complete redesign of MetaMorphosis. It now has a modular architecture, and a set of APIs and is available as an SDK Version which allows a complete integration of MetaMorphosis into other applications. New features in version 3.0 include an enhanced declarative query and transformation language, full XML support, support of various character encodings (Unicode, Shift-JIS, etc.), full integration of SP, support for integration of external libraries providing additional functionality, etc." A demo version (Win32) and a free for Linux (ELF) version are available for download. Previously from the MID/Information Logistics Group, MetaMorphosis development is now managed by OVIDIUS (Berlin). See also the database entry, "MetaMorphosis - SGML/XML Tree Transformer."

  • September 09, 1998. David Megginson has updated the online document which lists "SAX 1.0 Parsers and Applications." Recent additions include Silfide's SXP, Docuverse's HTML SDK, and JXML's Coins. I think I now count twenty-five (25) applications in this listing. SAX is a free API for event-based XML parsing.

  • September 09, 1998. Bill la Forge has announced the release of Coins version 1. "Coins is an XML-based alternative to Java Beans. Coins replaces Java Serialization with XML, dynamically binding different XML element types with various Java classes. Several advantages result: 1) XML documents are similar to HTML files, which greatly facilitates the debugging process; 2) XML document processing is not restricted to the components which created the document, but provide a means for moving data and metadata between applications; 3) The partitioning of elements into documents with links between them is supported by coins, allowing a set of coins to be converted back to an XML document without including anything more than a reference to external components. Coins is based upon SAX, the W3C Document Object Model, and Docuverse DOM SDK (Don Park's implementation of the W3C Document Object Model API in Java). Coins version 1 is available for commercial use without charge to all registered developers."

  • September 09, 1998. Jérémy Calles has announced the second release of the java Koala XSL engine. It is "an XSL processor written in Java, using the Simple API for XML (SAX 1.0) and the Document Object Model (DOM 1.0) API. [The tool] now supports more matching patterns, more templates rules, more actions such as numbering, direct-processing, including stylesheets; [also] some examples of stylesheet that conforms to the XSL Working Draft 1.0. The distribution contains an XML SAX parser made by P. Le Hegaret (of the Koala team) and the DOM SDK 1.0 implementation from Don Park." A new release of Calles' XslSlideMaker is available in connection with the Koala XSL engine; XslSlideMaker is a 'post-processor that can allow anyone to make slides or modular slides in XSL andXML'.

  • September 09, 1998. Don Park recently announced the availability of the Docuverse HTML SDK 0.1. This version of the Docuverse HTML SDK has: "1) a DOMReader implementation for reading in HTML files and building DOM documents using Docuverse SDK, and 2) a SAX driver for reading in HTML files as if they were XML files. Docuverse HTML SDK will eventually become a framework for HTML document management. Currently, it is just a small collection of HTML related classes."

  • September 09, 1998. Stefan Hornburg posted an announcement to CTS describing InfoPrism. "InfoPrism is a general document processing system that translates SGML source files to different output formats like HTML, Texinfo, LaTeX and plain text. In addition to plain old SGML documents InfoPrism handles so-called SGML scripts as well. These are Tcl scripts using additional commands for document creation."

  • September 09, 1998. An update on the development of the CLIP! XML Composer / Editor was posted by the Techno 2000 Project management. XDMS 2000, an XML Document Management System, is also announced. InnerView is a web based XML Document Search System implemented with XDMS 2000.

  • September 08, 1998. New database entry for the Open Settlement Protocol (OSP), being developed under the authority of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's (ETSI) project TIPHON, Telecommunications and Internet Protocol Harmonization Over Networks. A press release of September 2, 1998, announced that the industry leaders 3Com Corporation, Cisco, GRIC Communications, iPass, and TransNexus had "teamed up to promote inter-domain authentication, authorization and accounting standards for IP telephony through the Open Settlement Protocol (OSP)." While the approved version of the document defining this protocol has not yet been made public, a penultimate version of the specification is available online, and documents the proposed XML syntax. The document is Telecommunications and Internet Protocol Harmonization Over Networks (TIPHON): Inter-domain pricing, authorisation, and usage exchange = ETSI DTS/TIPHON-03004 V1.3.0 (1998-09). Section 6 ('XML Content') "specifies the actual message format used to exchange pricing, authentication and authorisation, and usage information. It outlines the overall XML document structure, lists the individual XML elements, and describes how those elements are combined into exchanges." XML element and attribute declarations in this section define the provisional DTD for the Open Settlement Protocol in this draft version. Note 1998-09-09: a revised/corrected version of the TIPHON document (V1.4.0, 1998-08-28) is available online; it contains revisions based upon TIPHON 9 TD50.

  • September 07, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium has acknowledged the submission of a NOTE on WebCGM, "WebCGM Profile -- A Web Profile of CGM." The submission comes jointly from The Boeing Company, Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), Inso Corporation, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and Xerox Corporation. Authors are: David Cruikshank (The Boeing Company), John Gebhardt (Intercap Graphics Systems), Lofton Henderson (Inso Corporation), Roy Platon (CCLRC), and Dieter Weidenbrueck (ITEDO/IsoDraw). References: NOTE-WebCGM-19980819, W3C Note 19 Aug 1998.

    Abstract: "CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) has been an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster picture definition since 1987. It has been a registered MIME type since 1995. CGM has a significant following in technical illustration, electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, amongst other application areas. WebCGM is a profile for the effective application of CGM in Web electronic documents. WebCGM has been a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, of which a number of we submitters are active members and contributors, in collaboration with W3C staff under the W3C-LA project. It represents an important interoperability agreement amongst major users and implementors of CGM, and thereby unifies current diverse approaches to CGM utilization in Web document applications. WebCGM's clear and unambiguous conformance requirements will enhance interoperability of implementations, and it should be possible to leverage existing CGM validation tools, test suites, and the product certification testing services for application to WebCGM. While WebCGM is a binary file format and is not "stylable", nevertheless WebCGM follows published W3C requirements for a scalable graphics format where such are applicable. The design criteria for the graphical content of WebCGM aimed at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of metadata elements is standardized in WebCGM, to support the functionalities of: hyperlinking and document navigation; picture structuring and layering; and, search and query on WebCGM picture content." As clarified in the Comment on WebCGM Submission by Chris Lilley, "This submission does not define a new format, but improves interoperability between implementations of an existing format." For more on CGM, see the CGM Open Web site or the local database entry, "Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM). ISO 8632:1992."

  • September 07, 1998. Patrice Bonhomme posted an announcement for version 0.8 of the SXP parser. "The Silfide XML Parser is a validating XML Parser written in Java. The SXP entirely implements the XML 1.0 recommendation and most of its satellite recommendations: 1) XML Namespaces - WD 18-05-1998, the old draft; 2) Document Object Model Level 1 - DOM Core and XML, PR 08-08-1998; 3) XPointer - WD 03-03-1998; 4) XLink - WD 03-03-1998. SXP also provides a driver for the SAX interface: fr.loria.xml.sax.SAXDriver. Changes in SXP since the last revision include: 1) Implements the DOM Proposed Recommendation 18 August, 1998; 2) DTD parsing has been improved, with PE inclusion; 3) A new NodeFilter interface - for example, to use with XMLTreeIterator; 4) bug fixes." Java source files, java classes, some samples and documentation are freely available.

  • September 07, 1998. Don Park announced the availability of Docuverse DOM SDK Preview Release 2. This Preview Release includes W3C DOM HTML API support and includes minor bug fixes. Also, (reversing an earlier decision to make the Docuverse DOM SDK a commercial product), "as of PR2, DOM SDK can be used for commercial purpose for free." See the software's history (SAXDOM, FREE-DOM) in the main database entry.

  • September 07, 1998. Chad M. Williams posted an announcement to CTX for the opening of a new Web site 'Content-X.' This site is designed as "an XML-focused community forum for Internet publishers, developers and all other businesses concerned with using XML to address document management concerns. It is focused on the application of server-side XML, with an emphasis on the development of the ICE standard. XML will allow radically different platforms to exchange information in a standardized way and thereby allow ecommerce to begin to reach its real potential." See the Content-X Home Page and the database section "Information and Content Exchange (ICE)."

  • September 07, 1998. Rune Mathisen and Vidar Gundersen reported on CTS that they are preparing documentation covering the ISO character entities and their LaTeX equivalents. The effort represents "an attempt to make an overview of the ISO character entities (ISO 8879:1986) and their LaTeX equivalents, and to provide a handy reference to the ISO character entities for non-LaTeX users." The online materials will provide the mappings necessary to translate SGML documents to TeX/LaTeX, and will provide documentation on how the characters look by producing glyphs. For related resources in the local database, see "ISO 8879: Entity Sets."

  • September 05, 1998. Andrew Waugh (CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences - CMIS) posted an announcement for an alpha version of PrismEd. "PrismEd is a configurable metadata editor which will cope with structured metadata values. It handles many different metadata schemas; currently, schema files are provided for Dublin Core (in French and English), and ANZLIC. PrismEd handles both structured and annotated metadata values. It produces RDF, and will read the RDF it produces. PrismEd can be run either as an applet or as an application."

  • September 04, 1998. Peter Murray-Rust posted an announcement describing the release of the latest snapshot of JUMBO2 (alpha2, version 2A2) and the associated Web site, XML-CML at "is the home page of the nascent Chemical Markup Forum, metamorphosing from the Open Molecular Foundation. JUMBO2 is an element-oriented XML-browser, in Java/Swing. It is an application for the demonstration of XML and CML. Its source is freely available with the normal sort of copyright. The architecture tries to follow the specs and anticipate the possible XML-related APIs. JUMBO2 is now offered to the community as a catalyst to spawn the creation of high-quality client-side tools ('browsers'). Ideally we converge towards a set of core APIs and all that remains of my code will be the elephant-specific stuff. I have already started to get some offers of help." Further description of JUMBO2 is given in the text of the announcement.

  • September 04, 1998. A new book on SGML/XML by Peter Flynn has been published by Kluwer: Understanding SGML and XML Tools. Foreword by Steve DeRose. Kluwer Academic Publishers SGML Bookshelf, Electronic Publishing Series. Dordrecht, Boston, & London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998. Extent: 464 pages, CDROM. ISBN: ISBN 0-7923-8169-6. The unique contribution of this book is revealed in the author's personal experience and intimate knowledge of the software tools: Peter Flynn provides valuable advice on working with over fifty popular commercial and public domain SGML/XML programs. "This book is a practical guide to implementing SGML and XML with precise procedures for making the most of the wide range of tools available. Programs are introduced in the context of the lifecycle of a document, from creation, through validation, on-line display, searching and database, to printed delivery and repository storage. Included are many examples of the tools discussed, showing the various output stages and the methods for producing them, as well as tips and tricks for getting the most out of them. The accompanying CDROM contains a range of SGML and XML tools, including design tools, editors, parsers, formatters, databases, converters, utilities, DTDs, DSSSL/XSL and other sample style specifications." [from the publisher] See the more complete volume description with chapter summaries. Or see the author's description ( which provides ordering information and bibliographic data in BibTeX style.

  • September 04, 1998. A new book has been published on implementing SGML/XML, authored by Danny R Vint. SGML at Work. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR, [July 1998]. Extent: 1024 pages, CDROM. ISBN: 0-13-636572-8. Summary: "SGML at Work provides a start-to-finish real-world guide to implementing SGML/XML systems and strategies. SGML at Work covers the nitty-gritty of building an SGML publishing system: developing DTDs as efficiently as possible; introducing a quality control cycle that works; using and adapting conversion tools. The CDROM ontains a library of commercial SGML trialware, and configurations to support the immediate use of Corel Ventura Publisher 7 and WordPerfect 8; Grif; InContext SGML editors; Arbortext ADEPT*Editor and Document*Architect; the OmniMark programming language for document conversion and manipulation the Texcel Information Manager; and all these deliver tools: INSO DynaText and DynaWeb; and SoftQuad Panorama Pro. You'll also find a complete working sample implementation that takes a FrameMaker document through DTD development, SGML conversion, cleanup, editing, presentation and document management. This sample is used to develop programs and demonstrate the SGML industry's best commercial shareware and freeware tools." [from the author/publisher] See the online volume description and Table of Contents, and the Prentice Hall PTR page. [Now 1998-09-07, the CTS posting with TOC.]

  • September 04, 1998. A book on XML in German has been published recently: Henning Behme and Stefan Mintert. XML in der Praxis: Professionelles Web-Publishing mit der Extensible Markup Language. Bonn: Addison Wesley Longman, [June] 1998. Extent: 328 pages, CD-ROM. ISBN 3-8273-1330-9. Price: DM 69,90. The authors have set up a Web page for XML in der Praxis with general information, examples, errata see the online Table of Contents, the listing of Errata, and the volume bibliography. It also contains links for the online Introduction and for a German translation of the XML 1.0 specification. For examples, see: DSSSL: XML-Dokumente fürs Web formatieren and CML & CSS Examples for Mozilla. [have not yet seen this book - rcc]

  • September 03, 1998. An announcement posted to the IETF list and the RFC-DIST list publicizes the release of a new RFC on the Dublin Core. "Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery" has been published by the Network Working Group as an [informational] RFC, 'Request for Comments: 2413'. The authors are Stuart L. Weibel (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.), John A. Kunze (Center for Knowledge Management, University of California, San Francisco), Carl Lagoze (University Library and Department of Computer Science, Cornell University), and Misha Wolf (Reuters Limited). This is the first in a series of planned Informational RFCs on Dublin Core. Abstract: "The Dublin Core Metadata Workshop Series began in 1995 with an invitational workshop which brought together librarians, digital library researchers, content experts, and text-markup experts to promote better discovery standards for electronic resources. The Dublin Core is a 15-element set of descriptors that has emerged from this effort in interdisciplinary and international consensus building. This is the first of a set of Informational RFCs describing the Dublin Core. Its purpose is to introduce the Dublin Core and to describe the consensus reached on the semantics of each of the 15 elements." Additional information about the Dublin Core is available from the OCLC Web site "Dublin Core Metadata," or from the local reference list.

  • September 03, 1998. Henry S. Thompson of the HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh posted a reminder that a few spaces are still available in the intensive Document Management course, September 22-25, 1998. Sponsored by the Edinburgh Language Technology Group and held in Edinburgh, this four-day intensive tutorial allows the participant to "explore and exploit the opportunities of key technologies in document management." This course "combines theoretical coverage and case studies with practical, hands-on exercises and demos of systems and tools. Topics covered include: 1) Standardisation efforts; 2) SGML, XML, XSL, RDF, XML Schemas; 3) Information extraction; 4) Search and Retrieval; 5) Internet enabled document management; 6) Human Factors." Course description and registration information are available via the URL above or from the local database entry.

  • September 03, 1998. IBM's XML for Java has been updated. It runs on Java 1.1.x, and some samples require Swing 1.0.x. The revision of September 2, 1998 provides support for the W3C DOM specification of 1998-08-18 (Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification, Version 1.0). It also includes an experimental implementation of the attribute-based namespace working draft (Namespaces in XML, WD-xml-names-19980802); the PI-based namespace support has been removed. Developed by Kent Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama at IBM Labs Tokyo, "XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents. AlphaWorks now offers a commercial license for IBM's XML parser, Java Edition at no cost (no 90-day trial license). See also the main entry "IBM XML for Java."

  • September 03, 1998. Several company press releases announcing XML and SGML support for Web publishing tools have been issued at Seybold Seminars San Francisco '98. See the section on XML industry news for some samples. Others references to announcements will follow.

  • September 01, 1998. Version 1.0 of EAD SGML DTD is now available, and XML support is included. EAD 1.0 credits: Prepared and Maintained by the Encoded Archival Description Working Group of the Society of American Archivists and the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress. Editor: Daniel V. Pitti, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia. The developers and users believe that the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), "as applied in this suite of DTDs and related files, is already revolutionizing the world of finding aids by providing a single standardized encoding through which archival descriptions can be exchanged and used. It may also simplify the process of creating machine-readable finding aids in the future as the use of SGML tools becomes more widespread and better understood." The US Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO) will be the maintenance agency for this EAD standard.

    From the announcement: "After several years of intensive experimentation and testing, the developers of the Encoded Archival Description are pleased to announce the availability of Version 1.0 of the EAD SGML/XML DTD and related files. This is the first production release of the EAD DTD. Version 1.0 incorporates a variety of enhancements requested during experimentation with the 'beta' test version of the EAD DTD. During the two-year beta test, a wide range of users experimented with the EAD DTD. Their input was important for determining the final shape of this implementation of SGML. Version 1.0 of the EAD DTD is designed to function as both an SGML and XML DTD. It conforms to all SGML (ISO:8879) specifications. It has been thoroughly tested against [James Clark's] SP, the mostly widely used SGML validating parser, as well as with a wide variety of existing SGML software. By default, the EAD DTD and EADGRP DTD are configured to function as SGML DTDs. The EAD and EADGRP DTDs have also been validated using existing XML validating parsers. To be used as XML DTDs, both EAD and EADGRP have 'switches' for turning off features used only in SGML applications, and turning on features used on in XML applications. Instructions for using these 'switches' are contained in the DTDs themselves. A more detailed technical overview of the DTD is being developed, and will be made available at this site when completed." [From: "DTD Now Available."] See links and other information in the database entry, "Encoded Archival Description (EAD)." See now (1998-09-03) also the announcement from Randall Barry.

  • September 01, 1998. Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN International Corp) has authored a paper The SGML Storage Model which may be of assistance to readers who wish to understand more about the SGML entity as an abstract storage object, and how storage managers interface with an entity manager, a parser, and a processing application. The paper was written in the context of ongoing work toward SGML and STEP harmonization, but its discussion of formal system identifiers and storage models should be of wider interest. ". . .all SGML systems consist, in one way or another, of the same layers. At the bottom are the physical storage managers, the systems that actually manage data on storage media (file systems, database, etc.). Above the storage managers is the entity manager layer. Above the entity manager is the SGML parser and any processing applications. Processing applications talk to the SGML parser to get parsed SGML documents and to the entity manager directly to get data entities. . . [Conclusion:] SGML abstract storage model and entity declaration syntax coupled with the Formal System Identifier facility of ISO/IEC 10744:1997 provides a robust mechanism for representing systems of repositories and storage objects, regardless of their data types." For related information, see the collection of references in "Catalogs, Formal Public Identifiers, Formal System Identifiers."

  • September 01, 1998. In an effort to help promote high-quality XML on the Web, I have created a short document "Check or Validate XML" with links to the online XML validators and well-formedness checkers. For convienent access, this document is now referenced in the navigation bar of several XML-related documents, with a title urging users to "Check XML!" Help make the world a scary place for malformed and invalid XML!

  • September 01, 1998. Michael Kay (ICL Electronic Business Services) has announced the release of a new version of SAXON. SAXON is "a java class library that sits on top of a SAX-compliant XML parser, providing additional services to aid document manipulation and transformation. In general it is designed to help you write applications that need to process a specific document type, rather than for general-purpose XML tools. The distribution includes as a sample application DTDGenerator, a tool that takes an XML document as input and produces as output a DTD to which it conforms. Version 3.03 ('essentially free to use') is available for download. Principal changes in SAXON 3.03 include: 1) improved mechanisms for performing multiple document passes when using the DOM; 2) improved ParserManager for controlling which SAX parser to use - it now uses a Java properties file and incorporates a starter list of known parsers; 3) dated to work (optionally) with Docuverse DOM-SDK. There are two classes included in SAXON which are free-standing and which can probably add value to any SAX application: 1) ParserManager, which allows you to maintain a list of installed parsers and to control which one should be instantiated; 2) ExtendedInputSource, which subclasses the SAX InputSource class to allow a java File to be supplied as the XML source." For related software tools, see the database entry "XML Application Environments, Development Toolkits, Conversion."

  • August 31, 1998. New database entry for the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) XML Ad Hoc Group. The purpose of the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group is to study XML as an emerging Internet technology and specifically its applicability to the Working Groups of the LTSC. In this role, LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group will serve interested membership through discussion of ongoing XML trends, as well as development of examples of Working Group standards implemented in XML. Technically, the LTSC XML Ad Hoc Group intends to cover: 1) General discussion of relevant XML trends and developments; 2) Tutorial activities on specific technical issues; 3) Language definition projects; 4) Supporting implementation projects. Of special interest are: 1) Issues related to 'semantic interoperability'' 2) Using XML to operationally define the meaning of 'harmonization'; 3) Promoting vendor neutral solutions. In the June 1998 IEEE LTSC meeting, members of the LTSC XML Ad Hoc group agreed to develop some sample XML DTDs for the draft IEEE LTSC Learning Object Metadata specification. The basis for this work is the draft Learning Object Metadata specification submitted to IEEE LTSC by the EDUCOM IMS and ARIADNE projects." Two DTDs have been developed in which there is a one-to-one mapping between the data elements defined in the LOM specification and element types declared in the DTD. Samples are available from the XML Ad Hoc Group Web site.

  • August 31, 1998. New database entry for the Structured Graph Format (SGF). "The Structured Graph Format (SGF) is an XML format, which has been designed for describing the structure of Web sites. All kinds of applications and tools can use or produce SGF metadata across the World Wide Web. Structured Graphs are a mathematical formalism designed to support scalable browsing and editing of large graphs. They were initally developed in the context of project management and software engineering." A Structured Graph Viewer has been designed to suport SGF. "The viewer offers improved navigation by letting users find nodes with a combination of: direct hyperlinks, summary hyperlinks, hierarchy based and text based search. The viewer uses a non-linear box layout to provide a better visual overview, while also allowing hierarchy and selection dependent zooming of details; its interface integrates hierarchy and local network views of a web site through its use of box borders, to highlight network nodes in the hierarchy frame. This allows a node's sources and destinations to also be seen in context." As of August 26, 1998, the developers have released a new version of the SGViewer, and source code available for download.

  • August 31, 1998. A one-day open meeting on "SGML, XML, and Databases" is to be held on Tuesday, October 20, 1998 at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Russell Square, London. This meeting is sponsored by the SGML UK, a Subsidiary Chapter of the International SGML Users Group (ISUG). The meeting will be held jointly with the British Computer Society's Electronic and Multimedia Publishing Specialist Group. The meeting program is expected to cover: 1) An overview of SGML/XML and Databases; 2) Using Databases in the SGML/XML production lifecycle; 3) Information delivery using SGML, XML and databases; 4) XML and database technology for information access on the Web; 5) Case Study from Technical Publications Scenario; 6) Leveraging the investment in SGML/XML through database management systems; 7) Case Study from Commercial Publishing. Additionally, a 'Technology Showcase' for database tools that support SGML or XML will be available for viewing. More detailed information on the program is contained in the announcement or from the main entry; updates may be obtained from John Chelsom ( or Kirsten Wheatley ( For information on the SGML UK, contact the Chairman, Mr. Francis J. Cave (Pira International).

  • August 29, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of a new version of XT. XT is a Java-based implementation of the tree construction/transformation part of the W3C Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). XT uses Clark's XP, a high-performance XML parser in Java. In this '19980829' version of XT, more bugs are fixed and more features implemented; it is now "getting quite close to complete." XT is still an alpha version, which has had very little testing, "intended as a tool for learning about XSL not for getting real work done." Syntax: java com.jclark.xsl.Driver source-file stylesheet-file result-file. The package may be downloaded from James Clark's FTP server.

  • August 29, 1998. Jani Jaakkola (Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki) posted an announcement for the release of sgrep version 1.71a as the first prerelease of sgrep-2. Sgrep is a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns. Features new in version 1.17 include: "1) Indexing of both structure and content; 2) SGML/XML/HTML scanner; 3) both Win32 and i386-Linux binaries; 4) compatibility with older versions of sgrep; 5) no dependence upon 'sgtool'. Features announced for inclusion in sgrep-2 are: 1) Support for querying notations, element type declarations and attribute list declarations inside SGML/XML document prolog; 2) Parsing of all well-formed XML-documents; 3) Proper documentation. Sgrep description from the man page: 'sgrep' (structured grep) "is a tool for searching text files and filtering text streams using structural criteria. The data model of sgrep is based on regions, which are nonempty substrings of text. Regions are typically occurrences of constant strings or meaningful text elements, which are recognizable through some delimiting strings. Regions can be arbitrarily long, arbitrarily overlapping, and arbitrarily nested. Sgrep is a convenient tool for making queries to almost any kind of text files with some well kown structure. These include programs, mail folders, news folders, HTML, SGML, etc. With relatively simple queries you can display mail messages by their subject or sender, extract titles or links or any regions from HTML files, function prototypes from C or make complex queries to SGML files based on the DTD of the file." Sgrep is distributed under GNU General Public License. See additional links in the main database entry.

  • August 29, 1998. ÁNOQ of the Sun [Johnny Andersen] announced the availability of a "fairly complete C++ implementation of the core DOM APIs from the W3C 980818 DOM specification. It is a C++ LGPL'ed Implementation of the Document Object Model (DOM), written for the Berlin project. Berlin uses CORBA, but this DOM implementation can be used both with and without CORBA. . . . [it now] implements most of the core DOM API according to the DOM specification from 1998-08-18. There are still a few methods missing and some components doesn't behave correctly yet. The document type components are not implemented yet. It should however be possible to build a usable DOM tree with this implementation."

  • August 28, 1998. Norman Walsh has announced the 1.0 release of his XML version of DocBook. The DocBk30 XML DTD represents effort on the part of Norm Walsh to create an XML compliant DTD out of the DocBook 3.0 DTD from the Davenport Group. This version of the XML DTD had been in beta test for several months (with no reported errors), and will probably be used now as "a starting point, at least conceptually, for an official XML version of DocBook to be developed by the OASIS DocBook TC." Earlier this year, a decision was made by the Davenport Committee to transfer responsibility for and ownership of the DocBook DTD to OASIS; see the communique from Eve Maler below, and the press release. Note that Norm Walsh is writing a book with Leonard Muellner DocBook in a Nutshell, to be published by O'Reilly & Associates later in 1998. For other information on DocBook, see "Davenport Group: DocBook DTD."

  • August 28, 1998. New database entry for the Virtual Hyperglossary (VHG) project, under the direction of Peter Murray-Rust and Lesley West. The Virtual Hyperglossary (VHG) project endeavors to "enable knowledge enhancement through global terminology; the VHG project offers terminological services to people who want to provide them on the web especially learned societies and also to people creating their intranets." Written in XML and based upon ISO standards for terminology (ISO FDIS 12620, MARTIF - MAchine Readable Terminology Interchange Format), the VHG employs "innovative concepts such as clickable concept maps" and uses current technologies such as java." The developers of VHG have created a "simple but scalable XML DTD for terminology based on ISO 12620 (Data Categories for Terminology). This DTD uses a deliberately small subset of about 12 categories (e.g., <term>, <acronym>, <synonym>, <abbreviation>, <definition>). Others can be added through an attribute-based syntax. Hyperglossary is used in a wide sense to include any semantic resource composed of standardised subcomponents such as data sheets or catalogues. Thus a molecular hyperglossary could include chemical structures, measured properties and commercial availability. Because XML is tree-based it supports hierarchical collections (thesauri, catalogs, etc.) in a natural and powerful manner and we have found that most of our current examples fall into it. For non-hierarchical relationships (<see>, <seeAlso>, multiple broaderTerms, etc.) the VHG uses the full power of XLink to add additional structure. Thus terms can be grouped in different classifications by using xml:link="extended" with locator references to the linked terms. Equivalences (e.g., in multilingual glossaries) can be defined through an external link database. This allows different language curators to develop their glossaries in parallel and link the terms through XML IDs." In this connection, one may compare "Ontology and Conceptual Knowledge Markup Languages" and "Topic Navigation Maps."

  • August 28, 1998. Tim Bray (Textuality) has made his conference presentation "Perl and XML" available online from the Textuality Web site. The presentation slides and some associated materials are referenced, including a perl script that reads the XML and generates the HTML. This 'Perl Conference Speech' was made at the 1998 O'Reilly Perl Conference. Plans are being made to organize the (rapidly developing!) XML-related Perl tools on a new Web site, perhaps or or For related information, see the main database entry "XML and Perl."

  • August 27, 1998. At the recent XML Developers' Conference in Montréal, Steve Withall gave a presentation "XXX - eXpandable XML eXploitation" which described a number of design ideas for flexible, expandable applications that manipulate and otherwise exploit XML documents. The details of the Java 'XML Testbed' application used to demonstrate these ideas are now documented online, and the software is available from the W3C web server. Slides from the Montréal presentation are also available.

    Steve Withall's XML Testbed application is "written in Java, with its own supporting XML infrastructure, including an XML parser and grove. A key feature of the infrastructure is a 'node type registry', which allows dynamic control over which classes are used for particular types of elements - the element class to represent them, the parser class to parse them, the customizer class to edit them and the view class to display them (using a Swing text editor kit). The XML Testbed provides means to edit and then parse an XML source - currently going so far as to highlight the portion of the source at which any error occurs. It also allows the parsed document to be viewed in the form of a tree. The Testbed user interface is implemented using Swing. The software has been designed to be as modular as possible, to be divided into a suite of relatively small packages, each with a clear role. Each usage of XML (using the word 'usage' rather than 'application' to avoid a dual meaning of the latter) is placed in its own additional package. Three such usages are included in this release, demonstrating how to build on the basic infrastructure, and also providing some (limited!) usable functionality. These three usages are a nascent XSL engine, XML-based user interface configuration, and a database analyser for generating an XML file of the schema of a database. To run the XML Testbed requires JDK1.1 or above and Swing 1.0.2 or above. These are the only essentials. To parse using SAX requires the installation of the desired parser(s) and their drivers. By default, parsing is performed using the parser in the xe package, which is included in this release." See now [1998-09-01] the main database entry.

  • August 27, 1998. InDelv has annnounced its plans to offer a new commercial XML/XSL editor in mid-September. It is to support the new XSL working draft released by W3C on August 18, 1998. Rob Brown presented information on InDelv's development effort in "InDelv WYSIWYG XML/XSL Editor" at the XML Developers' Conference in Montréal, August 21, 1998. The PowerPoint slides from Rob Brown's presentation are available online.

  • August 27, 1998. Richard Tobin (Language Technology Group, Human Communication Research Centre, Edinburgh) has installed a publicly available XML well-formedness checker. This XML syntax checker uses RXP, an XML parser written in C, also from LTG. External entity references are included in the checking process; if a candidate document is found to be well-formed, the parser outputs the corresponding canonical XML. Note that several XML well-formedness checkers and validators are now accessible online. This is great - help make the world a scary place for malformed and invalid XML! See references to the other online tools in the database section "Testing and Validation Resources."

  • August 26, 1998. XML is taking over the Seybold San Francisco/Publishing '98 Concerence and Exposition. Well, not exactly . . . but with the XML Day on September 2, the OASIS XML Pavilion, OASIS XML Theatre, and the XML Free-For-All, a lot of XML talk will be heard. Seybold SF '98 will be held August 30 - September 4, 1998, Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, California. See "XML at Seybold San Francisco" on the OASIS web site, or the main conference entry, or other information from Seybold and GCA.

  • August 26, 1998. Recent activity in the VRML Database Working Group includes a Metadata Node Specification, for which Oracle Corporation has provided a free sample implementation. And see the Metadata Design Justification. The primary contact is Daniel Lipkin. "The Metadata node allows access to the contents of any Extensible Markup Language (XML) document. It is intended for use with a variety of common metadata formats, such as Resource Description Format (RDF). The url field contains references to a list of XML documents. The strings in this field indicate multiple locations to search for data in decreasing order of preference. This field may also contain XML code in-line. On initialization, and whenever the url field subsequently changes, the elementIDs event is generated. This event contains the ID values of the elements in the document for all elements that have an ID attribute explicitly specified. . ." See other information in the VRML Database Working Group page, and in the database entry, "XML and VRML."

  • August 26, 1998. Richard Goerwitz of the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University has implemented an online XML Validation service for users and developers. The HTML form interface is easy to use: just paste in some text or a URI into the text box; alternately, nominate a document by its local system filename. In contrast to an XML "well-formedness checker" or "XML Syntax Checker" (see the following entry for one example), the STG XML 1.0 Reference Validator uses an XML validating processor to determine whether a candidate XML document conforms to its schema, expressed formally in the DTD (document type definition). To be valid XML and not merely well-formed XML, the XML document must have a DOCTYPE declaration and it must satisfy the validity constraints expressed by the declarations in the DTD. Since the external parsed entities referenced in the document must be processed during validation, the STG Validator requires that all system identifiers be resolvable URIs. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 specification explains the distinction between validating and non-validating XML processors in Section 5.1. STG has prepared accompanying documentation for the Validator in the form of a report which supplies a rationale for the online service and explains the implementation. This report "examines why validation, and readily available validation facilities, are critical to the rapid dissemination and success of XML; it also introduces the STG's new, public reference validator intended to help fill this niche." Richard Goerwitz solicits feedback from users concerning the functionality and usability of this new ("beta") online service.

  • August 25, 1998. Dave Winer (UserLand/Frontier 5) posted an announcement for a new online XML Syntax Checker. The user may nominate a candidate XML document via a URL (pasting its URL into an HTML form) and submit it for well-formedness checking. One may select the Frontier 5.1.3 built-in parser or the blox XML parser, which is based upon Brian Andresen's adaptation of James Clark's expat parser. Other online services for XML well-formedness checking and XML validation are listed in the database section "Testing and Validation Resources."

  • August 25, 1998. Jérémy Calles posted an announcement for a first beta release of a Java XSL Processor. Though having several limitations, this is an "XSL processor written in Java that conforms to the W3C WD 1.0 (, using the Simple API for XML (SAX 1.0) and the Document Object Model (DOM 1.0) API. The package also contains xslSlideMaker, a post-processor that can quickly make slides with XML and XSL." See the main database entry on XSL for other references to XSL software.

  • August 25, 1998. Added database entry for the Broadcast Hypertext Markup Language (BHTML). From a recent draft document: "The ATSC T3/S17 specialist group is in the process of defining the application programming interfaces for a Digital Television Application Software Environment (DASE) compliant receiver. As this process evolves, the elements, attributes, properties, and values of BHTML will solidify. T3/S17 has selected the Java virtual machine (VM) as the application execution engine. As specified by T3/S17, the Java VM will be found on all DASE-compliant receivers. Aninda DasGupta, the T3/S17 chairman, proposed [what] he called 'Broadcast HTML' [which] uses Internet technologies favored by many T3/S17 members: it is written in XML, scales back HTML elements and attributes, and integrates synchronization functionality as new elements, attributes, and style properties. BHTML is an XML compliant language based on a reduced set of HTML 3.2 elements and attributes. Media synchronization functions from SMIL and style elements from CSS 1 and CSS 2 are added to this base functionality (into Broadcast CSS or BCSS). Appendix C of the August 6, 1998 draft ("XML-Data Specifying BHTML using the XML-Data Syntax") represents 'a first pass at defining the BHTML elements and attributes using the XML-Data (XMLD) notation'."

  • August 24, 1998. David Megginson posted an announcement for "XPointer Support for PSGML/Emacs." Implemented as a module psgml-xpointer.el, this is a short add-on function for PSGML that automatically generates an XPointer for any location in an XML or SGML document. The program will climb the element tree until it finds an element with an ID attribute, then will use child() statements to locate the closest element that contains the point." See David Megginson's software tools for a link to this utility; see the main XLL document for references to other information/software for XLL, XLink, and XPointer. The current W3C specification for "XML Pointer Language (XPointer)" is a Working Draft.

  • August 24, 1998. Alex Brown of Griffin Brown Digital Publishing Ltd. announced the availability of an alpha release of Qorx. Qorx is "a Win32 command-line utility for expressing the results of a database query as a simple XML document. It runs an SQL query against a database using ODBC, and displays the resulting recordset as well-formed XML. The process is under the control of a control script (itself composed in XML) which supplies the following details to the utility: 1) the database to be queried; 2) ODBC driver to be used; 3) the SQL for the query to be run; and 4) information about how the recordset should be expressed as XML." Qorx 0.1 Alpha (a 125K zip file including C++ source) is now available for download. Two readers have suggested that Qorx offers functionality similar to Agave's SQml; see the SQml product overview or the description in Digital Publishing World, "How Electronic Publishing at Northern Telecom Radically Improved Document Quality and Reduced Information Time-To-Market."

  • August 24, 1998. Walter L. Smith (International Language Engineering Corporation) posted an announcement for free XML-based localization tools: "International Language Engineering Corporation today released OpenFilter 1.0, a collection of XML-based localization tools. The free Windows software allows translators and localizers to perform robust file analysis and processing, and prepare software and documentation files for use in a variety of translation environments, including commercial translation memory environments such as those from Corel, IBM, Star and Trados." See also the recent press release: "ILE Releases Free Localization Software. OpenFilter Software Prepares Files for Translation, Provides Commercial Tools the Means to Support the OpenTag Text Extraction Format."

  • August 24, 1998. Added database entry for the Bank Internet Payment System (BIPS), for which a specification has recently been published: Bank Internet Payment System Specification Version 1.0. Public Review Draft, August 24, 1998. Appendix G of the specification supplies the 'XML Structure and Document Type Definition (DTD)'. "The BIPS specification includes a protocol for sending payment instructions to banks safely over the Internet and a payment server architecture for processing those payment instructions. BIPS addresses the need for inexpensive and timely payment mechanisms that are also secure and reliable. . . BIPS instruction messages and their responses conform to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard which can be verified and interpreted by freely available XML parsers." The Bank Internet Payment System (BIPS) is a project of The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC). "FSTC is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to enhance the competitiveness of the United States financial services industry; members of the consortium include banks, financial services providers, research laboratories, universities, technology companies, and government agencies."

  • August 24, 1998. Inso Corporation has announced the release of DynaBase 3.0. See the press release: "Inso Announces Availability of Version 3.0 of the Award-Winning DynaBase Web Content Management and Dynamic Web Publishing System. Delivers Unprecedented Support for XML, Adds Workflow, Automatic Conversion-to-HTML, Java Client and Java Command Line Interface, Enhances Performance, Security and Replication."

  • August 22, 1998. Update of the database entry for XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI) - Object Management Group (OMG), based upon the release of two significant specifications documents. XMI appears to represent an extremely important initiative, designed to unify XML with several object/component modeling standards, as well as with STEP schemas, and more. The first document is XML Metadata Interchange (XMI). Proposal to the OMG OA&DTF RFP 3: Stream-based Model Interchange Format (SMIF). Reference: OMG Document ad/98-07-01, July 6, 1998. A Joint Submission from Cooperative Research Centre for Distributed Systems Technology (DSTC), International Business Machines Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Platinum Technology, Inc., Unisys Corporation; supported by: Cayenne Software, Genesis Development, Inline Software, Rational Software Corporation, Select Software, Sprint Communications Company, Sybase, Inc. This submission defines the proposed XMI. The second document (OMG Document ad/98-07-03) supplies DTDs and examples in three appendices: Appendix A provides the UML 1.1 DTD (a DTD generated by hand that represents the UML metamodel). Appendix B contains a DTD generated by hand that represents the MOF model which is described in Section 3 MOF Model and Interfaces of the MOF 1.1 specification. The third Appendix provides two extremely simple UML models and their resultant XML encoding.

    From the Introduction to the submission: "The main purpose of XMI is to enable easy interchange of metadata between modeling tools (based on the OMG UML) and between tools and metadata repositories (OMG MOF based) in distributed heterogeneous environments. XMI integrates three key industry standards: 1) XML - eXtensible Markup Language, a W3C standard; 2) UML - Unified Modeling Language, an OMG modeling standard; 3) MOF - Meta Object Facility and OMG modeling and metadata repository standard. The integration of these three standards into XMI marries the best of OMG and W3C metadata and modeling technologies allowing developers of distributed systems share object models and other meta data over the Internet. XMI, together with MOF and UML form the core of the OMG repository architecture that integrates object oriented modeling and design tools between each other and with a MOF based extensible repository framework as illustrated [in Figure 1-1.] This architecture allows tools to share metadata programmatically using CORBA interfaces specified in the MOF and UML standards or by using XML based stream (or file) containing MOF and UML compliant modeling specifications. This allows the widest degree of latitude for tool, repository and object framework developers and lowers the barrier to entry for implementing OMG metadata standards. The OMG OA&DTF members have already begun extending this architecture to managing data warehousing metadata in the Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange (CWMI) initiative. This submission mainly consists of: 1) A set of XML Document Type Definition (DTD) production rules for transforming MOF based metamodels to XML DTDs; 2) A set of XML Document production rules for encoding and transfering MOF based metadata; 3) Design principles for XMI based DTDs; 4) Concrete DTDs for UML and MOF. This submission defines these standards and provides proof of concept that covers key aspects of the XMI. The submission represents the integration of work currently underway by the co-submitters and supporters in the areas of object repositories, object modeling tools, web authoring technology and business object management in distributed object environments. The co-submitters intend to commercialize the XMI technology within the guidelines of the OMG."

  • August 22, 1998. Update of the database entry for "Translation Memory eXchange (TMX)." The specifications for TMX have recently been revised (Version 1.1 - Aug-12-1998), icluding the TMX 1.1 Document Type Definition and the detailed TMX Implementation Notes. "The purpose of the TMX format is to provide a standard method to describe translation memory data that is being exchanged among tools and/or translation vendors, while introducing little or no loss of critical data during the process. TMX is XML-compliant. It also uses various ISO standards for date/time, language codes, and country codes." OSCAR (Open Standards for Container/Content Allowing Re-use) is the LISA Special Interest Group responsible for the definition of TMX. A 'final' draft of TMX will be proposed at the LISA conference in Madrid, Spain, August 25-28, 1998 (The LISA Forum Annual Meeting. Language and Speech Technologies: New Business Horizons).

  • August 21, 1998. A revised Working Draft of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification has been released by the W3C RDF Model and Syntax Working Group. References: WD-rdf-syntax-19980819, W3C Working Draft 19 August 1998. The editors are Ora Lassila (Nokia Research Center) and Ralph R. Swick (World Wide Web Consortium). Document overview: "Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a foundation for processing metadata; it provides interoperability between applications that exchange machine-understandable information on the Web. This document introduces a model for representing RDF metadata as well as a syntax for encoding and transporting this metadata in a manner that maximizes the interoperability of independently developed web servers and clients. The syntax presented here uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML). [. . .] The most significant change [in this WD version] is the completion of Section 7., 'Examples'. The use of the term 'URI' has been updated to 'URI reference' in the appropriate places to precisely indicate the intent that resources describable by RDF include fragments of documents. A leading underscore character has been added to the names of the ordinal properties used to denote collection membership to make the resulting names conform to XML syntax requirements. This draft also uses the updated XML namespace declaration syntax and incorporates some small editorial improvements. The RDF Model and Syntax Working Group expects that this draft is very close to final and that a 'last call' for comments is imminent." See the main database entry for related specifications and proposals: "Resource Description Framework (RDF)."

  • August 20, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium has acknowledged receipt of a submission from AT&T Labs under the title "XML-QL: A Query Language for XML." References: NOTE-xml-ql-19980819, Submission to the World Wide Web Consortium, 19-August-1998. The authors of the NOTE are: Alin Deutsch (University of Pennsylvania), Mary Fernandez (AT&T Labs), Daniela Florescu (INRIA), Alon Levy (University of Washington), and Dan Suciu (AT&T Labs). Rationale for this submission is offered in the document abstract: "The availability of large amounts of data on the Web raises several issues that the XML standard does not address. In particular, what techniques and tools should exist for extracting data from large XML documents, for translating XML data between different ontologies (DTDs), for integrating XML data from multiple XML sources, and for transporting large amounts of XML data to clients or for sending queries to XML sources. We propose a query language for XML, called XML-QL, as one possible answer to these questions. The language has a SELECT-WHERE construct, like SQL, and borrows features of query languages recently developed by the database research community for semistructured data." See also the W3C Staff Comment: "A high-level query language for XML documents is necessary as users need a programming language-independent way of exchanging queries. These queries will improve the reusability of existing XML documents. XML-QL allows users to query for parts of XML documents given a list of constraints. These constraints can be defined in terms of element existence or matching attribute or element content. XML-QL is not limited to queries on a single XML document but supports queries over several documents. XML-QL also provides constructs for building new documents on-the-fly thus enabling document transformations." See "XML and Query Languages."

  • August 19, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium has published the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification, Version 1.0 as a W3C Proposed Recommendation. References: PR-DOM-Level-1-19980818, W3C Proposed Recommendation 18 August, 1998. Available in XML, HTML, Postscript, and plain text formats. The chair of the W3C DOM Working Group is Lauren Wood (SoftQuad, Inc.). Other editors include Vidur Apparao, Steve Byrne, Mike Champion, Scott Isaacs, Gavin Nicol, Jonathan Robie, Robert Sutor, and Chris Wilson. The DOM specification "defines the Document Object Model Level 1, a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, a standard model of how these objects can be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them. Vendors can support the DOM as an interface to their proprietary data structures and APIs, and content authors can write to the standard DOM interfaces rather than product-specific APIs, thus increasing interoperability on the Web.

    "The goal of the DOM specification is to define a programmatic interface for XML and HTML. The DOM Level 1 specification is separated into two parts: Core and HTML. The Core DOM Level 1 section provides a low-level set of fundamental interfaces that can represent any structured document, as well as defining extended interfaces for representing an XML document. These extended XML interfaces need not be implemented by a DOM implementation that only provides access to HTML documents; all of the fundamental interfaces in the Core section must be implemented. A compliant DOM implementation that implements the extended XML interfaces is required to also implement the fundamental Core interfaces, but not the HTML interfaces. The HTML Level 1 section provides additional, higher-level interfaces that are used with the fundamental interfaces defined in the Core Level 1 section to provide a more convenient view of an HTML document. A compliant implementation of the HTML DOM implements all of the fundamental Core interfaces as well as the HTML interfaces." According to the Production Notes, "The DOM specification serves as a good example of the power of using XML: all of the HTML documents, Java bindings, OMG IDL bindings, and ECMA Script bindings are generated from a single set of XML source files; the specification was written entirely in XML, using a DTD based heavily on the DTD used by the XML Working Group. . ." For more information on the W3C DOM, see the W3C DOM Activity document or the local database entry, "Document Object Model (XML) [Level 1]."

  • August 19, 1998. James Clark has released the alpha version of XT, a Java implementation of the tree construction/transformation half of the W3C's new XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) Working Draft specification. James says he is releasing this software at an earlier stage than usual for his software distributions because he "wants people to have an implementation to play with as they read about the new XSL draft; [however], the release is not intended as a tool for getting real work done." The software is accessible via and is free even for commercial use, and includes complete sources. This XT application uses the latest version of Clark's XP, a high-performance XML parser written in Java.

  • August 18, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the first public Working Draft of XSL 1.0, Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0." References: WD-xsl-19980818, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft, 18-August-1998. The editors are James Clark and Stephen Deach. The new draft is available in HTML, XML, and PDF formats. Abstract: "XSL is a language for expressing stylesheets. It consists of two parts: 1) a language for transforming XML documents, and 2) an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics. An XSL stylesheet specifies the presentation of a class of XML documents by describing how an instance of the class is transformed into an XML document that uses the formatting vocabulary."

    According to the W3C press release, "W3C will be developing both the XSL and CSS style sheet languages in parallel, as they are both useful for Web sites and they give Web designers an expanded set of tools to do their work. CSS is used to style HTML and XML documents on the Web. In addition to styling XML documents, XSL is also able to generate new XML documents from XML data. XSL and CSS will share the same underlying concepts and will use the same terminology as much as possible. XSL allows XML data to be abstracted and displayed to the reader in many different ways, generating different virtual XML documents in response to user queries. XSL aims to allow the specification of print styling of Web documents at least as well as a typical wordprocessor. In addition, future support for high-end print typography is planned. XSL allows documents to be written in any language, including historical languages. It allows the specification of any writing direction; the uses for this range from modern Japanese vertical text to ancient Greek and Aztec for scholarly publication." Testimonials for the new XSL Working Draft have been provided by Adobe, Bitstream, Enigma, IBM, Inso, Lotus, Microsoft, Netscape, RivCom, and Sun Microsystems. The press release provides other summary description: "W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of XSL 1.0. Additional Style Sheet Language Extends Web Developer Toolkit." The announcement is also available in Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish. Comments on the draft specification may be sent to the editors. See additional information on the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) in the main XSL database entry.

  • August 17, 1998. On August 17, 1998, "UWI.Com unveiled [viz., announced] the Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL), the first open, XML-based protocol for creating, viewing, and filling complex business forms on the Internet. XFDL was authored by UWI.Com and Tim Bray, co-editor of the XML specification. XFDL will facilitate the broad interchange of forms-based data through the body of tools developed in support of the XML standard. XFDL was developed because auditable business forms cannot be represented with HTML. Forms are made up of questions (form template) and answers (input data). Without the questions, the answers are meaningless. Because HTML forms only transmit and store the answers, HTML forms cannot be part of a reliable audit trail. However, XFDL provides full non-repudiation and auditability by storing the form template, data, and internal logic in a single file that can be digitally signed. XFDL also offers built-in logic, calculations, type checking, enclosures, and online help. [UWI.Com] will be posting the XFDL specification [on its Web site] early in the week of August 24, 1998. A beta version of UWI.Com's InternetForms Viewer, available in September 1998, will be the first software to incorporate the XFDL open protocol." According to a PCWeek Online article, "XFDL is due to be submitted to the W3C for review later this year." See other links in the database entry, "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)."

  • August 17, 1998. An announcement was posted by TAKAHASHI Masayoshi for an "XML Parser Module for Ruby." Ruby is ia an "interpreted scripting language for quick and easy object-oriented programming; it has many features to process text files and to do system management tasks, as in Perl." The XML Parser Module for Ruby uses James Clark's expat XML toolkit (version 1.0). It has two kinds of interfaces (event handler and iterator) and supports several encodings (UTF-8 and UTF-16, and with the 'Uconv' module, EUC-JP, Shift_JIS, and ISO-2022-JP). See also the version 0.3.3 notes or the local database section listing XML parsers: "XML Parsers and Parsing Toolkits."

  • August 14, 1998. A revised Working Draft document for "Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schemas" has been published by the W3C. References: WD-rdf-schema-19980814, W3C Working Draft 14 August 1998. The editors are Dan Brickley (University of Bristol), R.V. Guha (Netscape), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). As summarized by Eric Miller, "RDF Schemas are used to declare vocabularies, the sets of semantics defined by a particular resource description community. RDF Schemas may be used to define the kinds of resources communities want to describe (web pages, people, companies), and characteristics they wish to associate with these resources (e.g., Author, Title, Subject, etc.). RDF Schemas are designed to complement the RDF Model and Syntax Specification." This new draft specification is a work in progress representing the current consensus of the W3C RDF Schema Working Group. It constitutes a "revision of the RDF Schema working draft dated 9 April 1998. The major difference between this version and the previous version is that this version adopts a 'property centric' approach whereas the previous version was 'class-centric'. In the previous version, Classes could be defined in a manner similar to an OO programming language like Java. A new class would have a number of 'allowedPropertyType' arcs that pointed to property types which would be expected to occur on all instances of the class (modulo optionality constraints). For example, if we defined a class 'Book', we might define it to have allowed property types of 'author', 'title', and 'publisher'. If all three of those were not defined, then we did not have a legal occurance of a 'Book' node. This approach is familiar to many, because of its similarity to programming. It works well if things can be designed in advance. However, our direction is to allow a very free-flowing annotation style, and we believe that may not fit in with heavily pre-designed class hierarchies. This version of the specification adopts a property-centric approach. Instead of defining a Class in terms of the Properties it has, we define Properties in terms of the Classes they may connect. That is the role of the RDFS:domain and RDFS:range constraints. For example, we could define the 'author' property to have a domain of 'Book' and a range of 'String'. The benefits of the property centric approach are that it is very easy for anyone to say anything they want about existing resources, which is one of the axioms of the web. Feedback on this point is particuarly encouraged." See further on RDF in the main database section, "Resource Description Framework (RDF)."

  • August 14, 1998. Eitan M. Gurari (Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, Ohio State University) recently posted an informative note to CTS on "XML and MathML from LaTeX Using TeX4ht." He reports on the results of work done to configure TeX4ht for XML and MathML. TeX4ht itself is "a highly configurable TeX-based authoring system for hypertext; it comes with a built-in default setting for plain TeX and LaTeX." In the posting, Gurari says: "The examples demonstrate the potential of using TeX4ht with LaTeX (or other TeX-based systems) as a front end system for authoring XML content in general and MathML in particular." Sample DTD and XML documents are provided. Eitan Gurari and Sebastian Rahtz are interested in hearing from anyone willing to conduct further testing using these resources. For other references to math markup and its processing, see the database section: "SGML/XML and Math."

  • August 14, 1998. A W3C Working Draft document has been issued under the title "A P3P Preference Exchange Language (APPEL)." Reference: WD-P3P-preferences-19980814. Its editor is Marc Langheinrich (NEC C&C Media Research Labs). The draft document "specifies a language for describing collections of preferences regarding P3P proposals between P3P agents. Using this language, a user can express her preferences in a set of preference-rules (called ruleset), which can then be used by her user-agent to make automated or semi-automated decisions regarding the exchange of data with P3P enabled Web sites. The language is intended as a transmission format; individual implementations must be able to read and write their specifications in this language, but need not use this format internally. This language complements the P3P1.0 specifications. Much of the underlying logic is based on PICSRules. [The designers] hope in time that this will merely be an application of XML (XML-data) and RDF (RDF schema) definition, rules, or query languages."

  • August 14, 1998. A new version of James Clark's Expat is now available. Expat version 1.0 represents the first production release of this XML Parser Toolkit. Changes since the last beta version are a few minor bug fixes. Clark's Expat is an XML 1.0 parser written in C. It 'aims to be fully conforming, but is not currently a validating XML processor'. The distribution comes with Win32 executables. It also includes an "xmlwf application, which uses the xmlparse library. The arguments to xmlwf are one or more files which are each to be checked for well-formedness. An option -d dir can be specified; for each well-formed input file the corresponding canonical XML will be written to dir/f, where f is the filename (without any path) of the input file. An -x option will cause references to external general entities to be processed." Expat may be downloaded via FTP from Clark's site. See also the main database entry, expat - XML parser in C.

  • August 14, 1998. In time for the 1998 O'Reilly Perl Conference, Tim Bray (Textuality) has created a new XML::Parser. and Matthew Sergeant (Ericsson) is making the ActivePerl and expat XML::Parser binaries available. Tim Bray will be giving a presentation "Perl and XML" on Thursday (8/20/98) at the conference. For other information, see the main database entry "XML and Perl."

  • August 13, 1998. James Clark has announced the availability of XP version 0.4. XP is Clark's XML Parser in Java, now in beta test. It is "fully conforming (viz., it detects all non well-formed documents) but is currently not a validating XML processor. However XP can parse all external entities: external DTD subsets, external parameter entities and external general entities. XP features especially conformance and correctness, high performance, and layered structure (in addition to a normal high-level parser API, XP provides a low-level API that supports the construction of different kinds of XML parser, such as incremental parsers)." In XP version 0.4, the main change "apart from bug fixes is that XP now makes available much more information about the markup of the document (non-ESIS information) including information about comments, entity references and the document type." Further description and download instructions for XP are available from Clark's Web site; see also the main database entry, "XP, an XML parser in Java."

  • August 13, 1998. Philippe Le Hégaret at INRIA has posted an announcement for the availability of sxml-mode for (X)Emacs. This emacs mode uses psgml-1.0.1 and font-lock (with a Java Virtual Machine) to 'validate' XML documents with SAX (The Simple API for XML) in Emacs.

  • August 11, 1998. Ricky Erway posted an announcement for a new online searching tool developed by The Research Libraries Group (RLG). RLG is a not-for-profit membership corporation of institutions devoted to improving access to information that supports research and learning. It currently has 159 members. During a brief trial period, RLG is providing free search/browse access to the online archival resources from several universities and research libraries. This amounts to "single-point, integrated access to archival collections' cataloging and full-text finding aids." The resource guides may be viewed online in HTML or in SGML source (with SoftQuad Panorama). "Archival Resources offers students, faculty, librarians, archivists, and other scholars centralized, Web-based access to significant primary sources located in repositories throughout the world. It includes cataloging of collections of archives, manuscripts, oral histories, rare books, and other difficult-to-locate materials, plus a continually growing set of finding aids - the detailed collection guides or inventories that reveal where a collection came from, how it is organized, and what it contains. These finding aids have been converted to online form and tagged using the emerging standard for Encoded Archival Description (EAD), an application of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Steps RLG has taken to help foster adoption of the EAD standard and to foster archival research on the World Wide Web include its Finding Aids SGML Training - FAST - workshops for members, receipt of a Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation grant supporting members' finding aids conversion efforts, and an arrangement with Apex Data Services, Inc. to provide quality text conversion and encoding of finding aids." Several supporting institutions are providing access to their archival collection guides during this trial period: Brandeis University, Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, Library of Congress, Minnesota Historical Society, Public Record Office, United Kingdom, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Durham, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, and Yale University. Note that the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) DTD is being reworked to support XML-encoded data.

  • August 11, 1998. "Fighting for Standards in our Browsers" is the motto of the new Web Standards Project (WSP). Officially launched on August 10, 1998, The Web Standards Project is a collective effort of web developers and end users whose mission is to stop the fragmentation of the web, by persuading the browser makers that common standards are in everyone's best interest." The goal of the project is to support the core standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) "and to encourage browser makers to do the same, thereby ensuring simple, affordable access to Web technologies for all." At the time of WSP's launch, the "standards for the Web" included 'Structural Languages' (HTML 4.0, XML 1.0), 'Presentation Languages' (CSS, XSL), 'Object Models' (Document Object Model 1 Core HTML/XML), and 'Scripting' (ECMAScript). See also the database entry: Web Standards Project (WSP)

  • August 11, 1998. Update of the database entry for XML-F ('XML for FAX'). The draft specification XML-F Version 0.1.90 has now been made available. Excerpt: "The XML-F interface provides a simple framework for software applications to use in employing a network fax service to send an electronic document to a terminating fax machine. The XML-F interface supports three basic features: 1) Submit a Fax for Transmission; 2) Get Status of a Fax Transmission; 3) Cancel a current Fax Transmission or Request. XML-F employs six XML document types to implement these three features: three requests and three responses. Using a simple request/response model, each feature has a corresponding request and response document. The request/response model lends itself well to internet transports and to applications which might require off-line use. All data is formatted as text and binary data is encoded using Base64 encoding. XML-F can be coupled with internet transports such as TCP/IP and HTTP and security mechanisms such as SSL to provide secure transactions over public networks. XML-F does not imply or require any particular transport, however. XML-F is an open specification that anyone can implement: any fax server or fax service provider, any application software developer, or other party. It is recommended that any public implementation of a server representing this interface fully implement all of the interface, while client systems might opt to implement only those portions which are relevant to the application."

  • August 10, 1998. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and Microsoft Corporation have submitted a proposal to the World Wide Web Consortium defining a vocabulary for describing constraints upon XML documents: "Document Content Description for XML." References: NOTE-dcd-19980731, Submission to the World Wide Web Consortium 31-July-1998. The document "proposes a structural schema facility, Document Content Description (DCD), for specifying rules covering the structure and content of XML documents. The DCD proposal incorporates a subset of the XML-Data Submission and expresses it in a way which is consistent with the ongoing W3C RDF (Resource Description Framework) effort; in particular, DCD is an RDF vocabulary. DCD is intended to define document constraints in an XML syntax; these constraints may be used in the same fashion as traditional XML DTDs. DCD also provides additional properties, such as basic datatypes. The abbreviation 'DCD' is used to describe both the general facility described in this document and individual schema instances that conform to it." Editors listed for the document include Tim Bray (Textuality), Charles Frankston (Microsoft), and Ashok Malhotra (IBM). Other credits: The specification "has benefited greatly as a result of input from David Fallside and David Singer, both of IBM, Andrew Layman and Jean Paoli both of Microsoft, and from Lauren Wood of SoftQuad. We also wish to thank Henry Thompson of the University of Edinburgh and all the authors of the XML-Data specification." See also the submission acknowledgement and the W3C Staff Comment. Also the database entry: "Document Content Description for XML (DCD)."

  • August 07, 1998. Ed Simon of Entrust Technologies Corporation posted a description of a white paper proposing an "Authority Public Key Distribution Protocol." The white paper (30 pages) presents several supporting XML DTDs and XSL stylesheets. The proposed protocol uses XML and XSL extensively "for transforming XML instances into legal documents. The Authority Public-Key Distribution protocol implements the legal, as well as the technical, requirements for distribution of an authority's public key. In the paper-based world, it is common practice to use a standard template for the legal text, leaving spaces for the specific details of a contract. For example, an EDI trading partner agreement uses generic legal text but leaves spaces within that text so the human parties can write in details, such as the names of the parties, etc. The protocol uses the XSL style-sheet proposal because: 1) it can query elements within an XML instance no matter where, in the XML instance, those elements are located; and 2) it allows both the querying language and the static text to be contained in a single XSL file. In the electronic world, XML (together with XSL) allows the static and variable parts of a legal document to be both cleanly separated and re-joined. The separation of the variable information into its own XML instance allows applications to focus on the variable parts of the electronic contract." The authors would appreciate hearing from the XSL community as well as cryptographers: send comments to Ed Simon or Tim Moses. The paper is available in PDF format; [local archive copy]

  • August 07, 1998. Lars Marius Garshol posted a draft proposal and specification for XSA - XML Software Autoupdate. XSA is "a system for automatically keeping track of new releases of software products; it is mainly intended for use by maintainers of software indices. An XSA document is an XML document that describes the current status of a software product marked up with the XSA DTD. It is intended that software vendors and authors will maintain a single XSA document for all their software, updating it every time a new version of a product is released or some other information related to the product or the vendor changes. This will allow all interested parties to poll the XSA document and discover new releases and address changes automatically."

  • August 06, 1998. The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a submission providing "A Discussion of the Relationship Between RDF-Schema and UML." References: NOTE-rdf-uml-19980804, W3C Note 04-Aug-1998. The author is Walter W. Chang (Advanced Technology Group, Adobe Systems). The note "summarizes the relationship between RDF-Schema and UML, [which is] the generic industry standard object-oriented modeling framework for information systems modeling; [. . .] it briefly describes these systems then relates them to each other. [. . .] The various constructs and elements in the class models of UML and RDF-Schema readily map between each other. While currently the RDF-Schema work does not have counterparts to the other 5 remaining UML modeling areas, RDF-Schema could be extended to support these models as well. [The] note describes the relationship between the elements of the class models for RDF-Schema and UML. An outline is presented to show how a given schema represented by the RDF-Schema model can be transformed into an equivalent UML class schema representation. . . because UML contains additional modeling constructs not found in RDF-Schema, full specification using UML may result in a DLG model that is a superset of the model specified by RDF-Schema. However, [...] extensions to the RDF-Schema model could be made to support these class model constructs as well as other UML system models as needed by future application schemas that use RDF-Schema." Compare: "UML eXchange Format (UXF)" and "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI), and see the database section "Resource Description Framework (RDF)."

  • August 06, 1998. Sebastian Rahtz (Elsevier) posted an announcement for an updated set of JadeTeX macros, and further (unofficial) patches to Jade itself. The Jadetex package provides an implementation of the TeX skeleton which uses James Clark's Jade DSSSL Engine with the -t tex option; it is built on top of LaTeX. "Jade's TEX backend (originally written by David Megginson, since modified by Sebastian Rahtz and Kathleen Marszalek) has a very simple model: it emits a TEX command for the start and end of every flow object, defining any changed characteristics at the start of the command. This abstract TEX markup can then be fleshed out by writing definitions for each of the flow object commands, and this is what the JadeTEX macro package provides." In connection with this new release of JadeTeX, Sebastian has also made available an (excellent!) article "The TEX Backend for Jade and the JadeTEX Macros." See Jadetex Package.

  • August 06, 1998. InterChange - Newsletter of the International SGML Users' Group (ISUG) Volume 4, Issue 3 has just been published. InterChange [ISSN: 1463-662X] is edited by Eamonn Neylon, with assistance from Pamela Gennusa (ISUG President, and Contributing Editor), Marilyn Chick (Production Editor), and Yvonne Vine (Editorial Assistant). Feature articles in this current issue of InterChange include: "In the News [SGML/XML News Items]"; "SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference [Conference Report]"; "Adding Data Types to XML: Data Types Within the XML-Data Submission," by Charles Heinemann (Microsoft Corporation); "SGML in Scientific Publishing: An Introduction," by Francis J Cave (PIRA International); "XML Won. Did We Win? Or, What Did We Lose Losing SGML?" by Thomas Stadler (Organon Knowledge Architectures); "Intellectual Property Watch," by Eamonn Neylon (RCP Consultants). Full bibliographic entries with article abstracts will be entered into the main bibliographic database.

  • August 06, 1998. Issue 6 of XML Files: The XML Magazine has been published. This online magazine is edited by Dianne Kennedy (XMLXperts) and published by Norman Scharpf, GCA. The July issue provides another glimpse of the keynote addresses given at the SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference in Paris. The issue includes a book review of XML for Dummies (authored by Ed Tittel, Norbert Mikula, and Ramesh Chandak). An overview of the upcoming Fall conferences in Chicago is presented: XML '98 Conference and the Markup Technologies Conference. Summaries for the five main articles in this issue of XML Files: The XML Magazine are provided in the section XML General Articles and Papers: Surveys, Overviews, Presentations, Introductions, Announcements.

  • August 05, 1998. Janne Saarela (W3C) posted a notice for the availability of SiRPAC - a Simple RDF Parser & Compiler. Summary: "The program compiles RDF/XML documents into the triples of the corresponding RDF data model; it is suitable for embedded use as well as command line use. It is designed as a reference implementation of an RDF parser which does a compilation process from XML encoding syntax to the triples of the underlying data model. SiRPAC builds on top of the Simple API to XML documents (SAX). There is also an online compilation and visualization service using SiRPAC: 'enter/paste here a new RDF entry and send it to the server; the server will produce you the triples of the corresponding data model and provide a visual browsing tool within the data model'. SiRPAC has been implemented at the World Wide Web Consortium within the W3C-LA project." The author says: "I've been working on a program which compiles RDF/XML source files to triple representation of the corresponding RDF data model. I believe the software is now stable enough for the public to try it out. You can find the documentation with links to an interactive compilation and visualization service at" For more on RDF: Resource Description Framework (RDF).

  • August 05, 1998. A recent communique from Robert E. Kent summarizes new directions for the Ontology and Conceptual Knowledge Markup Languages, and solicits comments from interested parties. Documentation for the Ontology Markup Language (OML) is accessible at OML was originally intended to be subservient to the more inclusive CKML (Conceptual Knowledge Markup Language) and to Conceptual Knowledge Processing (CKP). The earlier versions of OML were basically a translation to XML of the SHOE formalism (, with suitable changes and improvements. [The new design] is highly RDF/Schemas compatible, although it has its own solution to the namespace problem; but more importantly, we have incorporated our own version of the elements and expressiveness of conceptual graphs. In fact, the current version of OML may be the first time a framework using XML and equivalent to predicate logic has been placed on the Internet. For these reasons, at least four versions of OML are being considered, each designed for a different purpose: the full Standard OML is regarded as the most expressive and natural; Abbreviated OML is for interoperability with the conceptual graphs standard CGIF (; Simple OML is for interoperability with RDF with schemas; and Core OML is for logical simplicity." See the full text of the communique for other details.

  • August 05, 1998. Frank Dawson (Lotus Development Corporation) is author of a new Internet Draft proposing The vCard v3.0 XML DTD. The vCard format is a "standard format for electronic business card data, useful for exchange of personal directory data across the Internet, as well as in non-Internet environments." Document reference: July 19, 1998, draft-dawson-vcard-xml-dtd-00.txt. An accompanying document "vCard v3.0 Formal Public Identifier" (draft-dawson-vcard-fpi-00.txt; July 1, 1998) defines an FPI for the version 3.0 vCard. The vCard v3.0 XML DTD memo "defines an XML Document Type Definition (DTD) that corresponds to the vCard, electronic business card format defined by VCARD. This DTD provides equivalent functionality to the standard format defined by VCARD. By introducing this DTD to the same body that formulated the IETF vCard specification, it is hoped that the XML encoding does not evolve in incompatible ways with the MIME content type for vCard. The vCard DTD does not introduce any capability not expressible in the format defined by VCARD. However, an attempt has been made to leverage the capabilities of the XML syntax to better articulate the original intent of the vCard authors. The vCard DTD promotes a number of vCard properties into attributes on the 'vCard' element. This has been done to express these properties as 'global attributes' for the vCard object, as a whole. For example, the VERSION, REV, PRODID, UID, CLASS properties have been 'mapped' into attributes on the vCard object. The mailing list for discussion of this memo is" See the database entry "vCard - Electronic Business Card" for other links. Note that Dawson's work on a vCard DTD is not the first of its type; see: the 'xCard DTD' on a PSU server.

  • August 05, 1998. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Network Working Group has published the document on XML Media Types as Internet Informational Request for Comments 2376. This RFC officially makes text/xml and application/xml Internet media types. In this connection, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has added text/xml and application/xml to the list of registered media types; see the IANA list of media 'Content Types and Subtypes...'. The RFC 2376 abstract: "This document proposes two new media subtypes, text/xml and application/xml, for use in exchanging network entities which are conforming Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains." The editors have requested that references to this RFC be created by resource providers to promote compliance, since it "has significant discussion on i18n and security issues." The document editors are E. James Whitehead, Jr. (Department of Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine) and Murata Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). The document credits Chris Newman, Yaron Y. Goland, and Dan Connolly, along with "members of the W3C XML Working Group and XML Special Interest group [who] have made significant contributions to this document, and the authors would like to specially recognize James Clark, Martin Duerst, Rick Jelliffe, Gavin Nicol for their many thoughtful comments." For other information, see the database entry, "XML Media/MIME Types."

  • August 04, 1998. New database entry for the XML/EDI Repository Working Group. According to a recent press release, the objectives of this initiative are to: "1) Develop draft standards on repositories for submission to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Object Management Group (OMG), and UN/EDIFACT working groups; 2) Establish a formal working group to coordinate proposal development; 3) Provide a technical forum for individuals involved in repository development to participate; 4) Offer links among disciplines and standards such as W3C's XML, as well as OMG's UML (Unified Modeling Language) and MOF (Meta-Object Facility); 5) Provide a means for vendors who have announced products based on open standards on this topic to offer their ideas. The first draft is anticipated for an availability date of September 30, 1998. For the purposes of the discussion group, the term 'EDI' shall include business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business exchanges of XML formatted and structured data or information."

  • August 04, 1998. IBM's XML for Java has been issued in a new release with "bug fixes, new samples, additional command line options, and updated API documentation." July 28, 1998. Developed by Kent Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama at IBM Labs Tokyo, "XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents. AlphaWorks now offers a commercial license for IBM's XML parser, Java Edition at no cost (no 90-day trial license). See the main entry "IBM XML for Java" or the database section on XML Parsers and Parsing Toolkits.

  • August 04, 1998. The proposed XCatalog specification has been revised by John Cowan, resulting in draft version 0.2; "the next version will hopefully be an Internet-Draft with full references." See and (with related references) the local database section "XML/SGML Name Registration."

  • August 04, 1998. A new book on XML has been published by IDG Press: Elliotte Rusty Harold, XML: Extensible Markup Language. Structuring Complex Content for the Web. Foster City/Chicago/New York: IDG Books Worldwide, 1998. Extent: xxiv + 426 pages, CDROM. ISBN: 0-7645-3199-9. "This book is an introduction to XML for HTML developers. It shows you how to write documents in XML and how to use XSL style sheets to convert those documents into HTML so legacy browsers can read them. You`ll also learn how to use DTDs to describe and validate documents." [author's note] See the book description and TOC, the related information on the UNC Sunsite server, and the XML booklist.

  • August 03, 1998. Christina Powell (Coordinator, Humanities Text Initiative, University of Michigan) has posted an announcement for the online availability of the Middle English Compendium, provided through the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service. "The Compendium provides access to and interconnectivity among three resources: 1) an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, 2) a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse based on the MED bibliographies, and 3) a full-text Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse. The MED and the Corpus are encoded in SGML using the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines. The first installment (currently online) includes 1,073 HyperBibliography entries covering 1,526 copies of Middle English texts, 15,940 MED entries covering M-U (more than one-third of the projected complete print MED), and 42 searchable texts in the Corpus." See the database entry University of Michigan - Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) for a description of HTI's other SGML projects.

  • August 03, 1998. The W3C has released a new working draft of "Namespaces in XML." References: WD-xml-names-19980802, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 2-August-1998. Its (possibly tired) editors are Tim Bray (Textuality), Dave Hollander (Hewlett-Packard Company), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). The working draft is available in HTML and XML format. Abstract: "XML namespaces provide a simple method for qualifying names used in Extensible Markup Language documents by associating them with namespaces identified by URI." Document status: "This draft embodies a large-scale revision of the namespace specification. While it is unfinished in some respects, the Working Group intends to keep the features it describes functionally unchanged unless problems are discovered during early implementation work. To discover such problems as quickly as possible, a special editorial team has been formed to receive feedback from implementors during a one-month period beginning with the publication of the working draft and ending shortly after the XML Working Group meeting in Montréal August 22-23, 1998. Please send implementation experience reports to" Jon Bosak (W3C XML WG Chair) posted a related announcement; James Clark posted a recipe for implementation in Java ("it is really easy to implement"). See also the database entry Namespaces in XML (W3C), or "XML/SGML and Namespaces."

  • August 03, 1998. VSI (V-Systems Inc.), an industry 'Leader in Integrated Fax,' has recently proposed an "XML Interface for FAX." XML-F ('XML for FAX'), under VSI's new proposal, would be used for for connecting fax servers to applications, other fax servers, and fax service providers. "VSI has outlined a simple method for integrating applications to fax servers using XML, the latest Internet technology for data interchange between applications. Launched at a time when both network fax and XML are coming into the mainstream, VSI believes that their proposal, called 'XML-F', has the potential to solve a major issue facing the fax service community." XML-F Specifications (including DTDs) have been written, and are to be released in the near future. See also the recent press release.

  • August 03, 1998. CCEL developers are in the process of "defining an XML-based markup language for representing information important for on-line bookreading and theological study." A proposed Theological Markup Language (ThML) has been specified for use in the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Details: An online paper "describes the Theological Markup Language, or ThML, which is a markup language for theological texts designed for use in the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL), an experimental theological library on the Internet. ThML is a superset of HTML and borrows some elements from TEI. It is also designed to handle all of the semantic information in STEP-format documents (version 0.9) as well. Electronic texts for the CCEL will be prepared in Microsoft Word, using paragraph styles and XML elements to represent markup. The resulting files will be converted automatically into XML as ThML markup. These XML files may be used directly by XML-aware applications or converted into formats needed for end use, such as HTML webs, plain text files, PDF, and other formats."

  • August 03, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for a revised version of tdtd. Revision 0.6 of the tdtd package for an Emacs major mode for editing SGML and XML DTDs is available on the Mulberry FTP server. The announcement supplies a description of the DTD editing package in terms of the principal editing features. This version of tdtd includes an 'XML-specific behaviour that, at user option, is triggered by automatic detection of the XML Declaration'. See further information in the database entry "tdtd - Emacs Macro Package for Editing SGML/XML DTDs", or the tools section: "XML Document Editing, DTD Editing, Stylesheet Editing, Formatting, Browsing, and Delivery Tools."

  • August 03, 1998. Patrice Bonhomme posted an announcement for "the availability of the Silfide XML Parser (SXP, v0.7 - Fri Jul 31 1998), a validating XML Parser writing in Java. The SXP entirely implements the XML 1.0 recommendation and most of its satellite recommendations," including XML Namespaces, Document Object Model Level 1, XPointer, and XLink. Other XML parsers are referenced in the dedicated section, "XML Parsers and Parsing Toolkits."

  • August 03, 1998. Leslie Carr (Multimedia Research Group, University of Southampton) has posted a paper on XLink: "Initial Experiences of an XLink Implementation." Introduction: "The aim of this work has been to produce a collection of classes that support XLink processing, identifying and resolving the data that is pointed at by the XLink locators, and allowing application-defined semantics to be brought to bear on those combinations of data. The result has been the package, consisting of the XLink, XAnchor, XLinkCollection and XLinkUtilities classes, along with some modifications and extensions to the package." See related publications referenced in "Papers, Articles, FAQs for XLL." See also the author's note.

  • August 03, 1998. Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems) has posted an announcement referencing complete information for the upcoming XML Developers' Conference. The program (with presentation abstracts) is now available online. A special registration rate is available for those wishing to attend both the XML Developers' Conference and the Metastructures 1998 Conference, August 17-19. "A two-day technical conference for XML, XSL, and XLL developers will be held Thursday and Friday, August 20 and 21, in Montréal, Canada. Cosponsored by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the XML Developers' Conference extends the highly successful series of 'XML Developers' Days,' which began at the International World Wide Web conference in 1997 and became an independent biannual event last August. Like the previous events, this UnConference(tm) resists the bigger-is-better trend of recent years and maintains the concept of a focused, single-track event featuring just the very best presentations from the cream of XML geekdom. This is a conference by developers, for developers, in a locale noted for its French-Canadian culture, great food, and low prices. If you come wearing a suit we won't actually turn you away, but we don't need your business so badly that we're willing to lower the level of discourse." See the announcement for other details, or the main conference entry.

  • July 28, 1998. Ralph Ferris (Fujitsu Software Corporation) has announced the availability of HyBrick version 0.7, which may be downloaded for free. "HyBrick is an advanced SGML/XML browser developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, the research arm of Fujitsu. HyBrick is based on an architecture that supports advanced linking and formatting capabilities. HyBrick supports: 1) SGML ISO 8879; 2) DSSSL ISO 10179 online specification; 3) both valid XML and well-formed XML documents, SP version; 4) DSSSL Stylesheets - DSSSL-On-line ('DSSSL-O') subset, is based on James Clark's Jade DSSSL engine and a rendering engine developed by entirely by Fujitsu Laboratories. The import of graphics using the 'make external-graphic' procedure in the style sheet is supported. The 'make link' procedure, which has been demonstrated in earlier versions of HyBrick, is not supported in this release. Linking, using XLink and XPointer, will be added in a later release." See the Editor/Browser section of the XML page for related XML tools.

  • July 28, 1998. Charles F. Goldfarb posted an announcement to CTS/CTX for the release of his new book on XML, co-authored by Paul Prescod. The XML Handbook is the most recent volume in the Charles F. Goldfarb Series on Open Information Management, published by Prentice-Hall. Goldfarb writes: "The XML Handbook is the definitive entry point to XML for Web professionals -- content developers, managers, and programmers -- but you needn't be a programmer to read it. Although XML, like HTML, is derived from SGML (which was invented by one of the authors), XML has so many more uses than HTML that it was vital that the book be much more than a markup tutorial." [Note: I have not yet seen this volume, but have no doubt that it is an excellent work; further review later. -rcc]

  • July 28, 1998. Norman Walsh has announced the availability of an updated version of the The Modular DocBook Stylesheets. Enhancements have been made to the both the Print Stylesheet and the HTML Stylesheet. See also the Web site for Modular DocBook Stylesheets version 1.09.

  • July 28, 1998. Don Park posted an announcement to XML-DEV concerning the release of "XLF: The Extensible Log Format Version 1.0." NOTE-XLF-19980721, XLF Working Group, July 21, 1998. Abstract: "XLF (Extensible Log Format) is a set of DTD fragments, recommendations and API's intended to provide a complete, open, interoperable, and extensible logging infrastructure." See the main database entry: XLF (Extensible Log Format) Initiative.

  • July 28, 1998. Addition of two new database entries for 'XML and Workflow'. See: 1) XML for Workflow Management [sponsored by NIST], and 2) SWAP - Simple Workflow Access Protocol.

  • July 28, 1998. TAKAHASHI Masayoshi posted a notice for the availability of an unofficial version of expat to handle Japanese encodings, Shift_JIS and EUC-JP. The author requests feedback from testers. expat is James Clark's XML parser in C.

  • July 27, 1998. The GCA Web site contains updated information on the SGML/XML Japan '98 Conference. Venue: Makuhari Messe, near Tokyo; September 30, 1998 - October 3, 1998. This SGML/XML conference is sponsored jointly by The Graphic Communications Association (GCA) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). "The joint exhibition-conference will be held in cooperation with Nikkei BP, Inc., the sponsor of World PC Expo '98. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see actual SGML- and XML-related technologies, services, and products, and conference participants will be able to get up-to-date technical information regarding the standards and to see demonstrations of how to apply them."

  • July 24, 1998. Geir Ove Grønmo (STEP Infotek) has announced the 'very early release' of an XML architectural forms processor in Python. is a module which contains "an XML architectural forms processor written in Python. It allows you to process XML architectural forms using any parser that uses the SAX interfaces. The module allow you to process several architectures in one parse pass. Architectural document events for an architecture can even be broadcasted to multiple DocumentHandlers. (e.g., you can have 2 handlers for the RDF architecture, 3 for the XLink architecture and perhaps one for the HyTime architecture.) The architecture processor uses the SAX DocumentHandler interface which means that you can register the architecture handler (ArchDocHandler) with any SAX 1.0 compliant parser." The online documentation contains two complete examples and links for architectural forms processing in SGML/XML. The author solicits feedback on his software. See the main entry for other information, or the entry "XML and Python." Also: the database section on "Architectural Forms and SGML/XML Architectures."

  • July 23, 1998. Chris Hubick posted an announcement for the availability of the beta version of an 'Online XML Analysis Tool'. "HXA - Hubick's XML Analyzer is a [grammar] production based online XML parser/analysis tool. . . it is a pure Java tool built upon a low level XML parser (HXP) which breaks an XML file down into its constituent productions for analysis. HXA allows one to examine the production hierarchy for any character in an XML document or document fragment. For easy reference, HXA also provides links from each production in the analysis to its corresponding section in the XML specification." The XML parser used with HXA is said to be 'not yet' a proper XML parser, but I have listed it as "work in progress" with the other "XML Parsers and Parsing Toolkits."

  • July 23, 1998. Microsoft Corporation has released the Beta 1 version of a "Microsoft XML Notepad." The online description says: "Microsoft XML Notepad is a simple prototyping application for HTML authors and developers that enables the rapid building and editing of small sets of XML-based data. With XML Notepad, developers can quickly create XML prototypes in an iterative fashion, using familiar metaphors. XML Notepad offers an intuitive and simple user interface that graphically represents the tree structure of XML data. . . XML Notepad's user interface is simple and intuitive. The XML source is represented graphically. The topmost element is the root element. Every XML file can have only one root element. Elements are represented by either folder icons, if they have dependent structures (for example, attributes or other elements), or by leaf icons if they have no substructures. Attributes are represented by 3-D blocks while text and comments are represented by text icons and exclamation mark icons, respectively. The structure of the data is represented in the left column while the values of the nodes are displayed in the right column." Interesting features: 1) search and replace of text can be restricted to one or more of 'content, element type names, attribute names, attribute values, and comments'; 2) files for editing can be nominated by system (filename) or URL; 3) drag-and-drop nodes. See the main entry for other links: "Microsoft XML Notepad."

  • July 23, 1998. Eliot Christian (US Geological Survey) posted an announcement for an ISO/IEC Metadata Working Group. "SC 32 WG2 Metadata is responsible for standards that facilitate specification and management of metadata. Use of these standards will enhance the understanding and sharing of data, information, and processes to support, for example, interoperability, electronic commerce, and component-based development." See other details in the announcement. Note: The SGML/XML Web Page database does not cover "metadata" initiatives comprehensively, but does so nominally to the extent that SGML/XML is involved. See the main Metadata document for some candidate URLs.

  • July 23, 1998. IBM AlphaWorks has released an 'XML-based wizard' for creating wizards, based upon the development work of Charles Burkett, Fred Simmons, and Doug Tidwell. "TaskGuide Viewer is an XML-based wizard for creating wizards. This wizard-creation tool makes computer tasks easier by breaking complicated tasks into sequential, simple steps that can be performed using a graphical, user-friendly interface. TaskGuide Viewer is a step above other wizard systems, which require you build the graphical user interface and manage data using traditional programming languages. Building and displaying wizards with TaskGuide Viewer is as easy as creating and viewing HTML files. The companion documentation, IBM's TaskGuide: An XML-Based System for Building Wizards, has all the information you need to develop wizards. Once you've coded the your wizard script, the TaskGuide Viewer displays your panels and follows the instructions in your script. Best of all, the TaskGuide Viewer provides usability-tested screen layout and navigation options, allowing you to focus on task content rather than design elements. The main headaches of building wizards--screen layout, navigation, and data management -- are eliminated."

  • July 23, 1998. Don Park recently posted an announcement for the update of the Free-DOM documentation, and a new version of Free-DOM which supports the latest version of the W3C DOM specification. FREE-DOM is an implementation of W3C Document Object Model (DOM) API in Java. Michael Kay also recently updated SAXON to use the new Free-DOM; the updated version is being tested, and will be available within 'a few days'. SAXON Java class library for XML applications; it "provides a set of services that are particularly useful for applications performing XML-> XML or XML-> HTML transformations."

  • July 21, 1998. Announcement from Eric Miller for a new W3C Working Draft of the "Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification. References: WD-rdf-syntax-19980720, W3C Working Draft 20 July 1998. The editors are Ora Lassila (Nokia Research Center) and Ralph R. Swick (World Wide Web Consortium). The document "introduces a model for representing RDF metadata as well as a syntax for encoding and transporting this metadata in a manner that maximizes the interoperability of independently developed web servers and clients. The syntax presented here uses the Extensible Markup Language [XML]: one of the goals of RDF is to make it possible to specify semantics for data based on XML in a standardized, interoperable manner. RDF and XML are complementary: RDF is a model of metadata, and only superficially addresses many of the encoding issues that transportation and file storage require (such as internationalization, character sets, etc.). For these issues, RDF relies on the support of XML. It is also important to understand that XML is only one possible syntax for RDF, and that alternate ways to represent the same RDF data model may emerge." See also Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schemas and the main database entry, "Resource Description Framework (RDF)."

  • July 20, 1998. Lauren Wood (SoftQuad, Inc., W3C DOM Working Group Chair) has announced the new release of a Level 1 DOM specification: Level 1 Document Object Model Specification Version 1.0, WD-DOM-19980720, W3C Working Draft 20 July, 1998. The DOM (Document Object Model) specifies "a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, a standard model of how these objects can be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them." Lauren's comments on the latest Working Draft: "There have been significant changes since the last public draft. Amongst others: 1) There is no separate XML document; all the XML interfaces are in the Core document; 2) We took the DTD stuff out, pending work on schemas in a future version of XML (what we had will shortly be released as a separate WD); 3) We took out NodeIterator; 4) The Java and OMG IDL bindings now validate. [So:] The DOM WG thinks the DOM specification is nearly finished and almost ready to go to PR. The remaining issues are mostly listed in the spec, so feedback on these (to this mailing list) would be welcome." See also the main database entry, Document Object Model (XML).

  • July 20, 1998. Dave Winer recently posted an announcement for XML-RPC in Frontier 5.1. See also the document "Blue Ribbon XML-RPC for Newbies" or the UserLand "Frontier 5 and XML" page.

  • July 20, 1998. A German language discussion group for XML has been set up recently: XML-DE (Deutschsprachige XML Liste). The list is hosted by GMD and DFN, two German national research institutes; this host arrangement is meant to help ensure "neutrality in commercial questions and professional maintainance." The goals of this group are to "provide a native German language forum for general XML discussion, to promote XML in the German industry, and to build a pool of experts for know-how transfer." Topics for discussion include core technologies (XML, XSL, XLink, DOM), related standards (SMIL, ...) and software (browsers, parsers, ...). To subscribe to the group, send a mail to with the message "subscribe xml-de [firstName lastName]" in the body of the message. A web archive is maintained at See further information in the main list entry: XML-DE.

  • July 20, 1998. Addition of several new XML article references in the database section "XML General Articles and Papers: Surveys, Overviews, Presentations, Introductions, Announcements." I plan to move this section (soon) into a separate document in order to reduce the size of the file which holds the main XML reference document.

  • July 18, 1998. Betty Harvey (Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc.) has posted a notice to CTS concerning a "New Site Devoted to IETM Information." IETMs are Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals, often encoded in SGML/XML. The new Web site at the domain ( provides a comprehensive collection of categorized references to online information about IETMs. See also the local database entry IETM (Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals).

  • July 18, 1998. John Cowan recently posted a proposal to the XML-DEV mailing list for XCatalogs - "a system based on SGML/Open catalogs (Socats) for translating public identifiers to system identifiers in XML." According to the proposal, XCatalogs are meant to be "Web resources (anything from local files on up) which contain mappings from public identifiers to system identifiers, plus references to other XCatalogs. They [would] come in two syntaxes: one which is a subset of Socat syntax, and one which is an XML document instance." See more on the SGML Open (OASIS) 'CATALOG' and identifiers in the dedicated database entry: Catalogs, Formal Public Identifiers, Formal System Identifiers, or in the Entity Management Resolution.

  • July 18, 1998. Ron Bourret posted an announcement for an early version of a 'DTD-to-XSchema converter.' It amounts to a "SAX parser that parses a DTD and generates SAX XSchema events. Also included is a small SAX application that prints these events to a file, so you can easily convert your DTD files to XSchema files." See also Ron Bourret's XSchema Page and Simon St.Laurent's XSchema Page. The XSchema project is a cooperative effort aimed at producing an XSchema specification, which, "when complete, will provide a means for XML developers to describe their XML document structures using XML document syntax."

  • July 18, 1998. Communique from Patrice Bonhomme concerning the recent release of a revised XML toolkit as part of the Serveur Silfide project. "XSilfide is a client/server based environment for distributing language ressources. The whole eXtended Silfide architecture is based on: (a) the XML recommandation for encoding textual ressources and transient messages (server/server, client/server) and (b) the Java language for the implementation of both the server side tools and the client workspace. XSilfide components: 1) Silfide XML Parser (SXP), a parser and a complete XML API in Java; 2) Network Management Unit (NMU), allowing the management of the Silfide network; 3) eXtended Query Language (XQL), a generalized query language based on the XPointer recommendation and integrated in a schema 'ala' SQL; 4) Hierarchical Format Database (HFDb), for the storage of XML ressources (currently in specification); 5) Silfide Interfaces Language (SIL), an XML application (DTD) for encoding data and transient messages within the Silfide network. . . the XPointer parser has been integrated in a complete XML toolkit entirely developped in Java comprising an XML validating parser and an XML Java API. Both XML and XPointer parsers are developped using the Java Parser Generator, JavaCC. The Java API is developped with the JDK 1.1." See for more information, or the database section on "XML Parsers and Parsing Toolkits."

  • July 17, 1998. Jon Bosak's SGML/XML Europe '98 presentation (Paris, 19 May 1998) is now available online, complete with the XML source document, DSSSL stylesheets, DTD, slides in HTML format, and other supporting documents. The presentation "XML: The Universal Publishing Format" was delivered as a Keynote Address in the opening session of the Paris conference. This presentation by the Chair of the W3C XML Working Group represents a major documentary milestone, and serves as a complete example of "an XML document in use" as well. I have referenced the presentation from the short list of introductory articles on XML. See the sources and HTML version of this document on UNC Sunsite , or see the further description and links to the local version.

  • July 17, 1998. A new OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) Board of Directors has recently been elected and seated. Congratulations to the new officers who will be serving the SGML/XML community in these important leadership roles: Simon Nicholson (Chairman, Chrystal Software); Carla Corkern (President, ISOGEN International Corporation); Bill Smith (Secretary/Treasurer, Sun Microsystems); Carol Curry (Marketing Officer, Poet Software); Norbert Mikula (Technical Officer, DataChannel); Karl Best (Strategy Officer, Adobe Systems, Inc.); Jonathan Parsons (Education Officer, Xyvision Inc.). See the OASIS Web site or the local database entry for other details on the OASIS consortium and its activities.

  • July 15, 1998. Status update from Don Park on the new and fast-moving XLF Initiative. The XLF (Extensible Log Format) Initiative is organized by Don Park, CTO of Docuverse, to create the XLF specification. The XLF Initiative's immediate goal is to design the XML-based web server log format. Its long term goal remains to be the design of universal log format based on XML. XLF is XML-based Log Format designed to be extensible and universal. As of July 15, 1998, the initiative has "well over 50 participants from small and large companies, universities, government, and research institutes." The editors [July 1998] include Gavin Thomas Nicol (Inso, and DOM WG) and Lisa Rein (RDF WG). An XLF mailing list supports the collaborative work of this initiative. See the database entry "XLF (Extensible Log Format) Initiative" for additional information.

  • July 15, 1998. Announcement from Sebastian Rahtz for Jade patches for Jadetex, and a new Jadetex package. The Jade TeX Backend (with table extensions) is now at version 1.0b5, based on Jade 1.1. This update from Sebastian includes new files added by Kathleen Marszalek and Paul Prescod for enhanced table support, new documentation, context diffs between jade1.1 source tree (jclark.orig), and revised source tree (jclark), and updated Jadetex macros. Part of the work has been "commissioned by Novare International, who have agreed that the code can be distributed under the same conditions as the rest of Jade." See the main database entry for the Jadetex Package.

  • July 15, 1998. Neil Crellin has published the results of the Call for Votes (CFV) for a new unmoderated Usenet Newsgroup comp.text.xml. The voting period closed at 23:59:59 UTC, July 14, 1998. The vote passed, "365:22". We expect that the new group comp.text.xml will be created shortly after July 19, 1998. Our thanks to James Tauber (the newsgroup "Proponent") for his initiative in helping establish this new XML discussion forum; Chris Maden, Simon St Laurent, BK DeLong, and Susan Lesch have also assisted in the inauguration of the group. See the (provisional/temporary) link with background information.

  • July 14, 1998. Ken Sall posted a note to CTS on the availability of a new online "XML Software Guide." "This XML Software Guide focuses on the software available for XML: editors, XSL editors, parsers, database supports, APIs and special-purpose software. With a brief description of each tool, the guide contains over 50 entries to date and will be updated as more tools become available. This software guide is hosted by The Web Developer's Virtual Library, a comprehensive illustrated encyclopedia of web technology for webmasters, designers and developers. The WDVL is a well-organised goldmine of tutorials, demos, and links to great resources."

  • July 14, 1998. The W3C has issued a second Working Draft document "Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Syntax Specification." References: WD-P3P-syntax-19980702, W3C Working Draft 2-July-1998. The editors are Massimo Marchiori (W3C) and Dan Jaye (Engagetech). "The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) enables Web sites to express their privacy practices and enables users to exercise preferences over those practices. P3P uses XML (and in particular RDF) for the exchange of structured data and assertions." Appendix 3 of the WD provides the three relevant XML DTDs: proposal DTD, practices DTD, categories DTD. See the W3C P3P Web site area or the local database entry "P3P Syntax Specification" for other information.

  • July 13, 1998. Communique from Cristian Matei regarding a Romanian translation of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 specification. See the XML Reference section for other translations of the W3C XML Recommendation. Cristian Matei reports that he is also preparing a validating XML processor (a beta version to be available soon on the Web) and other reference materials on XML in the Romanian language.

  • July 13, 1998. Announcement from Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems) with the Call for Presentations for the XML Developers' Conference, August 20-21, 1998. Summary: "A two-day technical conference for XML, XSL, and XLL developers will be held Thursday and Friday, August 20 and 21, in Montréal, Canada. Cosponsored by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the Developers' Conference will immediately follow the GCA Metastructures 1998 Conference in the same location, Le Centre Sheraton in Montréal. The XML Developers' Conference extends the highly successful series of 'XML Developers' Days' that began in Montréal last year in conjunction with the GCA HyTime Conference and was repeated in Seattle this March in conjunction with the GCA XML Conference." Proposals for presentations should be submitted to Jon Bosak, Conference Chair ( by July 19, 1998. The full program will be posted on Monday, July 27. See the GCA Web site or the main conference entry for additional information.

  • July 13, 1998. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson for the availability of a new beta-release of the XED "XML document instance editor" from the HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh. This new beta-level release of XED has additional features, improved installation packaging for WIN32 platforms, and bug fixes. Upgrades include: 1) refilling of text content and indenting of element content upon request; 2) accented character support [ISO-8859-1]; 3) an experimental file processing facility: processing may be invoked on the file, "and XED will then step you through any validation or application errors which are logged" (e.g., nsgmls and jade). See the XED Web page for other information.

  • July 13, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium has issued a Working Draft document entitled "Requirements for String Identity Matching and String Indexing." The editor is Martin J. Dürst (W3C). References: WD-charreq-19980710, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft, 10-July-1998. The draft document addresses some critical issues relating to the character model implicit in ISO 10646/Unicode, which is foundational to HTML 4.0, XML, and CSS2. It "is written as part of the work of the I18N WG to provide internationalization guidelines for the authors of W3C specifications," and is presented "as the first step towards a character model for W3C specifications, to make sure that the requirements of other W3C Working Groups (and of other interested parties) are understood and can be addressed. [It] describes the requirements for some important aspects of the character model for W3C specifications. The two aspects discussed are string identity matching and string indexing. Both aspects are considered to be vital for the seamless interaction of many components of the current and future web architecture." Several working groups responsible for W3C specifications have recognized the need for clarity and precision in this area of character encoding, particularly in connection with query language design (e.g., DOM, XPointer, XSL, RDF).

  • July 13, 1998. Netscape Communications has presented a submission on "Action Sheets" to the W3C: "Action Sheets: A Modular Way of Defining Behavior for XML and HTML." References: NOTE-AS-19980619, World Wide Web Consortium Note 19-June-1998. The authors are Vidur Apparao, Brendan Eich, Ramanathan Guha, and Nisheeth Ranjan. Abstract: "Action sheets provide a mechanism for separation of event-based behavior from the structure of HTML and XML documents. This is similar to the way in which style sheets provide a separation between visual presentation properties and document structure. This concept allows a document author to introduce script-based event handling into an XML document, without modifying the document's DTD. It also allows for the packaging of reusable actions that can be applied to multiple HTML or XML documents. While action sheets share concepts and mechanism with style sheets, they differ by defining interaction rather than presentation. [. . .] This concept is especially useful for XML. While HTML contains a SCRIPT element and HTML elements may contain attributes that specify event handlers (onClick, onMouseOver, etc.), XML contains no way of including an external scripting language. In the same way that external style sheet rules associate presentation properties with XML elements, external action sheet productions can associate arbitrary event handlers with specific elements or classes of elements. This ability makes unnecessary the need to modify existing DTDs to provide mechanisms for including scripts." - Conceptually, action sheets are similar to style sheets: style sheets attach presentational properties to elements in structured documents, and action sheets attach behavior to elements in structured documents. By doing so, action sheets share some of the benefits of style sheets: they can, for example, improve markup and ease site maintenance [W3C Comment]. See also the submission details and the relevant W3C Staff Comment by Håkon Lie (W3C Style Sheets Activity Lead).

  • July 13, 1998. Announcement from Kangchan Lee (XML WG chair of WWW-KR, Korea) for the availability of an XML editor, CLIP. Developed by the Techno 2000 Project, Inc., Clip Alpha version 1.0 is a Java-based XML editor with searching and validation services. "T2000 also have a plan to announce XML repository and management system (named XDMS) and seamless integrateion with CLIP and XDMS." See:

  • July 01, 1998. Eve Maler (ArborText Inc.) has posted a communique to the Davenport Group mailing list which may be of general interest. Maintenance of the DocBook application will now be handled by a new DocBook Technical Committee. "OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (, has agreed to take over the maintenance of DocBook and its associated mailing lists and web site, and Davenport sponsors have worked with OASIS to ensure that the technical committee taking up the DocBook work will operate in a manner that's fair to the large base of DocBook users, while accounting for OASIS ground rules." In this connection, Karl Best (Chief Strategy Officer, OASIS) has issued an invitation to a wider group of DocBook supporters to attend the first committee meeting in San Diego: "The next meeting of the Davenport Committee, now called the DocBook Technical Committee under OASIS, will be held in conjunction with the OASIS Summer Workshop held 29-31 July 1998 in San Diego, California. The DocBook TC will be meeting on Thursday the 30th; the agenda for this meeting includes election of a chair for the DocBook committee and the setting of the agenda for future technical work on the DTD for both SGML and XML." References to the DocBook application and the Davenport Group are given in the database section "Davenport Group: DocBook DTD." Note: See now the press release, 980727.

  • July 01, 1998. The SC34 Web site now has a travel report recently submitted by Dr. James David Mason (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Chairman). The report covers the Spring Meeting of ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 (Paris, France), the SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference, and the ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 Workshop: 'Metadata and Online Searching'. The report was filed on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, and provides a very informative summary of these recent meetings. Note that several reports and summaries are now available from the WG4 Metadata workshop, including "Correspondence on Metadata" from Steve Newcomb (TechnoTeacher Inc.) and Robert Schloss (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center).

  • July 01, 1998. Microsoft has added a new section in the XML portion of its Web site for "XML Scenarios." This section of the site is to feature a collection of articles showing "the specific business problem that was impacting mission-critical processes, and the role XML played in the solution." See initially "Personal Investment Management Using XML" (Chrystal Astoria and XML) and "Building an Integrated Maintenance and Ordering System Using XML" (Enigma INSIGHT and XML).

  • June 30, 1998. Object Design Inc. has announced a new XML Resource Page designed to assist developers explore the use of XML for their information technology applications. A "market leader in object-oriented database management systems," Object Design has developed XML database solutions which "provide the most advanced technology for storing XML documents, and several Object Design customers have already deployed XML applications using Object Design's ObjectStore database management system." Available for free download are ObjectStore PSE Pro 1.2 (Personal Storage Edition, a lightweight, 450K, single-user database engine that is easily embeddable in client-side applications) and Object Design's XML Parser (takes each element in an XML document and parses it according to Microsoft's Document Object Model - you can store an element in PSE or ObjectStore by simple marking the Java object for persistence. . .)" See the press release for other information on Object Design's expanding XML support.

  • June 30, 1998. For readers interested in technical papers: new references in the database section "SGML/XML and Forest Automata Theory" for an online book (Tree Automata Techniques and Applications) and an online research article ("Locating Matches of Tree Patterns in Forests").

  • June 26, 1998. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson (HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh) for the release of LT XML version 1.0. LT XML now meets the requirements for a fully conformant XML processor (per the XML 1.0 specification) and includes support for a wider range of characters encodings for input and output (UTF-8, ISO-646, SO-8859-n, UTF-16 and UCS-2). LT XML is both a set of command-line/console XML applications and a C language library supporting a powerful API for new application development. The new release comes in two versions: 1) a source version for UN*X platforms, with straight-forward compilation and installation procedures, and 2) source plus DLLs and executables version for WIN32 platforms. LT XML is available free for evaluation and non-commercial use. The package includes extensive documentation of the tools and the API, together with detailed examples of how to build your ownapplication using the API. Online documentation in HTML (built using DocBook 3.0) is also available in the "The XML Library LT XML version 1.0. User Documentation and Reference Guide." The LT XML API allows applications to choose, or even switch, between an event-oriented and a tree-oriented view of XML documents. The functionality of the tools in this release includes 1) Text extraction; 2) Powerful markup-aware 'grep' (search); 3) Down-translation; 4) Tokenisation; 5) Sorting; 6) Transclusion using a subset of XML-link. [adapted from the posting and Web site information] See the local database entry LT XML - XML toolset or the main LT XML page at HCRC.

  • June 25, 1998. Announcement from Stuart Lee (Humanities Computing Unit, Oxford University Computing Services - OUCS) for a lecture series on "text", to be presented by Dr. Allen Renear. Allen Renear, of Brown University's Scholarly Technology Group (STG), is also current President of the Association for Computing and the Humanities. Together with a number of colleagues from Brown University, Allen has written a number of provocative and programmatic essays on the nature of "text" -- from the theoretical practical perspectives of text linguists in humanities computing. In July and August 1998, OUCS will host a series of three lectures by Renear documenting this work with electronic texts and the research on the theory of mark-up. Lecture titles: 1) Lecture 1: Text Ontology from Below: The Contribution of Computing Practice to New Theories of Textuality; 2) Lecture 2: Towards a New Theory of Markup; 3) Lecture 3: The Revised Standard Theory of "What Text Really Is". The announcement contains an abstract for each of these three lectures.

  • June 25, 1998. Announcement from B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies) with the Call for Papers for the Markup Technologies Conference 1998. This event will be held on November 19 - 20, 1998 (Chicago, Illinois), just following XML '98. See also the main conference entry.

  • June 25, 1998. IBM's XML for Java, issued on June 23, 1998 as version 1.0.0, has now been released with a free commercial license. XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java; it provides a library for parsing XML documents and generating XML documents. Previously distributed under a 90-day trial license for commercial purposes, the Java Edition XML parser now allows developers to "use XML, create derivative works, and sell [their] products with IBM's XML parser inside." The IBM processor toolkit is still being developed under the supervision of Kent Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama (IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory). For more information, see the database entry: IBM XML for Java.

  • June 25, 1998. Intravenous Communications "has just released the beta version of Xpose, a Java XML editor, and would like to offer you a trial download. Xpose can also be included as a component in other applications by downloading the developer's toolkit, which includes an API and JavaBean."

  • June 24, 1998. MIT Press has announced the inauguration of a new technical journal devoted markup languages, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen. Its description: "The MIT Press is proud to announce the launch of Markup Languages: Theory & Practice starting in early 1999. This quarterly, peer-reviewed technical journal will be the first journal devoted to research, development, and practical applications of text markup for computer processing, management, manipulation, and display. Specific areas of interest include new syntaxes for generic markup languages; refinements to existing markup languages; theory of formal languages as applied to document markup; systems for mark-up; uses of markup for printing, hypertext, electronic display, content analysis, information reuse and repurposing, search and retrieval, and interchange; shared applications of markup languages; and techniques and methodologies for developing markup languages and applications of markup languages." The full announcement and call for papers provides other details on the journal. We congratulate the MIT Press for its courage and foresight in sponsoring this new publication organ.

  • June 24, 1998. On June 22, 1998 at Web '98 in San Francisco, XML received an award from among the 1998 Web Tools Awards, in the 'Technology of the Year' category. The award was presented by the editors of Webreview and Web Techniques. "There were eight product categories plus a special 'Technology of the Year' award. The special award recognized XML and the XML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Jon Bosak, chair of the XML Working Group, was on hand to receive the award. He remarked on receiving the award that it was important for users to keep the pressure on vendors to support standards work. He also said that 'the XML 1.0 specification is just the first step, with a number of sister specifications under development.' [. . .] This year, we created a new category to to recognize an important enabling technology introduced in the last year. We wanted to applaud the efforts of many who contributed to its development. This development is a sign that standards efforts are beginning to take hold and slowly provide a stable foundation for future Web development. This technology is XML and the award goes to the XML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This group realized that HTML was reaching its limits and we needed a new standard for information markup on the Web. XML is not HTML++ -- it's a new vision of the Web that allows distributed applications to exchange information and makes it possible to automate business processes on the Web. The award will be presented to the Chair of the XML Working Group, Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems." See also "Web Tools Award Winners."

  • June 23, 1998. Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN International Corp) has announced the initial public availability of the beta version of PHyLIS: Personal HyTime Link Information System. "PHyLIS is a Visual Basic application that demonstrates the implementation of a highly generalized HyTime engine. It supports both full SGML (to the limits of the SP parser) and XML. Among the many things it demonstrates are: 1) A literal, grove-based approach to implementing HyTime and architectural processing; 2) Using architectures (including HyTime) with XML documents; 3) The effectiveness of using componetized software techniques (i.e., ActiveX, Java, Corba, etc.) to implement the abstractions defined by standards like XML, SGML, DSSSL, and HyTime; 4) The power of these abstractions when expressed as clean interfaces to make integration quick and easy; 5) The production and use of grove representations of non-SGML or XML data. You can think of PHyLIS as the 'visible HyTime engine'. It provides a graphical, navigable view of the inner workings of a grove-based HyTime system while providing useful functions at the same time. As a Visual Basic, ActiveX-based program, it is easy to modify and explore as a program, as well as easy to integrate with other ActiveX-based tools. PHyLIS is issued as free software, sponsored by ISOGEN.

  • June 23, 1998. The first call for votes has been issued for an unmoderated Usenet Newsgroup comp.text.xml. Under the proposed charter: "comp.text.xml shall be an unmoderated newsgroup for the general discussion of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and its application. This includes, but is not limited to the specifications and syntax, document creation and editing, interchange, software, processing and database integration. This applies not only to XML itself but also the Extensible Linking Language (XLL), the Extensible Style Language (XSL), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) as applied to XML documents, and to document types and applications of XML."

  • June 23, 1998. Communique from Bob Pritchett (Logos Research Systems, Inc.) for MARCXML - "a small utility that 'round-trips' MARC records to well-formed XML and back. It uses a very simple XML format that isn't designed to contain any knowledge of the MARC records other than the basic structure (i.e., it doesn't know what's allowed to repeat, what's obsolete, etc.). There is a small DTD, but the converter doesn't require it in order to rebuild the record. The resulting XML file can be shown in a browser or edited in a word processor and then recompiled back into a (structurally) valid MARC record. The XML parser is built into the converter, so the whole thing runs as one small program." The authors request feedback on the MARCXML tool.

  • June 22, 1998. New database entry for the CDIF XML-Based Transfer Format. "The CDIF (CASE Data Interchange Format) family of standards is primarily designed to be used as a description of a mechanism for transferring information between CASE tools. It facilitates a successful transfer when the authors of the importing and exporting tools have nothing in common except an agreement to conform to CDIF. The language that is defined for the Transfer Format also has applicability as a general language for Import/Export from repositories. The CDIF Integrated Meta-model also has applicability as the basis of standard definitions for use in repositories." The XML-based CDIF Syntax which "allows the exchange of meta-models and models using the emerging XML standard" is being provided in addition to the CDIF Transfer Format based on SYNTAX.1 and ENCODING.1." In the version 3 draft document, (Section 5.2 of the Transfer Format Overview), the relationship of the CDIF Transfer Format to XML is explained: "The primary application of the XML standards is document markup. Compared to the HTML document type definition, XML-based document type definitions allow for a more strict definition of the content and content structure. On the other hand, the exchange of modeling information according to the CDIF architecture requires an even stricter set of rules to be followed than even in a strict application of XML. This has two consequences: (a) any CDIF Transfer file employing the XML-based CDIF Transfer Format is also a legal XML file; (b) the rules to be followed by files employing the XML-based CDIF Transfer Format cannot be fully captured in an XML DTD alone; instead, this standard defines rules that are mandatory for such an XML-based CDIF Transfer beyond those defined in the DTD. As an example for the latter, consider the rich set of data types for meta-attributes and meta-meta-attributes required to exchange modeling information, and compare them to the significantly smaller set of data types provided by XML. When exchanging models with the XML-based CDIF Transfer Format that employ any of the richer data types, additional rules have to be obeyed."

  • June 21, 1998. James Clark has announced the release of a new version of expat, his "high-performance, fully conforming, non-validating XML 1.0 parser toolkit written C." The public distribution comes with source code and Win32 binaries, and is subject to the Mozilla Public License Version 1.0. Considerable new functionality has been introduced in this latest beta version of expat, including: a) a callback that allows an application to add to the set of encodings that expat supports [with an example of using this to hook into the Windows code page support]; b) expat can be compiled to pass characters to the application in Unicode (i.e., as a sequence of 16-bit codes) rather than in UTF-8; c) new callbacks to provide information about unparsed entities and notations; d) new functions that allow an application to determine the location (line number, column number, byte index) of all events; e) hooks to allow applications to have access to the raw markup of the document along with the parsed result [allows the writing of XML-to-XML filters that don't normalize the document markup]. See the announcement and the the main database entry for other information.

  • June 21, 1998. Announcement from Dan Brickley (Research and Development Unit, Institute for Learning and Research Technology, University of Bristol) for a new discussion list, RDF-DEV. The RDF-DEV list is hosted by UK's Mailbase service. The forum is devoted to discussion of the Resource Description Framework (metadata), a specification for which has been published by the W3C; however, the list has no formal links with the W3C or the RDF working groups. "RDF-DEV is devoted to the practical application of RDF. Although primarily a list for developers, RDF-DEV focusses in particular on the application of RDF to Internet resource discovery issues." Messages posted to the group are archived, and are accessible through a search facility as well. See also the RDF-DEV database entry.

  • June 21, 1998. The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a NOTE submission from the Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) for the Signed Document Markup Language (SDML), Specification 2.0. References: NOTE-SDML-19980619, W3C Note 19-June-1998. Author: Jeff Kravitz (IBM Research). The topic of the proposal is within scope for the W3C Digital Signature Initiative. The goal of SDML language, as part of the Electronic Check Project, is to "a) tag the individual text items making up a document, b) group the text items into document parts which can have business meaning and can be signed individually or together, c) allow document parts to be added and deleted without invalidating previous signatures, and d) allow signing, co-signing, endorsing, co-endorsing, and witnessing operations on documents and document parts." Abstract: "The SDML 2.0 specification describes a generic method for digitally signing a document, one or more sections of a document and/or multiple documents together. The signed documents may be web pages, e-mail messages or any text based documents. SDML requires the use of public key cryptography and hash algorithms and will support all of the common methodologies in use today and those which will be developed in the future. The authors of SDML have defined its structure, in part, through the use of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). SDML is a generalization of the Financial Services Markup Language (FSML), developed by the Financial Services Technology Consortium. FSML defines the specific document parts needed for electronic checks, e.g., the tags needed to identify check specific data items, the semantics of the data items, and processing requirements for electronic checks. Note that the SGML Document Type Definition is presented in Appendix A; among the 'Issues and Directions' still under discussion: "Convergence with the new XML standard. XML, a new SDML-based standard from the W3C is a subset of SGML, as is SDML, but was developed in order to allow for more flexible documents on the World Wide Web. XML is essentially a subset of SGML. A number of issues related to the differences between XML and SGML, as well as some problems caused by the differences in goals for the two languages, will need to be resolved if SDML were to migrate to become XML-compatible." The W3C reviewers "expect that the next phase of DSig would want to move to an XML-compliant syntax, and fully address internationalization requirements." See the database entry: Signed Document Markup Language (SDML).

  • June 21, 1998. Inso Corporation has set up a new XML forum on its Web site called the "XML Community" through which it "hopes to support the efforts of the XML community by providing information, a newsgroup, and links to other sites." Inso has been a leading particiant in SGML/XML standards development (through Sharon Adler, Anders Berglund, Steve DeRose, Gavin Nicol, and others). Inso is also a leading supplier of SGML/XML-based electonic publishing software. Its DynaText Professional Publishing System, along with the DynaTag, DynaBase, and DynaWeb companion technologies, "provides corporate and commercial publishers with a standards-based (XML or SGML), automated production process for creating and delivering large documents through a variety of delivery mechanisms including CD-ROM, LAN, the Web, and print." As part of Inso's new XML Community forum, an XML white paper has been made available ("Publishing the documents of the future today: XML and DynaText") and an XML Community Newsgroup set up. In this connection, we should note Inso's recent announcement "The Dallas Morning News Selects Inso's DynaBase XML-based Web Publishing System to Develop, Manage, and Automate DynaBase to Enable One of the Top Ten US Newspapers to Expand its Web Publishing Efforts and Improve the Timeliness, Quality, and Consistency of its Online Information."

  • June 21, 1998. A submission has been made to the W3C in the form of a NOTE: "Hyper Graphics Markup Language (HGML)." References: NOTE-HGML-19980619, W3C Note 19-June-1998. The authors (Mike Evans, Steven Furnell, Andy Phippen, Paul Reynolds, Neil Lilly, John Hammac) "believe that there is synergy between PGML and HGML that is worthy of analysis." The NOTE "presents the conceptual design and basic specification for a Hyper Graphics Markup Language (HGML), providing a graphically-oriented alternative to HTML specifically designed for use in wireless contexts. HGML is highly optimised for use in conjunction with narrow-bandwidth channels between client and server. It offers three key features that enable it to reduce / replace the use of conventional bitmap images in WWW pages : namely drawing primitives, pre-stored image themes and image manipulation. . . [It] makes public the Orange - PRP(UK) Hyper Graphics Markup Language (HGML) which has been in trials with the GSM/DCS1800 Cellular Radio system in the UK since July 1997." The XML connection: "It should be noted that at the time of HGML prototype development (May 1997), XML was only just starting to be introduced to the mainstream, and the necessary software tools (e.g., an XML parser) were not available. However, it is acknowledged that HGML could now be defined using XML (defined as an XML Document Type Definition) and implemented using new XML software tools."

  • June 19, 1998. The full text and presentation slides from the opening Keynote Address of Adam Bosworth at SGML/XML Europe '98 are now available online. Adam Bosworth (General Manager, Microsoft Corporation) gave the first of four opening keynotes, all of which were well-received. Adam Bosworth's presentation "Microsoft's Vision for XML" develops the argument that XML is the key building block for an open, simple, and flexible Web architecture which will allow "all applications on all machines on all platforms to interact." Note, as previously announced, that Job Bosak's presentation slides from his opening keynote "XML: The Universal Publishing Format" are also online. Of course, these scripts from the speakers are but dim reflections of the glory of being there to hear and see the live presentations -- full of wit, grace, passion -- especially when "being there" means Paris in Spring. See the main conference entry for other details on the SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference.

  • June 18, 1998. Steven Noels (Offis/XMLCenter) has posted a Call for Submissions for the SGML/XML BeLux '98 Conference, being the Fifth Annual Conference on the Practical Use of *ML. The conference will be held on October 21, 1998, in Antwerp, Belgium. The deadline for submission of an abstract is July 31, 1998. "SGML/XML BeLux, the Belgian-Luxembourgian Chapter of the ISUG, is organising its fifth annual conference on the practical use of SGML and XML. We have been very successful during the past few years in gathering all parties working with SGML and XML in our small countries, and in creating an active forum where ideas and experiences were exchanged. SGML/XML BeLux is again seeking presenters and exhibitors to repeat this success of the previous years." See the SGML/XML BeLux contact entry for additional information, and the conference entry for updates.

  • June 18, 1998. Eve Maler (ArborText, Inc.) and Steve DeRose (Inso Corporation and Brown University) have generously made slides available from their XLink Tutorial. This tutorial was presented in Paris at the SGML/XML Europe '98 Conference, and elsewhere. The presentation title is: "XML and XLink for the SGML-Knowledgeable (or, How to Go from SGML Geek to XML Geek in One Day)." The tutorial slides are available in Powerpoint format via the ArborText Web site. The slides are also now available in HTML format from the SGML/XML Web Page, and are referenced from the main XLL page. The authors, who have served jointly as co-editors for the W3C Working Drafts on XLink (XML Linking Language) and XPointer (XML Pointer Language), deserve our appreciation for making these tutorial resources publicly available.

  • June 18, 1998. Announcement from Kent Tamura (Tokyo Research Laboratory, IBM Japan) for an updated version of IBM's XML for Java, a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The updated release includes enhanced support for XPointer, including a new XPointer sample program. Also bug fixes. For details, see the main database entry IBM XML for Java.

  • June 18, 1998. Announcement from Jaime Sagarduy (Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao) for the formation of a new Spanish user's group (Grupo de Trabajo de SGML/XML) and an associated discussion list, SGML-ESP. The discussion list covers SGML/XML, XSL, XLL, DSSSL, CSS, and related topics. Among the documents already translated into Spanish -- and available on the Web site -- are the W3C XML 1.0 specification, Peter Flynn's XML FAQ document, and Chapter 2 of the TEI Guidelines, "A Gentle Introduction to SGML." The SGML-ESP discussion list is now referenced in the main document for SGML/XML mailing lists and discussion groups.

  • June 17, 1998. Reminder from Steven R. Newcomb (TechnoTeacher, Inc.) that Friday, June 19 is the deadline for paper proposals for the MetaStructures 1998 Conference, sponsored by GCA and OASIS. The 1998 conference theme is schema languages. MetaStructures 1998 is to be held August 17 - 19, 1998 (Montréal, Québec, Canada) just preceding the XML Developers' Conference (August 20-21, 1998). Proposals for papers at MetaStructures 1998 should be sent to Steve Newcomb.

  • June 17, 1998. Announcement from G. Ken Holman (Crane Softwrights) for a new DSSSL Resource Library. The library has been set up with stand-alone DSSSL modules in mind, and is independent of Crane's shareware library of complete applications. The initial offering in this library is a "set of colour resources for use in DSSSL programs using either the standardized colour semantics for print or the SGML syntax semantics for producing HTML. An examples page illustrates how these colour resources can be used." See the database section "DSSSL Development and Reference Resources" for related resources.

  • June 16, 1998. Announcement from Sebastian Rahtz for an update to Jade's Tex backend and Jadetex, which now properly support the processing of tabular material. A demonstration of the tables support is provided in a final result document (in PDF), being Shakespeare's The Tempest formatted using the new tables support. See: The patches to Jade and revised Jadetex will be announced on DSSSList soon. See the database entry for the Jadetex Package.

  • June 16, 1998. Announcement from Michael Kay for an updated version of SAXON. SAXON is a "Java class library providing a range of services on top of SAX; it is particularly useful for writing applications to process specific document types. [The author has] used SAXON to do a wide variety of XML-to-XML and XML-to-HTML transformations, and to load XML data into relational databases." Changes in this release include: "1) substantial performance improvements (factor of 2 to 3); 2) greatly improved error/exception handling; 3) minor bug fixes and documentation improvements; 4) a new (experimental) integration with the DOM, as implemented by FREE-DOM." For other information, see the database entry: SAXON - a Java class library for XML Applications

  • June 16, 1998. Release of a W3C NOTE related to the SMIL Recommendation: "Displaying SMIL Basic Layout with a CSS2 Rendering Engine." By Philipp Hoschka (W3C, Chair SYMM WG) and Chris Lilley (W3C, Chair CSS WG). W3C Note 15-June-1998, NOTE-CSS-smil-19980615. The text of the Note "makes explicit the mapping from SMIL basic layout to CSS2, for the benefit of implementors building a SMIL viewer by translating directly into CSS2. In most cases, this is a trivial 1:1 mapping. [The document provides] the information required to build a SMIL renderer on top of a CSS2 implementation. Section 2 shows how the XML attributes used in SMIL basic layout are mapped into the syntax of CSS2 properties. Section 3 defines a fixed stylesheet that contains the values for all properties that are constant in SMIL basic layout, and different from the initial values defined in CSS2. Section 4 shows an example in which a SMIL document containing SMIL basic layout is converted into a document containing CSS2 which has the equivalent layout. Section 5 lists requirements for CSS3 that have been discovered during the work on SMIL." See the SMIL database entry for related links.

  • June 15, 1998. The W3C today issued a press release describing the publication of SMIL as a W3C Recommendation: "The World Wide Web Consortium Issues SMIL 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. Cross-Industry Support for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, Bringing TV-Like Content to the Web." Document title: Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 1.0 Specification. References: W3C Recommendation 15-June-1998, REC-smil-19980615. SMIL uses XML syntax, and SMIL documents are required to conform to the XML 1.0 specification; section 5 of the SMIL specification describes the SMIL XML DTD. "SMIL allows integrating a set of independent multimedia objects into a synchronized multimedia presentation. Using SMIL, an author can 1) describe the temporal behavior of the presentation, 2) describe the layout of the presentation on a screen, and 3) associate hyperlinks with media objects. SMIL [thus] enables authors to bring television-like content to the Web, avoiding the limitations for traditional television and lowering the bandwidth requirements for transmitting this type of content over the Internet. With SMIL, producing audio-visual content is easy; it does not require learning a programming langauge and can be done using a simple text editor. The SMIL 1.0 specification was written and developed by the W3C Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group, a unique mix of experts from the four divergent industries (CD-ROM, Interactive Television, Web, and audio/video streaming) interested in bringing synchronized multimedia to the Web." SMIL testimonials are provided by ACCESS, Bell Labs, CLRC / Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, CWI / Amsterdam, DAISY Consortium, Netscape, NIST, The Productivity Works, RealNetworks, and Veon. For other information, see the database entry: Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL).

  • June 13, 1998. New database entry for the Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI). On June 10, 1998, a proposal for "XML Metadata Interchange (XMI)" was submitted to the Object Management Group (OMG) by IBM, Unisys, Oracle, DSTC, and Platinum Technology. Other supporting companies include SELECT Software Tools, Sybase, Inline Software, and Rational Software. This proposal has been "created in response to developer's needs for standardized methods of sharing data, regardless of tool or programming language, in collaborative development environments. It aims to make Extensible Markup Language (XML) -- integrated with the OMG's Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Meta Object Facility (MOF) -- the cornerstone of an open information interchange model." The initial XMI proposal was drafted to meet the OMG's request for a stream-based interchange format (SMIF); as such, XMI data could be "stored on a traditional file system or streamed across the Internet from a database or repository." The submitters plan to formally present an XML Metadata Interchange Format specification at the OMG meeting in July 1998 (Helsinki). Standard DTDs are to be developed first for the exchange of information conforming to the UML and MOF (metadata) models; subsequent work may involve XMI specifications and DTDs for data-warehousing, component-based development, and web-based metadata. The designers expect to see XMI propoted as an open standrd in March 1999. See the database entry for links and other information.

  • June 13, 1998. Announcement and Call for Papers from Oskari Heinonen (University of Helsinki, Department of Computer Science) for the SGML/XML Finland '98 Seminar, sponsored by the SGML Users Group Finland. This third annual seminar will be held on October 8 - 9, 1998 at the Hotelli Rantasipi Laajavuori, Jyväskylä, Finland. "The SGML/XML Finland '98 Seminar serves as a meeting point for all interested people from experienced professionals to new users of SGML or XML. Presentations may focus on structured document management, industrial applications, business issues, or advanced or introductory SGML/XML issues." Papers may be presented in Finnish or English; a proceedings volume will be published. Submissions are due by July 17, 1998. For other details, including records of the two previous seminars, see the main conference entry.

  • June 13, 1998. Announcement from Jeffrey Ricker for an initial design of PIF-XML (Process Interchange Format XML). PIF is "an interchange format designed to help automatically exchange process descriptions among a wide variety of business process modeling and support system such as workflow software, flow charting tools, process simulation systems, and process repositories"; PIF itself "is based on the Knowledge Interchange Format (KIF), which is in turn based on LiSP. Since both LiSP and XML are text-based and nested trees, the translation is relatively straightforward. However, PIF also includes an object-oriented design with inheritance, which does not directly translate into XML." The initial work attempts a direct translation of PIF version 1.2, and is not optimized for economy in XML; a provisional DTD and example encoded PIF-XML document are available. See the PIF-XML database entry for references and examples.

  • June 12, 1998. Slides in HTML are available from the GCA Web site for the opening Keynote Address of Jon Bosak (W3C XML WG Chair, and Sun Microsystems) at SGML/XML Europe '98: "XML: The Universal Publishing Format." Alias: "XML & JAVA: Portable Data, Portable Programs." Date: May 19, 1998, Paris. By all accounts, Jon Bosak's keynote presentation was one of the highlight events at this conference. See the main conference entry for the full program and conference reports.

  • June 11, 1998. Microsoft has announced a number of new XML features in Internet Explorer 5.0. "XML is supported in two ways in Internet Explorer 5.0: XML can be embedded in the document as data or meta-data. In this form, the XML is contained within an <XML> tag or a <script language="XML"> tag. The full XML document object model (DOM) is then exposed on that element, but the elements inside the XML tag are not rendered on the page, and are not included in the HTML DOM. This is a natural extension of the XML support in Internet Explorer 4.0, which introduced the XML Data Source Object. XML can be used as additional presentation markup. In this way, XML tags can be intermixed in the HTML document stream. CSS properties can be directly applied to these elements to control their display." Details from SiteBuilder: "Persistence, Drag and Drop, and More to Make Developers Smile in Internet Explorer 5.0," by Nancy Cluts, and "Time Off for Good Behavior: DHTML Behaviors in Internet Explorer," by Dave Massy. Also: Scriptlets, Components for Real People," by Andrew Clinick ("Scriptlets are based on XML and script. . .") The new XML features in Internet Explorer 5.0 include support for namespaces, XML-based 'persistent storage', and XML scriplets. The <scriptlet> elements contain a <registration> element to register the scriptlet as a COM component, an <implements> element to specify the COM interface hanbdler for the scriptlet, and a <script> element to implement the logic of the scriptlet. See the database entry for other summary and links.

  • June 10, 1998. The first Markup Technologies Conference is to be held November 19 - 20, 1998, in Chicago, IL, immediately following the XML '98 Conference. The Conference Chairs are Tommie Usdin, Debbie Lapeyre, and Michael Sperberg-McQueen. "Markup Technologies will focus on technical issues relating to the design, development, and deployment of a variety of markup technologies including but not limited to SGML, XML, HyTime, and DSSSL. Papers at Markup Technologies will be peer reviewed to ensure high quality and technical merit. The Call for Papers will be issued in June 1998. GCA is pleased that Markup Technologies will be co-sponsored by The MIT Press."

  • June 10, 1998. New database entry in the XML section for the Weather Observation Markup Format (OMF), under design as "an application of XML" used to encode weather observation reports. The goal of the OMF system is to annotate and augment standard weather reports with derived, computed quantities, and to re-cast the essential information into a representation that is easier to interpret, yet completely accurate. The data formats typically used in weather reports ("FM 15-X Ext. METAR, FM 16-X Ext. SPECI, FM 51-X Ext. TAF, etc. [constituting] KAWN, WMO feeds . . .") are both incomplete and suboptimal for some processing objectives. According to a summary from one of OMF's designers, the OMF application thus "uses XML for annotating weather observation reports, forecasts and advisories as issued by Weather Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Weather Center and Air Force Global Weather Center. Currently, only METAR/SPECI observational reports and SIGMET significant weather aircraft advisories are being analyzed and marked up." The designers are also working on adding other types of reports - TAF (Terminal Airdrome Forecasts), regional SIGMETs, AIRMETS, Upper Air reports, etc. The markup system is in actual use "to distribute up-to-hour annotated weather observations and advisories; the Navy's Joint Metoc Viewer is one application that can ingest OMF documents and display the corresponding data." See the database entry Weather Observation Markup Format (OMF) for links and other information. [ck PEs]

  • June 10, 1998. David Megginson (Megginson Technologies Ltd.) has posted an announcement for the beta release of XAF, an XML Architectural Forms Processor. Accompanying the software package is detailed, tutorial-oriented documentation about XAF and architectural forms (Using the XAF package for Java), appropriate for both XML document designers and XML software designers. According to the announcement, XAF is "a Java-based XML architectural forms processor that acts as both a SAX application and a SAX parser. XAF uses any SAX 1.0-conformant parser to parse an XML document, then masquerades as a SAX parser itself: the client application sees the (virtual) architectural document instead of the actual XML document. Architectural forms are a very powerful markup facility that simplifies embedding multiple structures in a single XML document. They are especially useful for working with XML-related standards like RDF and MathML. You even can use XAF together with Don Park's FREE-DOM to create a DOM of a virtual architectural document."

  • June 09, 1998. New database entry in the XML section for The Australia New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) - Metadata Project. This project previously had been using an SGML DTD for its encoding, developed under the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN). The ANZMETA DTD Version 1.1 is now XML 1.0 compliant. The Coastal Atlas Spatial Data Guidelines (ACA-STD-0001) now under development also by ERIN will use the same XML-based metadata language for its records.

  • June 09, 1998. Communique from Boyd Michailovsky (LACITO/CNRS, project coordinateur) concerning a linguistic data archiving project which uses XML and SGML encoding. Principal investigators on the project include Boyd Michailovsky, John B. Lowe, and Michel Jacobson. The 'Projet Archivage de données linguistiques sonores et textuelles', under the auspices of the larger LACITO programme (Laboratoire de langues et civilisations à tradition orale) and direction from CNRS, concentrates on the encoding, archiving, and distribution of speech data, particularly for rare languages that are researched within the unit. "The main source of data for the project is the mass of documents recorded and transcribed in the field by members of the LACITO over the last thirty years. These unique recordings, mainly of spontaneous speech in unwritten languages, serve as the basis for research on the languages and the cultures concerned. Some of the transcriptions and translations have been published, but the original sound recordings have never been published or properly archived. . . An explicit XML (Extensible Markup Language) markup has been adopted for the text materials. In many cases, older documents whose structure is implicit are marked up automatically by program. . . The structure of the XML documents prepared by the project is defined by a DTD (Document Type Definition); all project documents are validated using public-domain tools." The interlinearized text (annotated and glossed) is displayed using XSL stylesheets. Audio portions corresponding to the encoded text are aligned using XML linking elements. An online demo ("Bac and Dangem, the two fresh-water fish") uses an XML document and three XSL stylesheets to present different views of the text. See the main database entry for links and contact information.

  • June 08, 1998. Announcement from Markus Reinsch (Universität Bielefeld) for a draft online DSSSL tutorial, "Visual Introduction to DSSSL." The tutorial illustrates basic DSSSL concepts interactively using Java applets. At present, it covers the DSSSL query language and parts of the style language. The author solicits feedback from readers. See the dedicated section DSSSL Tutorial Materials Online for similar online DSSSL resources.

  • June 07, 1998. Communique from Mats Hultemark (Chairman, Swedish Chapter of the International SGML Users' Group) announcing a two-day XML workshop and seminar in Sweden. The event will be held on September 8 - 9, 1998 at the Novotel in Göteborg, Sweden. Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN) is an invited speaker at the seminar. Multiple workshop tracks will be managed by Eliot Kimber, Per-Åke Ling (Ericsson) and Tomas Eriksson (Sörman Information). Updated information will be found in the conference entry, XML-seminar 98 Göteborg. Note that complete abstracts and several slide sets are now available from SGML Sverige 98, held March 19-20, 1998. The presentations by Pam Gennusa, Simon Nicholson (bis), Martin Bryan, Sigrid Weidenbrück, Daniel Rivers-Moore, Peter Bergström, and Eric Skinner are in English.

  • June 05 [10], 1998. An announcement with general information and a call for papers for XML '98 has been issued. The annual GCA conference -- formerly SGML 'XX or SGML/XML 'XX -- is now called XML '98 and has the theme title "A New Beginning: Integrating Information Technologies." The conference will be held November 15-18, 1998 in Chicago at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel. XML '98 is co-hosted by GCA and OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), and is sponsored by GCA's Independent Consultant's Cooperative and X-ACT. The XML '98 Conference Chairs are Dianne Kennedy and Robin Tomlin. The deadline for submission of proposals for presentations is Friday, July 3, 1998; the deadline for submission of tutorial proposals is June 19, 1998. Notification of paper selections will be mailed to the authors by August 3, 1998; full papers in XML format are due September 15, 1998. Applications for participation in peer review of conference papers may be sent to by July 13, 1998. See the Call for Tutorials for additional contact information.

    According to the announcement posted to CTS: "XML '98 is a new beginning for GCA's annual comprehensive event focusing on applications, trends, and technologies that support Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879). Since SGML became an ISO standard in 1986, GCA's major conference focused on the ISO standard itself. During these years, SGML came alive, matured, and evolved. And thanks, in part, to SGML, the Web was born. Today's Web languages, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and now eXtensible Markup Language (XML), both have their roots in SGML. And a host of related Web standards continue to emerge. It is clear that the Web has forever changed our definition of publishing, documents, and even commerce. Broadening the scope of GCA's conference to encompass new languages and technologies is critical to the educational mission of GCA. So, this year GCA has updated the name of its major conference to reflect changes in the marketplace, the impact of the Web, and in particular to focus up on the streamlined dialect of SGML which is destined to enable the next generation of the Web applications." For future conference updates, see the GCA Web site, or the main conference entry in the SGML/XML Web Page: XML '98 - "A New Beginning - Integrating Information Technologies."

  • June 05, 1998. An example of the continued use of SGML in creative and powerful applications -- lest, amidst the Web chaos and media hype, any false impression be given that XML is the only interesting descriptive markup language now in evidence. See the recent article in Romantic Circles, by Matt Kirschenbaum, Project Manager of the Blake Archive: "Managing the Blake Archive." The publication Romantic Circles is part of "a Website devoted to the study of Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, their contemporaries and historical contexts." See the main database entry William Blake Archive for additional references to this IATH project (IATH - Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia at Charlottesville).

  • June 05 [06], 1998. Release of a new Internet-Draft for "XML Media Types," by E. J. Whitehead, Jr. (UC Irvine) and M. Murata (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). Reference: draft-whitehead-mime-xml-04, May 31, 1998. Abstract: "This document proposes two new media subtypes, text/xml and application/xml, for use in exchanging network entities which are conforming Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains." See the note from Jim Whitehead on the latest draft, and the database entry: XML Media/MIME Types.

  • June 05, 1998. The June 1998 issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing [ISSN 1080-2711] has been published recently. Guest edited by Bill Kasdorf, the current issue (Volume 3, Issue 4) is titled "Reflections on the Revolution: Moving from Print to Electronic Publishing." This volume presents several compelling case studies featuring the application of SGML in electronic publishing. For example, in "Mosby's GenRx Success," Martin Hensel narrates how "Mosby-Year Book, Inc., acquired "Physicians' GenRx" (The Complete Reference for Generic and Brand Drugs) from another publisher in early 1995, at which time the 3,000-page drug reference was issued annually in print. From the beginning, Mosby's goal was to continuously update the content and sell it in print, on CD-ROM, on the Web, and in custom multititle editions. Texterity was chosen in June 1995 to design and build the editorial and production systems. A year later, the print and CD editions were being produced directly from a single set of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) master files. In January 1997, Mosby released its very successful intranet and Internet product, GenRx, at [The Subscriber ID is jep, Password is jep]" Check it out! The GenRx SGML database "has become a model for how Mosby wants to manage and sell its reference content."

  • June 03, 1998. Additional reference in the database section SGML/XML and Forest Automata Theory. This draft document "Regular tree languages over non-ranked alphabets" (by Anne Brüggemann-Klein, Derick Wood, and Murata Makoto; Version 0.3, April 19, 1998) is available in TeX and Postscript formats. In addition to its central section, the document contains a brief literature summary, and (in the FTP directory) is accompanied by a substantive reference list for previous research on tree/forest automata.

  • June 03, 1998. New datbase entry for DISA, ANSI ASC X12/XML - an XML/EDI effort. DISA (the Data Interchange Standards Association), chartered by ANSI as a non-profit in 1987 to provide ANSI ASC X12 with support for its national standardization efforts, is working with the CommerceNet Consortium, the XML/EDI Group and ANSI ASC X12 in a "joint project to investigate how to translate ANSI ASC X12 data elements, segments and transactions into XML. The ASC X12 (Accredited Standards Committee) is an ANSI body charged with the development of "uniform standards for interindustry electronic interchange of business transactions." The output of the currrent investigation is to be at least three documents: "1) a FAQ, 2) recommendations and 3) a tutorial." [The ability to define data elements] "on a document by document, application by application, industry by industry or on a global basis allows a great amount of flexibility in identifying data, and allows XML to mimic other existing proprietary or standard data formats, yet do them in a manner that makes the data more easily transferred between application formats. Much of what today's EDI translators have to know can be retained in the XML format (DTDs) so that off-the-shelf XML tools can interpret the data structure, bypassing the need for complex applications-specific translators." Work is thus underway "to map the X12 and CEFACT data elements to XML documents, [through] the joint CommerceNet / X12 EDI/XML Workgroup formally chartered to develop the X12 to XML Data mapping and to move the existing X12 and CEFACT data dictionary to Internet."

  • June 03, 1998. New database entry for the ISO committee developing codes for the Names of Scripts (ISO CD 15924). In form, the proposed script codes have been "created from the original script name in the language commonly used for it, transliterated or transcribed into Latin letters. If a country, where the script concerned has the status of a national script, requests a certain script code, preference is given to this code whenever possible. The two-letter and three-letter codes are derived from ISO 639 and from ISO 639-2 respectively where there is an identity between the name of a script and the name of a language using the script (example: Gujaratiguj/gu, Guj/Gu)." These codes for script names, in conjunction with the ISO 639 codes for the names of languages, might be used in SGML/XML encoded documents to support language-specific and writing-system-specific processing of text. Note that the XML 1.0 specification already provides a reserved attribute xml:lang for language identification of XML document content (applicable to an element's sibling attribute values, and propagated downward in the element/containment hierarchy as well), although it offers no corresponding facility for script identification.

  • June 03, 1998. John Cowan and Ron Bourret have recently forwarded 'XSchema' proposals to the XML-DEV readership for critique. See the list items in the database entry "XSchema."

  • June 02, 1998. Peter Flynn (University College Cork) has released an updated version of Frequently Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language. The XML FAQ . This detailed document is maintained behalf of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Special Interest Group by Peter Flynn in collaboration with a number of experts and readers around the world. Version 1.3 (1 June 1998) provides updates and and corrections for a large class of topics; new and updated paragraphs are conveniently identified with distinct sigla. The FAQ document "is divided into four parts: a) General, b) User, c) Author, and d) Developer. [It] contains the most frequently-asked questions (with answers) about XML, the Extensible Markup Language. It is intended as a first resource for users, developers, and the interested reader, and should not be regarded as a part of the XML Specification." See the XML FAQ section for links to previous versions of this document, translations, and other XML FAQ documents.

  • June 02, 1998. A standards development effort organized through the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) is to use XML encoding for network interchange and delivery of classified ads. The NAA Technology Department has recently formed a task force to develop standard record structures for classified ads. The task force is made up of forty (40) representatives "from newspaper classified, technical and new media operations, as well as new media technology providers, traditional newspaper classified system suppliers and large classified advertisers." The goal of this initiative "is to define a data structure for ads in various categories to facilitate the electronic exchange of classifieds. It is believed that a standard will pave the way for possible aggregation of classified ads among newspapers on the Internet, as well as enhance the development of classified processing systems. The NAA's Classified Ad Standards Task Force will therefore create a standard 'data set' to collect information in a similar format for automotive, real estate and recruitment classifieds. Once the standards have been established, a format for collecting the information will be developed in XML, a special tagging language designed to facilitate the exchange of data on the World Wide Web and other computer-based languages." The Newspaper Association of America, together with the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has also been instrumental in the development of an SGML standard for the News Distribution Industry; it is called News Industry Text Format (NITF), and was formerly "Universal Text Format." For links and other information, see the database entry Newspaper Association of America (NAA) - Classified Ads Format.

  • June 01, 1998. I have received word concerning the immediate availability of three new books on XML in the Charles F. Goldfarb Series on Open Information Management, published by Prentice Hall. (1) Michael Leventhal, David Lewis, Matthew Fuchs, Stuart Culshaw, and Gene Kan, Designing XML Internet Applications; (2) Sean McGrath, XML by Example. Building E-Commerce Applications; (3) Rick Jelliffe, The XML and SGML Cookbook. Recipes for Structured Information. Congratulations to all these authors for their achievement, and to the series editor for his editorial oversight. A complete review and summary for each of these new books will be posted in the SGML/XML Web Page soon.

  • June 01, 1998. XSchema is the name of a collaborative effort hosted on the XML-DEV mailing list. The principal goal of the XSchema project is to produce an XSchema specification which, "when complete, will provide a means for XML developers to describe their XML document structures using XML document syntax." The target date for a complete initial XSchema 1.0 proposal is June 30, 1998. As of June 1, 1998, discussion has resulted in the creation of a list of twelve XSchema Goals, as refined through four draft documents. This XSchema work was initiated by Simon St.Laurent with the publication of a paper "A Proposal for the Representation of XML DTDs as XML Documents" and by several supportive postings, including a position paper authored by Paul Prescod. During the initial period of discussion on XML-DEV, the project proposal went under the name XSD (Extensible or XML Structure Definitions). See the XSchema database entry for links and other information.

  • June 01, 1998. Announcement from Peter Murray-Rust for the public availability of an alpha (1.0) DTD for a Virtual Hyperglossary (VHG). Developed by Peter Murray-Rust and Lesley West, the Virtual Hyperglossary "is a simple but powerful approach for supporting semantics and terminology using XML technology. . . [it] enables knowledge enhancement through global terminology. VHG offers terminological services to people who want to provide them on the web especially learned societies and also to people creating their intranets. . . The VHG approach is deliberately simple so that glossaries can be developed and maintained without special tools."

  • May 28, 1998. The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a submission for a proposed Vector Markup Language (VML) from Autodesk Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Macromedia, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Visio Corporation. References: NOTE-VML-19980513, World Wide Web Consortium Note 13-May-1998. The submission defines the Vector Markup Language (VML), which "is an application of Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 which defines a format for the encoding of vector information together with additional markup to describe how that information may be displayed and edited." According to the Introduction in the NOTE, "The Vector Markup Language (VML) supports the markup of vector graphic information in the same way that HTML supports the markup of textual information. Within VML the content is composed of paths described using connected lines and curves. The markup gives semantic and presentation information for the paths. VML is written using the syntax of XML just as HTML is written using the syntax of SGML (the Standard Generalized Markup Language, [ISO 8879]) - XML is a restricted form of SGML. VML uses Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 in the same way as HTML to determine the layout of the vector graphics which it contains." Normative references cited in the NOTE include HTML 4.0, CSS1/2, XML 1.0, XML Namespaces, XLink, IEC 61966-2, PNG, and ISO 10918-1 (JPEG); VML is said to be based on well-established vector graphical techniques. See the database entry "Vector Markup Language (VML)" for other references, including the "W3C Comment on the VML Submission" (from Chris Lilley, W3C Graphics Activity Lead). and the "Comparison of VML and the W3C Scalable Graphics Requirements."

  • May 28, 1998. A revised Call for Participation at the combined Metastructures 1998 Conference and the Fall XML Developers' Conference has been issued. The venue is Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montréal, Québec, Canada; the inclusive dates are August 17 - 21, 1998. The Metastructures 1998 Conference is sponsored by GCA and OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). The conference co-chairs are Steve Newcomb (TechnoTeacher) and Carla Corkern (ISOGEN).

    Conference description: "The Graphic Communications Association (GCA) invites content management industry leaders to participate in the fifth annual Metastructures conference. Formerly known as the International HyTime Conference, Metastructures 1998 is about the evolving abstractions that underlie modern information management solutions, how they enhance human productivity, and how they are being applied by expert managers. The notion of strongly-typed hyperlinks is an example of a metastructure. Proposals for tutorials, papers, and presentations on HyTime, SGML, STEP and XML-related metastructures, such as XLink, XPointers, Resource Description Format, and XML-EDI are welcome. The Metastructures conference will be followed by the XML Developers' Conference, chaired by Jon Bosak, chairman of the W3C XML working group. Tutorials: Monday, August 17; Metastructures 1998: Tuesday - Wednesday, August 18 - 19, 1998; XML Developers' Conference: Thursday - Friday, August 20 - 21, 1998. Paper, presentation, and tutorial proposals for Metastructures 1998 should be sent by June 19, 1998 to: Steve Newcomb, Co-chair, Metastructures 1998; Email:; c/o ISOGEN International Corp, 2200 North Lamar Street Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202 USA; Tel: +1 (214) 953-0004 x137; FAX: +1 (214) 953-3152." [adapted from the GCA announcement] See the main conference entry for other details.

  • May 28, 1998. Announcement from Peter Murray-Rust for the release of JUMBO 2.0 (alpha). "JUMBO2.0 is a Java-based freeware SAX-compliant XML browser/editor prototyping tool which tracks the emerging XML specs. It is a complete rewrite of JUMBO1 and has new functionality, especially for editing and exploration. JUMBO 2.0 uses the SwingSet (JFC) 1.0.1, with SAX, and your parser(s) of choice. [It] is offered as a collaborative core for Java-XML based projects. . . XML namespaces, XSL, XML-DTDs, XML-LINK, Xpointer etc. will be implemented as soon as the current [W3C] drafts firm up." See the main database entry for other information on JUMBO.

  • May 28, 1998. Updated entry for the SGML/XML Asia-Pacific '98 Conference, to be held October 12 - 14, 1998 at the Millennium Hotel, Sydney, Australia. Nick Carr (Allette Systems) is the Conference Chair. Summary: "SGML/XML Asia Pacific '98 is the GCA's annual comprehensive event exploring applications, trends and the technologies that support the Standard Generalised Markup Language (ISO 8879) and the Extensible Markup Language. The SGML/XML Asia Pacific conference is now established as the leading text processing conference in the region. With the addition of XML and the ever growing role that it is playing on the Internet, the conference is set to explore exciting new areas not only of Internet delivery but also fresh approaches to the creation, management and revision of all types of documents and other data. SGML/XML Asia Pacific '98 will have sessions for both managers and users. A new demonstration session is being introduced this year to allow vendors the opportunity to present a 30-minute product demonstration, as well as the quick demos held in the exhibition area. An exhibit area will complement the conference and will be open from the afternoon of the second day until the end of the conference. At the end of the conference a number of in-depth one-day tutorials are planned. On Monday morning preceding the conference, several key SGML & XML vendors wil conduct their annual Asia Pacific User Group Meetings."

  • May 28, 1998. Communique from Junichi Suzuki (The Graduate School of Computer Science, Keio University) regarding an XML application proposed as the UML eXchange Format (UXF). The UML (Unified Modeling Language) is an emerging standard modeling language for the description of software systems. "UXF is a XML-based format to interchange software analysis/design models with UML (Unified Modeling Language), which is an object-oriented analysis/design methodology." According to the description on the UXF Web site, the project "addresses how UML (Unified Modeling Language) models can be interchanged and proposes an application-neutral format called UXF (UML eXchange Format), which is an exchange format for UML models based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). It is a format powerful enough to express, publish, access and exchange UML models, and a natural extension from the existing Internet environment. It serves as a communication vehicle for developers, and as a well-structured data format for development tools. With UXF, UML models can be distributed universally." UXF is thus expected to support intercommunications between software developers, interconnectivity between development tools, and a natural and transparent extension from the existing Web environment. Several related DTDs are now publicly available or in draft: a parent DTD for all subset DTDs, DTD for class diagrams, DTD for collaboration diagrams, DTD for statechart diagrams, UXF DTD for sequence diagrams. The designers are using 'XSL' stylesheets for UXF data. See further details in the database section, UML eXchange Format (UXF).

  • May 27, 1998. Conference reports from the recent SGML/XML Europe '98 conference in Paris have begun to appear. A review in The Bulletin: Seybold News & Views on Electronic Publishing Volume 3, Number 33 (May 20, 1998) bears the title "SGML, Not XML, Popular At SGML Europe." See an excerpt from this report in the XML articles section.

  • May 27, 1998. Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) has announced the availability of a new release of the tdtd Emacs Macro Package for editing SGML/XML DTDs. Version 0.5.1 features: "1) dtd-etags function for creating Emacs TAGS files for easy lookup of any element, parameter entity, or notation's definition using Emacs's built-in tag-lookup functions; 2) Font lock highlighting of declarations so that the important information stands out; 3) XML-specific behaviour that, at user option, is triggered by automatic detection of the XML Declaration; 4) Functions for writing and editing declarations and comments to ease both creating and keeping a consistent style." See the tdtd database entry for other details.

  • May 27, 1998. CommerceNet recently announced an ambitious plan for a new eCommerce Registry Service which will "allow anyone to submit ecommerce XML DTDs with immediate availability to anyone who wants access." The objective initially will be "to develop a robust set of services to accelerate the adoption of XML-based electronic commerce. The service will then be expanded to include other ecommerce content, for example interoperability specifications." According to the the press release from CommerceNet, the Registry Service will feature: "1) Easy and open posting of content; 2) Integrity checks to assure accuracy during posting as well as downloading; 3) Quality analysis and categorization to assure consistency, relevance, and to identify overlapping content; 4) Assured availability and searching of all content; 5) Notification services to ensure that users of the content remain informed of new and related updated content." Funding for the registry service is to come from industry partners: "CommerceNet is now recruiting three levels of company participation for the development and operation of this service: strategic development partners, contributing partners, and sponsoring partners. Specifically, CommerceNet hopes to closely coordinate their registry services with the efforts of the many XML-specific organizations. They are currently in discussion with a number of the major ecommerce vendors to endorse and sponsor the program." Note that this effort by CommerceNet represents one of several similar initiatives to provide for categorization and registration of XML DTDs and vocabularies. See, for example, XML Exchange, announced as a "forum for creating and sharing document type definitions" and designed to provide a "central clearinghouse for document type definitions, or 'tags'." XML Exchange provides for corporate sponsorship at a "simple flat rate of $1000 for one month, or $10,000 for twelve months."

  • May 26, 1998. Posting from Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems, and Chair, W3C XML WG) to the XML-DEV mailing list reporting on the opportunity for individuals to participate in W3C working groups through OASIS. OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) itself is acquiring membership in W3C; individuals (registering as a "business consultancy" or other sole proprietor) would be able to join OASIS for as little as $400/year, and then might be assigned to appropriate technical work within the W3C. While the complete details of such arrangement have not yet been worked out, it appears to Jon Bosak that "this will be the best avenue for people with the resources to meet W3C participation requirements to get into W3C working groups."

  • May 26, 1998. Release of a new Internet-Draft for "XML Media Types," authored by E. J. Whitehead, Jr. (UC Irvine) and M. Murata (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). Reference: draft-whitehead-mime-xml-03, May 15, 1998. Abstract: "This document proposes two new media subtypes, text/xml and application/xml, for use in exchanging network entities which are conformant Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, and are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains." References to earlier IETF drafts of this document are available in the XML section "Technical Documents and Resources."

  • May 26, 1998. A new maintenance release of Jade (James Clark's DSSSL Engine) was announced by Clark. This latest version (1.1.1) contains bug fixes. See the online description of Jade for more information.

  • May 26, 1998. Posting of a draft set of goals for "XSD (Extensible or XML Structure Definitions)" on the XML-DEV list, constructed by Simon St. Laurent and others. Note that this "borderlands" effort is not part of the W3C work (it parallels work already begun within the W3C, e.g., XML Data); its authors envision that the results may profitably feed into the W3C activity on XML schemas. According to Jon Bosak (XML WG Chair), design work by the XML WG on XML schemas using instance syntax is likely to be re-chartered. In this connection, see also St. Laurent's essay, "A Proposal for the Representation of XML DTDs as XML documents," and a position paper authored by Paul Prescod. Of course, it bears note that concrete proposals for enhanced 'DTD's using instance syntax have been made by many individuals over the past decade or so.

  • May 26, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released a new version of the document "Namespaces in XML" as a Working Draft. References: WD-xml-names-19980518, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 18-May-1998. The authors are: Tim Bray (Textuality), Dave Hollander (Hewlett-Packard Company), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). The XML Working Group expects that the namespace facility will "become an integral part of some future version of the XML specification." The XML namespaces design has two principal motivations for allowing XML names (e.g., element type names and attribute names) to be qualified by a domain or schema name: (1) the desire to provide a mechanism for distinguishing between multiple DTDs or schemas represented in a single XML document, and (2) the desire to provide hints about a domain or schema to search engines and other indexing tools. The XML namespace facility provides for universal names my using "qualified names" in markup: a qualified name contains "a single colon, separating the name into a namespace prefix and the local name. The prefix, which is mapped to a URI, selects a namespace. The combination of the universally managed URI namespace and the local namespace produces names that are guaranteed universally unique." The new Working Draft is available in HTML and XML formats. See the main entry Namespaces in XML for other information.

  • May 26, 1998. Publication of the first public working draft of the W3C's "Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Syntax Specification." Reference: WD-P3P-Syntax-19980519, W3C Working Draft 19-May-1998. "P3P applications will enable sites to automatically declare their privacy practices in a way that is understandable to users' browsers. Privacy practices are embedded within the Web site and users can rely upon their client to ensure their privacy concerns are respected." P3P uses RDF/XML for the exchange of structured data and assertions, and Appendix 3 of the Working Draft provides several relevant DTDs. Currently, "XML elements and attributes are presently named for readability, though they may shortened to decrease the size of the encodings." See the P3P Syntax Specification main entry for other references.

  • May 15, 1998. Announcement from David M. Seaman (Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia) for the "Rare Book School Summer '98 Courses" to be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, July 13, 1998 - August 7, 1998. Two courses may be of special interest to this readership: (1) "Introduction to Electronic Texts and Images" (David M. Seaman), and (2) "Implementing Encoded Archival Description (EAD)" (Daniel Pitti). The course by Seaman is designed as a "practical exploration of the research, preservation, editing, and pedagogical uses of electronic texts and images in the humanities." Course topics include: SGML tagging and conversion; using the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines; the form and implications of XML; publishing on the World Wide Web; text analysis tools; and the management and use of online texts." A similar course in 1997 resulted in the creation of a collection of twenty-two Civil War Letters of John and James Booker, with digital facsimiles; the corresponding texts are all encoded in SGML, according to the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines, with an accompanying Encoded Archival Descriptions (EAD) collection guide. The EAD (Encoded Archival Description) course taught by Pitti "is aimed at archivists, librarians, and museum personnel who would like an introduction to EAD that includes an extensive supervised hands-on component. Students will learn SGML encoding techniques in part using examples selected from among their own institution's finding aids. Topics: the context out of which EAD emerged; introduction to the use of SGML authoring tools and browsers; the conversion of existing finding aids to EAD." For further information, see the main conference entry and the expanded course descriptions.

  • May 15, 1998. Announcement from Sean McGrath (Digitome Electronic Publishing) for a new XML application initiative, Notes Flat File Format (NFF). "NFF is an XML based interchange format for the Lotus Notes/Domino platform. The NFF DTD supports the majority of the constructs that can occur in Lotus Notes data such as structured fields, rich text, doclinks, import objects and so on. Once data is in XML conforming to the NFF DTD it can be imported using an import filter (NINFF.DLL) into Lotus Notes using a simple 'File-Import'. The download package includes the necessary software along with a sample application - Timon Of Athens by William Shakespeare in NFF format. The software is freely available. . ." See the database entry in the XML page: Notes Flat File Format (NFF).

  • May 15, 1998. Feature article on XML editing tools, in The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing 2/9 (May 1998) pages 1, 8-12. "Structured Editors: What We Saw is What You Might Get. [Product Roundup: A Fresh Crop of Structured Editors. Trip Report.]" By Liora Alschuler. The author reports on four of the editing tools demonstrated at the Seattle XML Conference (March 23 - 27, 1998). See the database section "XML General Articles and Papers" for a summary, and for other recent XML article listings.

  • May 15, 1998. Updated database entry for XML Conformance, based upon a summary of Ken Holman's presentation at the Seattle XML Conference. Ken provided an outline of the goals of the OASIS XML Conformance Subcommittee, which will be developing an XML Conformance Test Methodology.

  • May 15, 1998. New database entry in the XML page for the Customer Support Consortium.

  • May 14, 1998. James Clark has updated his software resources for the Extensible Markup Language. According to the announcements posted to XML-DEV: A new version of Clark's expat (XML parser in C) is now available. James has added a new -x option on the xmlwf application to enable the parsing external general entities. XP Version 0.3 (an XML Parser in Java) is also an updated release. In addition to bug fixes, the changes to XP include: "1) Support for SAX 1.0; 2) Efficient support for large CDATA sections - previously these were not handled very efficiently; 3) New approach to exceptions in the interface." James Clark's XMLTest program ( has been updated to support SAX 1.0. "XMLTest uses SAX to generate canonical XML, allowing any Java XML parser with a SAX driver to be tested with any XML test suite that includes canonical XML output for its test cases."

  • May 14, 1998. Announcement from TAMURA Kent (Tokyo Research Laboratory, IBM Japan) for an updated version of 'XML for Java'. Among the enhancements: 1) update to support the W3C DOM specification of April 16, 1998; 2) support for SAX Version 1.0; 3) support for UTF-16 encoding; 4) new factories. Under development by Kent Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama at IBM, "XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents." XML for Java runs on Java 1.1 and Java 1.2 Beta, not Java 1.0. The distribution includes some sample applications: 1) trlx, an XML syntax checker; 2) SiteOutliner - a Java application that scans a Web site and reports its profile in CDF format; 3) CDF Editor is a Java application to edit CDF files; 4) CDF Viewer is an applet that parses CDF files and visualizes their structures by using a tree; 5) Validating Generation sample - generates a valid element tree according to the specified DTD; 6) XML TreeView. The documentation includes a Programming Guide in HTML format. See the database entry for other details, including the download location.

  • May 14, 1998. Announcement from innovation Partners and CEI (Cabinet d'études Informatiques) for IRIS XML EDITOR, beta 1. This tool complements the IRIS XML DTD GENERATOR, announced earlier.

  • May 13, 1998. New database entry for SAXON - a Java class library for XML Applications. Contributed by Michael H. Kay (ICL), "The SAXON package is a Java interface for processing XML documents. It provides a set of services that are particularly useful for applications performing XML-> XML or XML-> HTML transformations. The distribution includes a number of example applications. SAXON allows you to write your own element handlers or to use standard element handlers supplied with SAXON. Each type of element can have its own element handler, enabling you to keep your application modular. The standard element handlers provide the following services: 1) Copying an element unchanged to the output; 2) Skipping over an element, omitting it from the output; 3) Supplying strings to replace the start and end tags of an element (for example to add HTML formatting); 4) Recognising a group of consecutive elements of the same type (for example to generate an HTML table or list structure); 5) Sorting a group of consecutive elements of the same type."

  • May 13, 1998. Notice for the public availability of HEX - The HTML Enabled XML Parser. Coded by Anders Kristensen (HP), "HEX is a simple, 100% Java, non-validating XML parser with some hooks for mostly correct parsing of HTML pages. It doesn't understand either SGML or XML DTD's but the parser API allows the application to control its operation in ways that facilitate HTML parsing. It implements the DOM core level one API and the SAX event-driven API. It comes with a couple of sample applications."

  • May 13, 1998. Announcement from Lars Marius Garshol for a categorized listing of 'Free XML software'. Lars has collected information about the available XML software from various sources, and created a categorized collection, which will later be "merged with Steve Peppers Whirlwind Guide to SGML Tools."

  • May 13, 1998. Publication of a W3C NOTE entitled "XML in HTML Meeting Report." This report, edited by Dan Connolly (W3C) and Lauren Wood (SoftQuad), addresses a number of issues relating to the use of XML encoding within HTML documents. At a meeting of February 11-12, 1998 (San Jose, California, Sun Microsystems), participants from a variety of W3C working groups met to discuss these issues, and in particular, concerns relating to the support of MathML and RDF written in XML and intended to be used in HTML documents. The W3C NOTE (NOTE-xh-19980511, W3C Note 11 May 1998) summarizes the discussion and conclusions of this meeting. [local archive copy]

  • May 13, 1998. New database entry in the XML Page for a Legal XML Working Group. A small group named the XML Work Group has been formed within the scope of the Utah Electronic Law Project. "The purpose of the XML Work Group is to develop one or more model Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for the filing and exchange of legal documents using the recently released XML standards. The XML Work Group is a recently-formed virtual work group made up of individuals interested in exploring the use of XML standards as the basis for facilitating the electronic filing and exchange of legal documents. The group will function almost entirely in an electronic environment hosted by the Utah Electronic Law Project (UELP) ( using tools such as e-mail, chat rooms, threaded discussion forums, list serves and similar tools."

  • May 13, 1998. New database entry for The Ace Scripting Language. "Ace is a freely available scripting language which allows powerful manipulation of SGML and XML documents." Free for use in a non-commercial or commercial application, as long as you does not sell it or include it in a product for sale.

  • May 13, 1998. The CSS2 Specification (Cascading Style Sheets, level 2) has been issued as a W3C Recommendation (REC-CSS2-19980512, 12-May-1998). The editors are Bert Bos, Håkon Wium Lie, Chris Lilley, and Ian Jacobs. "CSS2 is a style sheet language that allows authors and users to attach style (e.g., fonts, spacing, and aural cues) to structured documents (e.g., HTML documents and XML applications). By separating the presentation style of documents from the content of documents, CSS2 simplifies Web authoring and site maintenance." The introduction to CSS2 contains a "A brief CSS2 tutorial for XML."

  • May 12, 1998. DataChannel, Inc. has submitted a new proposed specification to the W3C for "WebBrokering," governing 'Distributed Object Communication on the Web.' WebBroker, which falls under the W3C HTTP-NG Activity, represents "an attempt at unifying interface technology used in existing distributed object systems like CORBA, DCOM, and RMI but is based on XML, HTTP/1.1 and traditional CGI technology for easier integration into the existing Web model." The submission is composed of five separate documents: 1) "WebBroker: Distributed Object Communication on the Web" (NOTE-webbroker-19980511, authored by John Tigue and Jon Lavinder); 2) "ObjectMethodMessages DTD"; 3) "AnonymousData DTD"; 4) TerseAnonymousData DTD; 5) "InterfaceDef DTD."

    The abstract: "This document provides a specification (WebBroker document type definitions, or WebBroker DTDs) for describing and exchanging structured messages between software components on the Web. Such exchange is facilitated by the DTDs which describe the structure of the messages (method requests and method responses) and which also describe the interfaces of the software components themselves. The AnonymousData DTD describes a simple way of expressing the data type of structures which works within XML 1.0 and is designed to work with XML-Data. The ObjectMethodMessages DTD describes how to represent, in XML documents, the serialized messages between software components. ObjectMethodMessages uses the AnonymousData DTD and is modeled after DCE RPC Request and Response PDUs. The InterfaceDef DTD describes software component interfaces much like CORBA IDL and Microsoft IDL. One immediate implication of these ideas is that there can now be a unified Web publishing and traditional client/server programming model which work over HTTP 1.1. We expect the WebBroker DTDs to be useful for enabling many organizations to implement a mature yet simple and easy to reproduce model of distributed computing on the Web."

  • May 12, 1998. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued a new Working Draft entitled "XSL Requirements Summary" (WD-XSLReq-19980511, W3C Working Draft 11-May-1998). Its editor is Norman Walsh (ArborText, Inc.). Published as part of the W3C Style Activity pertaining to the Extensible Style Language, this requirements document delineates a list of requirements which the XSL Working Group "considers to be in scope for XSL in general with no reference to timing or target version. [it] makes no statement about what specific requirements will be addressed in any particular Working Draft or version of XSL." Requirements are specified for applications that will run in batch as well as in interactive environments. Areas covered in the Working Draft include: General Formatting Issues; Columns, Floats, Keeps, etc.; Fonts; Color; Math; Internationalization; Scripting; Interactivity; Accessibility; Extensibility; Packaging; Meta-information. Further information on the Extensible Style Language (XSL) may be found on the W3C Web site or in this database.

  • May 12, 1998. New database section for "literate programming" and its use in the context of SGML-based descriptive markup languages. The information located previously in the main XML page (and still referenced from it, under the heading "XML and Literate Programming") has now been moved to a separate document "SGML/XML and Literate Programming." The new document provides a collection of references for literate programming techniques implemented within applications using descriptive markup languages, e.g., using SGML, XML, DSSSL, etc. Numerous researchers have observed that the goals of information re-use and data normalization embraced by both literate programming and SGML-based markup languages provide the basis for using the two technologies together. The production of the TEI SGML DTDs and associated documentation exploited literate programming, and new interest is visible now in the emergence of the xml-litprog-l mailing list - "Literate Programming with XML."

  • May 12, 1998. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd. and Megginson Technologies Ltd.) for the public release of SAX (the Simple API for XML), Version 1.0. SAX is a common, event-based API for parsing XML documents, developed as a collaborative project of the members of the XML-DEV discussion group under the leadership of David Megginson. Relative to the preliminary draft version of SAX released in January 1998, SAX Version 1.0 represents a major reimplementation, adding some important features such as the ability to read documents from byte or character streams. "SAX fills the same role for XML that the JDBC fills for SQL: with SAX, a Java application can work with any XML parser, as long as the parser has a SAX 1.0 driver available. . . The first release of SAX is in Java, but versions in other programming languages may follow. SAX is free for both commercial and non-commercial use." See or the main database entry.

  • May 11, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for a DSSSL Flow Object Class Reference - new online reference resource documenting DSSSL's flow object classes. The reference work is not yet complete: "it is a humble beginning, but with time, and contributions, it will become a valuable resource to people using DSSSL and to people using the DSSSL flow objects with XSL." The new DSSSL flow object class documentation is part of the DSSSL Handbook, itself part of the DSSSL Documentation Project. The DSSSL Documentation Project, hosted on the Mulberry Web site, is "a collaborative effort by users of DSSSL to write and disseminate documentation on all aspects of DSSSL for the purposes of introducing DSSSL to new users, education for both new and experienced users, and assistance for people using DSSSL." See the database section "DSSSL Development and Reference Resources" for related materials.

  • May 11, 1998. Release of the Internet Draft XML Media Types, authored by E. J. Whitehead, Jr. (UC Irvine) and M. Murata (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). Document identifier: 'draft-whitehead-mime-xml-02', May 8, 1998. Abstract: "This document proposes two new media subtypes, text/xml and application/xml, for use in exchanging network entities which are conformant Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML entities are currently exchanged via the HyperText Transfer Protocol on the World Wide Web, and are an integral part of the WebDAV protocol for remote web authoring, and are expected to have utility in many domains." [local archive copy]

  • May 11, 1998. Announcement for the release of Version 0.7 of the DocBook 3.0 XML DTD, by Norman Walsh. This version of the DocBk30 XML DTD "corrects table-related bugs caused by failure to lowercase GIs in a couple of parameter entities in dbpoolx.mod." See the database section Davenport Group: DocBook DTD for background information.

  • May 11, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for the online publication of Revision 2 of The DSSSL Cookbook. "The DSSSL Cookbook is a series of hints about using DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language), including style and techniques for writing DSSSL stylesheets as well as the use of specific DSSSL functions and flow object classes." Additions to the Cookbook leading to Revision 2 have been contributed by Chris Maden, David Pawson, and Tony Graham. Similar resources for DSSSL are referenced in the database section "DSSSL Development and Reference Resources."

  • May 11, 1998. A proposal for a standard mechanism to associate a stylesheet with an XML document by means of an XML processing instruction. This proposal is documented in a recent W3C NOTE, "Associating Stylesheets with XML Documents." The NOTE, authored by James Clark, has been submitted to the W3C at the request of the XML Working Group. The proposed syntax and semantics are analogous to the HTML LINK element used to identity stylesheets, as illustrated in the following example:
      <LINK rel="stylesheet" href="mystyle.css" type="text/css">
      <?xml:stylesheet href="mystyle.css" type="text/css"?>.
    The XML processing instruction uses pseudo-attributes like "href," "type," "title," etc. The examples shown in the NOTE are for CSS client-side stylesheets. Document identifier: NOTE-xml-stylesheet-19980405, W3C Note 5 Apr 1998.

  • May 08, 1998. Addition of several new references in the Articles and Papers section of the main XML page. See the entries for May 6-8.

  • May 07, 1998. New database entry in the Special Topics section of the SGML/XML Web Page for "SGML/XML and Forest Automata Theory." This section contains a collection of references on Tree-Regular Languages, Forest-Regular Languages, DTD/Document Transformation, Forest/Tree Automata Theory, Schema Languages, and related matters. Most of the publications cited have been written by Murata Makoto and Paul Prescod, and the corresponding bibliographic entries contain document abstracts. Interested readers may wish to contact Makoto or Paul about this recently-revived line of inquiry in terms of its relevance to document schema languages and structured document transformation.

  • May 06, 1998. New database entry in the XML section for the FSTC's Signed Document Markup Language (SDML). The Financial Services Technology Consortium "is a consortium of banks, financial services providers, national laboratories, universities, and government agencies who sponsor and participate in non-competitive collaborative research and development on interbank technical projects." Today the FSTC released "two white papers on messaging format structures for E-commerce. Both documents were prepared by members of the FSTC Electronic Check Project team. The first is a detailed description of the FSTC-developed Signed Document Markup Language (SDML). The second document is an analysis of the issues associated with making SDML compliant with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In addition, the FSTC intends to submit a proposal to the W3C to start a project that would integrate the capabilities found in SDML into a future release of XML." [from the press release] Update note: As of June 19, 1998, a NOTE submission on SDML was recognized by the W3C.

  • May 06, 1998. New database entry in the XML section for the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), based upon a recent decision to make the TEI Guidelines accessible to XML users through the development of an XML version of the full TEI DTD. Since 1987, the international Text Encoding Initiative has sponsored a major effort to "develop guidelines for the preparation and interchange of electronic texts for scholarly research, and to satisfy a broad range of uses by the language industries more generally." The published TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange have gone through three major editions, and are now identified as TEI P3: they provide for the SGML encoding of many genres of text, and are themselves publicly available in SGML format. These Guidelines have been used for SGML encoding in some sixty-two (62) significant projects worldwide. C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois) is both an Editor of the TEI Project, and XML co-editor. The TEI Extended Pointer language plays a significant role in the design of XLink and XPointer - the two major components in XML's linking language. The W3C's "XML Specification DTD" is based in part on the TEI Lite and Sweb DTDs, the latter being an effort largely of Michael Sperberg-McQueen. The TEI has recently chartered a workgroup on architectural issues, chaired by Frank Tompa, where one of its specific charges is the development of an XML version of the full TEI DTD. A conference "TEI and XML in Digital Libraries" is to be held in the summer of 1998, sponsored by the Digital Library Federation and held at Library of Congress, Washington, DC.; one of the goals is to "explore the impact of Extensible Markup Language (XML), and XML-conformant TEI, on digital library efforts."

  • May 05, 1998. Announcement from Michael Kay (ICL) for an XML DTD Generator, DTDGen. Although originally written as a demonstration of how to use the SAX interface to XML parsers (and not as a production-quality tool), DTDGen may serve several useful purposes. According to its documentation, "DTDGen is a program that takes an XML document as input and produces a Document Type Definition (DTD) as output. The aim of the program is to give you a quick start in writing a DTD. The DTD is one of the many possible DTDs to which the input document conforms. Typically you will want to examine the DTD and edit it to describe your intended documents more precisely. In a few cases you will have to edit the DTD before you can use it."

  • May 05, 1998. Announcement from Alain DESEINE (CEI) for the first beta release of IRIS XML DTD GENERATOR. An IRIS XML EDITOR and XSL stylesheet EDITOR are also said to be under development. The announcement contains the complete (ideal) feature list for these tools. Whereas the first beta version of the DTD GENERATOR is now freely available for download, the version 1.0 products will be commercial.

  • May 04, 1998. Announcement by DataChannel and OASIS concerning X-ACT: "DataChannel Transfers X-ACT Council to OASIS. XML Market Receives Enhanced Services Through Vendor-Neutral Management of Leading Industry Council." According to the press release, "OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (formerly SGML Open), announced today that it will take the helm of the XML Active Content Technologies Council (X-ACT) to provide vendor-neutral management and enhanced industry services. X-ACT, formed on March 4, 1998 and spearheaded by DataChannel Inc., a leading developer of in XML-enabled Active Content Technologies, will now become a subsidiary organization of OASIS. Active Content Technologies are a new class of XML-based computer applications and transactions that enable active content at all levels of networked computing (desktop, server, Internet, intranet, extranet, VPNs, LANs, WANs). Aligned with all standards bodies, X-ACT aims to provide a communications venue for corporations working to develop real-world XML-based solutions to meet today's business needs, increase awareness about Active Content Technologies and their benefits, and maintain an index to Active Content software." Further information on OASIS ( and DataChannel, Inc. ( is accessible via the Web sites. Press releases from Datachannel and OASIS.

  • May 04, 1998. Updated database entry for the Educom Instructional Management Systems Project (IMS), based upon information in a recent press and technical document. Educom's Instructional Management Systems Project (IMS) has recently released technical "specifications for how learning materials will flow over the Internet, and for how organizations and individual learners will manage the learning process, have broad support among industry and among leaders in higher education, training, government, and K-12 schools. The goal of Educom's Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project is the widespread adoption of a set of open standards for Internet-based education. Twenty-eight organizations have made substantial investments in the IMS project and continue active involvement in the technical work, in advanced work with the example implementation, as well as in internal development of products for the new digital education marketplace." According to the specifications document entitled "EDUCOM/NLII Instructional Management Systems" (Version 0.5, Date: April 29, 1998), IMS Specifications will use XML as the serialization syntax for data and objects.

  • May 04, 1998. Announcement from Elliotte Rusty Harold (author of Java Secrets, IDG Books 1997) for an XML news and resources site called Cafe con Leche. His site is "modeled after [his] highly successful Java news and resource site, Cafe au Lait." See

  • May 04, 1998. Announcement for the release of an updated version of expat - James Clark's XML parser in C. Clark's expat (XML Parser Toolkit) is distributed under the Mozilla Public License Version 1.0. In its current beta-test version (19980504), "Expat is an XML 1.0 parser written in C. It aims to be fully conforming. It is currently not a validating XML processor. . . [the distribution contains] the xmlwf application, which uses the xmlparse library. The arguments to xmlwf are one or more files which are each to be checked for well-formedness.

  • May 04, 1998. Installation of a new (experimental/provisional) home page for The SGML/XML Web Page. The intent in the design is to enhance navigation by providing a high-level subject map of the site (in the two-level table of the home page) and an expanded contents listing (Site Index) for the entire site in a separate document. The new "Site Index" in outline format should also be useful for string searches and for site navigation if one is unfamiliar with the database structure. Readers are welcome to send comments on usability.

  • May 02, 1998. Announcement from G. Ken Holman (Crane Softwrights Ltd.) for the public availability of an SGML/DSSSL Presentation Development Application. It is an SGML application for frame-based presentation slide-shows with DSSSL scripts for the rendering of the slides to HTML and RTF final forms. This shareware application may be used with James Clark's JADE DSSSL Engine "to create slide-show presentations and associated paper handouts" from SGML source documents. The tool is "based on an SGML document model (DTD) and uses two DSSSL stylesheet scripts to render the structured presentation in both HTML and RTF." See the Crane Softwrights shareware library for details, and the database section "DSSSL Software Tools and Applications" for pointers to Clark's Jade and other DSSSL tools.

  • May 02, 1998. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) for the public release of an updated (1.2) version of Microstar's Ælfred XML parser. Ælfred is "a small, fast, DTD-aware Java-based XML parser, especially suitable for use in Java applets, free for both commercial and non-commercial use." User-visible changes in the parser since version 1.1 include: 1) The XmlParser.parse method for parsing from a URI now has a third argument, for an encoding (if known); 2) The XmlHandler.resolveEntity method is more powerful: you may return a String (for a URI), an InputStream, or a Reader. If you return null, the parser will take the default action; 3) The SAX driver has been updated to SAX 1.0gamma (released 1 May 1998), available from SAX is a free API for event-based XML parsing. Other XML parsing tools are listed in the dedicated software section of the database.

  • May 02, 1998. Distribution of a 'Request for Discussion' on a proposal for an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup, comp.text.xml. The proposed newsgroup would be "for the discussion of the Extensible Markup Language (XML); including, but not limited to the specifications and syntax, document creation and editing, interchange, software, processing and database integration." The 'Proponent' named in the RFD is James Tauber.

  • May 01, 1998. Availability of the "XML Specification DTD" ("-//W3C//DTD Specification::19980323//EN") and a corresponding Design Report for the W3C XML Specification DTD. This DTD is the one which was used for the XML-related specifications and notes. The DTD has been "developed for use with the XML family of W3C specifications. It is an XML-compliant DTD based in part on the TEI Lite and Sweb DTDs." The maintainer of XML Specification DTD is Eve Maler (ArborText Inc.). The companion Design Report provides detailed documentation for the design and implementation of the XML specification DTD. Major contributors to the design of the DTD, as named, include: Jon Bosak, Sun (XML chair), Tim Bray, Textuality and Netscape (XML co-editor), Dan Connolly, W3C (W3C staff contact), Eve Maler, ArborText (DTD maintainer), Gavin Nicol, Inso (DOM member), C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen, University of Illinois (XML co-editor), and Lauren Wood, SoftQuad (DOM chair). Both documents are made available here with permission from the maintainer, Eve Maler/ArborText. See also the database entry W3C Specifications Documentation as exemplary of XML applications.

  • May 01, 1998. Two new database entries in the XML section, covering: (1) OpenMLS - Real Estate DTD Design, and (2) XML for the Automotive Industry - SAE J2008. The SAE J2008 XML DTD and acompanying documentation represent a conversion effort led by Dianne Kennedy (XMLXperts). The draft design for a tagset/DTD appropriate to real estate listings is relatively new work - inspired by XML, but barely begun.

  • May 01, 1998. New database entry for The HCRC Map Task Corpus. The HCRC Map Task Corpus represents the results of research sponsored by the Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC), an ESRC- [Economic and Social Research Council] funded interdisciplinary research centre at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Map Task Corpus includes publicly distributed material which uses the TEI (SGML) encoding scheme for linked spoken language transcripts (of unscripted dialogue) and digital audio. Specifically: "128 digitally recorded unscripted dialogues and 64 citation form readings of lists of landmark names. All dialogues were transcribed verbatim in standard orthography, including (where possible) filled pauses, false starts, hesitations, repetitions and interruptions. The sampled speech data, transcriptions, list reading, and some other ancillary material has been published for distribution on a collection of 8 CD-ROM disks. . . Transcriptions are provided for each conversation, marked up with TEI-compliant SGML."

  • May 01, 1998. Announcement from Anthony B. Coates (Educational Multimedia Services, TEDI, The University of Queensland) for xml-litprog-l ("Literate Programming with XML" List). It is planned as a mailing list for "discussions about how best to use XML/XSL/XLink/XPtr for constructing literate programming frameworks and tools. . . dedicated to the development of literate programming tools that leverage XML, XSL, and XLink/XPtr libraries, so that the jobs of parsing and weaving (producing documentation), perhaps tangling (producing source code) too, are not part of the literate programming core, and do not need to be redone by each author of a literate programming tool." Other XML mailing lists and discussion groups are listed in the dedicated database section.

  • April 30, 1998. Announcement from Chris Powell for a two-day meeting "TEI and XML in Digital Libraries." June 30 - July 1, 1998. Library of Congress, Washington, DC. The meeting is sponsored by the Digital Library Federation. Michael Sperberg-McQueen (co-editor of the TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange and co-editor, XML specification; University of Illinois, Chicago) and Lou Burnard (co-editor, TEI Guidelines; Oxford University) will be featured speakers at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to: "1) explore common problems and common solutions for applications of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) in large-scale conversion and encoding efforts, primarily in libraries, and 2) to explore the impact of Extensible Markup Language (XML), and XML-conformant TEI, on digital library efforts." See the main conference entry for the contact addresses and additional information. In this connection, note (unofficially) that work on creating an XML TEI DTD has already begun, and (officially) that the TEI has recently chartered a workgroup on architectural issues, chaired by Frank Tompa, where one of its specific charges is the development of an XML version of the full TEI DTD. Currently, the TEI P3 DTDs are in SGML.

  • April 29, 1998. Feature-length PC Tech article on XML in PC Magazine. "Structuring Data with XML. Extensible Markup Language Lets Developers Describe Virtually Any Type of Data and Deliver it Across a Network. [The Net-Savvy Turn to XML.]" By William Robert Stanek. PC Magazine Volume 17, Number 10 (May 26, 1998), pages 229-238.

  • April 29, 1998. Announcement from Jeffrey Ricker (XMLSolutions, LLC) for XML Exchange, a "forum for creating and sharing document type definitions. . . to discuss the creation of industry specific document type definitions. . . a public place for anyone to ask questions and discuss their challenges and successes in making XML work."

  • April 28, 1998. New database entry in the XML section for the proposed Astronomical Markup Language. The designers are currently defining "a new XML language called AML, 'Astronomical Markup Language', aimed at being a standard exchange format for metadata in astronomy. AML now supports the following objects (in the object-oriented sense): astronomical object, article, table, set of tables, image, person. This means that all these objects can be described with the same language, allowing easier establishing of links between them, and the creation of programs handling all these objects with the same user interface. The following databases can already be queried in AML: Simbad, NED, ADS, and the Benn&Martin people database. A java AML browser can be used to retrieve AML documents and browse them with a common user interface. The creation of this language is a prerequisite for further work on information retrieval in astronomy, and it will allow the use of the same information by both humans and intelligent agents: the intelligent agents can use AML with an XML parser, while a browser for AML documents will be used to create an associated user interface."

  • April 27, 1998. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson (Language Technology Group, Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh) for a "final alpha release of XED" (0.3.1) for evaluation purposes. This release of the XED XML editor contains several new features, and some changes to the UI, so the author hopes that users "who have made helpful comments and tried things out will take the time to re-download this version." XED is "a text editor for XML document instances. . . designed to support hand-authoring of small-to-medium size XML documents, optimised for keyboard input." It is available for Windows 95/NT and Solaris.

  • April 27, 1998. Availability of xml:lang resources for parser writers and other XML users. They have been contributed by Murray Altheim (Sun Microsystems, SunSoft). Currently there are XML versions of files providing the ISO 639 (language), ISO 3166 (country), and IANA charset values required for support of the xml:lang attribute values in XML 1.0. Please direct comments and corrections to Murray Altheim, who has requested feedback. These resources will be posted to Sunsite at a later time.

  • April 27, 1998. Announcement for the availability of "two simple XML teaching tools," by Frank Boumphrey: "(1) entity.exe (9K) will expand the entities in an XML DTD; (2) XMLparse.exe (22K) is a simple parsing tool that checks for well-formedness, and allows one to associate or generate a style sheet." Written in VB, for Windows 95 or 3.* only, handle only small documents. See the Demos section of the XML page for similar prototype/demo tools.

  • April 27, 1998. "Work in progress": publication of an Internet Draft "The text/xml Media Type" [draft-whitehead-mime-xml-00], by E. J. Whitehead, Jr. (UC Irvine). April 24, 1998, 17:43. Currently under revision. [alt FTP location]; [local archive copy]. See: Version 01, May 3, 1998; [local archive copy]. See now (980511): XML Media Types.

  • April 23, 1998. Announcement from KangChan Lee (Techno 2000 Project Inc.) for a Korean translation of the XML FAQ document maintained in English by Peter Flynn. Based upon XML FAQ version 1.21. A Korean translation of the XML specification is also under preparation by the Techno 2000 Project Inc., where a Korean XML site with an XML validation service is hosted. See the XML FAQ section for references to other FAQ documents, including Japanese and Spanish translations.

  • April 23, 1998. For those who missed SGML/XML '97 and who are interested in DTD transformation: online availability of the presentation by Murata Makoto, "DTD Transformation by Patterns and Contextual Conditions." Abstract: "On the basis of the tree automaton theory, this paper demonstrates DTD transformation. Controlled by patterns and contextual conditions, operators transform not only XML documents, but also DTDs. It is guaranteed that transformation of XML documents permitted by the input DTD creates XML documents permitted by the output DTD. Furthermore, the output DTD is minimally sufficient. Patterns are conditions on (possibly non-immediate) subordinate nodes, and contextual conditions are conditions on non-subordinate nodes (e.g., superior nodes, ancestor nodes, sibling nodes, and subordinates of sibling nodes)." See the bibliographic entry for other details, including reference to the slides. See also on structured document transformation: TranSID: An SGML Tree Transformation Language, by Jani Jaakkola, Pekka Kilpeläinen, and Greger Lindén (University of Helsinki, Department of Computer Science, 1997), or the dissertation of Greger Lindén, Structured Document Transformations.

  • April 23, 1998. New entry in the XML page for Java Help API. According to a presentation by Eduardo Pelegrí-Llopart, Roger Brinkley, and Nancy K. Lee (Sun Microsystems, Inc.) at JavaOne '98, the HelpSet (file) formats are XML based.

  • April 23, 1998. Watch for the two upcoming special issues of American Archivist dedicated to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD). These two 'Summer 1998' special issues will cover both 'Background and Theory' and 'Implementation Case Studies.' The EAD DTD -- historically in SGML, but now migrating to XML -- is maintained by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress in partnership with the Society of American Archivists, and is used by many institutions for the encoding of archival finding aids. See the database entry for other information.

  • April 23, 1998. Update of tdtd, an Emacs Macro Package for editing DTDs. Developed by Tony Graham of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. Changes to the file tdtd-font.el include the addition of '(WWW)' and 'xml' as reserved words.

  • April 22, 1998. Communique from Matthias Clasen (Institut für Mathematik, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) concerning a recent update for psgml-jade. psgml-jade is "an add-on to the psgml package for editing SGML files with Emacs which is intended to make menu-driven processing SGML files with jade and jadetex possible, including menu-driven customization of style sheets." It requires Gnu Emacs or XEmacs, together with Lennart Staflin's PSGML mode (tested with version 1.0.1) and David Megginson's DSSSL extensions (psgml-dsssl.el). Some patches contributed by Dr. Markus Hoenicka ( have now been integrated, making psgml-jade work on Windows NT.

  • April 21, 1998. Posting from Norbert H. Mikula (DataChannel) announcing several significant updates for DataChannel's XML tools. URLs are given for DataChannel WebBroker, DataChannel Save to the Web functionality, DataChannel XML Parser (validating parser with DOM support), DataChannel DOM Builder, DataChannel XML Library, and the DataChannel XML Development Kit. See the DataChannel products and resources page for references to further information, including instructions for download and testing.

  • April 21, 1998. Announcement from the Linguistic Data Consortium for the release of a new SGML-encoded speech corpus. The 1996 Broadcast News Speech Corpus "contains a total of 104 hours of broadcasts from ABC, CNN, and CSPAN television networks and NPR and PRI radio networks with corresponding transcripts" (including programs such as ABC Nightline, ABC World Nightly News, CNN Headline News, CSPAN Washington Journal, NPR All Things Considered, NPR Marketplace, and others). The released version of the transcripts is in SGML format, and there is accompanying documentation, and an SGML DTD file, included with the transcription release." The Linguistic Data Consortium "is an open consortium of universities, companies and government research laboratories. It creates, collects and distributes speech and text databases, lexicons, and other resources for research and development purposes." Of the natural language datasets released by LDC from time to time, most employ some level of SGML encoding. See also the main database entry for the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC).

  • April 20, 1998. Availability of a proposal for a new TC [Technical Corrigendum] to ISO 8879, submitted to WG4 by the U.S. National Body. Now posted on the WG4 Web site, ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 N1963 "clarifies an ambiguity in Annex K of ISO 8879 with respect to implied default declarations when the relevant DTD properties can be specified in a data notation." In an overview of the proposed amendment, Eliot Kimber explained that it "codifies the idea of DOCTYPE declaration components that are not in DTD syntax" by allowing 'parameter data entities.' In the proposed K.2.5.3, a "DTD data entity" is "An external parameter entity, or document type declaration external subset entity, whose declaration includes a notation name." The proposal affects 8879 Production 110, which would read: [110] document type declaration = mdo, "DOCTYPE", ps+, document type name, (ps+, external identifier, (ps+, ("CDATA"|"NDATA"|"SDATA"), ps+, notation name)?)?, (ps+, dso, document type declaration subset, dsc)?, ps*, mdc.

  • April 20, 1998. Announcement from Michael H. Kay for GedML: Genealogical Data in XML. GedML is "a way of encoding genealogical data sets in XML. It combines the well-established GEDCOM data model with the new XML standard for encoding complex information. The result is a representation that can easily be converted to and from GEDCOM, but can be manipulated much more easily using standard tools."

  • April 19, 1998. Posting from TAMURA Kent announcing the update of IBM's XML processor, XML for Java. This version is updated to reflect the new DOM specification and the "Namespaces in XML" draft; it also adds a new package '' and fixes many bugs. "XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents." See the posting for other details on the update, or the download page on the IBM Alphaworks Web site.

  • April 19, 1998. RDF for XML. An IBM Alphaworks project coordinated by Neel Sundaresan, IBM Almaden Research Center. RDF for XML is "a Java implementation of the RDF specification for creating technologies that search for data and describe, categorize, rate, and otherwise manipulate the data. The RDF processor builds, queries, and manipulates RDF structures, and it serializes and de-serializes them to and from XML forms. As a foundation for processing metadata, RDF for XML provides inter-operability between applications that exchange machine-understandable information on the Web. RDF for XML describes resources and their properties in a domain-independent way. It can be used in a variety of areas, including resource discovery for search engines, cataloging for describing contents, content rating, and so on. This implementation of RDF uses XML as its encoding syntax and conforms to the working draft dated 02/16/98 of the RDF Syntax and Model working group of the W3C." See the Web site for the FAQ document and download information. [alt URL]

  • April 19, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for the recent conversion of The DSSSL Cookbook into SGML. Part of the DSSSL Documentation Project, the Cookbook collects "a series of hints about using DSSSL, including style and techniques for writing DSSSL stylesheets as well as the use of specific DSSSL functions and flow object classes." The SGML, HTML, and RTF versions of The DSSSL Cookbook are available on on the Mulberry Web server.

  • April 19, 1998. On property sets and groves, note: (1) an informative article "The Purpose of Groves," posted by Steve Newcomb (TechnoTeacher Inc.) to the Usenet newsgroup comp.text.sgml (CTS); and (2) from Russell O'Connor: ps2java, being ". . . a series of DSSSL style sheets that create a series of Java interfaces and classes from a property set. ps2java uses (abuses?) Jade's SGML backend to create a list of classes which is split into a series of individual files using an Java program included called Split. . ." For additional references, see: "Groves, Grove Plans, and Property Sets in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime."

  • April 17, 1998. A new W3C Working Draft of the "Document Object Model Specification." WD-DOM-19980416. DOM WG Chair: Lauren Wood, SoftQuad, Inc. The DOM defines "a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, a standard model of how these objects can be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them." The new draft is available in HTML and Postscript formats.

  • April 17, 1998. Publication of a second article on XML in a multi-part series, by Todd Freter (Program Manager, Global Engineering and Information Services, Sun Microsystems, Inc.). "Beyond Text and Graphics. XML Makes Web Pages Function Like Applications." Beginning with a summary of XML highlights from the recent Seattle conference, Freter observes a "clear shift in focus from documents to applications. XML is promoting the concept of a 'weblication' (web application) that can work wonders on the web client without generating so much Internet traffic. . . this merging of application functionality with web pages, which is a first principle of XML, reflects the merging of application functionality with documents that the Macintosh operating environment popularized since 1984. The ability of web sites to do much more than simply deliver text and graphics is at the heart of XML's ascendancy. XML is clearly a key component of the Internet's evolution from a communication channel to a data processing platform." See also the article entry in the XML section, and reference to the first article installment.

  • April 17, 1998. A small collection of [XML-DEV] postings on "inheritance," "subtyping," and related notions in XML/SGML/HyTime. Indirectly or directly: one of the possible means of getting at [DTD] "semantics" in XML/SGML -- both of which, bent upon providing syntax and "no [processing] semantics", are nevertheless of limited use for the purposes of interchange or processing apart from a basic agreement upon/definition of 'inherent data-modelling' semantics. Are architectural forms the (whole) answer? Recently-proposed schema languages (like XML-Data)?

  • April 15, 1998. What is a "document" in the context of a networked world where pieces of information resident on different computers are combined "just in time" and "on the fly" to generate hignly interactive presentations of text and graphical content? Just what is a 'micro-document'? What then is document processing? In the feature article of the current Gilbane Report, XML co-editor Tim Bray interacts with and elaborates upon the term "document computing" (encompassing "at least electronic publishing, word processing, document management, and information retrieval") as a means of getting to tbe bottom of these and related questions. Particularly "with the advent of XML," he says, "there are going to be a large number of electronic objects hurtling around the Net that are called documents but certainly don't 'feel like' documents." The article: "Document Computing - Is This Our Business?" in The Gilbane Report on Open Information & Document Systems Volume 6, Number 1 (January/February 1998) 1-16. The bibliographic entry contains a more detailed overview of the article, including its editorial introduction.

  • April 14, 1998. Added database entry in the XML section for "XML in Mozilla." The source code was released into the public sphere on March 31 1998, and efforts are now underway to coordinate the development of XML support, including the use of James Clark's expat XML parser.

  • April 13, 1998. Publication of Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schemas as a W3C Working Draft. References: WD-rdf-schema-19980409, W3C Working Draft 9 April 1998; URL: The editors are Dan Brickley (University of Bristol), R.V. Guha (Netscape), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). "An RDF schema is a collection of information about classes of RDF nodes, including properties and relations. This paper supplements the RDF Model and Syntax [RDFMS] specification by providing a typing system: informally, it is a basic set of nodes and relations that can be used to express properties of classes of RDF nodes. It includes a facility to indicate that certain classes are subclasses of others, and provides a small number of basic classes. Finally, it contains a facility for specifying a small number of constraints such as the cardinality (number of occurences) required and permitted of properties of instances of classes. . ." See the online document or the RDF database entry.

  • April 11, 1998. Submission to the World Wide Web Consortium concerning a proposed Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML). References: W3C NOTE-PGML-19980410, World Wide Web Consortium Note 10-April-1998, URL The W3C NOTE was submitted by representatives of Adobe Systems Incorporated, International Business Machines Corporation, Netscape Communications Corporation, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. The abstract: "This document is the specification for the Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML). PGML is a 2D scalable graphics language designed to meet both the simple vector graphics needs of casual users and the precision needs of graphics artists. PGML uses the imaging model common to the PostScript(R) language and Portable Document Format (PDF); it also contains additional features to satisfy the needs of Web applications." The NOTE is characterized as "a working document. It is not meant to be a complete definition for PGML. Many sections have been left open or have been labeled Ideas for Consideration so that the working group can develop the strongest possible language specification and ensure that it is fully compatible with other W3C standards efforts."

    Among the 'Design Principles': PGML should be an XML application and the imaging model is an instance of the RDF data model. . . PGML should be compatible with and fully leverage all related W3C standards efforts. . .in particular, PGML will be an application of XML. . .[provision for ] exporting the imaging model to the DOM." A W3C 'Comment on PGML Submission' asserts: "PGML is expressed in XML, which allows PGML graphics to be modified with style sheets along with the document in which they are contained." A sample from Appendix B (minus the pretty-printing):

    <?XML version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE PGML SYSTEM "pgml1.0.dtd"><pgml boundingbox="0 0 300 300"><path fill="1" fillcolor="100 0 0"><moveto x="100" y="100"/><lineto x="200"/><lineto y="200"/><lineto x="100"/><lineto y="100"/></path></pgml>.
    See the (extracted) "Document Type Definition for the Precision Graphics Markup Language, PGML" from Appendix D.

  • April 10, 1998. Availability of an online description of the LaTeX3 Project goals for making the document preparation system more straightforwardly compatible with SGML/XML and DSSSL. The new LaTeX3 syntax is to include some SGML/XML constructs (e.g., `entity', `attribute') and the style-designer interface is to "support the DSSSL specifications and style-sheet concepts such as those used with HTML and XML." The description is extracted from a recent TUGboat article written by Frank Mittelbach and Chris A. Rowley. Further information about (La)TeX and SGML/XML/DSSSL is available in the dedicated bibliographic essay document.

  • April 09, 1998. Announcement for the recent release of the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 1.0 Specification as a W3C Proposed Recommendation. Prepared by the Synchronized Multimedia Working Group. References: PR-smil-19980409, W3C Proposed Recommendation 09-April-1998. The document "specifies version 1 of the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL 1.0, pronounced 'smile'). SMIL allows integrating a set of independent multimedia objects into a synchronized multimedia presentation. Using SMIL, an author can: 1) describe the temporal behavior of the presentation; 2) describe the layout of the presentation on a screen; and 3) associate hyperlinks with media objects [. . .] SMIL documents are XML 1.0 documents." Section 5 of the specification describes the SMIL DTD. See the W3C Audio, Video, and Synchronized Multimedia overview, or the local database entry for other information.

  • April 08, 1998. New white paper from Microsoft on XML. "XML: Enabling Next-Generation Web Applications." By [Microsoft Staff]. April 3, 1998. Abstract: "Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides a significant advance in how data is described and exchanged by Web-based applications using a simple, flexible standards-based format. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) enables universal methods for viewing data; XML provides universal methods for working directly with data." I have included this document in the (short) list of introductory and general articles on XML/XSL/XLink.

  • April 08, 1998. XML and "The Weeds of El Limon." Have a look, and don't miss the document describing the underlying technology. Paul A. Houle says: ". . . as much as I hate to admit it, I chose MSXML because it was the only well-documented XML parser at the time. If I had started this project today, I would have probably used IBM's XML for Java. . ."

  • April 08, 1998. Gathering interest in the formation of a new Usenet newsgroup dedicated to XML, planned as comp.text.xml. James Tauber has taken a lead role in drafting an RFD (Request for Discussion). See the provisional database entry with relevant pointers.

  • April 08, 1998. Creation of a document entitled "SGML/XML: Elements versus Attributes. When Should I Use Elements, and When Should I Use Attributes?". The document has minimal and provisional content, and is referenced from the "Grammar" Section of the "Topics" page and from "Technical Documents" Section of the XML page. Had I created this document back in the 1980's, it would now be a lot better: every year, in some public forum, a question is asked about optimal use of elements and/versus attributes and principled reasons for choices, and the markup experts dutifully offer their opinions. The answer to this question is more interesting and complicated now that some XML documents lack a DTD or other schema, and by the fact that we have attribute renaming (XLink), and architectural forms processing (SGML Extended Facilities, Annex A of HyTime-1997) supported by Jade. A popular misconception that [I think] needs to be addressed is this: "If you use an attribute to encode some information, a browser won't display the information..." (Whose browser? Using what style language?) Readers are welcome to send suggestions and contributions for the document I've created, in hopes of making more useful for the new generation of XML markup language designers.

  • April 07, 1998. Announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium for the release of the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) specification as a W3C Recommendation. MathML, the first application of XML to be issued as a W3C Recommendation, was designed for encoding mathematical notation and content for use on the Web. . . MathML is a low-level syntax for representing structured data such as mathematics in machine-to-machine communication over the Web, providing a much-needed solution for including mathematical expressions over the Web. In developing MathML, the goal was to define an XML-compliant markup language that describes the content and presentation of mathematical expressions. This was achieved with MathML. As an XML application, MathML capitalizes on XML features and benefits from the wide support of XML. . ." The editors of the MathML specification are Patrick Ion (Mathematical Reviews / American Mathematical Society) and Robert Miner (Geometry Center / University of Minnesota); Principal Writers include Stephen Buswell, Stan Devitt, Angel Diaz, Nico Poppelier, Bruce Smith, Neil Soiffer, Robert Sutor, and Stephen Watt. [from the text] See W3C Math Working Group Home Page or the local database entry for other information.

  • April 07, 1998. Publication of the book Structuring XML Documents, by David Megginson. Charles F. Goldfarb Series on Open Information Management. [Subseries:] The Definitive XML Series from Charles F. Goldfarb. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR, [March] 1998. Extent: xxxviii + 425 pages, CDROM. ISBN: 0-13-642299-3. Price: US $39.95. Megginson is a well-known authority in the SGML/XML field: currently a member of the W3C XML Working Group, senior architect with Microstar Software Ltd., author of SGMLSpm and XML patches for PSGML, developer of Ælfred [a small, fast Java-based XML parser], and lead programmer for SAX. His new book represents a welcome contribution to the field, particularly on XML/SGML DTDs and Architectural Forms processing. Structuring XML Documents is a solid resource covering both XML and SGML (the first book I have seen which is based upon XML as a W3C Recommendation, 10-February-1998), and should provide valuable assistance to its users.

    Structuring XML Documents is organized in four major parts: Part 1: Background; Part 2: Principles of DTD Analysis; Part 3: Advanced Issues in DTD Maintenance and Design; Part 4: DTD Design with Architectural Forms. Structuring XML Documents is designed to help users apply XML and SGML to solve their document structuring problems. Specifically, readers will learn to: "1) analyze DTDs and adapt them for their specific processing needs; 2) build DTDs that are easier for others to learn, use, and process; 3) ensure structural compatability throughout their collection of enterprise DTDs; 4) use the new Architectural Forms standard to simplify complex DTD problems." See the online Table of Contents and overview of the book for details, or the bibliographic entry.

  • April 07, 1998. Announcement from Pierre Morel for the alpha release of a new tool called Visual XML, designed to assist in the creation and editing of XML documents, including DTDs. It is an application written in Java, and supports some internationalization and customization (e.g., Metal, Windows, Motif interfaces) features. The Visual XML project home page contains pointers to an online tutorial, full project description, and to the download page. The author solicits comments, corrections and suggestions from testers.

  • April 06, 1998. Article on XML and Java (documents and objects): "[XML: The Key to Bridging Java and the Web.] The Twain Shall Meet. Finding Convergence for Java and XML, Objects and Documents." By David Orchard. In Object Magazine 8/2 (April 1998) 60-65.

  • April 06, 1998. Announcement from James Clark for the release of expat - (EXtensible markup language PArser Toolkit). expat is a new beta-test version of Clark's XML parser in C, previously called xmltok. It has been issued under the Mozilla Public License Version 1.0. Other information on expat is available on Clark's Web site: Clark says: "This is the parser that is being used to add support for XML to Netscape Navigator 5 and Perl. I've switched to using the new Mozilla Public License for this release and future releases. Note that if you have the previoous release, you can continue to use it according to the license under which it was released." Information about other XML parsing tools is accessible from the XML/XLink/XSL Software Tools section of the database.

  • April 03, 1998. Announcement from Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN International Corp) for experimental code that lets you test the XLinks and XPointers in your Web-accessible XML documents. Part of an early-stage implementation 'XLink in DSSSL Package' - a function package for resolving XPointers in DSSSL using Jade.

  • April 03, 1998. Announcement from the editors of ISO-HTML for the availability of ISO/IEC CD 15445 HTML, in HTML format. Roger Price and David Abrahamson have also produced a User's Guide to ISO/IEC 15445:1998 HyperText Markup Language (HTML). According to the Introduction in this guide: "The ISO-HTML language is an application of the International Standard ISO/IEC 8879 -- Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). . . The International Standard was developed in an effort to ensure that it will remain possible for an author to produce simple hypertext for the web and be confident that a conforming browser will be able to render the document faithfully. . . The language defined by the International Standard is a refinement of the W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.0 and provides additional specifications for the use of that document. All documents conforming to the International Standard also conform to the W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.0. ISO-HTML omits all deprecated features of the language, features whose role is purely cosmetic, and features which are still unstable or immature. This has been done in preparation for the expected wide adoption of style sheets by authors and browser manufacturers. Certain optional facilities such as markup omission of the document and other major elements have been removed to produce more robust texts in keeping with recognized good SGML practice. This does not reduce in any way the expressive power of the language. The conformance statements in the International Standard distinguish between a conforming system and a validating system. Conforming systems behave correctly when processing conforming documents, but are not required to handle errors. Validating systems are required to identify all SGML and ISO-HTML errors, and must be able to certify that a document is valid ISO-HTML. Commercial browsers are usually conforming systems, whereas authoring tools check for validity." For other details on ISO-HTML, see the main database entry.

  • April 03, 1998. Availability of "SAX - The Simple API for XML." By David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) A handout from the author's presentation at XML Developers' Day, Seattle, WA, 27 March 1998. In HTML and Postscript formats.

  • April 03, 1998. Announcement from Norman Walsh (ArborText, Inc.) for the availability of slides and examples from the XSL Tutorial given by Paul Grosso and Norm at the Seattle XML '98 Conference (March 24, 1998). The slides "were produced from a single SGML source document using a mixture of XSL and DSSSL." See the XSL document for other XSL resources.

  • April 03 [06], 1998. A brief but informative Overview of XLink and XPointer, from Eve Maler, posted to XML-L. Note also, in the same context, a reference to the XLink summary by Steve DeRose, "What is XLink?". Eve Maler and Steve DeRose are co-editors of the new XLink and XPointer specifications from the W3C WG. The introduction to the XLink document has been rewritten to reflect the name change from "Extensible Linking Language (XLL)" to XLink; XLinknow serves as a cover term for the XLink language proper and for the companion XPointer addressing language.

  • April 02, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies) for the availability of an online tutorial on the DSSSL Core Expression Language. The tutorial is accessible in SGML, HTML, and RTF formats from The source format is SGML (encoded in DocBook 3.0 markup); a transformation to both HTML and RTF was made using James Clark's Jade DSSSL engine and Norman Walsh's db108b1 stylesheet. Mulberry Technologies has contributed this tutorial on DSSSL's Core Expression Language to the DSSSL Documentation Project in celebration of the first full year of DSSSList's operation. DSSSList now has approximately 480 subscribers and there have been over 2,000 messages posted during the first year of the forum (March 25, 1997 - March 25, 1998).

  • April 01, 1998. Announcement from the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) concerning its decision to host The SGML/XML Web Page, "a comprehensive reference site for information about open document interchange standards." Initially, "OASIS sponsor members, the Graphic Communications Association (GCA), Inso Corporation and ISOGEN International, are funding the independent Web page to ensure long-term, free access to its library of information related to these important standards." The press release with the announcement was made by OASIS at the Seattle XML Conference on March 23, 1998.

    Users of The SGML/XML Web Page can expect a change in the Web site URL in the near future, and are invited to notify the editor with their key suggestions for site reorganization and optimization in order to better serve their information needs. A number of enhancements, structural changes (modularization), and navigational features are planned for the Web site under its new sponsorship.

    As database editor, I hereby express public gratitude to the OASIS Board of Directors, to its Executive Director (Robin Tomlin), to the current OASIS sponsor members, and to the larger OASIS consortium membership for their long-range vision in providing this sponsorship. Special thanks is due to Carla Corkern (OASIS Chief Educational Programs Officer, and ISOGEN International Corp) for facilitating negotiations under which the new sponsorship has been arranged; ISOGEN will be providing a number of key resources for my continued work on the SGML/XML Web Page database. An additional word of appreciation for the former site sponsorship is eminently fitting. While the current SGML/XML Web Page database represents largely a ten-year personal hobby and "labor of love," it has been made possible through the cooperation of its many users, and by two corporate entities in particular. The Summer Institute of Linguistics Department of Academic Computing (under department chair Gary Simons) has provided generous opportunity for me to develop the online resource, and to deliver it over the SIL Web server. Evan Antworth, SIL Webmaster, has assisted in many ways. For the past three years, some tangible support has been contributed also by SoftQuad, Inc., as originally arranged by the late Yuri Rubinsky.

  • April 01, 1998. A new submission to the W3C from the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for Web Schematics. According to the document abstract, the submission "presents an outline proposal for representing schematic graphics in web documents. Approaches taken by a variety of document production systems are reviewed and some key issues identified. An approach to a schematic graphics markup language is described. A number of open questions and stylistic issues are identified that can form the basis for discussion of the proposal in a workshop. A key question is the extent to which the approaches taken in graphics standards such as GKS-94 are applicable in the web context. The model of primitives and attributes in graphics standards in particular, is rather different to the model of content and attributes in SGML/HTML. The need for a clean model to underpin markup of schematic graphics is highlighted and this should be a key issue to be addressed in discussion of this document."

  • March 31, 1998. Several recent additions to the section listing XML articles, papers, presentations, etc. Some of the presentations from the Seattle XML Conference ('XML: The Conference') are starting to come online; for the time being, I will reference these papers and slide sets from the 'XML articles' section.

  • March 31, 1998. Annotated version of the XML specification, provided by XML co-editor, Tim Bray. This online resource (previously referenced without an appropriate introduction) should prove extremely valuable to XML implementors, as well as to general readers. The unaltered text of the XML specification is presented in one pane (frame) of the display, augmented by graphically distinct note markers of five types: "(1) Historical or cultural commentary; some entertainment value; (2) Technical explanations, including amplifications, corrections, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions; (3) Advice on how to use this specification; (4) Examples to illustrate what the spec is saying; (5) Annotations that it's hard to find a category for." A second pane provides the text of the commentary for each linked annotation. The resource also features a linked list of "Terms Defined in XML 1.0", and links to relevant sections of the specification from a list of EBNF productions. The annotations (some 308) are accessible from their titles as well. We are indebted to Tim Bray for making this fine commentary publicly available. The Annotated XML Specification is hosted on the Web site

  • March 30, 1998. Announcement and Call for Papers from Carla Corkern (ISOGEN International Corp, and conference co-chair) for HyTime '98, the Fifth International HyTime Conference. The 1998 International Conference on the Application of HyTime will be held at the Le Centre Sheraton Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, during August 17-19, 1998. The conference will be immediately preceded by Eliot Kimber's HyTime Course, and immediately followed by an XML Developers' Day. The IHC conferences "bring together HyTime users, prospective HyTime users, systems vendors, systems integrators, applications developers, consultants, and researchers to compare notes, share lore and experience, ask questions, consider answers, and have a stimulating time in a relaxed and remarkably intimate atmosphere." Abstracts for papers and presentation proposals should be submitted to either of the 1998 conference co-chairs, Steven R. Newcomb or Carla Corkern. Additional details on HyTime '98 will be referenced from the main conference entry.

  • March 30, 1998. Larry Wall has provided an early release of the Perl XML::Parser module, demonstrated at 'XML: The Conference' last Friday. See the database entry XML and Perl for the pointers, and for references to Wall's presentation at the Seattle XML Developers' Day.

  • March 28, 1998. The Seattle XML Conference is. . . (searching deeply for editorial objectivity) "now over." Relatively few "new" revelations were made as far as I could tell, but rapid progress toward XML is evident and some working XML tools were demonstrated by the developers. I observed the collocation "XML...a slam dunk" at least four times from industry spokespersons; I heard several admonitions from Microsoft employees to the audience urging that "W3C specifications should be followed strictly"; and I saw tangible evidence of companies making commitments to XML in pilot projects which are not toys. One of about 80 handouts I collected bears the title "GCA is Proud to Present 'The Definitive XML Series', featuring four new book titles for 1998: Structuring XML Documents, by David Megginson [just released, and recommended!]; XML by Example, by Sean McGrath; The XML Handbook, by Charles Goldfarb and Paul Prescod; Designing XML Internet Applications, by Michael Leventhal. The books are most welcome, and the conference presentations/reports were encouraging. In counterpoint: it may create a bitter-sweet feeling for some, that the momentum and rhetoric are escalating with such force -- given that XLink, XPointer, and XSL are still in draft. How far can one get without links? As the published conference reports appear, I will reference them from the main conference entry. Meantime, here's a repost of a worthy early report from Tim Bray, composed on the airplane, I imagine. Tim reported on XML namespaces, for which we now have a Working Draft (see below).

  • March 28, 1998. Release of the first Working Draft of the W3C XML document Namespaces in XML, produced as part of the XML Activity, and previously released in January as a W3C 'NOTE'. The document editors are: Tim Bray (XML co-editor, Textuality), Dave Hollander (Hewlett-Packard Company), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft). References: W3CWD-xml-names-19980327, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 27-March-1998. The namespaces draft "describes a simple method for qualifying certain names used in Extensible Markup Language documents by associating them with namespaces, identified by URI." In the simplest case, the namespace problem is undeniable and the proposed XML namespace solution is straight-forward (indirection being required by the RFC's lexical rules for URIs). Pieces of text containing XML markup which might be "cut and pasted" across domains without respect for the (implicit or explicit) source document schemas/DTDs could result in ambiguity as well as name collision. So: declarations in the form of XML processing instructions may be put into the prolog of an XML document, as exemplified in <?xml:namespace ns="" prefix="cn9804" ?>, and the corresponding prefixes may be added to elements, attributes and processing instructions of the source document instance: (e.g.,) <cn9804:name>Boatia</cn9804:name>. In these cases, a processor would be able to make sense of an encoded name element such as "Boatia" by referring to the authority list stored in or referenced by the resource given as a namespace identifier, viz., ''. The value of the ns attribute does not have to be a real link -- just a unique name to identity the namespace. Users should observe the warnings in the working draft, as well as in the cautionary note from Jon Bosak, concerning the provisional status of the syntax. The draft states: "The XML Working Group will not allow early implementation to constrain their ability to make changes to this specification prior to final release." The XML Working Group anticipates that the namespace facility presented (provisionally) in this draft will be integrated into a future version of the XML specification. See also the main database entry for the W3C XML effort on namespaces.

  • March 26, 1998. Publication of two new W3C working draft documents relating to XML linking and addressing. Both documents are part of the W3C XML activity, and are edited by Eve Maler (ArborText) and Steve DeRose (Inso). The working draft XML Linking Language (Xlink) "specifies constructs that may be inserted into XML resources to describe links between objects. It uses XML syntax to create structures that can describe the simple unidirectional hyperlinks of today's HTML as well as more sophisticated multi-ended and typed links." References:, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 3-March-1998. The companion working draft document XML Pointer Language (XPointer) "specifies constructs that support addressing into the internal structures of XML documents. In particular, it provides for specific reference to elements, character strings, and other parts of XML documents, whether or not they bear an explicit ID attribute." References:, World Wide Web Consortium Working Draft 03-March-1998. A separate document explains the principles which have guided the Working Group's design of the linking and pointing mechanisms currently proposed in the two drafts. Readers are encouraged to study these new documents as a means of learning how XML's advanced linking and addressing facilities will support much richer and "robust" hypertext than is possible today using HTML link constructs.

  • March 26, 1998. Announcement by O'Reilly & Associates, its affiliate Songline Studios, and Seybold Publications for the creation of, a new web site designed to promote the development and commercial acceptance of XML, and to serve as "a key resource and nerve center for XML developers and users." The preview site currently features Tim Bray's annotated version of the XML 1.0 specification and other XML resources. According to an O'Reilly press release of March 25th, mission of is to help users "discover XML and learn how this new Internet technology can solve real-world problems in information management and electronic commerce. . . will feature a rich mix of information and services for the XML community. The site is designed to serve both people who are already working with XML and those HTML users who want to 'graduate' to XML's power and complexity." We expect to be a high-quality and premier online resource for the developing XML family of standards, and congratulate the three companies for their strategic vision and concrete achievements now visible in this public support of XML.

  • March 26, 1998. An informal meeting of X-ACT (XML Active Content Technologies Council) was held on March 25, 1998 at the Seattle XML Conference to discuss the structure and goals of the new industry organization. A revised FAQ document "Questions and Answers About X-AXT" was distributed, clarifying several aspects of the group's technology, marketing, and educational objectives. DataChannel's Dave Pool and others explained the alignment of X-ACT with relevant standards bodies and the "synergistic" nature of X-ACT's relationship with other industry groups (e.g., with OASIS, W3C, GCA). The FAQ document indicates that "given the high level of synergies between the [agendas of X-ACT and OASIS ], X-ACT will become a member of OASIS and the two organizations will work together in the future." See also the main database entry for X-ACT - XML Active Content Technologies Council.

  • March 23, 1998. New database entry for Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal. A program is underway by the Direction des publications électroniques des Presses de l'Université de Montréal to use SGML as the base technology for constructing a specific production line for learned journals. The first step consists in receiving from the publishers the articles in word processing format, and converting them to SGML. The SGML documents thus become the genuine products of the electronic publishing process. The encoders then create and disseminate on the Internet some by-products (SGML, HTML, PDF, and eventually XML). The publications team hopes that these diversified means of diffusion will satisfy the various needs of the readers. Up to now they have produced an electronic version of an issue of Géographie physique et Quaternaire journal as a pilot project. They are now entering a new project which consists in producing all the issues of five different learned journals for the current year." See also the PUM Web site.

  • March 23, 1998. Announcement from John Unsworth for the availability of Inote version 6.0. Inote is an image annotation tool developed by Robert Bingler, Daniel Pitti, John Unsworth, and others at the University of Virginia; it uses XML for the encoding of annotations. Overview: "Inote is an image annotation tool written in Java: it allows the user to attach textual annotations to various regions in an image and then store those annotations and details in a separate text file. It can also generate certain kinds of details automatically by reading the image: soon, we will add a utility that will generate overlays by reading SGML markup associated with an image. Currently, Inote runs under Windows95 as a self-contained executable (using the Java Runtime Environment), or on various Unix platforms (with a separately installed JDK). Using Inote as a stand-alone application, you can create details of several types (rectangle, polygon, circle, point), you can attach one or more annotations to each of these details, and you can organize details into overlays, using as many overlays as you like. Details can be moved across the overlay, resized, and copied or moved from one overlay to another; annotations can also be copied or moved. Annotations are saved as XML data, using an XML structure that can be incorporated into other XML or SGML structures."

  • March 20, 1998. Public press release from the SGML Open Consortium, announcing a name change: "SGML Open Responds to XML Initiative: Changes Name to OASIS. Established International Consortium Expands Mission to Embrace XML and Related Structured Information Standards." According to the announcement, "SGML Open, the international consortium that has guided the SGML industry since 1993, announced today that it has changed its name to OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. The name change reflects the consortium's expanded mission to embrace the complete spectrum of structured information processing standards including XML." Other information is available via the OASIS Web site, or in the main database entry.

  • March 20, 1998. A new Web site for SGML UK, the United Kingdom chapter of the International SGML Users' Group (ISUG). This chapter was formed in 1992, and under the leadership of Francis Cave, currently has some 150 members. The new SGML UK Web site is being developed by the Publishing and New Media Technology Group at Pira International, with assistance from Paul Ellison at the University of Exeter. A forthcoming meeting of the group will focus upon style languages: "Putting on the Style! - DSSSL, CSS, XSL, ..." (Tuesday 31 March 1998, Wiltshire Hotel, Swindon). Note also updates for the Rocky Mountain XML User Group and the Midwest SGML Forum.

  • March 19, 1998. New database entry for the University of Warwick Modern Records Centre, Finding Aids Project, which recently made its SGML-based EAD encoded catalogue available for online Web access. New also in "Academic Applications" is a special introductory section on the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and Finding Aids Projects, several of which are featured in the SGML/XML Web Page database. The EAD DTD has recently been revised so Version 1 will be fully compliant with XML.

  • March 18, 1998. Formation of a Python XML-SIG: A Special Interest Group for XML Processing in Python. The SIG was created "to provide a forum for discussion and implementation of tools to make Python an excellent choice for XML processing. The goal of this SIG is to decide what software is required for this purpose, and coordinate its implementation and documentation." Further details on the SIG are referenced in the main XML document, sub "XML Mailing Lists and Discussion Groups."

  • March 18, 1998. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson (HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh) for the alpha release of 'XED: A smart XML instance editor'. As a WYSIWYG XML instance editor, "XED uses the LT XML toolset integrated with a Python-Tk user interface, to provide a free, cross-platform, well-formedness preserving editor for XML document instances." Windows95/NT binaries are available now, and a binary for Solaris is planned for delivery very shortly. The author solicits feedback from testers for this alpha version of XED. The LT XML toolkit and other SGML/DSSSL/XML software tools are accessible via the Web server of the Language Technology Group, Human Communication Research Centre, Edinburgh. Updates for XED will be referenced in the XED database entry.

  • March 16, 1998. Communique from Liora Alschuler (The Word Electric, and Chair of Kona Editorial Group) for a special meeting of the HL7 SGML/XML SIG on Monday, May 18, 1998, at the upcoming SGML/XML Europe conference. "The Monday program will include reports on the use of SGML/XML within the British National Health Service, CEN TC251, HL7, DICOM, HANSA, and other standards and commercial applications. See the main conference entry for other details on the upcoming Paris conference. Also: the database entry for SGML Initiative in Health Care (HL7 Health Level-7 and SGML).

  • March 16, 1998. Availability of an online discussion paper on XML namespaces, written by Rick Jelliffe; registered within the "Technical Documents" section, along with several other working papers on namespaces. See: "xml-bind - XLinks from Types and Names." Its reference: 'Note 13 March, 1998 (Note-xml-bind-19980313)'. [Status:] "This document is a NOTE for discussion by the W3C XML-related groups. It is primarily an alternative to the namespace proposal and a contribution to defining XLink requirements. RDF and XML-data designers may also find it relevant. [Abstract:] Current linking systems are based on links from elements (i.e., instances of element types in a document). This paper holds that several of the technologies under development by the W3C working groups are better characterized as links from types and names. Suggestions are made for a general architecture to handle this, and for how this can be integrated into XLink. Namespaces, parts of RDF, and SGML Open Catalogs are re-characterized as XLinks from types and names."

  • March 16, 1998. Publication of "XML: Mastering Information on the Web," by Todd Freter (Program Manager, Global Engineering and Information Services, Sun Microsystems). This article is part 1 in a planned four-part series on XML. The article is available online via the Sun Web site; or see its registration in the collection of XML articles.

  • March 13, 1998. Updated document register on the WG4 Web site (ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 Web Service). The document labeled ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 N1959 "clarifies some points in Annex K of ISO 8879 and corrects some errors in informative Annex L that were observed during implementation." Also available is ISO/IEC JTC1/WG4 N1960: this document collects into one place the changes made to ISO 8879 in 1997 (which are the only changes made since 1988) [and] incorporates corrections to Annexes K and L that are still undergoing formal approval."

  • March 10, 1998. New database entry for the Centro Ricerche Informatica e Letteratura (CRILet), prompted by an announcement from Fabio Ciotti. "The Centro Ricerche Informatica e Letteratura (CRILet) is a research group established at the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies of the University of Roma La Sapienza. The group is co-ordinated by Prof. Giuseppe Gigliozzi, and is composed of a number of undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers. The main objectives of CRILet are to conduct studies in Humanities and Literary computing and to produce digital and on-line literary resources and archives. CRILet has initiated as an experimental project the Web publication of some texts of the Italian literary tradition encoded in SGML according to the TEI P3 or TEI Lite DTD. The currently-available encoded text are browsable on-line with the help of an SGML browser like SoftQuad Panorama. The project has also recently prepared an Italian translation of TEI document N. TEI U5, written by Lou Burnard and Michael Sperberg-McQueen, TEI Lite. Introduction to Text Encoding for Interchange." [adapted from CRILet online sources]

  • March 10, 1998. Added section "XML and/versus SGML" in the primary XML document. Readers are invited to nominate URLs for this section. Formalisms, transforms, and DTD design strategies are in view here, not politics.

  • March 10, 1998. XML news, from Spring Internet World '98 and all around. See the XML News and Rumor section.

  • March 09, 1998. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) for the version 1.1 release of Microstar's free Java-based XML parser, Ælfred. From the announcement: "Ælfred is a very small, very fast XML parser optimised for use with applets, where Java 1.0.2 compatibility and download time are major requirements. Ælfred is forgiving with some errors, but otherwise supports the entire feature set of the XML 1.0 recommendation including Unicode, defaulted attribute values, external DTD subsets, external entities, and flagging of ignorable whitespace. The distribution also contains a native SAX (Simple API for XML) driver so that you can interchange Ælfred with other SAX-supported parsers without rewriting your code. Version 1.1 introduces a smaller, cleaner interface, together with some important new functionality: 1) the ability to read an XML document from an input stream as well as a URI; 2) a new, optional SAX driver; 3) a new, optional base class for deriving event handlers; 4) a new, optional exception class for reporting parsing errors; 5) use of the HTTP content-encoding parameter, if available; 6) better position-reporting for errors." See the Microstar news document for more detailed information on Ælfred 1.1 changes, and the main database entry for Ælfred XML Parser for other information

  • March 09 [10], 1998. Announcement from James Clark for the public availability of SP version 1.3 and Jade version 1.1. "The main change in SP 1.3 is better support for XML based on the Web SGML TC. In Jade 1.1 the main changes are the experimental extensions for XSL (documented in dsssl2.htm), and the use of XML for the FOT backend's output." See Clark's Web site for detailed information. Note to SP and Jade users who depend upon the architectural processing support: the appropriate ArcBase processing instruction is now <?IS10744 ArcBase DSSSL>, and no longer <?ArcBase DSSSL>; SP and Jade will require the former, on penalty of error message (ca.) "jade:E: specification document does not have the DSSSL architecture as a base architecture..." or similarly. Thanks to Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN International) for clarification on this point.

  • March 09, 1998. Weekend update of the [] full-text VMS index for the SGML/XML Web Page database. This access method carries some liabilities (noted on the search form), but does provide a means for locating certain kinds of SGML/XML information.

  • March 07, 1998. Several minor but perhaps interesting changes in the main XML Page: (1) two additions in the XML Books section; (2) a note on the availability of the 'XML-ized' TIM DTD (version 2.0.4), for Telecommunications/Technical Interchange Markup; (3) announcement for the availability of an XML version of the DocBook DTD, version 0.3, from Norman Walsh; (4) reference to sample documents 'in XML format' from Richard Light's companion web site for Presenting XML; (5) a note for Jeroen van Rotterdam's XML application, MusicML - An XML Experience, in the 'Miscellaneous' section. In my ideal database, I will have invented some enumerated data types for 'updates' of various kinds and at several hierarchical levels (for string factoids, paragraphs, modules/sections); these would be searchable by type and date, automatically extracted into a separate update page, easily identified visually in the running text and in 'Contents' listings by colorized buttons/icons, and subject to both fading and automatic expiration after the change is no longer to be regarded as representing a 'new' bit of information. Auto-generated metadata. Maybe later in 1998. Meantime, crude indicators of information updates are usually embedded in date notices of the form 'YYMMDD' or 'Month Day, Year'.

  • March 06, 1998. The International SGML Users' Group (ISUG) now has a new web site: The ISUG web site is being hosted on a computer maintained by Peter Newcomb of TechnoTeacher, Inc.; the computer itself is located at ISOGEN International Corporation. The quarterly ISUG newsletter, edited by Eamonn Neylon, also has a new name (InterChange) and a new look beginning with the January 1998 issue. Readers unfamiliar with the International SGML Users' Group may wish to survey the web site to learn about ISUG's benefits, services, and other resources. The group's mission is to promote and facilitate the use of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and related standards such as XML, DSSSL, HyTime, etc. ISUG currently has some twenty-eight (28) members, with chapter members active especially in Europe. Several back issues of the newsletter are available online. The ISUG Bookstore, which purchases standards and other SGML/XML/HyTime documents in bulk, sells them to ISUG members as a discounted rate.

  • March 05, 1998. New database entry for Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM). ISO 8632:1992. Historically, CGM has been a preferred graphics standard in government and industry applications of SGML and ODA (e.g., CALS MIL-D-28003A for defense/logistics, ATA aviation, J2008 automotive, PIP petrochemical). More recently, CGM has become of interest to W3C researchers (W3C Activity: Web Graphics) and commercial vendors (CGM Open Initiative) for its use in Internet applications.

  • March 05, 1998. Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems), Chair of the XML Developers' Day '98, has posted a Preliminary Schedule for the XML Dev Day listing the speakers and announced topics. A fine lineup! Abstracts for the presentations will be available shortly. The XML Developers' Day is the final event in GCA's XML Conference in Seattle, March 27, 1998. See the conference entry for other details.

  • March 04, 1998. Announcement from Joe Lapp for webMethods' distribution of its XML-based Web Automation Toolkit for free. According to the company announcement, "The Toolkit uses an XML-based technology called WIDL (Web Interface Definition Language) to allow developers to automate access to HTML and XML web pages and to do so without using a web browser. The developer designs interfaces consisting of functions having input and output parameters. The input parameters fill out forms on web pages, and the output parameters contain information extracted from the pages returned upon submitting the form. Applications based on WIDL do not require any understanding of HTTP, HTML, or XML and need not even know that the functions they are using perform their jobs by interacting with the web. The toolkit is written completely in Java and runs on all platforms that support JDK 1.1." See the webMethods Inc. Home Page, or the database entry for Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL).

  • March 04, 1998. Announcement for the formation of a new industry technology council, X-ACT - XML Active Content Technologies Council. "X-ACT is an industry council formed to provide a communications venue for corporations working to develop real-world XML-based solutions to meet today's business needs, increase awareness about Active Content Technologies and their benefits, and maintain an index to Active Content software. Aligned with all standards bodies, X-ACT specifically focuses on promoting the usage and adoption of XML in real-world applications. . . Active Content represents all the possible forms of XML as documents, data and meta-data, and the new class of information systems that will allow data or objects to be re-used and re-purposed by any application." The eighteen (18) members include, to date: Allaire, Andersen Consulting, Arbor Text, BTG, DataChannel, Daylight Software, Informix, Inso, NexGen SI, OmniMark Technologies, Online Computing Library Center, PLATINUM Technology Solutions, Poet Software, NC Focus, Sybase, Thomson Corporation, Wall Data and WebMethods. See also the brief description on the X-ACT web site, and the main database entry for X-ACT (XML Active Content Technologies Council).

  • March 03, 1998. Publication of The Gilbane Report Volume 5, Number 5. The feature article is by XML co-editor, Tim Bray. "Authoring in Crisis - Where Next?" Details: In The Gilbane Report Volume 5, Number 6 (November/December 1997) 1-16. Bray offers here no promises or prognostications that XML with XSL/DSSSL is the only solution on the horizon, but this is a 'must-read' article if your head isn't clear on this topic, and if you want to clear it. The author shows how (he thinks) the crisis developed over a decade and a half. Tim is certainly not the first to submit a qualified declaration that "WYSIWYG is Dead" in a major article subsection head; see in recent memory Conrad Taylor, "What Has WYSIWYG Done to Us? [WYSIWYG Desktop Publishing Has Duped Us]," in The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems, and Peter Goldie, "Using SGML to Create Complex Interactive Documents for Electronic Publishing," in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. Or: David Siegel, "The Web is Ruined and I Ruined It." "Crisis" may be too strong a term, but we all know there's a serious problem here for many business professionals. Don't we.

  • February 29, 1998. Publication of the full conference program for the Twelfth International Unicode/ISO 10646 Conference and Global Computing Showcase, "Asia, Software + the Internet: Going Global with Unicode." April 8-10, 1998, Tokyo, Japan. This is an official pre-conference event of the 7th International World Wide Web Conference. At least three sessions with deal with Unicode and SGML/XML: e.g., "Unicode XML, XLL, and XSL" (Jon Bosak, Makoto Murata, Gavin Thomas Nicol); "Multilingual, and Parallel Aligned Texts: Putting XML and XLL to Work" (Gavin Thomas Nicol); "Native Language Markup" (Rick Jelliffe). For more information on the 12th Unicode Conference, see the main database entry.

  • February 28, 1998. Updated database entry for the Electronic Component Information Exchange (ECIX) project and its associated Pinnacles Component Information Standard (PCIS). The Pinnacles Group is a consortium of electronic component manufacturers originally consisting of Hitachi America, Intel Corporation, National Semiconductor, Philips Semiconductors, and Texas Instruments; Hewlett Packard and IBM Microelectronics recently joined the effort. "The Pinnacles Component Information Standard (PCIS) models electronic component technical information and defines an interchange format which supports Electronic Data Books (EDBs) and the Electronic Component Information eXchange Standard (ECIX). The standard enables electronic component manufacturers to create and distribute EDBs, independent of the supplier's or customer's computing environment. PCIS is an application of SGML (International Standards Organization, ISO 8879) and has been submitted to standards organizations for accreditation as an international standard. It is interoperable with the ECIX system and its tools. PCIS is supported by both commercial and proprietary tools, and is an open, documented standard promulgated by the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) and by the IEC." The documentation for PCIS Version 1.4 is now fully online, including an introduction, tutorial, extensive description in the Tag Library, DTDs, and sample datasheet documents.

  • February 27, 1998. Announcement from Michael Popham for TESS: The Text Encoding Summer School 1998., to be held July 19 - 23, 1998. Students will study the principles of document analysis, learn the basics of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), have hands-on experience of marking-up an electronic text using the Text Encoding Initiative's TEI Lite Document Type Definition, have hands-on experience of SGML authoring and browsing software, etc. Sponsored by the Oxford University Humanities Computing Unit, Oxford University. The closing date for applications is Friday May 1, 1998. See the database entry for other details.

  • February 27, 1998. Addition to the database section "XML: Miscellaneous Unevaluated Uncategorized" for XLogo. Dmitri Kondratiev says: "XLogo is a markup language I wrote to program Logo Turtle Graphics with XML in Java applet. XLogo program is a well-formed and valid XML document. XLogo runtime is a set of Java classes that process XLogo program. The main reason for XLogo was to find out the advantages that XML provides for developing problem domain specific meta languages. Another goal was to learn XML and experiment with SAX - Simple API for XML. To parse XML documents (programs and other files), XLogo uses SAX - Simple API for XML developed by David Megginson." [980227 post to XML-DEV]

  • February 27, 1998. Announcement from Ken MacLeod for a new 'Quilt Kit' centered around Quilt, with DTDs and docs for DocBook, LinuxDoc, and TEI Lite. It has been produced in conjunction with SGML-Tools. Quilt is a "processing and formatting framework for structured documents. Quilt is intended to support processing of common, rich document elements and is tested against and comes with support for the DocBook, LinuxDoc, and TEI Lite SGML document types (DTDs) and formatting to Ascii and HTML. Quilt-Kit Quilt bundled with all the tools, except Perl, to format DocBook, LinuxDoc, and TEI Lite documents, including user guides. The kit also includes DSSSL stylesheets for DocBook for use with Jade. The Kit includes: James Clark's Jade, James Clark's Jade, Dean Roehrich's Class-Eroot, Norm Walsh's DSSSL stylesheets for DocBook (db104), The Davenport Group's DocBook v3.0 DTD (docbk30), The Davenport Group's DocBook SGML documentation (dbsset), SGML-Tools' LinuxDoc DTD and docs (sgml-tools-dtd), The Text Encoding Initiative's TEI Lite DTD (teilite), TEI's TEI Lite documentation (teiu5), Class-Visitor, PkgMaker (a utility used by the Kit to install), Quilt, SGML-Grove, SGML-SPGroveBuilder, entity-map, and iso-entities-8879.1986." In this connection, one may wish to note Paul Prescod's recent "Concrete Proposal" for the SGML Tools project. See the announcement and its links, referenced above; also (provisionally), the database entry for SGML-Tools.

  • February 25, 1998. Now online: the Byte Magazine cover story for March 1998, on XML, as referenced earlier this year. "Weaving a Better Web. Reinventing the Web: XML and DHTML to Bring Order to the Chaos." By Scott Mace, Udo Flohr, Rick Dobson, and Tony Graham. In Byte Magazine Volume 23 Number 3 (March 1998) 58-68. See:

  • February 24 [25], 1998. New database entry in the XML Page for the WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification. "Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a result of continuous work to define an industry wide standard for developing applications over wireless communication networks. The WAP Forum, originally founded by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired PlanetWML was formed to create the global wireless protocol specification that works across differing wireless network technology types, for adoption by appropriate industry standards bodies. Reportedly, over 50 companies have now registered serious interest in the technology as represented in the specifications; Spyglass joined the Forum in February 1998. WML (Wireless Markup Language) is the associated markup language, based on XML, and is intended for use in specifying content and user interface for narrowband devices, including cellular phones and pagers. WML is designed with the constraints of small narrowband devices in mind. These constraints include: 1) Small display and limited user input facilities; 2) Narrowband network connection; 3) Limited memory and computational resources. WML includes four major functional areas: 1) Text presentation and layout - WML includes text and image support, including a variety of formatting and layout commands; 2) Deck/card organisational metaphor - all information in WML is organised into a collection of cards and decks; 3) Inter-card navigation and linking - WML includes support for explicitly managing the navigation between cards and decks; 4) String parameterization and state management - all WML decks can be parameterised, using a state model." [adapted] The WAP WML database entry contains a link to the WML DTD, drawn from the published specification, "Wireless Markup Language Specification".

  • February 24, 1998. MathML (Mathematical Markup Language) specification issued by W3C as a Proposed Recommendation. Editors: Patrick Ion and Robert Miner. Reference: PR-math-19980224. Abstract: "MathML is a low-level syntax for representing structured data such as mathematics in machine-to-machine communication over the Web, providing a much-needed solution for including mathematical expressions over the Web. In developing MathML, the goal was to define an XML-compliant markup language that describes the content and presentation of mathematical expressions. This was achieved with MathML. As an effective way to include mathematical expressions in Web documents, MathML gives control over the presentation and the meaning of such expressions. It does this by providing two sets of markup tags: one set presents the notation of mathematical data in markup format, and the other set relays the semantic meaning of mathematical expressions, enabling complex mathematical and scientific notation to be encoded in an explicit way. As an XML application, MathML capitalizes on XML features and benefits from the wide support of XML. Unlike HTML which was intended as a markup language for use by people, MathML is intended to be used by machines, facilitating the searching and indexing of mathematical and scientific information. Software tools that work with MathML render MathML into formatted equations, enabling users to edit mathematical equations much as one might edit HTML text. Several early versions of such MathML tools already exist, and a number of others, both freely available software and commercial products, are under development." See also the press release or the Mathematical Markup Language database entry.

  • February 24, 1998. "Adding Style and Behavior to XML Pages with a Dash of Spice." Submission to the W3C from Hewlett-Packard Company (HP Laboratories), February 3, 1998, recommending that the World Wide Web Consortium evaluate the proposal as part of the XSL style sheet discussion. Editor: Robert Stevahn. Reference: NOTE-spice-19980123. "Spice is an extended version of the ECMAScript language. . . [being] an amalgam of ideas from DSSSL, CSS and JavaScript." The abstract: "CSS is proving to be an easy-to-learn, effective approach for styling HTML pages. With a few simple extensions, ECMAScript becomes a powerful and easy-to-learn way to style XML pages using extensible CSS rules together with scripted flow objects. The approach doesn't rely on prior knowledge of the meaning of style properties, or on predefined flow objects. To encourage interoperability, URLs are used to name libraries that support a given set of flow objects and style properties. Each library can be implemented in different ways according to the needs of each platform. Flow objects can be implemented in Java, ActiveX or even ECMAScript. CSS flow objects are supported via a standard library. Spice leverages ongoing W3C work on CSS and DOM for the syntax of style rules, the properties of standard flow objects and the means for accessing and manipulating the document parse tree." See also the overview and the W3C comment on the Spice Submission. A document comparing Spice and XSL has been written by the submission's editor, Robert Stevahn.

  • February 23, 1998. Announcement from David Megginson of Microstar Software Ltd. for additional support in the PSGML-XML patches to psgml, which enable an XML Editing Mode in PSGML. In addition to bug fixes, Megginson has implemented new support for the `sgml-system-path' variable: its initial value is set automatically from the environment variable SGML_SEARCH_PATH, allowing reference to a DTD with a (single) relative URL, independent of the current/working directory. In this connection, note also the communique from MURATA Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems) indicating that PSGML-XML now works on Meadow. Meadow ('Multilingual enhancement to gnu Emacs with ADvantages Over Windows'), released by Miyashita Hisashi, is a fully internationalized version of Emacs20 on MS Windows, though lacking UTF-16 support to date. These enhancements for XML editing mode under emacs are built on top of psgml, the GNU Emacs Major Mode for editing SGML/XML coded documents, contributed by Lennart Staflin.

  • February 20, 1998. New database entry for the William Blake Archive. The William Blake Archive is a hypermedia archive sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the Getty Grant Program, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, Sun Microsystems, and Inso Corporation, with additional support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Blake archivists are planning to digitally reproduce approximately 55 copies of Blake's illuminated books (from some 175 copies of the 19 illuminated books produced during his lifetime), about half of which have never been reproduced before. The books are to be archived digitally, tagged (including indexing for retrieval, using a standard markup system that will be adapted for the purpose), and annotated. SGML is "used to tag images and texts in the archive," including "the SGML edition of David V. Erdman's Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, which [the Blake archivists] anticipate releasing sometime in the Spring [1998]." The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville uses SGML in many of its text projects, and has developed some SGML (aware) software in this connection.

  • February 19, 1998. Posting of the complete information (Schedule and Full Program) for XML: The Conference (1998) - "Enabling Intelligent Content on the Web." March 23 - 27, 1998. Seattle, Washington. For more information, see the conference Web site on the GCA server, or the local database entry.

  • February 19, 1998. Update of the topical page on SGML and (La)TeX, based upon a recent article which clarifies the current development focus of the LaTeX3 Project. Under the LaTeX3 Project, several facilities are being designed and developed to directly support the processing of SGML/XML-encoded documents through LaTeX. The relevant features of LaTeX are summarized in an article by Frank Mittelbach and Chris A. Rowley: "The LaTeX3 Project," TUGboat: The Communications of the TEX Users Group [Proceedings of the 1997 Annual Meeting] Volume 18, Numbner 3 (September 1997) 195-198. The requirements for SGML/XML being fulfilled in this effort are summarized in the SGML and (La)TeX page.

  • February 19, 1998. Update of Xparse, from Jeremie Miller. "Xparse is a 'fully compliant' well-formed XML parser written in less than 5k of JavaScript." See the database entry, or the Xparse web page. Miller is reportedly "working hard on Sparse, a companion XSL parser."

  • February 19, 1998. Report from Bill la Forge (Senior Research Engineer, The Open Group) for work in progress. "AXTP: Application eXtensible Transactional Protocol" - udp based transactional protocol, tested and working. . . takes 4 packets per transaction, (2-stage commit) . . .full recovery protocols are included. . . Application extensibility is achieved through the use of XML, application-specific structures being caried in the contents of pre-defined messages. The use of XML seems particularly appropriate, as its facilitates the movement of structured data between diverse programs." See the announcement or the entry in the 'miscellaneous' section of the XML page.

  • February 18, 1998. Announcement from Sebastian Rahtz for jadetex version 0.56, which "fixes a couple of bugs (including the one about horizontal rules in multi-columns), and adds a subdirectory './cooked' containing all the TeX macro files you need to build the format." See the database entry for the Jadetex Package.

  • February 18, 1998. Announcement from Bruce Hunter (SGML Systems Engineering) for an updated version (1.3) of the SGMLC language tools "designed specifically for creating SGML document processing applications in the Microsoft Windows environments." New features in this release include: "1) inbuilt ODBC support (query and update databases during document processing); 2) PERL-type regular expression support; 3) binary file I/O, with associated seek, put, etc. functions; 4) widow/orphan and hyphenation control; etc. The free, unregistered version of the SGMLC Publisher Development Environment includes all the new features listed above, plus full access to all the conversion, browser and publisher facilities. " See the web site, or the SGMLC database entry.

  • February 17, 1998. Announcement from Eric Miller (Office of Research, OCLC Online Computer Library Center) for a new W3C RDF Resource Description Framework draft specification, Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax. The document editors are Ora Lassila (Nokia Research Center) and Ralph R. Swick (World Wide Web Consortium). Reference: WD-rdf-syntax-19980216, W3C Working Draft 16 Feb 1998. See:

  • February 17, 1998. Reorganization of the XML/XLL/XSL materials referenced from the main XML page. Based upon the complete chronological listing of articles on XML I have extracted a small collection of titles for "Introducing XML." The database sections dedicated to XML News (press releases) and to XML Industry Support have now been allocated separate URLs. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.

  • February 16, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham of Mulberry Technologies, Inc. for a new mailing list: XSL-List, the open forum for discussion of XSL (Extensible Style Language). The new XSL-List is provided by Mulberry Technologies Inc. as a service to the XSL user community and the XSL standardization effort. Mulberry also supports DSSSList -- The DSSSL Users' Mailing List. "XSL-List will host discussion of XSL itself, XSL applications and implementation, and XSL user questions. XSL-List is open to everyone, users and developers, experts and novices alike. There is no restriction to what may be posted on the XSL-List provided it is related to XSL. XSL-List is not a W3C mailing list nor is it affiliated with W3C or any other organization. XSL-List has no official standing with any organization and XSL-List subscribers do not constitute a Special Interest Group. However, XSL-List was established with the encouragement of members of the W3C XSL Working Group, and members of the Working Group will be among the subscribers to the list." Postings to the mailing list are archived at on the Mulberry server. Instructions for list subscription are provided in the announcement; see also the new database entry for XSL-List.

  • February 16, 1998. Announcement from James Clark for a new test release of SP (version 1.2.92) and Jade (version 1.0.93). SP is "a free, object-oriented toolkit for SGML parsing and entity management" that provides modest support for XML as well. Jade is a 'DSSSL engine' - an implementation of the DSSSL style language. The main changes in Clark's SP package since version 1.2.91 are enhanced support for XML based on the final WebSGML Adaptations Annex (ISO 8879 Annex K) and the inclusion of the SX application (for converting SGML to normalized XML). In Jade 1.0.93, "the main change since 1.0.92 is in the FOT backend. The FOT file is now well-formed XML. It has also been changed to make it closer to the action part of an XSL style-sheet. The hyperlinking information is also represented in a more straightforward way. The idea is to make it practical both to have new backends that work from the FOT file and to have other programs that generate an FOT file." The announcement references the URLs for these latest test versions of SP and Jade. For other information, see Clark's SP and Jade pages, or the corresponding database entries in the SGML/XML Web Page: SP, Jade, and SX.

  • February 16, 1998. Announcement from Richard Tobin (Language Technology Group, Human Communication Research Centre, Edinburgh) for an updated version of RXP - "a non-validating XML parser in C, with support for UTF-8, UTF-16, and ISO-8859-1 character encodings." The RXP parser now finds most XML well-formedness errors in James Clark's test suite. RXP is under development as 'the parser in the next release of the LT XML system'. The parser is labeled "still not for public consumption."

  • February 16 [19], 1998. Announcement from Norman Walsh (ArborText Inc.) for an updated version of The Modular DocBook Stylesheets, version 1.05 [1.06]. These include both print and HTML DSSSL stylesheets for the DocBook DTD. Note that Norman Walsh has also made the DocBook Quick Reference available online in HTML, RTF, and PostScript formats.

  • February 13, 1998. Announcement from R. Alexander Milowski (Copernican Solutions Incorporated) for the beta 2 of the DAE SDK and DAE Server Software. DAE (Document Application Environment) "is a Java-based SDK for processing XML documents; it currently supports: DSSSL SDQL, DSSSL Style Language, DSSSL Groves, XML processing, and Scheme or Java Programming." Non-commercial use and internal commercial use are free. New features in this release include: "1) A new XML 1.0 Well-formed processor; 2) Faster style application once the style is loaded; 3) Faster SDQL execution; 4) An update to the Scheme environment supporting JIT compilers and Java 1.1 readers; 5) Updates for using the DAE SDK with a JIT compiler; 6) Element ID attribute support for SGM; 7) All demos are now XML-based (see the JSPI for SGML demos); 8) A new package ( was added for writing HTML groves; 9) Updates for XMLWriter to support writing valid XML."

  • February 12, 1998. Availability of a W3C NOTE relating to namespaces, schemas, and the evolution of Web technologies: "Web Architecture: Extensible Languages" (W3C Note 10 Feb 1998). The authors are Tim Berners-Lee and Dan Connolly, both of the World Wide Web Consortium. The document describes new work "related to the Architecture domain of the W3C, and particularly to the XML activity, but is related to HTML, HTTP and Metadata activities. . . it is meant to be a fairly explanatory synthesis of the requirements for namespace extension in languages on the web, and in particular for the general language planned to be the common basis of many future applications, XML. [... It addresses] constraints on language features for making reference to multiple different vocabularies, and on languges for 'schema' documents which define those vocabularies."

  • February 11, 1998. Call for Presentations: XML Developers' Day, March 27, 1998. This call for presentations has been issued by the Chair, Jon Bosak (XML WG Chair, and Online Information Technology Architect, Sun Microsystems) concerning the one-day technical conference for XML developers, to be held Friday, March 27, in Seattle, Washington. "XML Developers' Day is a single-track event devoted entirely to technical reports on the latest developments in XML implementation. . . Since stylesheet-based rendering is part of XML publishing, developers of tools that support XSL or DSSSL are invited to show their latest offerings as well. We're also open to presentations on XML-based languages (CML, OFX, etc.) and related efforts that might have a significant impact on the future of XML (RDF, XML-Data, etc.) if they are of particular interest to XML developers." The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 27. See also the database entry for the associated XML conference: XML: The Conference (1998). eXteNet '98. "Enabling Intelligent Content on the Web." March 23 - 27, 1998. Seattle, Washington.

  • February 11, 1998. XML catches the attention of an object-oriented systems designer. See "The XML Revolution. Document Objects With Style. An XML Document is a Composite Structure of Node Objects." By David Carlson. In Object Magazine (February 1998) 14-15.

  • February 11, 1998. Announcement from James Clark for an update of his XML Resources, including revision on his XML parsers and test suite to match the final XML specification adopted by the W3C as a Recommendation. Also updated is Clark's XMLTok, an XML parser in C, which now includes "1) a low-level XML tokenizer; 2) a non-validating XML parser built on the tokenizer; this has an API designed for integration into Web browsers; 3) a simple application xmlwf for testing the parser, which can test XML entities for well-formedness and generate canonical XML." See the database entry for XMLTok - XML parser in C.

  • February 11, 1998. Announcement from Norbert Mikula of DataChannel for the availability of a beta version of DXP - DataChannel's XML Parser. According to the press release, "the DataChannel XML Parser is a Java-based XML parser designed for server side-based XML parsing and integration. It is a redesigned version of NXP (Norbert Mikula's XML Parser), one of the first XML parsers. DXP allows application developers to make their applications XML-aware by providing them with the ability to import XML data into their own data structure. Data can come from a database, the Web, a file, or from a local application -- whatever a URL can address. . . The DataChannel XML Parser is part of the DataChannel XML Developer Toolkit (DXDE), which will be available Q1Y98." See the DXP description page at DataChannel, or the main entry for DataChannel - XML Development Environment (DXDE and DXP).

  • February 10, 1998. Announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium for the release of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 specification as a W3C Recommendation. Key contributors in this effort include (among a host of other SGML/XML experts from the XML Working Group, and XML SIG): Dan Connolly, W3C Architecture Domain Leader and XML Activity Lead; Jon Bosak, Sun's Online Information Technology Architect and Chair of the W3C XML Working Group; Tim Bray, Principal at Textuality and Co-editor of the XML 1.0 specification; Jean Paoli, XML 1.0 specification Co-editor, and Weblications Product Unit Manager at Microsoft Corporation; C.M. Sperberg-McQueen, Editor in Chief of the Text Encoding Initiative and Co-Editor of the XML 1.0 specification. For more on this important milestone in the specification's development, see the press release, the XML 1.0 Fact Sheet, the XML 1.0 Testimonials document, (endorsements from ACCESS, Adobe, Agranat Systems, Alis Technologies, ArborText, Bitstream, CNET, DataChannel, IBM, Inso, Junglee, Lotus, Microsoft, Open Market, Open Software Associates, POET Software, SoftQuad, Texcel, Textuality, Unwired Planet, Vignette, and webMethods), the specification document, and the main database entry in the XML Page.

  • February 10, 1998. Announcement from TAMURA Kent (Tokyo Research Laboratory, IBM Japan ) for the release of `IBM XML for Java' - a validating XML processor written in Java. The processor is said to provide two main functions: 1) Parsing an XML document and construction of a Java object tree, and 2) Generation of an XML document from a Java object tree. The package requires Java 1.1, and may be downloaded from IBM alphaWorks: According to the developers (apparently: Kento Tamura and Hiroshi Maruyama): "XML for Java is a validating XML parser written in 100% pure Java. The package ( contains classes and methods for parsing, generating, manipulating, and validating XML documents. XML for Java is believed to be the most robust XML processor currently available and conforms most closely to the XML specification proposed and recommended by W3C in December, 1997." See also the database main entry in the XML Software Tools section.

  • February 10, 1998. Announcement from Don Park for the public availability of a browser-based demo of SAXDOM being used from JavaScript. SAXDOM is an implementation of W3C Document Object Model (DOM) API using Simple API for XML (SAX). The demo consists of some JavaScript code which invokes the SAXDOM through an applet to retrieve the DOM objects. The returned DOM objects are used to generate XML text in color.It is currently limited to Internet Explorer 4.0. The demo "shows DOM being used by a scripting language just as it was designed for." See the demo and description, or the main database entry for SAXDOM - W3C DOM API using SAX.

  • February 09, 1998. XML in the cover story of the March issue of Byte: "Weaving a Better Web. [Reinventing the Web: XML and DHTML to Bring Order to the Chaos.]" By Scott Mace, Udo Flohr, Rick Dobson, and Tony Graham. In Byte Magazine Volume 23 Number 3 (March 1998) 58-68. Other recent articles on XML are referenced in the articles section.

  • February 09, 1998. Announcement from Eila Kuikka for the public availability of a revised report Survey of Software for Structured Text. This report, available in HTML (hypertext) and Postscript format, surveys some 207 software tools that claim to support the processing of structured documents. This publication updates the survey which reviewed 89 software packages, completed in 1994. Most of these software tools are SGML/XML compliant or aware. Description, contact information, references, and prices are listed for each software package. The database entries are accessible via alphabetical (name) listing, by software 'type' (in eighteen categories), and by price. This revised and expanded 1998 edition of the Survey is authored by Eila Kuikka (Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, University of Kuopio, Finland) and Erja Nikunen (Nokia Telecommunications, Finland). In HTML format:, and published also as a technical report of the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, University of Kuopio, Finland.

  • February 05, 1998. New database entry in the XML Page for Telecommunications Interchange Markup (TIM), under revision by TCIF/IPI. The recent revision of the TIM DTD toward version 2 has been motivated, in part, by a desire of the subcommittee to make this news industry DTD XML compliant. "Information Products Interchange (IPI) is a working committee of the Telecommunications Industry Forum . . . Most of the IPI Committee's published work has to do with the Telecommunications Interchange Markup (TIM, an SGML DTD) and the Telecommunications Electronic Document Delivery Package (TEDD). The TIM Document Type Definition (DTD) is a specification for describing the structure of telecommunications and other technical documents . . . based largely on early versions of the DocBook DTD developed by the Davenport Group." TIM 1 was approved as a TCIF Guideline in December 1995, and revisions for TIM 2 were begun in December 1996. As described in the TCIF Information Publication TCIF-IPI-97-004 (Issue 1, 10/24/97), several of the DTD changes were aimed at making the TIM 2 specification XML compliant. These included changes to the SGML declaration, removal of inclusion and exclusion exceptions from content models, implementation of external cross-references through URLs, restricting the attribute data types to the XML-valid AttType values ('TokenizedType' -- in particular, NMTOKEN for NAME, NUMBER, and NUTOKEN), and restriction of PCDATA to content models having repeatable 'OR groups'. Thus: "except for changes to adapt to the not-yet-finished XLL linking specification, TIM is already XML-complaint and ready for the next generation of browsers." For other information, see main database entry, with summary and bibliographic references: TCIF/IPI (Telecommunications Industry Forum Information Products Interchange), or the TIM overview on the ATIS/TCIF server.

  • February 04, 1998. Announcement from Rick Jelliffe for the publication of a discussion document: "A Cut and Paste Infrastructure for XML." By Rick Jelliffe. Reference: Note-xml-cnp-19980131. According to the document abstract: "XML Cut'n'Paste is a proposal for various conventions which address many sophisticated uses in Extensible Markup Language (XML) while retaining true to its underlying model, as an application of SGML. The proposals are: 1) a processing instruction (PI) convention to allow markup declarations in the instance; 2) a predefined element to allow XML to be embedded in HTML, and to retain content-model validity; 3) stronger lexical types for attributes and simple data content; 4) a namespace prefixing proposal (entity-name prefixes); 5) a schema association proposal (owner prefixes); 6) some conventions to enhance processing instructions (PIs); 7) a documentation proposal." The motivation: "XML was originally conceived with an emphasis on delivering SGML documents over the WWW. However, documents and document fragments have a life after delivery: they will be edited and reused. This is the "cut'n'paste" problem: how can document validity be maintained when a document is made from arbitrary parts of other documents, each of which may have their own markup declarations? Other discussion documents on namespaces and related matters are referenced in the section "XML Design and Development: Technical Documents."

  • February 04, 1998. Availability of a discussion document written by Paul Prescod (University of Waterloo): "Why We Need Namespaces (Modules). An SGML/XML Feature Proposal." The document is written against the backdrop of the recent W3C submission "Name Spaces in XML." Paul observes: "Advocates of ISO architectural forms ('archforms') have noticed that these requirements [articulated in "Name Spaces in XML"] are very similar to those for archforms and have proposed archforms as a solution. They are correct that the basic underlying problems are related, but the problems are not identical. We need both archforms and namespaces. The two ideas are actually very complementary. This note demonstrates why neither architectural forms nor the current namespace proposal really solve the 'namespace problem' satisfactorily." The paper addresses itself to the earlier proposal of Toru Takahashi, "A Proposal to Introduce 'Module' Structures into SGML". Other discussion documents on namespaces and related matters are referenced in the section "XML Design and Development: Technical Documents."

  • February 03 [04], 1998. Announcement from W. Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN International Corporation) for an updated review draft of his forthcoming book Practical Hypermedia: An Introduction to HyTime. The draft incorporates 1) a "new and improved HTML version with useful navigation aids, working cross references, and hyperlinks to the standard itself; 2) an update of the first five chapters to reflect the final text of ISO/IEC 10744:1997, through Hyperlinking; 3) an updated summary of changes for HyTime Second Edition (Appendix B in the volume), which you can also find at" [adapted] HyTime users will recognize the significance of this important reference work, and the value of the online draft version, for which the author now solicits critical review and feedback. See the main entry HyTime: ISO 10744 Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language for other references on HyTime [Second Edition].

  • February 03, 1998. Addition of references for several new (news) articles on XML/XLL/XSL. See the section XML General Articles: Surveys, Overviews, Introductions, Announcements in the main XML Page. Some company press releases for XML/XSL products are listed in the document "XML News and Industry Support."

  • February 03, 1998. Online/virtual ChemWeb Lectures, by Peter Murray-Rust and others. Featuring XML and CML.

  • February 02, 1998. New database entry for the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) protocol, an XML-based language and architecture that the developers believe "will facilitate the process of automatically exchanging, updating, supplying, and controlling assets in a trusted fashion (building on OPS/P3P) without manual packaging or knowledge of remote Web site structures." Members of the ICE working group include Vignette, Microsoft, Firefly, Adobe, JavaSoft, Net Perceptions, News Internet Services, C/Net, Hollinger International, National Semiconductor, Preview Travel, Tribune Media Service, Ziff-Davis, and others.

  • February 02, 1998. New database entry in the XML Page for the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) initiative. As referenced in the descriptive text and pointers, the Encoded Archival Description standard for archival finding aids represents a major "metadata" effort within the government and industry sectors, particularly in the United States. The EAD DTD is maintained in the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress in partnership with the Society of American Archivists. It has been based upon SGML, and is now being made XML compliant. In this connection, the main database entry for the US Library of Congress EAD has also been updated.

  • January 31, 1998. Announcement from Jon Bosak (Workshop Chair, Sun Microsystems) for a planned workshop on XSL to be held April 14, 1998, at the Seventh International World Wide Web Conference in Brisbane, Australia. Workshop title: "The Role of XSL in XML-based Web Publishing. Jon is now accepting proposals for presentations." "This workshop will explain the need for XSL and gather input for the W3C XSL activity. . . Several key figures in the W3C XSL activity have committed to attending the workshop: 1) Sharon Adler of Inso, Co-Chair of the W3C XSL WG and Chair of the ISO DSSSL RG; 2) Paul Grosso of ArborText, member of the W3C XSL WG and alternate member of the W3C XML WG; 3) Murray Maloney of CNGroup, member of the W3C XSL WG and the W3C XML WG; and 4) Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, member of the W3C XSL WG and Chair of the W3C XML WG." See additional information on the initial workshop web page, and the database entry for The 7th International World Wide Web Conference.

  • January 31 [February 5], 1998. Daniel Pitti (Project Director, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia) submitted a public posting to the Encoded Archival Description List to the effect "that Version 1 of the EAD DTD will be fully compliant with XML." Version 1 of the EAD DTD has been under development for several months, and was recently reviewed for "final" changes in a meeting of October 31-November 2, 1997, by fifteen members of the Encoded Archival Description Working Group of the SAA Committee on Archival Information Exchange. A summary from the preceding post: "The EAD Working Group consists of sixteen individuals representing the United Kingdom, Canada, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Research Libraries Group and OCLC, and a number of American academic institutions and one historical society who have been involved for almost three years in the development of EAD. The WG is currently engaged in preparing three documents for final release early this year: version 1.0 of the EAD DTD, the Tag Library, and a set of Application Guidelines." See provisionally the summary of recent EAD DTD changes, and the main EAD database entry, with links to the current DTD: Library of Congress - Encoded Archival Description (EAD) - Finding Aids Project.

  • January 31, 1998. Announcement from Jon Bosak for updated and revised versions of his XML-tagged 'Religion and Shakespeare' text collections. Jon notes "that the documents in these collections do not exercise most of the features of XML, but they are real documents of fairly considerable size that are useful in trying out certain kinds of XML tools. They are also fun to read." See also the larger collection of XML example documents.

  • January 31, 1998. Announcement from Sebastian Rahtz for an updated version of his jadetex LaTeX macro package. The jadetex package uses James Clark's Jade DSSSL Engine with the -t tex option (i.e., tex backend). This release 0.55 of jadetex "fixes some problems with cross-referencing, gets back in sync with hyperref, and adds language support. The latter uses the LaTeX babel package, and it is up to you to compile the right hyphenation patterns into the format file. . . I have added a directory called `test' which contains a self-contained trivial table, with multi-column spanning, and cell alignment. You see [there] the .sgm file. the DTD, the .dsl, the .pdf output, and the .rtf output." See the FTP site or the jadetex database entry.

  • January 29, 1998. The Documation '98 West Exposition & The Document Software Conference, to be held March 10-12, 1998 (Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California) provides ample opportunity to learn about SGML, XML, XSL, and related subjects. I counted some fifteen (15) tutorials, workshops, and general sessions which are dedicated, in whole or in part, to these SGML/XML topics. The schedule shows a lineup of distinguished authorities serving as moderators and speakers. Have a look in the special document which extracts the relevant listing of SGML/XML sessions, and see the main conference Web site for complete information on Documation '98 West.

  • January 29, 1998. Announcement from Peter Murray-Rust for an alpha "snapshot" (i.e., release) of his Java-based JUMBO tool. David Megginson has added JUMBO to the list of clients supporting SAX - Simple API for XML: "In Java, there are now five XML parsers with SAX support available and four publicly-announced SAX clients (that makes twenty possible client-parser combinations, according to my arithmetic)." The documentation from Murray-Rust describes JUMBO as "an element-oriented system for processing XML documents. It can read and parse (with/without additional parsers, with/without the SAX interface). It creates a tree or elements and attributes with various types of content. It also supports processing instructions (PIs) in a generic manner. There is support for namespaces and XSL stylesheets, though JUMBO does not have sophisticated rendering. It has a browsing model based on a tree/TOC model, event streams or customised element display. It supports (SIMPLE) XLL navigation including NEW and REPLACE and most Xpointer syntax. It extends the latter to provide sophisticated search and navigation tools for the document. JUMBO also provides authoring and editing facilities, driven by DTD information where possible. These can be customised to provide novel types of data input other than text. JUMBO is designed to be extended, especially through subclassing or elements, and I hope that a collaborative community (cf. tcl/tk, LaTeX, Linux) will develop for its future support. . . [Among the principal features]: 1) JUMBO is 100% pure Java (1.02) and runs as an applet or application; 2) JUMBO does not knowingly deviate from the X*L specs, apart from known limitations; 3) JUMBO has an elementary XML parser, sufficient for its own configuration files; 4) JUMBO has been developed to be used with the SAX API so that any SAX-J-compliant parser [1998-01-28: AElfred, Lark, MSXML, NXP, (XP not yet done)] can be used at runtime." See; or the main database entry, "Jumbo - XML browser". Other XML software is referenced in the section "XML/XSL/XLL Software."

  • January 29, 1998. Announcement for the availability of a W3C NOTE on Name Spaces in XML, as part of the W3C XML Activity. References: NOTE-xml-names-19980119, Version 1.0, dated 19-January-1998. The editors are Tim Bray (Textuality), Dave Hollander (Hewlett-Packard Company), and Andrew Layman (Microsoft); Murata Makoto contributed the operational scenarios in the examples section. The document abstract says: "XML Namespaces is a proposal for a simple method to be used for qualifying names used in Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents by associating them with schemas, identified by URI." This NOTE submitted to the Consortium represents a formulation based upon significant prior work, some of which is referenced by entries in the XML Page. The current document is available in HTML and XML format. The NOTE may be obtained as "NOTE-xml-names" from the W3C Web site; or, see the dedicated entry in the XML Page.

    XML name spaces are elaborated in the NOTE summary as follows: "We envision applications of XML in which a document instance may contain markup defined in multiple schemas. These schemas may have been authored independently. One motivation for this is that writing good schemas is hard, so it is beneficial to reuse parts from existing, well-designed schemas. Another is the advantage of allowing search engines or other tools to operate over a range of documents that vary in many respects but use common names for common element types. These considerations require that document constructs should have universal names, whose scope extends beyond their containing document. This specification proposes a mechanism, XML Namespaces, to accomplish this. XML Namespaces are based on the use of qualified names, similar to those long used in programming languages. Names are permitted to contain a colon, separating the name into two parts, the namespace name and the local name. The namespace name identifies a schema's URI. The combination of the universally-managed URI namespace and the local schema namespace produces names that are guaranteed universally unique."

  • January 28, 1998. Separate documents have been created in the SGML/XML Web Page for the Extensible Style Language (XSL) and for the Extensible Linking Language (XLL), both related to the core markup language specification, Extensible Markup Language. Increased activity and interest in XSL and XLL motivated me to extract the information from the main XML Page, creating a new home for pointers to the developing XSL and XLL design. However, XML/XSL/XLL News Items and General Articles are still grouped together. Readers are urged to contact me via email with additions and corrections.

  • January 27, 1998. Publication of a major review article on SGML publishing software: "New Life for SGML. SGML Gets a New Lease on Life at DC Conference. XML Is the Big Thing (but Not the Only Thing)." By George Alexander. In The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems Volume 27, Number 9 (January 19, 1998) 1, 25-31. While XML is uncontestably creating a gold rush and flooding the hills with new prospectors, SGML is silently bringing forth gold from the rich veins and paydirt of established publishing enterprises. George Alexander offers an in-depth analysis of some of these the SGML (and XML) software products, as demonstrated at the SGML/XML '97 Conference (Washington DC, December 7 - 12, 1997), sponsored by GCA and SGML Open. A sidebar on XML-Data (by Liora Alschuler) emphasizes that XML is being extended into areas of database publishing and information management that have hitherto been less evident in the case of SGML tools. The author acknowledges that XML was indeed the "big news" at the conference, but reminds readers in this article that SGML software used for publishing is still very strong. SGML publishing software reviewed in this SRPS article includes: 1) TopLeaf - a looseleaf publishing system from Turn-Key systems; 2) 3B2 composition system which uses SGML as its internal data format, and other evidence of Advent Systems; 3) Miles 33 - now automatically producing "3000 - 5000 pages per day" from SGML source at the showcase Deere & Co. Miles 33 installation; 4) Penta - SGMLPublisher pakage, with an interface to ArborText's ADEPT editor; 5) STEP and its SigmaLink repository and editorial system, showing vigor in Europe (and in the US); 6) Poet Software's "Wildflower" (SGML/XML repository), and Web Factory; 7) Xyvision's SGML-based translation support in Ambassador; new WebPorter tool, and the announced XML support in PDM (Parlance Document Manager); 8) Progresive Information Technologies (PIT) and the Target 2000 database system optimized for reference works; 9) Texcel's Information Manager 2.0 - integration with FrameMaker+SGML, and a Web interface.

  • January 27, 1998. Update from for the XML Xposed "XML Road Show," sponsored by Microsoft, and co-sponsored by ArborText, Chrystal Software, Inso Corporation, Perspecta, Inc., POET Software and webMethods. The first XML Xposed event will be on March 18, held in conjunction with Seybold Seminars New York / Publishing '98. According to the announcement from, "XML Xposed is a comprehensive program that highlights the real world uses of XML as a format for structured data on the web . . . The program for these events focuses on applications of XML, the technology itself, and the tools that are currently available to support it."

  • January 27 [29], 1998. A new (revised) submission on XML-Data, presented to the W3C by Microsoft, ArborText, DataChannel, and Inso. Reference: W3C Note 05 Jan 1998. Authors include: Andrew Layman, Edward Jung, Eve Maler, Henry S. Thompson, Jean Paoli, John Tigue, Norbert H. Mikula, and Steve DeRose. Acknowledgements are also made to Paul Grosso (ArborText), Sharon Adler (Inso Corporation), Anders Berglund (Inso Corporation), and François Chahuneau (AIS/Berger-Levrault) for their help and contributions to the XML-Data proposal. According to the introduction, XML-Data "describes an XML vocabulary for schemas, that is, for defining and documenting object classes. It can be used for classes which as strictly syntactic (for example, XML) or those which indicate concepts and relations among concepts (as used in relational databases, KR graphs and RDF). The former are called 'syntactic schemas;' the latter 'conceptual schemas.' The text of this NOTE thus "provides a specification (XML-Data) for describing and exchanging structured and networked data on the Web. Such exchange is facilitated by schemas defining the characteristics of classes of objects. The objects can be syntactic constructs such as are used in XML instances, or may be more abstract such as are found in databases, information models or directed, labeled graphs. This paper describes an XML vocabulary for schemas. One immediate implication of these ideas is a substantive part of the functionnalities of XML document types can now be described using the XML instance syntax itself, rather than DTD syntax. We expect XML-Data to be useful for a wide range of applications, such as describing database transfers or remotely-located Web resources." [from the Abstract] See the main database entry "XML-Data" in the XML Page.

  • January 27 [28], 1998. Submission of a proposal for "HTML Threading: Conventions for Use of HTML in Email" to the W3C, by Microsoft Corporation, Lotus Development Corporation, and Qualcomm Corporation. Reference: W3C NOTE 05-Jan-1998. The document editor is Eric Berman (Microsoft), and authors include Pete Resnick (Qualcomm) and Nick Shelness (Lotus). According to the press release, the HTML Threading Proposal "outlines how Extensible Markup Language (XML) can be used to enable data-rich features in HTML email applications." The document abstract clarifies: "As [email] messages go back and forth between participants in a discussion, it is interesting to be able to track properties of the text in the message and properties of the message itself, such as who wrote what or what message a quoted excerpt is originally from. This proposal defines a mechanism for embedding this information within an email message in a manner that degrades gracefully to downlevel mail clients." Appendix B of the NOTE provides some sample mail messages using the HTML Threading. Other details are referenced in the main entry, "HTML Threading - Use of HTML in Email."

  • January 27, 1998. Announcement by ArborText for the public availability of its XML Styler. XML Styler is an XSL stylesheet editor -- a tool for creating and modifying 'XSL' stylesheets for the Extensible Markup Language. "Its graphical user interface makes developing and altering XSL stylesheets quick and easy, eliminating the need to work with the many syntactic and structural details of XSL directly. The current version of XML Styler is available for Windows 95 and Windows NT only. . . To achieve maximum portability, XML Styler is based on Java code." [local archive copy]

  • January 26, 1998. New database entry for XML Conformance, based substantially upon the recent work of James Clark, as referenced in his new page of XML Resources. The conformance/validation tools may be used by software developers and applications designers to "test" the well-behavedness of XML-conformant software, as well as the well-formedness (and validity) of XML documents. Of course: theoretical debates of long standing persist about what should most meaningfully and usefully be subjected to conformance testing. . . We thank James once again for his valuable contributions.

  • January 26, 1998. Announcement from James Clark for the public availability of a new XML parser in Java, tentatively called XP, along with an expanded collection of test cases, and a specification of a subset of XML called Canonical XML (for use in testing XML parsers). The XP parser, now in alpha-test version, "is fully conforming: it detects all non well-formed documents. It is currently not a validating XML processor. However it can parse all external entities: external DTD subsets, external parameter entities and external general entities." XP's design goals are documented as follows: 1) Conformance and correctness: XP is designed to be 100% conformant to the XML specification; 2) High performance: XP aims to be the fastest conformant XML parser in Java; 3) Layered structure: In addition to a normal high-level parser API, XP provides a low-level API that supports the construction of different kinds of XML parser (such as incremental parsers)." Sources and further description of these XML development tools are available via James Clark's Web site, on the page "XML Resources." See the dedicated database section for other publicly available XML/XSL Software.

  • January 23, 1998. Updated information on XML and SGML events at Seybold Seminars New York / Publishing '98, March 16 - 20, 1998. In addition to the "SGML Free for All" (a six-year tradition at Seybold, sponsored by SGML Open), the 1998 program will feature four tutorials on XML/XSL (taught by Tim Bray, Michael Hahn, Brian Travis), and a number of presentations in "XML Xposed" special interest seminar. XML Xposed is a series of one-day events planned for multiple cities in the U.S. At the Seybold '98 event, announced presentations include: "XML: Enabling the Next Generation of Publishing on the Web (Keynote, by Tim Berners Lee); "Why Should You Care About XML" (Moderator: Mark Walter), with presentations by Tim Berners-Lee, Mary Laplante, Dave Winer, and J.P. Morgenthal; "XML: The Technology" (Moderator: Brian Travis), with presentations by Jean Paoli, Eve Maler, Steve DeRose, and Lauren Wood); "EDI and CDF, Two Hot XML Applications" (Moderator: Mary Laplante), with presentations by Bob Glushko and a representative from Microsoft. In the Tuesday Seybold program, Robin Tomlin (SGML Open) will moderate a session "Is XML Open? What Are the Possibilities?"

  • January 23, 1998. Formation of a W3C Working Group for XSL (Extensible Style[sheet] Language), and an XSL information page from W3C (Chris Lilley). See the main database entry for Extensible Style(sheet) Language (XSL).

  • January 22, 1998. Availability of a revised version of the "Topic Navigation Maps" specification. The standard is based upon ISO 8879:1986 (SGML) and ISO/IEC 10744:1997 (HyTime, 2nd Edition); making use of architectural forms, it "provides a general mechanism for assigning properties to information objects using links. Thus, an object described as having a given property need not possess the property intrinsically, but may have it assigned extrinsically using a topic navigation map. Because of the extrinsic character of a topic map, it may be thought of as an 'overlay' on a set of information objects." The new draft version of "ISO/IEC CD 13250" is accessible from the primary Web site for Topic Navigation Maps, together with the October 1997 version and other resources. According to a communique from Michel Biezunski of High Text (co-editor, with Martin Bryan), the revised version represents a "proposed simplification" of the previous CD 13250 document which includes "1) an introduction of the filter mechanisms through hyperlinks; 2) a description of hyperlinks in terms of varlinks; 3) a new mechanism for localization purposes; 4) new basic examples of the use of varlink to describe topic map constructs." For more information, see the main database entry for Topic Navigation Maps.

  • January 22, 1998. Announcement from David M. Seaman (University of Virginia) for the addition of seventeen (17) new Japanese texts to the collection of the Japanese Text Initiative (JTI). The Japanese Text Initiative represents "an ongoing collaboration to make texts of classical Japanese literature available on the World Wide Web. These searchable texts are in SGML-encoded Japanese and -- often -- in an English translation. All texts conform to the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines. . . The Japanese Text Initiative is part of the online library of the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia Library. The E-Text Center has on the Web thousands of texts in English, French, German, Latin, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and other languages. For Web display, PERL filters convert the SGML tags to HTML." For other information, see the database entry: Japanese Text Initiative (University of Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh).

  • January 21, 1998. Announcement from Stephen Douglas Miller (Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University) for enhanced access to the library's online reference materials through a Dynaweb Internet Server. The new Library Internet Server has been supported by Inso Corporation through a grant of its Dynatext/Dynaweb SGML and XML publishing system. The Library's browsable and searchable collections are maintained in SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and are translated on-the-fly to HTML. The Duke resources include 153 finding aids, structured in SGML according to the Encoded Archival Description (EAD); a Guide to the Cataloged Collections in the Manuscript Department of the William R. Perkins Library, with information about 5991 collections; the Digital Image Access Project Photographs database, in which "the images, associated descriptions, access points, and administrative information have been encoded into an image database using Encoded Archival Description." See more information in the database entry for "Duke University: Special Collections Library, SGML Finding Aids."

  • January 20, 1998. New database entry for the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) - ISO/IEC 14772-1:1997, based upon the recent formation of a working group which is exploring potential closer integration of VRML with XML, DOM, and DHTML. The Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is "a file format for describing interactive 3D objects and worlds. . . designed to be used on the Internet, intranets, and local client systems." According to a recent VRML Consortium WG document, the VRML-DHTML Integration Working Group is studying "a potential closer integration between VRML and DHTML, a common term for a set of evolving features and architecture extensions to HTML and Web browsers that includes cascading style sheets and document object models." The WG is exploring "the potential of future inclusion of XML functionality, expanded Web media related capabilities envisioned by SMIL and MPEG4, [and] media-rich Web enabled set top computers. . ." The WG has observed, with respect to XML: "The XML movement is one indication that a parseable, hierarchical object model will play an increasingly major role in the evolution of HTML. And the more general and powerful this object model becomes, the more meaningful it may become for related media graph structures like VRML."

  • January 20, 1998. Announcement from Patrick Durusau (Scholars Press) for a new mailing list to support the the ongoing work of the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Seminar on Electronic Standards for Biblical Language Texts. This seminar is designed for "biblical scholars, publishers, librarians, archivists, researchers and software designers [who] need good computer tools for working with biblical langauges and texts'" and is "dedicated to solving problems such as interchange and publication of materials containing biblical languages, creation of electronic texts for analysis and archiving, and other problems routinely faced by those working with biblical materials. . . The Seminar is using the [SGML] TEI Guidelines as the starting point for its discussion of encoding biblical language texts with a view of modifying or extending those guidelines as necessary. Working groups are currently formed for the development of resources for critical apparatus, dictionaries, entity sets and Writing System Declarations, Hebrew yyntax, imaging, and practical applications. Participation is invited, and communiques may be directed to the seminar co-chairs: Patrick Durusau and Susan Hockey. For other information, see the database entry for the SBL Seminar on Electronic Standards for Biblical Language Texts.

  • January 15, 1998. Announcement from Christina Powell for additions to the American Verse Collection: "The Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce the addition of thirty-five (35) new texts to the American Verse Project. Works by little-known women and African-American authors not contained in other electronic text collections have been added, as have works by well-known authors such as Emily Dickinson. The American Verse Project is a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press. The project is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920. The full text of each volume of poetry is being converted into digital form and coded in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) using the TEI Guidelines. The texts are searchable and can be viewed in HTML as well as SGML." See the database main entry for The HTI American Verse Project, or the main project URL:

  • January 15, 1998. Announcement from R. Alexander Milowski (Copernican Solutions Incorporated) for the public availability of an "Interactive Grove Guide," accessible via the Copernican Solutions Incorporated web site at "This is a new version of the Grove Guide that is far more complete and has been updated with the SGML property set as defined in the latest HyTime standard. It is also an example of a dynamic down-translation server program written completely in Java (no Scheme!) and it uses the DAE Server and DAE SDK. . . I developed it so I could read and research the SGML property set for DSSSL development. Subsequent to that, it became a nice demo of the DAE SDK and DAE Server." See more on groves and SGML property sets in the dedicated database section: Groves, Grove Plans, and Property Sets in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime.

  • January 15, 1998. New database entry for the 'XML/SGML compliant' Waveform Markup Language (WML) and the Component Waveform Diagram Standard. The Silicon Integration Initiative, Inc. is an industry consortium organization representing more than forty semiconductor manufacturers, electronic systems companies, and EDA tool suppliers. In May 1997, these industry partners "solicited candidate representation formats for waveform data that could be developed into an open EDA industry standard via a Request for Technology process. The goal of defining an open standard for timing and waveform diagram data is to allow component suppliers to supply computer sensible waveforms that describe component behavior in a single format that: 1) gives the customer a choice in what waveform browser or other support tool is used, and 2) allows the component information provider a choice in what waveform editor or other generation tool is used. The standard resulting from this process will be designed for use by ECIX compliant datasheets for representation of timing and waveform diagrams describing component characteristics." The consortium's review board later "determined that for maximum value of any new standard, the representation for Waveform Diagram information should be XML/SGML compliant. This is important in order to maximize the potential for inclusion of Waveform Diagram data as PCIS-encoded information in its own right at a later date, while not sacrificing any objectives of the near term."

  • January 14, 1998. New database entry for the Bioinformatic Sequence Markup Language (BSML), based upon XML. The proposed Bioinformatic Sequence Markup Language (BSML) is a public domain protocol for Graphic Genomic Displays. The project goals are in some respects similar to those of the Chemical Markup Language. According to the RFC document of December 1997, which specifies a public domain standard for the encoding and display of DNA, RNA and protein sequence information, this markup language is to be based upon SGML and XML: "BSML is written to conform with the XML standard." Goals in the enoding project are to "describe the features of genetic sequences, describe the features of graphic objects used to represent sequence features, determine procedures for assigning graphic objects to sequence features, and determine how to store and transmit encoded sequence and graphic information." BSML is a TopoGEN project, funded by an SBIR [Small Business Innovative Research] from the National Center for Human Genome Research, to develop the public domain protocol. The SBIR with which this project is associated has Joseph Spitzner, Ph. D. (TopoGEN Software Director) as its Principal Investigator.

  • January 12, 1998. New database entry for the Open Trading Protocol (OTP), an electronic commerce specification said to be built upon XML. The Open Trading Protocol (OTP), "a global standard for retail trade on the Internet, has been published and is available now on the Internet. The complete specification for the Open Trading Protocol (OTP) developed by the leaders in Internet commerce has been posted for public comment, and pilot implementation and trials." The OTP Consortium now has over 30 member companies. "The OTP standards enable a consistent framework for multiple forms of electronic commerce, ensuring an easy-to-use and consistent consumer purchasing experience regardless of the payment instrument or software and hardware product used. The protocol is freely available to developers and users, and builds on XML, an emerging standard for information exchange on the Internet. As a set of truly open standards, the protocol is not 'owned' by any one company, and its development will be managed by an appropriate independent organization." See especially the appendices in Part 2 (the technical specification) for the XML foundation of the protocol.

  • January 12, 1998. Publication of a major review article on the SGML/XML '97 Conference and Exposition, written by Liora Alschuler and George Alexander. It is the feature article in Volume 2, Number 5 of The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing: "Coming of Age in Cyberspace: Births, Deaths, and Milestones at SGML/XML '97. Trip Report. [Alternate title: Behold the Newborn: Vendors Herald the Arrival of XML.]" (January 1998) 1, 21-34. As for the prominence of XML and its importance for Internet publishing, the authors write: "Ever since XML was first announced just over a year ago, we've been saying that it would have a tremendous impact on Internet publishing. It seemed only logical to us that the Web, which was grounded in a limited form of generic markup (HTML), should extend that markup to embrace the richness we all enjoy in print. XML, though still an infant, promises to provide the basis for much better text processing than the Web has seen before. It will enable better typography, more specific searching, faster downloads and much more sophisticated data representations than HTML will ever provide. No single document architecture, no matter how rich or complex, can cover all of the possible types of documents people create. Only a standard and widely supported metalanguage - one that lets authors and publishers create tags and structures that reflect their documents - provides the flexibility that expression of written communication demands. Only such a metalanguage can support the continual refinements in document layout and processing that online publishing requires." See the full bibliographic entry for other information about the article coverage.

  • January 12, 1998. Announcement from David Megginson (Microstar Software Ltd.) for the "first draft of SAX, the Simple API for XML, together with a Java reference implementation and drivers for the major Java-based XML parsers. SAX is a simple, common, event-based API for XML parsers written in object-oriented languages like Java, C++, or Perl5 (the reference implementation is in Java). SAX is similar in philosophy to JavaSoft's JDBC -- it allows you to write an application once, then plug in any XML parser that has a SAX driver, just as the JDBC allows you to plug in any SQL database that has a JDBC driver. The SAX API was developed collaboratively during a month of discussion on the XML-DEV mailing list. As an event-based interface, SAX is complementary to the proposed (tree-based) Document Object Model interface; in fact, it should be possible to implement a basic DOM interface on top of SAX, or a basic SAX interface on top of DOM. Event-based interfaces provide very simple, low-level access to parsing events, without straining system resources. For SAX documentation, a draft spec, a reference implementation of the SAX interfaces in Java, SAX front-end drivers for the major Java XML parsers (NXP, Lark, MSXML, and Ælfred), and a sample SAX application, please see: For links in the SGML/XML Web Page, see the main database entry for SAX.

  • January 12, 1998. Announcement from Henry S. Thompson (Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh) for the "final" beta release of XSLJ. XSLJ is an XSL to DSSSL Translator. Specifically, it translates from "the XML style language proposed in 'A Proposal for XSL' to the augmented version of DSSSL which is supported by the test release of JADE. Thus, xslj "translates valid XSL style sheets into valid extended DSSSL style sheets, which can then be used to render XML documents using Jade." The current release from Thompson includes bug fixes and an aditional increase in conformance to the W3C proposal (e.g., mixed content is now allowed in style sheet 'actions'). The program is available in source or binary (for win32, Solaris and FreeBSD). How does xslj compare to Microsoft's new XSL support in MSXSL? According to the xslj documentation, Microsoft's MSXSL "does not support flow-object macros or named styles and supports only the HTML flow-objects, but can therefore be integrated more closely with a browser." For other information, see the main database entry for XSLJ - Jade-compatible XSL-to-DSSSL translator, or the xslj main URL.

  • January 09 [11], 1998. The W3C XML Working Group, chaired by Jon Bosak (Sun Microsystems), has been named a recipient of The Seybold Editors' 1997 Awards for the development of XML (Extensible Markup Language). The "Editors' Awards" article in The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Issue 2/5 nominated XML as "Achievement of the Year." See the text for this published credit in the main XML page.

  • January 09, 1998. Added two new sections to the XML portion of the SGML/XML Web Page database: (1) a section on XML News and Industry Support, which provides a page for links to company white papers and press releases pertaining to XML. Major articles in the trade magazines (as well as the more substantive refereed articles on XML in technical publications) are still listed in the dedicated database section: "XML Surveys and Overview Articles". (2) A (partly just playful!) section which bears the heading "XML: Miscellaneous Unevaluated Uncategorized", for pending links that other readers may wish to investigate (further), since I have not yet had time. . . For either category, nominations and comments from the readership are welcome.

  • January 08, 1998. Announcement from Jean Paoli (Microsoft) for a technology preview of the Microsoft XSL Processor based on the "Proposal for XSL" which was jointly submitted to the W3C by Microsoft, Inso Corporation, and Arbortext in August 1997 as 'NOTE-XSL.html'. "This early release is intended to allow for prototyping and validation of the ideas described in the Proposal for XSL, and to share our early implementation experience with the Web community. The Microsoft XSL Processor transforms XML-based data into HTML and CSS using an XSL stylesheet, and implements many of the features described in the "Proposal for XSL". The XSL Processor is available in two packages: 1) The Microsoft XSL ActiveX Control uses an XSL stylesheet to display XML data directly within web pages and applications, 2) The Microsoft XSL Command-line Utility produces an HTML document from an XML document and an XSL stylesheet.

    "The Microsoft XSL Processor can be found at: This newly launched XSL portion of [Microsoft's] XML web site features: 1) Downloads and instructions for the two Microsoft XSL Processor packages, 2) Sample stylesheets and live demos, 3) An XSL Tutorial, describing the concepts behind XSL and the available features of the Microsoft XSL Processor, 4) Links to the Proposal for XSL, and other XSL information."

  • January 08, 1998. Announcement from Norman Walsh (ArborText) for the public release of Modular DocBook Stylesheets version 1.01, being "Version 1.0" plus fixes for a couple bugs detected by Tony Graham before 1.0 was actually announced. In this release, the print and HTML stylesheets have been combined into a single distribution file, in .ZIP format. The print stylesheet may be used to generate RTF or tex from the DocBook SGML source; the HTML stylesheet uses Jade's SGML back end to generate HTML. See the relevant database section for other DSSSL Stylesheets which may be used with James Clark's Jade.

  • January 07, 1998. Announcement from Copernican Solutions for the release of its DAE SDK and DAE Server Software in beta. "DAE (Document Application Environment) is a Java-based SDK for processing SGML and XML documents using DSSSL constructs. The foundations of this SDK is the DSSSL Developer's Toolkit developed at Copernican Solutions. This toolkit is based on a componentized design allowing different technology components to be substituted in the DAE environment without affecting the other components. The DAE currently supports: DSSSL SDQL, DSSSL Style Language, DSSSL Groves, SGML processing, XML processing, Scheme or Java Programming. In addition, the DAE has been integrated into a Java-based web server allowing DAE-based applications to be developed within a web context. This server supports HTTP 1.1 and has a uniform object-oriented design." The software is free for non-commercial use and internal commercial use; it requires a Development Partner Agreement for commercial re-distribution

  • January 06, 1998. New document in the SGML/XML Web Page designed to reference XML News and Industry Support. The document is experimental and provisional. For the time being, it provides a location for references to company white papers, company press releases, and similar announcements relating to XML.

  • January 05, 1998. Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for the public availability of a tdtd Emacs Macro Package (revision 3, December 14, 1997). The macros have been developed "intermittently over the last two years." Tony says: "The tdtd macro package for an Emacs major mode for editing [SGML] DTDs is available at The package includes font lock keywords for colour highlighting of declarations and reserved words plus a collection of macros that help when writing DTDs. The dtd-mode is a derived mode that builds on sgml-mode, and the features of sgml-mode are still available." The author will gladly accept bug reports and/or enhancements.

  • January 05, 1998. Announcement from Ken MacLeod for the release of SGML-SPGrove version 1.00. "SGML-SPGrove is a Perl module that links with James Clark's SGML Parser (SP) and builds in-memory groves from SGML, XML, and HTML documents. The groves can be accessed using iterator and callback (visitor) interfaces. Version 1.0 is a production release that has been quite stable through several development releases." See the main database entry for further information.

  • January 05, 1998. Announcement from Tim Bray (Textuality, and co-editor of XML) for the 1.0 final beta of Lark, and release 0.8 of Larval, a validating XML processor based on Lark. "Lark is a non-validating XML processor implemented in the Java language; it attempts to achieve good trade-offs among compactness, completeness, and performance. Larval is a validating XML processor built on the same code base as Lark." See "An Introduction to XML Processing with Lark and Larval," which gives an overview of the motivations for, facilities offered by, and usage of, the Lark processor. See also the dedicated database section for other XML software tools.

  • January 05, 1998. Revised database entry for IATH: Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. This institute has sponsored a number of interesting projects which make experimental use of SGML encoding and SGML-based structured searching of documents, and of document collections.

  • January 04, 1998. New database entry for Electronic Data Interchange for Documents (EDIDOC). "The SGML Technologies Group developed the EDIDOC server in the context of a project financed by the European Space Agency with the aim of facilitating the exchange of electronic documents between various partners of the Agency. The basic idea of the system is that every electronic information exchange is going through a unique machine and software called the EDIDOC server. The sender of a message only needs to send the message to EDIDOC; the server has the responsibility of forwarding it. Two dedicated SGML DTDs have been defined to structure the headers of the messages (one for the external plain envelope, one for the secured envelope). By means of this approach, EDIDOC messages carry a rich and flexible header which can be a vehicle of security, communication, format, workflow, compression, and packaging information. Standard email headers are much poorer and rigid."

    "SGML DTDs have been established to structure the headers of the messages exchanged. Two headers have been defined: 1) a Security Header (ESH) which describes how and if the messages are enciphered and/or signed. This header is stored in clear at the beginning of messages; 2) a Header (EH) which contains all the informations about the message but the security scheme: this had to be split from the Security Header because the EH, stored in the 'secured envelope', is possibly enciphered. An additional DTD has been defined for the 'Partner definition' configuration request, which is stored in the body of the message when relevant." Note: The SGML Technologies Group has published a number of other interesting papers online: see

  • January 04 [05], 1998. Announcement for ", formed by SGML University, and XML Xposed, presented by and sponsored by Microsoft and co-sponsored by Seybold, Inso Electronic Publishing Solutions, ArborText, and Chrystal Software." "These sponsoring companies have all made a commitment to XML by providing tools that support it. Seybold Seminars is the editorial partner. The first of the series will be held in conjunction with Seybold New York, Wednesday, March 18th. The other events will be held in San Francisco in April, Boston in May, Los Angeles in June, and Chicago in July. Through this series of road shows, will educate users, potential users and developers about the advantages of using XML. The latest XML products will be demonstrated by the leading tools vendors illustrating product support for XML. These events are targeted towards HTML authors, web developers, internet administrators, webmasters, and document analysts." See the website for other information. [from SGML University's "1998 Winter and Spring Semester Catalog" and the 971211 company press release]

  • January 04, 1998. New entry for Scripting News in XML. Another experiment. In one of a series of articles on XML, "Frontier 5 and XML: Scripting News in XML," Dave Winer describes how he puts Scripting News into XML. "The [publication] format is regular enough so that with a reasonable script I can also generate a new format called <scriptingNews> format, that could be read by a new kind of browser, specially designed to carry news items with links, a possible picture, and a rare comment from my evilTwin. [...] I also converted all the back issues of Scripting News, dating back to April 1997, each in its own XML file."

  • January 04 [05], 1998. Update from Matthew Kirschenbaum (Project Manager) on the achievements of the editors of the The William Blake Archive, centered at the University of Virginia. The Blake Archive is a "hypermedia archive sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the Getty Grant Program, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, Sun Microsystems, and Inso Corporation, with additional support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill." The project editors are: Morris Eaves (University of Rochester), Robert Essick (University of California, Riverside), and Joseph Viscomi (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Within this project, "work continues on the SGML edition of David V. Erdman's Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, which [the editors] anticipate releasing sometime in the spring semester." The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville uses SGML in many of its text projects, and has developed some SGML (aware) software in this connection.

What Was New in 1995 - 1997

Other SGML/XML news items recorded for 1995 and later may be found in separate online documents:

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