[June 30, 2000] The proposed 'Universal Commerce Language and Protocol (UCLP)' is documented in a submission to the World Wide Web Consortium from SAIC/Bellcore.
Description: "The Universal Commerce Language and Protocol (UCLP) is an XML-compliant schema for tagging metadata that can be used in identifying and retrieving data residing across the Internet. The tags provide a base level of data typing while allowing industry-specific names to be defined as necessary to describe those properties and attributes which a user needs when discriminating among available choices. The introduction of data typing has been discussed as a needed extension to the XML 1.0 Recommendation, but UCLP is intended to introduce a new paradigm for dynamic data tagging for which data typing is only a required tool. Under a paradigm using the UCLP tagging, the name and other associated attributes corresponding to a given type tag is not imposed but accumulated through use. An application set making use of UCLP tagging serves the purpose of supporting the expansion of the domain hierarchy and the introduction of new properties, the parsing of pages to collect domain information and metadata on specific domain instances, and then the use (such as searching to match user requirements) of the metadata and the bulk data there referenced. Real-time use is captured and the supporting structure evolved to fit the needs of the domain community.
Summary: "UCLP is an XML-compliant language and protocol which enables information on domains, such as products, processes, and organizations, to be published in a rich, structured form. The form facilitates search, retrieval, and exchange of the information through the use of constructs defined within UCLP and designed to allow data objects to be created for processing properties, methods, and associations. Using UCLP, Web-distributed object models can be defined with which complex constructs (e.g., designs, systems, organizations) can be built and evolved. In effect, UCLP provides a powerful framework for information management and exchange over the Web. This document has provided a formal specification for the UCLP tagging schema, including explanations of the structure and syntax of UCLP, examples of usage of each property tag, and appendices that elaborate on methods and present example UCLP-tagged pages. Also included as an appendix is a DTD for the UCLP tags. As indicated throughout the discussion, specific items such as actual parameter and feature names have been defined for the MISTI prototype, but these are not set by the UCLP syntax, and these conventions need to be defined by the respective user communities. In the prototype system, the conventions defined for the missile industry are stored and available from the MISTI Web site at http://misti.apo.saic.com/uclptutor/."
W3C comment: "UCLP will be brought to the attention of the participants in the Electronic Commerce Interest Group and in Working Groups in the XML and Metadata for consideration as requirements and design input. UCLP, also proposes interface definition; "method signatures" as mentioned in the submission. W3C has had other Submissions Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL) that discuss this technology as well. Perhaps there is now sufficient critical mass for a working group to look into a common vocabulary for exchanging (programming) interface definitions."
Universal Commerce Language and Protocol (UCLP) Version 3.0. Reference: NOTE-uclp-19990120. 20-Jan-1999.