The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: August 02, 1999
XML Papers 1999

Note: This document is superseded by: xmlPapers1999.html. This document is retained provisionally.

April 1999

  • [April 20, 1999] "The State of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative April 1999." By Stuart Weibel (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.). In D-Lib Magazine Volume 5 Number 4 (April 1999). "One hundred and one experts in resource description convened in Washington, D.C., November 2 through November 4, 1998, for the sixth Dublin Core Metadata Workshop. The registrants represented 16 countries on 4 continents, and many disciplines. As with previous workshops, many new issues were opened, and vigorous debate was a hallmark of the event. Unlike previous workshops, the focus of DC-6 was not to resolve questions in plenary meetings, but rather to identify unresolved issues and assign them to formal working groups for resolution. The result of this process was an ambitious workplan for 1999. This report summarizes that workplan, highlights the progress that has made been on the workplan, and identifies a few significant projects that exemplify this progress. . . The second proposed change is simply to format the Dublin Core specification according to a standard description template for metadata elements known as ISO 11179. ISO 11179 is an international standard for formally expressing the semantics of data elements in a consistent manner. . . A given set of metadata elements can be registered as an RDF schema on the Web, thereby specifying the semantics and structure of the metadata set. XML provides the encoding syntax, and the XML-namespace facility makes it straightforward to mix element sets in a given metadata description without the danger of element names colliding. That is, an element established as a component of one namespace, such as the Dublin Core, is in no danger of being confused with an element of the same name from another namespace. Element sets are thus modular in the Warwick Framework sense. . . There are currently several means for representing Dublin Core metadata, including embedded HTML, raw XML, and XML-encoded RDF. The current consensus on DC elements can be seen as a semantic view that can be represented in a variety of ways. Those interested in exploring the implications of this are urged to read the DC-Schema Discussion Paper discussing views of Dublin Core and their relationship to an underlying data model (DC-SCHEMA 1999) and to participate in the ongoing discussions on these issues.'

  • [April 20, 1999] "XML at Your Service." By Mark Merkow. In Webreference (April 15, 1999). "This week at Webreference we serve up a gaggle of XML industry standard DTD initiatives and the new breed of XML-specialization servers. Learn how e-commerce is bringing XML at Your Service."

  • [April 20, 1999] "Sybase makes e-commerce pitch. Sybase wants its slice of the e-commerce pie." By Wylie Wong. In CNET News (April 19, 19990. "Sybase has begun shipping its updated application server and PowerJ and PowerBuilder development tools, touting them as the software needed to create Web sites for e-commerce, employees within a company, and business partners. The tools are tightly integrated with the application server, allowing developers to seamlessly code and make changes to applications, Sybase executives said. The Enterprise Application Server 3.0 supports XML, Corba, and some level of Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), said Michael Merritt, Sybase's senior director for the Enterprise Application Server."

  • [April 20, 1999] "DataChannel, Isogen Merge." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld (April 20, 1999). "DataChannel on Tuesday announced that it has merged with Isogen International to deliver Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based solutions focused on the enterprise. DataChannel will provide the products for the solution, with Isogen working on the systems integration and consulting. DataChannel said Isogen brings a lot of XML knowledge to the table, as it has been working on data-centric solutions in the Standard Generalized Markup Language world since 1994. As part of the merger, Isogen will retain its Dallas location and will be branded as 'A DataChannel Inc. Company.' Each company will continue to play to its separate product and solutions strengths, with Isogen also helping on DataChannel's enterprise portal products." See the announcement: "DataChannel Inc. and ISOGEN International Corp. Merge to Become the Largest XML Enterprise Solutions Provider."

  • [April 20, 1999] "DataChannel merges with Isogen for XML services." By Lee Pender. In PC Week [Online] (April 20, 1999). "In an effort to bulk up its services component, DataChannel Inc., provider of enterprise portal and eXtensible Markup Language technology, announced today it has merged with XML services provider Isogen International Corp. Isogen, based in Dallas, will become a subsidiary of DataChannel, of Bellevue, Wash. The privately held companies did not release financial terms of the deal, but DataChannel officials said the combined company will continue to hire employees rather than pare jobs.

  • [April 19, 1999] "XML DTDs for B2B, ASAP." By Eric Binary Anderson. In ent Magazine [Online] Volume 4, Number 7 (April 7, 1999), pages 21, 23. "OAGI's achievement is the first step to a world of connected businesses. For the past decade, the computing world steered toward synchronous distributed protocols such as CORBA and DCOM to link the world. While these technologies will have their place, the future lies with asynchronous messaging, such as MQSeries and MSMQ. The reason for the change is that the Internet raised our definition of a high-volume distributed system from thousands of users to millions of users. Message queuing can provide this super-scalability, which is something that no synchronous solution can do. XML messages, using a public DTD, provide the perfect package to send through the message queue's pipeline. DTDs can improve the business-to-consumer relationship, as well. How many of you enjoy filling out forms? I know I recently decided on a loan broker because she promised to handle all the paperwork for me. I simply can't stand repeating the same task I've done since I opened my first savings account as a tike. Enter DTDs. Once a majority of commercial Web sites agree on a DTD for customer information, you'll be able to fill out an entire loan application -- on any loan site -- with a single cut-and-paste operation. . . We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. XML DTDs should do for electronic communication what high-level languages did for assembly language programmers: open up whole new worlds."

  • [April 19, 1999] "The Business Case for XML." By Marty Nemzow. In Web Server Online Magazine (April 1999). "You may have read about XML in other publications, which usually place an emphasis on how to create XML-based Web pages. This column will instead focus on how XML provides a strategic imperative for businesses applying electronic commerce and integrating with back-office operations and/or strategic partners."

  • [April 19, 1999] "XML Applications Stand Up To EDI." By Ellis Booker. In Information Week (April 16, 1999), page 8. "XML is starting to prove itself as a practical alternative to EDI for e-business trading. E-commerce pioneer Dell this week revealed it will use an application based on XML as the interface between its customers' ERP or procurement systems and its own online order-management systems. Separately this week, RosettaNet, a consortium creating XML-based supply chain processes for the $700 billion IT industry, said it had completed a successful test of its first Partner Interface Process (PIP), an XML derivative that defines various electronic interactions between trading partners. Dell's procurement system, due this summer, will rely heavily on Microsoft products, particularly its XML-based BizTalk schema and server products coming out in the second half of the year. . . Interestingly, Dell is not a member of RosettaNet, which counts American Express, Cisco, CompUSA, Compaq, EDS, Federal Express, Intel, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Netscape as members."

  • [April 19, 1999] " The First Open Business-to-Business Trading Web" By [Staff]. Featured company profile and 'Site of the week', from "CommerceOne launches based on breakthrough XML technology from Veo Systems, a company they acquired in January." See the Web site for full details.

  • [April 19, 1999] "The MetaXSL Engine." By Olivier Brand. From Intraware, Intranet library. [Conclusions:] "With admittedly limited testing, our prototype MetaXSL Engine performs quite well. We tried it with several combinations of XML Parsers and XSL Processors currently available for download and they all worked, although performance varied. These tools are constantly being updated so it is important to build a solution with an open architecture. XML and related technologies and the tools to support them will continue to evolve and mature as all new technologies do. We found that the current state of affairs is suitable to begin prototyping with and we encourage others to begin planning their own prototypes. XML will generate multiple and robust benefits for users and web developers. The smart developers will begin learning how it works now. As for our prototype and goals, we were able to successfully implement a combination of XML/XSL and Java code to achieve our goals. Our prototype has an open architecture, the presentation logic (XSL) is separated from application logic and our performance is better than we expected. In addition we can support localization with a minimum of effort. We also learned a lot about how XML/XSL work and about the current crop of Java tools that support it. It has been time well spent and we plan to continue developing XML ideas in Java. What we've done is just a prototype and none of this has been incorporated into our web site yet, but it provides a solid basis for us to develop upon for eventual production."

  • [April 19, 1999] "[Component Front] OMG Announces XMI Specification." By John K. Waters. In Component Strategies (April 1999), page 9-10. Brief description of recent announcements from OMG. See also "OMG Members Unite in Support of XMI Technology," page S-8. For details on XMI, see "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)."

  • [April 19, 1999] "[Component Front] GM Driving XML Into the Mainstream." By John K. Waters. In Component Strategies (April 1999), page 11. Cf. "Putting The Pedal To The XM-etaL." By Mel Duvall. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (March 29, 1999).

  • [April 16, 1999] "Whither ICE?" By Bill Trippe. In The Gilbane Report on Open Information & Document Systems Volume 7, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 5-8. In the special issue 'Metadata, ICE & New Horizons'. "The Information and Content Exchange (ICE) protocol was first conceived a year ago, so it's a good time to visit the initiative and see whether it still has the impressive momentum it seemed to develop right from the start. . . Bill Trippe, joins [the Gilbane Report editorial staff] this month with an update on one of the most well known XML metadata applications, ICE (Information & Content Exchange) protocol. This is one of the (many) areas Bill knows a lot about. How important is ICE to you? The answer depends partly on what the final scope of the protocol is, and that is still an open question. In any case, the issues it addresses will be relevant to any web application that involves sharing content with business partners. You should be aware of it." Note: "GCARI is New Host for ICE." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 13 (March 31, 1999). "During the recent XTech Conference in San Jose, Graphic Communications Association Research Institute, Inc. (GCARI) and the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Authoring Group jointly announced a letter of understanding between the two organizations in which GCARI is named as the official Host organization for the ICE Authoring Group. . . " See more on ICE: "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol."

  • [April 16, 1999] "XML in IE5: A Semi-Guided Tour." By Craig Cline and Tim Bray. In ZDNet DevHead (April 13, 1999). "Craig Cline and Tim Bray take a look at IE 5.0's XML support. Though the new IE delivers the best native support for XML to date, it's still not ready for prime-time. . . Still, the recent release of Internet Explorer 5 is noteworthy for two reasons. First, IE5 delivers the best native support for XML we've seen to date. And second, that Microsoft has invested some serious work in this area is an indication of just how important the company believes XML to be in its Internet strategy. Indeed, at a recent developer meeting, Adam Bosworth, a very senior Microsoft engineer indeed, said that it is the company's intention to support XML throughout its operating systems, back office product line, and office applications going forward. And the fact that XML is an official W3C standard doesn't hurt either, since it provides Microsoft with the opportunity to display its born again good-net-citizen behavior in supporting and contributing to the development of open standards. Consequently, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at how well IE5 supports XML in its current iteration."

  • [April 16, 1999] "BlueGill Enhances Internet Billing." By Gregory Dalton. In TechWeb News   (April 14, 1999). BlueGill Technologies refined its technology Monday for companies seeking to present their bills and statements on the Internet. For transferring billing information from legacy systems, BlueGill utilizes XML. . ." See also the press release, "BlueGill Technologies Harnesses XML to Bridge Information Gap and Bolster Customer Relationships. The BlueGill i-Series improves customer loyalty and increases customer retention by transforming legacy data into interactive Web applications."

  • [April 16, 1999] "XML Marks the Spot. The new Web language is ready to redefine information management." By Jon Udell. In Computerworld (April 12, 1999). "Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy is right: The network is the computer. The Web has become that computer's operating system. And the lingua franca of that computer will be Extensible Markup Language, better known as XML. It's much more than just a way to present Web pages: In XML, the document becomes the database. . ."

  • [April 16, 1999] "Perspecta matures its perspective. XML in and out, automated tagging and a canned user interface help build Web-based self-service applications." By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), page 36. "[Recently] Perspecta announced the third release of its conceptual navigation system, adding back-end tools that assist in structuring information; a server that builds multiple-perspective indexes; and a software developers' kit for building customized solutions. The net result is a platform for building Web-based self-service applications. The XML import/export promised last year has been completed, with direct support for the Resource Description Format (RDF) recently adopted by the W3C. ODBC support was added to make it easier to tie Perspecta to other databases. . ." ['Structuring System is composed of four principal sub-components: the Concept Database (CDB), Tagging Assistant, Structuring Assistant, and Data Import Platform. . . The XML-compliant Data Import Platform enables users to import information (for instance, additional controlled vocabularies) into the CDB in a manner consistent with the way they work with information throughout the rest of Perspecta 3.0 - namely, in terms of concepts, their attributes, and their semantic relationships. It comprises a data import program, a data conversion language, and a Perspecta-specific data type definition (DTD).']

  • [April 16, 1999] "Quark's Troika of Web Products." By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), pages 8-11. "In a sweeping corporate effort to diversify its product line and branch out into new vertical markets, Quark has embarked on several major development efforts, including one for catalogs, one for packaging and one aimed squarely at Web publishing. In contrast with the others, the Web initiative is general-purpose technology that could be utilized by Quark customers in a variety of markets. Code-named Troika because it has three prongs, the project is expected to result in products next year. In a visit to Quark's headquarters in Denver and follow-up meetings at Seybold Seminars in Boston, Quark shared a glimpse of Troika with us, which we place in the context of competitive offerings already on the market. . . The first tool, and the one that appeared to be farthest along in development, is an XTension (code-named Troika XT) that extracts text from XPress pages and applies XML-tagging. In implementing such a tool, the first step, of course, is to develop a document type definition (DTD) that establishes the tags and their place in the structure of the archtypical document. Quark is not sure yet if some sort of visual DTD design tool will be supplied. Given how few magazine publishers have XML DTDs, we'd like to see Quark take a stab at automatically generating a first cut at the DTD from the style structure already present in the document. An alternative aid, one that would be easier to develop, would be to include sample DTDs with the product, such as the one already developed by the news agencies for newswires."

  • [April 16, 1999] "Web Publishing Systems." By Victor Votsch and Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), pages 11-16. "The market for Web publishing systems is growing into a complicated market space, with overlapping products running the gamut from add-ons to authoring tools all the way up to enterprise-level systems. Several leading vendors showed their latest offerings in Boston, and two new PDF-related systems made their debut. . . [GoLive, FutureTense, HexMacDigiDox, Glyphica] Also "'Inso upgrades DynaBase': Inso introduced an upgrade to its Web-publishing system DynaBase that provides a Java client for Mac and Unix users; adds support for multiple repositories; and promises improved performance. Collectively, the changes help DynaBase scale to meet the demands of very large sites. . . Performance improvements seem to be a recurrent theme with InsoAlso added in this release is a unique XML template system, along with sample templates, to make it possible for designers to create dynamic HTML pages without programming."

  • [April 16, 1999] "Microsoft, Netscape, vendor consortia announce XML e-commerce strategies. Microsoft muscles on to an awfully crowded bandwagon." By Victor Votsch. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), pages 32-33. "Recent announcements from vendors large and small point to the inevitable rise of XML and industry-specific DTDs as the enabling tools for the next generation of Web automation, from content exchange to e-commerce. But while XML provides the means for setting standards for e-commerce, it's up to the market to decide just what tagset and protocols will be adopted. In contrast with content syndication, where consensus among users and vendors has led to the adoption of the ICE protocol, the larger and more nebulous world of e-commerce remains more like a trip to the bazaar, where a cacophony of vendors vie for your attention. Amidst the din, there were some recent significant developments. . ."

  • [April 16, 1999] "XTech '99: Mainstream Vendors Join the Rugged Frontier." By Liora Alschuler. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), page 40. "It would be difficult, nay impossible, to reproduce the exhilaration of XML conferences of days past: there will only be one breakthrough year, there will be only one year when the big computer firm in Redmond endorses XML. In the first year of the activity that started life as 'SGML for the Web,' the question was would we see XML in the browser and when? At this year's XTech forum the week of March 8 in San Jose, with speakers from Netscape and Microsoft vying for the title of most-XML-compliant browser on the planet, it was difficult to work up much dramatic tension over XML in the browser, although substantive implementation issues remain. Instead, XML in the browsers was overshadowed this year by the rise of XML support by other technology vendors. Proclamations of strategic directions and forthcoming products from Sun, IBM, Oracle, Object Design and others ensure that XML will be used not only for Web publishing but also as glue in many facets of our high-tech, information-handling infrastructure."

  • [April 16, 1999] "Lotus Notes as a Web-Publishing Platform: Will Release 5 Change Things?" By Steve Gillmor. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), pages 21-27. [Steve Gillmor spent several months working with the beta version of Release 5 and filed this assessment of the new product and its suitability for Web publishing.] "Coming soon: XML support - For XML metadata, the Notes document library application already captures name, category, time stamp, document size and other metadata into fields in the Domino object store. With this sort of metadata, it's trivial for the designer to create custom views, provide enterprise-wide search capabilities, and publish to paper, the Web, and/or handheld devices. XML is already at work unofficially behind the scenes, carrying the View and Outline applet code stream to and from the Domino server over HTTP. In the future, Lotus plans to extend this functionality and to clean up the implementation for public documentation. Lotus understands the utility of separating form from content and sees the value in using XML for interchange. Some sort of XSL-based transformation facility can be expected as an upgrade to Domino in the near future, and, in the meantime, Lotus' parent, IBM, is making available a whole range of Java-based XML and XSL tools that can be called by Domino in Release 5. At this point, the XML support in Notes is not sufficiently mature for us to recommend the product as a platform for building a high-end XML document-management system (instead, stick with Chrystal, Xyvision, et al.), but it could handle many of the XML metadata needs of Web developers and publishers."

  • [April 16, 1999] "XHTML: The Extensible Hypertext Markup Language." [W3C team] Written by Dave Raggett. In W3C Talks W3LA event in Stockholm, 24th March 1999. 'slide set for XHTML firstpresented at the W3LA event in Stockholm on 24th March 1999. The presentation covers the history of HTML and explains the work underway for the next generation [of HTML].'

  • [April 16, 1999] "White Space Handling In XML Parsing." Edited by [OpenXML] arkin ( "White space handling is an unresolved issue in the present definition of XML parsers, falling outside the scope of both the DOM specification and the SAX API. This is a recommendation for the behavior of XML parsers in regards to white space appearing in the source document, and what portions are to be delivered to the application. This RFC is published and made available for public review in an open process. We encourage parser developers to take part in formulating the final specification and to abide by it, in an effort to provide a uniform behavioral model that will allow applications and documents to be portable across a variety of parsers." [local archive copy]

  • [April 16, 1999] "Formatting Objects Considered Harmful." By Håkon Wium Lie (Opera Software, Norway). April 15, 1999. Abstract: "The W3C Working Group on XSL is currently producing two specifications: a transformation language (called 'XTL' in this document) and a set of formatting objects written in XML (called 'XFO' in this document). The idea is for XTL to transform XML data and documents into set of formatting objects which subsequently can be rendered. On the ladder of abstraction from presentation to semantics, XFO is at the level of presentational HTML elements. A Web of XFO documents can be compared to a Web of HTML documents with only FONT and BR tags. Although not intended to be used on the Web, it's unlikely that it can be prevented. XFO is therefore a threat to accessibility, device-independence and the dream of a semantic Web. The note ends with some suggestions on how to solve the problem." [local archive copy] This paper was announced on April 16, 1999, and generated a thread with scores of responses on the XSL Mailing List.

  • [April 15, 1999] "Open-source Application Server Enters the Fray." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (April 14, 1999). "Lutris Technologies, a consultancy in Santa Cruz, Calif., will announce April 19 that its free, open-source Java/Extensible Markup Language (XML) application server, Enhydra, is gathering momentum both in deployment and via the efforts of developers contributing to its evolution. The privately held company, which oversees Enhydra's development in the open-source milieu, claims Enhydra is the only open-source XML compiler and server available. Available now for free download at, Enhydra -- a word that when used with lutris forms the Latin name for surfers' mascot, the California sea otter -- is designed to provide both the server platform and development framework for building dynamic, adaptable multitier Internet applications . . . Furthermore, Enhydra uses XML to simplify the inter-relationship of graphic designers and Java developers during the development of dynamic HTML presentation."

  • [April 15, 1999] "XML Comes of Age at Internet World." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld (April 14, 1999). "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) found its way into actual products and not just vendor hype here Wednesday at Spring Internet World. Announcements featuring XML came from Interleaf, RightDoc, General Magic, Sqribe Technologies, IPNet Solutions, and Blue World Communications."

  • [April 15, 1999] "WebCGM: Industrial-Strength Vector Graphics for the Web." By John C. Gebhardt (InterCAP Graphics Systems) and Lofton Henderson (Inso Corporation). An OASIS / CGM Open White Paper. April 1999. "For years, companies, industry groups, and government organizations have used Computer Graphics Metafiles (CGMs) for storing and exchanging 2D graphics. CGM is a format defined by the International standard ISO/IEC 8632:1992 for digitally describing vector, raster, and hybrid (raster and vector) graphic pictures very compactly. It has proven to be a very good format for the technical illustrations in electronic documentation, geophysical data visualization, and other demanding 2-dimensional graphics presentation applications. About the same time the CGM standard matured, the World Wide Web began to explode and graphics began to play an increasingly important role. Until recently, graphics on the Web consisted of raster images - pictures represented as large arrays of colored pixels. The formats typically used to transmit these images are GIF, JPEG, and more recently PNG. However, rather than sending pixel values over the Internet, an alternate approach is to send the instructions for drawing lines, circles, ellipses, curves, and other shapes. The advantages of describing pictures abstractly are manyfold. . . WebCGM is an 'intelligent graphics' profile of the CGM standard, which means that in addition to graphical content based on CGM Versions 1-3, the profile defines the semantics of non-graphical content (metadata) 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. WebCGM was developed as a joint effort of the CGM Open Consortium, in collaboration the W3C under the W3C-LA project. The W3C has been working on integrating CGM with the Web since 1996. In June of 1997 it identified the need for a profile of CGM for use on the Web. Shortly thereafter, a group of vendors and large users of CGM technology met and agreed to form a consortium. As a result of those early meetings CGM Open was incorporated in May 1998. . . The CGM standard does not define a way to formally express profile and content rules. XML has been chosen as the language for expressing metadata content in WebCGM. XML is not valid content in WebCGM metafile instances. One advantage to the choice of XML as the formal language is that validating parsers are widely available. Even though XML syntax is not valid in WebCGM instances, such tools could be adapted to perform content validation of WebCGM instances. . ." See also "Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM)." [local archive copy]

  • [April 15, 1999] "GCARI is New Host for ICE." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 13 (March 31, 1999). "During the recent XTech Conference in San Jose, Graphic Communications Association Research Institute, Inc. (GCARI) and the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Authoring Group jointly announced a letter of understanding between the two organizations in which GCARI is named as the official Host organization for the ICE Authoring Group. GCARI has entered into this relationship to fulfill its ongoing mission of promoting standards for use in fields of information technology and publishing. Under this agreement, all members of ICE Authoring Group (ICE AG) and Advisory Council (ICE AC) also shall become Special Membership Group (SMG) members of GCARI. The new Host Organization will host the ICE web site as well as upcoming ICE standards activities. GCARI will also sponsor an ICE Seminar Series to promote understanding and implementation of the fledgling standard. The first ICE seminar will take place on May 17 and 18 in New York City." See further on ICE: "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol."

  • [April 15, 1999] "The Emerging eCommerce Wars." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 13 (March 31, 1999). "Over the past month we have seen a host of exciting announcements from established market leaders such as Netscape and Microsoft as well as from emerging players. We also see an increasing number of specific vocabularies, or tag sets, designed to facilitate eCommerce in particular industry sectors. And finally we see great claims by organizations that transcend any particular industry specific DTD, claiming to have already achieved interoperable XML-based eCommerce frameworks on their newest technology platforms. What's hot in eCommerce? And what can we count on?"

  • [April 15, 1999] "Jon Bosak Opens XTech Conference." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 13 (March 31, 1999). "Jon Bosak, co-editor of the XML Specification, chair of the XML Coordination Group, and co-chair of GCA's new XTech conference provided this year's opening keynote. After welcoming all to GCA's newest technical conference, Bosak began with a discussion on the XML family of standards. . . [Summary of the five main XML-related W3C Working Groups, liaison groups, and XML Coordination Group.] Bosak concluded his keynote by discussing the importance of XML and documents. Although XML has many other uses on the Web, to Bosak, documents are still a critical focus for XML. To demonstrate the importance of documents to us all, Bosak provided the audience with a historical perspective. . ."

  • [April 15, 1999] "Cascading Style Sheets: A Primer." Book Review by Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 13 (March 31, 1999). Cascading Style Sheets: A Primer is authored by Joseph R. Jones and Paul Thurrott. [The reviewer says:] "I would highly recommend this text to anyone who wants to move from cluttered HTML tagging for style to clean structure coded HTML with CSS style codes. Not only does this text provide mechanics of CSS, but spends a great deal of time on good Web design."

  • [April 15, 1999] "Binary To Unveil VelociGen For XML." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (April 14, 1999). "Binary Evolution, a supplier of Web application tools, today is planning to announce at Internet World in Los Angeles an eXtensible Markup Language development and deployment software package for Web servers. VelociGen for XML is designed to let a developer view the structure of an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) document, then map it to a HyperText Markup Language page, or use the scripting languages Perl and Tcl to create advanced mappings to back-office applications."

  • [April 15, 1999] "Rockford Plays An EJB-XML Tune." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek Issue 760 (April 12, 1999), page 19. [Section: Intranet Applications.] "Car audio maker Rockford Corp. is linking a Java application server with Extensible Markup Language to extend the capabilities of its intranet and link to back-end systems, including EDI. A scalable Web server is especially important to Rockford. The company expects the number of accounts on its extranet site to increase from 268 to more than 2,000 within two months as 1,200 independent dealers are added, as well as users from Rockford's corporate offices in Tempe, Ariz., and manufacturing centers in Grand Rapids, Mich., overseas and Canada. While it swaps application servers, Rockford is moving rapidly on the XML front, applying it to incoming EDI purchase orders from Sterling Commerce Inc.'s private EDI network."

  • [April 13, 1999] "XML and the Second-Generation Web. The combination of hypertext and a global Internet started a revolution. A new ingredient, XML, is poised to finish the job. [How XML Will Fix the Web: Tags categorizing facts, not formats, speed up transactions.]" By Jon Bosak and Tim Bray. In Scientific American Volume 280, Number 5 (May 1999), pages 89-93. For the week of April 12, 1999. Cover story, feature article. "Extensible Markup Language (XML), a tool for writing World Wide Web pages, promises another on-line revolution. Pages written in XML can deliver needed information more quickly and efficiently than HTML pages can. They can also automatically reformat themselves for convenient access by computer, telephone, handheld organizer or other devices. . . [Conclusion:] Thus, for its users, the XML-powered Web will be faster, friendlier and a better place to do business. Web site designers, on the other hand, will find it more demanding. Battalions of programmers will be needed to exploit new XML languages to their fullest. And although the day of the self-trained Web hacker is not yet over, the species is endangered. Tomorrow's Web designers will need to be versed not just in the production of words and graphics but also in the construction of multilayered, interdependent systems of DTDs, data trees, hyperlink structures, metadata and stylesheets -- a more robust infrastructure for the Web's second generation." For other introductory articles, see "Introducing the Extensible Markup Language (XML)."

  • [April 13, 1999] "Wireless Palm VII Gains Support. The first wireless version of Palm's Pilot organizer is receiving industry support." By Darren Gladstone. In ZDNN TechNews (April 12, 1999). Wireless Palm VII is "scheduled to ship this summer. . . Bluestone Software Inc., meanwhile, is working on XML (Extensible Marking Language) based client/server software called XML-Contact, according to sources. It will allow users to remotely synchronize data by translating it into XML. The Mount Laurel, N.J., company also has XML-Expense and XML-Calendar versions of the software in development."

  • [April 13, 1999] "Zveno Swish XML Editor Version 1.0 Beta 1." By [Staff]. In Linux Today (April 3, 1999). Swish is a non-validating XML document editor that allows the user to view and edit a XML document in both a tree-mode and a document-mode simultaneously. Swish reads and saves XML version 1.0 documents and features integrated tree and document views. Plugins make Swish fully extensible and customisable. Third-parties may use Tcl/Tk scripting and DOM version 1.0 to create plugin modules to change or enhance Swish's functionality."

  • [April 12, 1999] "XML standards are too much of a good thing." By Lauren Gibbons Paul. In PC Week [Online] (April 12, 1999). "The lack of standards for conducting business-to-business transactions over the Web is hindering widespread acceptance of electronic commerce, according to Graham Clarke, director of product industries for Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash. "Extranets don't scale. Every private extranet requires a different set of data," Clarke said. An increasing number of vendors believe that XML (Extensible Markup Language) is the answer. Companies ranging from Microsoft to Ariba Technologies Inc. are proposing standards that would extend the XML flexible Web page design language with a common set of transaction tags. These extensions are needed because XML is only a generic standard for tagging documents. These new standards would define the XML document types so that companies could easily exchange purchase orders, invoices and the like. That's the vision. Unfortunately, the reality is turning out to be more like the Tower of Babel because companies and industry groups have proposed a variety of different XML extensions and protocols. As a result, IT managers planning an XML-based, e-commerce strategy need to proceed with caution, said experts who are tracking the progress of the different XML extensions while pressing vendors to converge their efforts."

  • [April 12, 1999] "Instant E-Commerce: Realizing Immediate ROI with UWI.Com's High-Value XML Business Objects." By David Manning [CTO, UWI.Com]. April 9, 1999. UWI.Com White Paper. "This document outlines the advantages that UWI.Com's solutions offer to organizations conducting business-to-business e-commerce. By providing a low barrier-to-entry and a realistic migration path that enables the expansion and automation of trading networks, UWI.Com's high-value XML business objects allow trading organizations to realize an immediate return on their e-commerce investments."

  • [April 09, 1999] "Federated Search of Scientific Literature." By Bruce Schatz, William Mischo, Timothy Cole, Ann Bishop, Susan Harum, Eric Johnson, Laura Neumann, Hsinchun Chen, and Dorbin Ng. [Originally published in] IEEE Computer Magazine Volume 32, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 51-59. ISSN: 0018-9162. "The Illinois Digital Library Project has developed an infrastructure for federated repositories. The deployed testbed indexes articles from many scientific journals and publishers in a production stream that can be searched as though they form a single collection. The Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI) project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was one of six sponsored by the NSF, DARPA, and NASA from 1994 through 1998. Our goal was to develop widely usable Web technology to effectively search technical documents on the Internet. We concentrated on building the experimental Illinois DLI Testbed with tens of thousands of full-text journal articles from physics, engineering, and computer science, and on making these articles available over the Internet before they are available in print. The team, based in the Engineering Library at UIUC, had primary goals to [...] construct and test a multi-publisher, full-text Testbed that employs flexible search and rendering capabilities and offers rich links to internal and external resources, with the sources tagged in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). The Illinois DLI Testbed supports full text in SGML format, associated article metadata, and bit-mapped figure images for scientific journal articles. At present (February 1999), the collection includes 63 journals containing 66,000 articles from 5 engineering professional societies: American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institution of Electrical Engineers, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society. Our Testbed team developed a Web-based retrieval system, which supports federated search across this collection, called DeLIver (DEsktop LInk to Virtual Engineering Resources). A critical element of the Testbed was the effective use of SGML to reveal document structure and produce associated article-level metadata, which homogenizes heterogeneous SGML and allows short-entry display. We take the SGML directly from the publishers' collections, converting it to a canonical format for federated searching and transforming tags into a standard set. The metadata also contains links to internal and external data, such as other Testbed articles and bibliographic abstract databases. The metadata and index files, which contain pointers to the full-text data, are stored independently and separately from the full-text. With SGML, documents can be treated as objects, allowing viewing, manipulation, and output. For retrieval purposes, SGML's major strength is its ability to reveal a document's component structure. While SGML is becoming ubiquitous in publishing, it is largely generated by publishers as a production by-product. The coming widespread availability of rich markup formats, such as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), a nearly complete instance of SGML, will likely make them the standard for open document systems. Future versions of our Testbed are planning to use XML to represent structure." See the broader scope of heavily-funded DLI research. See also Illinois Digital Library Project and CANIS Laboratory, University of Illinois. The IEEE article is also available in PDF format; local archive copy PDF, and HTML.

  • [April 09, 1999] "XSL: How Stylish Can You Get?" By Neil Randall. "XML (Extensible Markup Language) is about to get better with the addition of a style mechanism: Extensible Style Language. XSL lets you mark data with author-defined elements that allow more control over data presentation and organization than with HTML alone. HTML has spawned the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) mechanism, while SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), much earlier, added the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL). . . XML (Extensible Markup Language), the most recent addition to authoring languages for the Web, now has a style mechanism as well. Extensible Style Language, or XSL -- a language for formatting XML documents and, especially, the data in XML documents -- has reached the working-draft stage with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XSL lets authors format XML elements. It uses the syntax of XML, allowing XML specialists to style their documents and data without necessarily learning either CSS or DSSSL. The most powerful aspect of XSL is its ability to map a single data source onto multiple display targets -- that is, more than one implementation of an XML or HTML document on-screen -- and to style the data in each target. . ."

  • [April 09, 1999] "Oracle to Detail XML Strategy, Unveil App Servers." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (April 8, 1999). "Oracle will announce its plans to be the instrument for XML-based Internet commerce, as well as several new application servers, at the Internet World show in Los Angeles next week. Oracle will reveal its framework for storing, publish, routing, and processing XML information with Oracle's Internet Platform, which includes the Oracle 8i database, Oracle Application Server, and a new message broker application code-named Messenger. 'What's happening is that people are rapidly standardizing on XML as a way to publish out of one system and into another,' said Jeremy Burton, vice president of server marketing for Oracle. '[But] when you have millions of XML documents floating around, that tends to get out of control. It's easier to find things in a database than it is to find them in a [Microsoft] Word file,' Burton said. 'Using the database to store XML documents is going to happen more and more over time'."

  • [April 09, 1999] "Oracle Lifts Lid on XML, App server Plans." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] (April 8, 1999). "Oracle Corp. hopes to advance the use of Extensible Markup Language for moving data through the enterprise with the release by the end of the year of a new message broker that provides the translation and transformation layer for moving XML documents between applications. Oracle plans to update JDeveloper, the company's Java IDE, to build adapters, and leverage its Designer modeling tool to generate metadata that can be stored in the message broker's repository as business rules. The message broker will be responsible for translating and transforming XML documents between applications and routing the data based on the business rules. Oracle Enterprise Manager can be used with the new product to manage and monitor the system. Oracle has given XML adoption a high priority in its overall Internet strategy."

  • [April 09, 1999] "XML Starts to Live Up to its Hype." By Sebastian Rupley. In ZDNN Tech News (April 7, 1999). "After being hyped heavily as a makeover for the Web, XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is starting to live up to the hype. Recently, a slew of announcements from giant backers and the formation of new consortiums have delivered a shot of adrenaline to the promising new standard designed to describe the contents of Web pages. Those who have been following the XML story know that it has broad implications for intelligent Web searching, but XML is going in some brand new directions too -- such as assisting voice-based information sharing." Similarly: "XML Spreads Out."

  • [April 08, 1999] "Emilé Makes Mark on XML." By Wendy J. Mattson. In MacWeek (April 7, 1999). Media Design in*Progress this week released Emilé Lite, a free version of a Mac-based Extended Markup Language editor that is also due to ship in a commercial version in the second half of this month. Emilé Lite is a document editor that lets Web authors create XML documents and apply custom tags and mark-up constructs via dialogs. The application combines a clone of the Emacs text editor with a graphical user interface for Mac. Emilé Lite automatically adjusts the user interface to match the current document-type definition and can customize the authoring environment accordingly. Emilé Lite can export an XML document as HTML. Users can also employ the software to create documents for interactive Web sites or create content for the company's XPublish Web site publishing system."

  • [April 08, 1999] "War of Words Heats Up." By Chris Fournier. In Ottawa Citizen Online (April 7, 1999). "With Corel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. both preparing to launch new office suite software packages, the war of words between developers is heating up. And in this arena, at least, Ottawa's Corel Corp. is not about to back down from the giant from Redmond. Executive vice-president of engineering Derek Burney says Corel's WordPerfect Office 2000 package beats Microsoft Office 2000 on several fronts. A principal difference between the competing packages is how they handle Extensible Markup Language, or XML, a data format for structured document interchange on the Web. Mr. Burney says Microsoft has been making 'loss leader statements' by laying claim to XML innovation in its new office products. In fact, he says, Microsoft's XML functionality is not as useful as Corel's. According to Mr. Burney, the problem is that Microsoft does not publish the Document Type Descriptor (DTD) -- the file that goes hand-in-hand with an XML file and explains its format. 'They're using XML as their native file format,' he says. 'But they're not publishing the DTD, meaning they're the only ones who can make use of that file'."

  • [April 08, 1999] "The XML Factor." By Gerald Lazar. In Federal Computer Week (April 7, 1999). "A new World Wide Web tool has emerged that promises to revolutionize the way federal agencies do electronic commerce while protecting investments in such technologies as electronic data interchange (EDI). Extensible Markup Language is a way of defining the content of a document, similar to the way Hypertext Markup Language defines a document's appearance on the Web. XML may enable agencies to rescue data trapped in legacy systems, speed application development and actively configure graphics presentations to suit client hardware. 'XML is probably the culmination of 20 to 30 years of computer theory,' said Rita Knox, vice president and research director at Gartner Group. 'Within the next year, XML will be everywhere. It will be stabilized, and everyone will be able to use it.'

  • [April 08, 1999] "Enhanced EDGAR on the Way. Easter Bunny tries to make finding eggs easier." By Michael Collins. In CBS MarketWatch (April 04, 1999). [Re: 'EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system that contains the documents that public companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.'] "On the scene again is Carl Malamud, who with the non-profit Internet Multicasting Service and New York University first put SEC company filings online in 1994 and then turned the basics of the current system over to the SEC. He took away many of the government's arguments against unlimited electronic access to public information by showing it was possible, and relatively inexpensive, to put huge document dumps on the Internet for all to see. Malamud's new project, Active Spaces, is creating a mirror of the SEC EDGAR database that is coded in XML, eXtensible Markup Language. He says that will allow deeper and more complicated searches. 'With XML you can more precisely specify the information you are looking for,' Malamud said. 'You can pull the documents apart, work with graphing data. It gives you more control over the document you're pulling out'. The SEC project is just the first step toward what Malamud hopes will be a whole new way of navigating the Internet." See also: "Death to Sleepy Stock Data." By Leander Kahney. In Wired News (April 01, 1999).

  • [April 07, 1999] "Electronic Catalog. XML: A New Internet Language." By Shannon Oberndorf. In Catalog Age (April 01, 1999). "Now catalogers can get extremely specific in describing product attributes such as price, color, size, and features. For example, XML will allow catalogers to place a tag code for the cost of an item, a code to specify product colors, and tags to identify certain makes of a product. Using XML-based systems, online customers will be able to quickly search for products based on specific criteria, as well as comparison-shop across multiple catalogs. 'XML allows consumers to compare apples to apples, rather than apples to oranges, by adding context to each item,' says John Rosenfeld, electronic commerce operations manager for Lexmark International, a $2.5 billion Lexington, KY-based home and office products manufacturer/cataloger. Lexmark is working with the U.S. government and Commercenet, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit consortium focused on Internet-based electronic commerce solutions, on the XML-based Catalog Interoperability Pilot program. The program allows 35 buyers from 11 government agencies, such as the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and Social Security, to compare and buy products across several electronic catalog databases from one Website."

  • [April 06, 1999] "XML in an Instant: A Non-Geeky Introduction." By Charles F. Goldfarb. April, 1999. OASIS Paper. "By now, everyone familiar with the World Wide Web knows that it is undergoing a radical change that is introducing wonderful services for users and amazing new opportunities for Web site developers and businesses. HTML -- the HyperText Markup Language -- made the Web the world's library. Now its sibling, XML -- the Extensible Markup Language -- is making the Web the world's commercial and financial hub. Dynamic information [from databases, used to generate Web pages] needn't be served up raw. It can be analyzed, extracted, sorted, styled, and customized to create a personalized Web experience for the end-user. For this kind of power and flexibility, XML is the markup language of choice. You can see why by comparing XML and HTML. Both are based on SGML -- the International Standard for structured information. . ." [local archive copy]

  • [April 06, 1999] "Microsoft's XML is More Than Just Standards." By David Strom. In Web Review (April 02, 1999) "With all due respect to Tim Bray's recent analysis of Internet Explorer 5.0's use of XML, I think he is missing the point. Microsoft's entry into the XML universe will do lot more harm than good initially for the XML standards effort, and has the ultimate intention of replacing the way most of us create and exchange documents. The real news is how MS-XML is designed from the start to be the common file interchange format for all Microsoft Office 2000 applications. In doing this, Microsoft has taken to extreme its time-honored practice of embracing and extending an ongoing standards effort. This time, MS-XML has something other than XML in mind. Microsoft is trying to move people away from ordinary HTML 3.0 documents and make Office 2000 the standard tool for Web authoring. And while earlier efforts, FrontPage most memorable, haven't really caught on, I think this time Office 2000 has a solid chance. . ."

  • [April 06, 1999] "Knowledge Management: Get Smart. More Companies Are Learning How To Leverage Their Knowledge Assets, Starting With The Basics." By Beth Davis and Brian Riggs. In Information Week Issue 728 (April 05, 1999). "Using groupware, databases, and other software tools, a growing number of businesses are trying to combine organizational data with the tacit information in employees' heads to create an enterprise repository of intellectual capital. It's an ambitious undertaking, and one that few companies have mastered. . . Defining objects that tag or identify information about data-a twist on the metadata concept-is becoming increasingly popular in companies trying to leverage both the structured data in relational databases and unstructured data found on the Internet and in other sources. And it's where the up-and-coming Extensible Markup Language fits into the knowledge-management discussion. XML is a set of rules for defining data structures. To date, nearly every software vendor has pledged support for XML, and a growing number of IT shops are using it to integrate disparate sources. Platinum Technologies is using XML to build an index for a knowledge-management repository that holds documents on all the software vendor's products. Each piece of content gets an XML tag that identifies the source of the content. Other bits of information in the tag can identify who the product is sold to, which business unit within Platinum is responsible for the product, and which operating systems the product runs on. The first system to come out of the project was Jaguar, a Web knowledge portal for sales and marketing that includes the XML-based index. Platinum has since built six portals around knowledge communities, or groups of individuals with common interests such as product development, sales and marketing, and business development."

  • [April 06, 1999] "The End Of The Web As We Know It." By Sean Gallagher. In Information Week Issue 728 (April 05, 1999). "While application servers successfully push corporate applications out into the brave new world of the Internet, they're fundamentally just a reconstruction of the terminal-based application model with a client-server model on the back end. They just aggregate the database connections and push display data over the wire, for the most part. That may be enough for the lowest common denominator of applications, but in the long term, it's a model that doesn't have a lot of life left in it. There are two technologies that will lead to the death of the browser application. The first is the spawn of HTML-the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The second is directory services. XML is more than just an extension of HTML. It essentially provides a way to embed applications into the data they run on. XML can be used to build a data object that knows not just how to display itself, but what the relationships within it mean-data and business logic fused into a single, self-aware form. How that information gets delivered-by E-mail, HTTP, or carrier pigeon-is no longer important; it's how it gets parsed that matters. The browser doesn't just display XML data; it becomes a run-time environment for the application built into it. While XML becomes the application, the directory will become the delivery vehicle for that application. As Novell, Microsoft, and others extend the scalability and functionality of directories, those directories will become the glue that binds together a new class of enterprise and Internet applications. . ."

  • [April 06, 1999] "The Essence and Quintessence of XML. Retrospects and Prospects." By Robin Cover. December 31, 1998. Report written for Sun Microsystems and OASIS. "The annals of descriptive markup may record 1998 C.E. as the year when the XML scene became noticeably chaotic, while the prospects for its widespread adoption grew increasingly hopeful. . . we witnessed a perceptible and sometimes disconcerting loss of consensus as to what XML actually is. . ."

  • [April 06, 1999] "Enterprise Java 2 On Tap From Sun." By Amber Howle. In Computer Reseller News Issue 836 (April 05, 1999). "While Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to unveil an enterprise version of Java 2 in June, a JavaServer Pages update is expected to be ready for review this week, the company said. The Enterprise Edition runs on top of Java 2 Standard Edition and is based on Enterprise JavaBeans, a component platform allowing developers to write, deploy and manage business applications. Sun is bundling several products together in the Enterprise Edition, including an XML extension the company recently began developing, Roth said. The XML standard extension will be an industry-developed API for developers needing XML language integration with the Java platform."

  • [April 06, 1999] "XML Processing Description Language (XPDL)." By Simon St.Laurent. April 04, 1999. Technical paper from a collection of articles. Originally announced on XML-DEV 19990-4-4. "After two years spent explaining to a wide variety of folks how and why the XML Document Type Definition mechanisms work (and don't work), and why XML documents seem to be accumulating more and more references to external resources (notably style sheets), I've decided that it might be worthwhile to take a different approach that XML's current 'document controls its own destiny'. I'd like this to be as open a process as possible, including discussion on xml-dev, the primary XML development mailing list. All comments, suggestions, and contributions are welcome and will be credited. These documents have no official standing with any standards body or process. . . XML Processing Description Language (XPDL) seeks to provide a means of describing document classes which will simplify the management of document classes and make processing more reliable. By creating descriptions for classes of documents, rather than relying on documents to link to sets of resources themselves, XPDL makes it possible both to move beyond the monolithic model presented by DTDs today and to add new resources, like schemas, style sheets, and processing information to the concept of a document class." [local archive copy, 1999-04-05]

  • [April 06, 1999] "XML, Integration, and the Smaller Developer." By Simon St.Laurent. April 01, 1999. Technical paper from a collection of articles. ". . . a tool has arrived that promises to free data and documents from the tar of proprietary formats and incompatible features. The freedom that Extensible Markup Language (XML) gives data has business implications well outside the world of document and data interchange. Developers now have an opportunity to integrate components on their own terms, mixing and matching software as seems appropriate to them rather than having to rely on schemes created by large vendors to lock developers in to the vendors' own vision of computing."

  • [April 06, 1999] "What's happening to workflow? Web-based workflow gets down to business." By Lynda Radosevich. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 14 (April 05, 1999). "Integration with Web technologies and better ties to back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are quickly pulling workflow into the mainstream. Rather than constructing stand-alone systems, users can now tap into embedded workflow technology in packaged applications to automate business processes. . . Whether the workflow engine comes with an ERP system or on its own, XML support is next on the horizon. XML is the syntax that will allow diverse workflow applications to exchange information. For instance, an online store could use XML tags and workflow triggers to take a customer's order, notify suppliers of the order, and use the shippers' tracking system to follow progress of the delivery. 'We see XML as a common language that will allow our applications to interact with themselves or with external applications. It can be an Internet replacement for EDI [electronic data interchange], enable interaction with desktop systems like Office, or display information in a browser,' said PeopleSoft's Bergquist."

  • [April 05, 1999] "XML Takes on E-commerce. Originally conceived as a more powerful Web publishing tool, XML is now a driving force behind e-commerce." By ames E. Gaskin. In InternetWeek Issue 759 (April 05, 1999), pages 42-43. "'XML makes quick and dirty implementations compared to EDI,' says Benoit Lheureux, research director for Gartner Group's application integration and middleware strategies division. EDI is the e-commerce standard used by some large companies and their trading partners, but is considered too complex and overkill for medium and small companies. Unlike XML, EDI is not text-based and is hard for people to read. 'XML makes it easy for vendors to agree on [formats] for purchase orders and the like,' Lheureux says. Developers and tools vendors are quickly exploring XML, and products using XML are readily available for Web publishing applications. Many data integration and exchange products powered by XML have been announced, but most won't ship until this summer."

  • [April 05, 1999] "Tap XML's Potential Now." By [Staff]. In InternetWeek Issue 759 (April 05, 1999), page 34. ". . . If XML isn't on your company's agenda, here's a call to action: Laggards will be left in the e-commerce dust. For the uninitiated, the HTML follow-on was originally conceived as a sophisticated way to publish Web pages. But XML has since taken on a life of its own, largely because of the real-world problems it can solve. XML represents one of the most promising technologies for helping companies realize the Web's full potential: bridging differences in computing platforms and data formats to make the exchange of information, as well as transactions, pervasive."

  • [April 05, 1999] "NatSemi Site Lets Customers Choose." By David Joachim. In InternetWeek Issue 757 (March 22, 1999), page 17. "National Semiconductor earlier this month launched an e-commerce site that lets customers track live inventory data and order online. National gives customers the option to order directly from the manufacturer or from one of six distribution partners. At the heart of the site ( is the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) protocol, which lets the company publish catalog updates to distributors in real time." See "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol."

  • [April 05, 1999] "XML Tools to Relieve Web Pains." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 14 (April 05, 1999). "IBM and WavePhore are pushing the Extensible Markup Language (XML) further down the path from innovation to implementation. IBM recently posted the XML Enabler on its alphaWorks site. XML Enabler is a servlet that converts XML data to HTML by using the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). This would allow sites to store a single XML version of each document, with the XML Enabler generating client-specific versions on the fly. WavePhore, at Internet World next week, will release the beta version of WavePhore NewsPak, which uses XML as a data format to deliver news feeds to Web sites. This should make it easier for companies to integrate relevant news content into their public sites and intranets."

  • [April 02, 1999] "Death to Sleepy Stock Data." By Leander Kahney. In Wired News (April 01, 1999). "Say you're looking for new investments and you want to know all the publicly traded Internet companies with annual sales of less than US$20 million. Come May, investors may be able to query a souped-up version of the [SEC] database that will return results in the form of a spreadsheet, or an elegant graphic. In the example above, a user wouldn't actually search the original SEC database. Rather, she would dig through the new mirror of the database, coded in eXtensible Markup Language, or XML. 'The challenge is to visualize the Internet,' Malamud said. 'Our plans are much more grandiose than just visualizing a federal government database.' But the EDGAR mirror is a good step toward taking the power of XML out of the realm of the abstract and arcane, where it currently resides, and placing it in the hands of actual end users. . . The EDGAR database is a good test of the team's XML prowess. It consists of about one million documents occupying 40 GB of data. The SEC adds about 30 MB of new documents a day. Malamud said Invisible Worlds, the pair's company in Redwood City, California, will mark up the documents with XML and post them on its mirrored site. When the site goes live, it will be accessible through Invisible Worlds' Web site." See also

  • [April 02, 1999] Microsoft Database to Support XML." By Wylie Wong and Mike Ricciuti. In CNET (March 31, 1999). "The next version of Microsoft's database software will support XML, an emerging Web standard, according to company executives. Four months after releasing SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft is designing its next-generation database, code-named Shiloh, with several new features including XML, a standard that simplifies the exchange of data over the Web and corporate networks, said Dave Wascha, Microsoft's XML product manager. Wascha said Microsoft has even transferred Adam Bosworth, the company's chief XML expert, into the SQL Server group. But Wascha would not confirm whether Bosworth would be working on XML support for SQL Server, or some other technological area of the database."

  • [April 02, 1999] "If You Meet a Data Bigot on the Road, Kill Him." By Lou Rosenfeld. In (April 02, 1999). [Web Architect] ". . . Data is highly structured; documents are semi-structured, and there is a lot of variation and ambiguity in how you might structure documents. That's why, for example, a legal transcript is structured differently than a newspaper article. And why there are so many DTDs (Document Type Definitions) in the XML world. Why should you care about the differences between data and documents? Two words: snake oil. Motivated by commercial gain or just plain ignorance, a few bad eggs in the data community will try to tell you that data and documents are essentially the same, and should be modeled and retrieved in the same way. . . "Dave Blair's 13 Reasons Why Data and Document Retrieval are not The Same. . ."

  • [April 01, 1999] "Automatically Constructing the Intersection/Union/Difference of Schemata." By MURATA Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). Presentation slides from the paper delivered at the XTech '99 Conference, San Jose, March 7 - 11, 1999. The paper abstract: "This talk demonstrates a new technology for automatically constructing the intersection/union/difference of two schemata. The hedge automaton theory provides the foundation of this technology. First, input schemata (written in XSchema) are converted to hedge automata (formerly called forest automata). Second, by applying boolean operations to these hedge automata, an output hedge automaton is constructed. Last, the constructed automaton is converted to a schema (again, written in XSchema). The internal representation and boolean operations of hedge automata are built on top of the "Grail" automaton construction toolkit." See also in this connection "Regularity and Locality of String Languages and Tree Languages" (also by Makoto), and "SGML/XML and Forest/Hedge Automata Theory."

  • [April 01, 1999] "Active TEX and the DOT Input Syntax." By Jonathan Fine. To be presented at TUG '99, on Wednesday, August 18, 1999 in the session 'TeX in Publishing'. "The usual category codes give TEX its familiar backslash and braces input syntax. With Active TEX, all characters are active. This gives the macro programmer complete freedom in defining the input syntax. It also provides a powerful programming environment. The dot input syntax, like TROFF, uses a period at the start of the line as an escape character. However, its underlying element, attribute and content structure is based on SGML. It is both easy to use and easy to program for. Conversion to other formats, such as SGML, HTML and XML, or to proprietary formats such as Word and RTF, will be straightforward. This is because the DOT syntax is rigorous. This new syntax will be described and demonstrated. All manner of problems connected with TEX disappear when Active TEX packages are used. For example, all input errors can be detected and corrected before they cause a TEX error message. This will make TEX accessible to many more users." Note: This document [also in HTML] is a preliminary version of a paper to be presented to the 20th Annual Meeting of the TEX Users Group (Vancouver, Canada, 15-19 August 1999). Jonathan Fine wrote similarly on CTX (1999-04-01): "Active TeX. I've written a TeX macro package that makes all characters active. With Active TeX, every character is a macro! Believe it or not, many problems with TeX can as a result be solved. For more information visit"

  • [April 01, 1999] "BUS: An Effective Indexing and Retrieval Scheme in Structured Documents." By Dongwook Shin, Hyuncheol Jang, and Honglan Jin [Department of Computer Science, Chungnam National University, Taejon, South Korea]. Pages 235-243 (with 16 references) in Digital Libraries '98. Proceedings of the Third ACM Conference on Digital Libraries (Held June 23-26, 1998). New York, N.Y.: Association for Computing Machinery, 1998. Abstract: "In recent digital library systems or the World Wide Web environment, many documents are beginning to be provided in the structured format, tagged in mark up languages like SGML or XML. Hence, indexing and query evaluation of structured documents have been drawing attention since they enable to access and retrieve a certain part of documents easily. However, conventional information retrieval techniques do not scale up well in structured documents. This paper suggests an efficient indexing and query evaluation scheme for structured documents (named BUS) that minimizes the indexing overhead and guarantees fast query processing at any level in the document structure. The basic idea is that indexing is performed at the lowest level of the given structure and query evaluation computes the similarity at a higher level by accumulating the term frequencies at the lowest level in the bottom up way. The accumulators summing up the similarity play the role of accumulating all the term frequencies of the related part at a certain level. This paper also addresses the implementation of BUS and proves that BUS works correctly. In addition, along with several experiments, it shows that BUS facilitates efficient indexing in terms of space and time and guarantees the reasonable retrieval time in response to user queries. . . The basic idea is that indexing is performed at the leaf elements of the given structure and query evaluation computes the similarity at higher level by accumulating the weights at the lowest level in the bottom up way. It underlies the result of R. Wilkinson that 'the retrieval of whole documents can he carried out effectively using just their parts' in part and the idea of UID (Unique element IDentifier) that enables to compute ancestor element of a given element fast." See the bibliographic entry for references.

March 1999

  • [March 31, 1999] "An Investigation of XML with Emphasis on Extensible Linking Language (XLL)." By Justin Ludwig. March 23, 1999. An Independent Study Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the College of Wooster and the Program in Computer Science. Advisor: Dale Brown. Abstract: "This paper describes Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents. It explains how to construct XML documents with Document Type Descriptions (DTDs), XML Namespaces, Extensible Linking Language (XLL), Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Level 1. Each chapter includes a real-world case study of XML usage related to the chapter. This paper also describes an XML browser that can process and display XLL hyperlinks. It includes a full implementation in Java, using the Document Object Model (DOM) Core Level 1." See the fuller description of Link in the 'XML Linking Software' section. [local archive copy]

  • [March 30, 1999] "Procurement-software vendors look to the sell side." By Tim Clark. In CNET (March 29, 1999) [E-Commerce]. "Commerce One and Ariba Technologies are waging a pitched battle in the market for systems that automate billions of dollars of routine purchases for corporate America. This fight goes beyond selling paper clips and airline tickets. It's part of a larger effort by many vendors seeking to help companies put catalogs, purchase orders, and approvals online. The goal: save time and money. Vendors estimate companies spend between $40 to $100 per purchase order, which usually goes toward processing paperwork. Today, Commerce One responded [to Ariba] by launching [supported by XML technology], which requires only a Web browser, not Commerce One's software, to make purchases. Commerce One will run the U.S. purchasing site, hosted by MCI WorldCom, but it announced partnerships with British Telecom for Europe and NTT for Japan to run similar marketplaces there. Commerce One also is opening up to allow rival makers of procurement software to tie into the Commerce One site. The first to announce that its customers can use is Right Works. Users of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from giant SAP, an investor in Commerce One, also can purchase from Commerce One's site."

  • [March 30, 1999] "Putting E-Commerce Into Words. Global Group Using New Technical Language to Bridge Gap on Net." By P.J. Huffstutter. In LA Times (March 29, 1999). "Business-to-business electronic commerce is blocked by a war of words. Companies doing business on the Internet keep returning to the same point: Buyers and sellers aren't speaking the same digital language. RosettaNet, a high-tech global business consortium, hopes to change all that. The Santa Ana-based organization is using a new technical language on the World Wide Web as the base for building a lingua franca for the electronic marketplace. This digital pidgin aims to close the gap between the Internet's promise of an open electronic marketplace and today's reality of incompatible, proprietary systems." See also "RosettaNet."

  • [March 30, 1999] "GroupWise goes to pieces. New framework to leverage XML. " By Paul Krill and Emily Fitzloff. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 13 (March 29, 1999), page 14. "Novell in 2000 plans to mold its GroupWise messaging system into a component-based platform, anchored by a back-end server and Web-based clients in a framework based on Extensible Markup Language (XML). The latest incarnation of GroupWise will include an application framework, in which all data is exposed via XML. XML is becoming critical to Novell's plans, said a Novell executive hinting at a broad-based XML strategy for the company."

  • [March 30, 1999] "Web Trading Hub Moves a Step Closer to Reality." By Jim Kerstetter. In PC Week [Online] (March 29, 1999). "Commerce One Inc. has laid the foundation for a major business-to-business Web trading hub, long the Holy Grail of online commerce. The Walnut Creek, Calif., developer this week will unveil MarketSite 3.0, procurement software designed to facilitate a variety of relationships and transactions for companies doing business on the Web. The new iteration of MarketSite removes much of that complexity. Using a free Extensible Markup Language tool called the XML Commerce Connector, all companies -- not just those that are using Commerce One software -- will be able to tie their buying applications into the MarketSite portal." See the Commerce One press release of March 29, 1999.

  • [March 30, 1999] "XML - Noun or Adjective?" By Brian Travis [Managing Editor]. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 3 (March 1999), pages 1, 4-5. "Everyone is beside themselves this month concerning trademarks. Most XML people don't know that 'XML' is a trademark of MIT and the W3C. Our editor has been through this before, and is getting a headache thinking about the ramifications. . . Travis says: 'My suggestion is that the W3C should just put "XML" in the public domain, and not worry about how it is used. They might have done that, already, by not going after anyone for using the mark without permission. Just remove the trademark and let us get on with the work that "XML technology" can achieve. It is enough to give a guy an Excedrin headache'."

  • [March 30, 1999] "If Not DTDs, Then What?" By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 3 (March 1999), pages 1-3. "On an XML discussion mailing list, someone once claimed that no one would use DTDs if they were optional. Why bother, he asked, with something that just restricts your freedom when creating documents? XML Specification coeditor Tim Bray replied that the opposite effect had happened: people complained that DTDs did not allow enough restrictions. This article corrects most peoples' misconceptions that the current work on schemas in the W3C don't constitute alternatives to the DTD, but different ways of representing the DTD. [. . .] None of the four [current schema] proposals will ever 'win' as the accepted alternative to traditional DTD syntax. Instead, the W3C has assembled an XML Schema Working Group to evaluate the proposals and then construct a new proposal combining their best features, and probably adding some new ones as well. The Working Group's membership includes at least two authors, editors, or contributors involved in the creation of each of the original four proposals."

  • [March 30, 1999] "XML Parsing, SAX, and the DOM." By Neill A. Kipp. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 3 (March 1999), pages 5-8. "Every XML document has a textual representation that is strictly defined by the W3CXML Recommendation ( But for an XML document to be 'understood' by a computer, it must be 'parsed.' The result of the parse is a 'parse tree.' While parse trees come in many forms, the purpose is plain. If the parse tree of a document uses the XML grammar exactly, then the document is an XML document. XML is useful for structuring information and SAX is useful for reporting the key features of those structures to applications. Meanwhile DOM is a way that applications can maintain XML-oriented structured information in memory or in databases. Is the DOM really necessary? Or will XML and SAX suffice? [...] XML is superb: it is critical for smart information management and canonical document interchange. SAX is good: XML applications can use SAX as a standard interface to XML parsers. But while DOM is a useful way to think of 'database' XML, dynamic- DOM confuses the boundaries between data, presentation, and programming. Therefore I will continue to write XML."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Putting The Pedal To The XM-etaL." By Mel Duvall. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (March 29, 1999). "General Motors is launching a significant effort to gain access to a sea of information in its legacy systems - by deploying Internet technologies based on eXtensible Markup Language. The giant automaker earlier this month announced plans to build an application architecture framework that will allow it to roll out Web-based applications for internal and external use. Software built on eXtensible Markup Language (XML) will be a key component of the new architecture, allowing applications to reach into, and share information from, previously incompatible sources. Over the years, GM has accumulated some 8,500 legacy systems to run its operations, most of which are mainframe applications. They access 110 terabytes of data, stored in processing centers around the globe. A large percentage of those applications cannot share or exchange data, requiring specialized knowledge to get at the underlying information. . . DataChannel is one of the early vendors working with GM on the automaker's initiative. It has developed a portfolio of software, training, design and integration services built around deploying XML-based systems in the enterprise."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Enterprise Information Portals and XML." Keynote presentation by Norbert H. Mikula. Presented Tuesday, March 16, 1999, 5:30 p.m, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Sponsored by the SGML Forum of New York. "Information is one of the most important assets -- if not the most important one -- of a modern-day company and XML is likely to become the general standard for the markup of information in web-based applications. Enterprise Information Portals (EIP) enable workers at all levels of an organization to get access to information on a personalized level. XML is a natural fit for EIPs as it provides an abstraction layer for all kinds of legacy data - on the level of metadata as well as actual data. The presentation will discuss the problems of information distribution/contribution, approaches to this problem and what role XML does/will play." See the announcement from Chet Ensign for other background. Note: [as of March 29, 1999] the presentation is available in Streaming Media format. The SGML Forum of New York "is a nonprofit corporation which promotes the effective use of SGML and related technologies (e.g., XML, HTML, composition, databases, etc.) through education, the free exchange of information, and by contributing to the further development and expansion of the Standard. [It] sponsors quarterly events consisting of a specific topic with a keynote speaker or a case study and a vendor presentation, providing our members with an opportunity to network with SGML/XML professionals who are involved in SGML/XML related projects.

  • [March 29, 1999] "XML Buoys Databases for Corporate Markets. Web and XML Keep Object-Oriented Databases Afloat in a World Gone Relational." By Brett Mendel. In InfoWorld (March 29, 1999). "For some time, the object-oriented database market has languished in a sea of arcane development requirements. But thanks to the emerging Web document standard designed to continue where HTML leaves off -- Extensible Markup Language (XML) -- proponents of object-oriented DBMSes (ODBMSes) are now thinking that their ship has come in. . . Until now, ODBMSes have been largely confined to highly technical niche markets and corporate settings with the resources to assemble sophisticated object-oriented systems. However, XML with its use of tags to describe data types, could be seen as the perfect match for similarly enabled ODBMSes. [this has tended to leave object databases out in the cold, but] Beckoning them inside is XML. ODBMSes' capability to accommodate unique data in the hierarchical, object-oriented nature of XML-defined meta data, or intelligence about the kind of data residing therein, should help make ODBMSes a major tool for taming complex Web sites and moving important corporate data to the Web, experts said. And this time, it may be relational DBMSes (RDBMSes) feeling the chill. Although object-oriented approaches are viewed as ideally suited to XML -- with its unlimited, developer-defined tags -- the tables, rows, and columns of traditional RDBMSes are ill-fitting."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Web Architectures Rule Future Development." By Michael Vizard. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 12 (March 22, 1999), page 5. "As the application development paradigm shifts from client/server to Web-based architectures, there are a handful of technologies that will be critical in any IT organization's future. Within the context of client/server, the dominant technologies were Windows, Visual Basic, C++, and the relational database. In a Web-based architecture, the dominant technologies are the browser, Java, Extensible Markup Language (XML), application servers, object-enabled databases, and asynchronous message queues. Although this may seem more complex than client/server, these technologies combine to have two desirable effects. On the front end, it makes it possible for the scores of people who have acquired application development skills using HTML to build more complex programs, such as an XML-based application that is linked to a transaction engine. What makes that possible is a new wave of application servers that will make it easier to leverage transaction processing monitors from companies such as IBM and BEA."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Procurement Shifts To Portals." By Richard Karpinski. In CMPNet TechWeb News (March 26, 1999). "Commerce One will move beyond electronic procurement next week and lay out broad plans to enable the building of open-trading marketplaces worldwide. Commerce One will introduce MarketSite3.0, the latest version of its software platform to build and link online trading communities via a flexible XML-based architecture. . . It also will unveil new deals with international carriers BT and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, which will join MCI WorldCom in the United States in hosting large MarketSite trading communities. With MarketSite 3.0, those three umbrella-trading hubs can be linked via XML, as well as to any future communities built with the platform."

  • [March 29, 1999] "XML: Revenge of the Nerds." By Brian Walsh. In Network Computing (April 05, 1999). "The future of e-commerce will depend upon protocols such as IOTP (Internet Open Trading Protocol). Let's step back for a second and examine the foundation on which IOTP is based--XML (Extensible Markup Language)--and what it means to you. . . XML is no longer a bleeding-edge technology. The browser you are using today supports it. Vendors from Allaire to webMethods support it. Major database companies, including Oracle, Sybase and Informix are now aware that XML is more than a blip on the radar screen. Expect products from them to publish the results of queries as XML and import XML into their tables."

  • [March 29, 1999] "XML Aims To Cut Costs." By Vicki August and Justin Hibbard. In CMPNet TechWeb News (March 24, 1999). "Everybody likes a standard, especially if it promises to simplify information exchange between businesses. XML looks set to do just that. What started as a better way to build a Web page is now being heralded as the definitive method to integrate data sources by technology giants Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Netscape. . . nvestment banker Merrill Lynch also said XML offers huge cost savings. In many cases, XML can save between 30 percent and 60 percent of the cost of distributing data, said Ben Meiry, director of collaboration. 'There's no question that XML is a standard for common data exchange,' he said. Later this year, Merrill Lynch will use XML to distribute news and financial data to desktop systems. Merrill Lynch is also experimenting with using XML to distribute data to handheld devices such as PalmPilots." On Merrill Lynch and XML, see also "XML Gains Ground -- Vendors Pledge Support As XML Stands Poised To Become A Universal Format For Data Exchange. [Top Story]" By Justin Hibbard, Gregory Dalton, and Jeff Sweat. In Information Week Issue 725 (March 15, 1999).

  • [March 29, 1999] "Sun extends Java to support XML." By James Niccolai. In CNN News [Tech] (March 26, 1999). "Sun Microsystems has announced it is creating an extension for the Java platform to provide support for the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The company said this move will make it easier for developers to build applications that integrate the two technologies. The extension will take the form of a standard API that will be developed using the Java Community Process, which takes input from multiple vendors to define Java standards. . ."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Sun gives a hill of JavaBeans for e-commerce." By Wylie Wong. In CNET [Enterprise Computing] (March 25, 1999). "Sun Microsystems is designing a blueprint for software developers who want to use Enterprise JavaBeans to build applications for e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, and other needs. The core product in the Enterprise Edition is EJBs. [Sun's Bill] Roth said it will likely include a new version of EJBs--version 1.1 -- that will offer XML support and possibly other new features. Sun is working with other Java vendors, including IBM, on the specification."

  • [March 29, 1999] "Will Sun's Java2 Pack In Too Much?" By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (March 24, 1999). "Sun will spell out how it plans to implement Java2 Enterprise Edition (EE) in mid-June, when the annual JavaOne conference convenes in San Francisco. However, some developers say Sun Microsystems is trying to include too much in the package and that its size may weigh it down. . . 'It's getting oversized. It's too complex,' says Bob Bickel, chief technology officer at Bluestone Software. Java2 EE will enjoy only limited success as "XML [eXtensible Markup Language] overtakes EJB as the thing that developers build to," he says. Bluestone produces an XML server as well as Sapphire/Web, a Java application server.

  • [March 26, 1999] "Beyond SGML." By Roger Price. Pages 172-181 (with 23 references) in Digital Libraries '98. Proceedings of the Third ACM Conference on Digital Libraries Pittsburgh, PA. June 23-26, 1998. "The International Standard for the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) published in 1986 is now seen as a mature language for expressing document structure and is accepted as the basis for major projects such as the Text Encoding Initiative and important hypertext languages such as HTML and the XML. The historical origin of SGML as a technique for adding marks to texts has left a legacy of complexities and difficulties which hinder its wide acceptance. A key difficulty is the dual role that SGML documents currently play: they are both a representation for interchange and a human readable presentation. We examine possible document markup techniques in a post-SGML 86 world with emphasis on the framework architecture and the inclusion of richer agent behaviour. The novel ideas include the generalized recursion of elements and attributes, and the generalization of the notion of a 'character' to much broader token which is strongly typed." See particularly the document sections "Relation between grammar and document" and "The recursion of elements and attributes" ['SGML 86 allows mutual recursion of elements, but not recursions between elements and attributes. The overall design may be simplified by removing this restriction; at the same time allowing more general structures to be created in the ASN.l style. SGML 86 also distinguishes between the content of the those elements which have content, and the other properties represented by attributes. This also seems to be an artificial complexity which we shall remove.'] - NB. This article may be of interest to researchers working on XML schemas; the main bibliography entry provides a fuller summary, and link to the online version.

  • [March 26, 1999] "An XML Framework for Agent-Based E-Commerce. Emerging standards for commercial document exchange promise open business-to-business e-commerce." By Robert J. Glushko, Jay M. Tenenbaum, and Bart Meltzer. In Communications of the ACM (CACM) Volume 42, Number 3 (March 1999), pages 106-114. [Department Theme: Agents in E-Commerce] "Today's Web gives people unprecedented access to online information and services. But its information is delivered in format-oriented, handcrafted hypertext markup language (HTML), making it understandable only through human eyes. Software agents and search engines have difficulty using the information because it is not semantically encoded. Clever programmers work around some of HTML's inherent limitations by using proprietary tags or software that 'scrapes' Web pages to extract content. Unfortunately, such ad hoc approaches do not scale. Proprietary tags require browser plug-ins, and scraping approaches require a customized script for each Web site. These approaches balkanize the Web, making it inaccessible to agents. Tomorrow's Web will use the extensible markup language (XML) to encode information and services with meaningful structure and semantics that computers can readily understand. In Internet commerce, companies will use XML documents for publishing everything from product catalogs and airline schedules to stock reports and bank statements. They will also use XML forms to place orders, make reservations, and schedule shipments. Any agent with the proper authorization will be able to obtain computer-interpretable data sheets, price lists, and inventory reports through the Web or email, then request quotes, place orders, and track shipments. By making the Web accessible to agents and other automated processes, XML will fundamentally transform the nature of e-commerce."

  • [March 26, 1999] "Share the Ontology in XML-Based Trading Architectures. First Bring Semantic Order to the World of XML." By Howard Smith and Kevin Poulter [Ontology.Org]. In Communications of the ACM (CACM) Volume 42, Number 3 (March 1999), pages 110-111. [Department Theme: Agents in E-Commerce] "Recent e-commerce application activity involving the extensible markup language (XML) has led to a proliferation of XML-based standards and markup language proposals. Among them are several designed to support site-to-site Web automation that lean naturally toward the agent paradigm of distributed computation. Although XML represents a major step forward in e-commerce technology, business-to-business trading partners should also recognize XML's limitations. . . How should foundation ontologies (from which higher-level content is composed) be defined? How can the numerous heterogeneous e-commerce frameworks (such as ICE, OBI, OTP, and XML/EDI) be unified to enable the expected low-friction market of the future? And will the future electronic marketplace be dominated by a series of commerce islands with trading groups isolated by the proprietary protocols and domain models with which their commerce agents interact? [. . .] Consistent schema semantics will certainly enable efficient e-commerce using predefined DTDs between fixed networks of trading partners. But to enable the full benefits of agent-based e-commerce -- where agents act in an autonomous or semiautonomous way, comparing and contrasting products or suppliers and negotiating with other agents -- participating agents have to communicate in terms of a detailed ontology of the business domain. The challenge for technology vendors, e-commerce participants, and standards bodies is to capitalize on the experience available in the knowledge representation and distributed agent communities." A related version of the document is available as a white paper from Ontology.Org: "The Role of Shared Ontology in XML-Based Trading Architectures." - 'Ontology.Org is contributing to the development of XML-based Web-agent architectures by developing foundation ontologies and associated XML schemas.'

  • [March 26, 1999] "W3C's Berners-Lee urges agent-readable Web sites." By Jeff Partyka. In InfoWorld (March 25, 1999). "Internet-commerce Web site developers need to make the data on their pages more easily identifiable by search engines and agents, according to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Director Tim Berners-Lee. 'Your data needs to be understood not by people, but by machines,' Berners-Lee said during his Internet Commerce Expo (ICE) keynote address here Thursday. Berners-Lee strongly urged I-commerce developers to start migrating toward the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which, according to the W3C's Web site, 'integrates a variety of Web-based meta-data activities including site maps, content ratings, stream channel definitions, search engine data collection (Web crawling), digital library collections, and distributed authoring, using XML [Extensible Markup Language] as an interchange syntax.' Berners-Lee said widespread RDF adoption will vastly improve Web searching."

  • [March 25, 1999] "Novell Exec Plays up Forthcoming Role of XML." By Emily Fitzloff. In InfoWorld (March 24, 1999). "In his annual 'Future Technologies' keynote speech this Friday -- the closing day of Novell's Brainshare '99 -- Novell Chief Technology Officer Glenn Ricart plans to discuss the possible implications of supporting the Extensible Markup Language (XML) in Novell's products. 'XML is an interesting standard for representing structured data, and it could be very valuable in sharing directory information and even sharing digitalme information,' Ricart said in an interview earlier this week. Digitalme is the digital identity technology that Novell announced earlier this week for creating more secure, personal Internet services. According to Ricart, the contents of Novell Directory Services and of NetWare would potentially be more valuable to developers if the data could be represented in XML. 'XML is ideal for the interchange of data,' Ricart said. 'For example, objects recognizable within the directory might be represented in XML and likewise, objects recognized by the directory might be represented in XML'."

  • [March 25, 1999] "The KDE Office Suite. A Glimpse Into the Future." By Reginald Stadlbauer. Translated from German ['Officepaket für KDE. Ein Blick in die Zukunft'] by Uwe Thiem and Andreas Pour. Originally published in the German Linux Magazine (March 1999). "File Formats: In general, all KOffice applications save their data as XML. There already are Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for most of the KOffice parts, though they are not yet completely implemented. With the decision to use XML as the native file format, KOffice certainly is embracing the future. . . a filter manager that simplifies the development of filters for various data formats already exists. While currently few file filters are supported, the principal obstacle has been that many data formats are inadequately documented and often contain binary data, making filter writing non-trivial. But several format filters have already been started. In the future KOffice will support the most popular file formats, such as WinWord, Excel, PowerPoint, RTF and MIF." See also from the KOffice FAQs document [Jost Schenck]: "All KOffice applications store their document data as XML code (eXtensible Markup Language). So KOffice files are stored in a more or less human readable form with 'tags' similar to the ones you know from HTML. Like with HTML, this also garantees compatibility when the file format is going to be extended in the future: like an HTML browser, KOffice applications skip the tags that are unknown to them, so you're going to be able to read files created with a newer version of KWord with an older version (of course without the information provided by the new tags). XML is stored in simple text files and can easily be parsed - so it's possible to write filters e.g., in Perl."

  • [March 24, 1999] "Current Events On The 'XML For E-commerce' Front." By Mark Merkow. In Web Reference (March 18, 1999). [Updated news on industry efforts to extend XML to E-commerce. Learn what Ariba Technologies and Microsoft are up to. . .] "In early March 1999, the Network was launched, establishing the largest worldwide business-to-business commerce network using the Internet. connect buyers and suppliers with services that offer content and catalog management, order transaction routing, and multiprotocol support for sharing content and transaction information.Ariba's approach to content management employs indexing techniques rather than content aggregation. Through their Operating Resource Management System (ORMS), standardized access and control of supplier catalog data provides comprehensive and robust searching capabilities for interested buyers. Multiprotocol support eases the routing and translation of transaction data across a number of industry standards, including cXML, Internet EDI, Value-Added Network (VAN) based EDI, OBI, secure HTTP, e-mail, auto-FAX, and Catalog Interchange Format (CIF)."

  • [March 24, 1999] "XML for the Absolute Beginner. A Guided Tour from HTML to Processing XML with Java." By Mark Johnson. In JavaWorld (April 1999). "This article will present the history of markup languages and how XML came to be. We'll look at sample data in HTML and move gradually into XML, demonstrating why it provides a superior way to represent data. We'll explore the reasons you might need to invent a custom markup language, and I'll teach you how to do it. We'll cover the basics of XML notation, and how to display XML with two different sorts of style languages. Then, we'll dive into the Document Object Model, a powerful tool for manipulating documents as objects (or manipulating object structures as documents, depending upon how you look at it). We'll go over how to write Java programs that extract information from XML documents, with a pointer to a free program useful for experimenting with these new concepts. Finally, we'll take a look at an Internet company that's basing its core technology strategy on XML and Java. . . [Conclusion:] Using XML with XSL or CSS, you can manage your Web site's content and style, and change style in one place (the style sheet) instead of editing piles of HTML files or, worse, editing the scripts that produce HTML dynamically. Using SAX or DOM, you can treat Web documents as object structures and process them in a general and clean way. Or, you can leave browsers behind entirely and write pure-Java clients and servers that talk to each other -- and other systems -- in XML, the new lingua franca of the Internet. Sun Microsystems, the creator of Java, has perhaps best described the power of XML and Java together in its slogan: Portable Code -- Portable Data. Start experimenting with XML in Java, and you'll soon wonder how you ever lived without it."

  • [March 24, 1999] "XML-Anwendung - Verknüpfung von Webdaten mit XML." By Ingo Macherius, Peter Fankhauser, and Gerald Huck. In iX - Magazin für professionelle Informationstechnik (April 1999), pages 90-112.

  • [March 24, 1999] "Was bringt XML? iX zeigt XML auf der CeBIT 1999 - XML-Demo in XML und HTML." By [iX, Henning Behme]. CeBIT 1999 Presentation, 23 slides in HTML. Text in German.

  • [March 24, 1999] "Novell Lays out Plans to Reinvent GroupWise." By Paul Krill. In InfoWorld (March 23, 1999). Novell in 2000 plans to mold its GroupWise messaging system into a component-based platform, anchored by a back-end server and Web-based clients in a framework based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), Novell officials said here at BrainShare '99 Monday. Instead of deploying large, monolithic messaging applications, users will be able to assemble the pieces they want, such as workflow and document management, said Novell's John N. Gailey, director of directory-enabled applications, based in Orem, Utah. The new iteration of GroupWise will include an application framework, in which all data is exposed via XML. Users will be able to customize the platform with such utilities as a homemade rules processor, Gailey said. Novell Directory Services (NDS) will be used for setting access privileges."

  • [March 24, 1999] "Whisper 1.0 - a new opensource Mac/Win32 C++ app framework." By Jesse Jones. In MacTech (March 18, 1999). "Whisper is a free general purpose Mac/Win32 C++ application framework. It's the successor to the Mac framework Raven. Like Raven Whisper is a modern framework that takes advantage of templates, multiple inheritance, STL, and exceptions. It's also designed around the notion of Design by Contract and includes numerous debugging tools. The Esoterica [layer] includes automata classes, a regular expression class, a compression class (based on zlib), a simple text parser, a more complex parser (it builds parse trees), and a validating XML parser."

  • [March 23, 1999] "E-commerce too expensive? Take a look at XML." By Maurice Martin. In Washington Business Journal (March 22, 1999). "Everyone is looking to the future of e-commerce, and some see it in a new technology called the extensible markup language (XML). But to understand what XML is, you first have to understand what it's not. . . 'XML will make e-commerce faster and cheaper for everyone,' said Charles Goldfarb, an expert in computer markup languages. How can XML do this? Well, think of the Euro, the new currency introduced by the European Union this year. The idea is that if people don't have to spend time and effort converting their money from one currency to another when they move between countries, everything will move faster and easier. The economy will heat up, and everything will become cheaper. And, already, a number of Washington-area companies have enough faith in XML to incorporate it into their products. Although it's still too early to measure the full economic impact of XML -- version 1.0 was released only as a 'recommendation' last year -- these companies are gambling it will live up to its promise."

  • [March 23, 1999] "Wireless link ramped for 'always on' Internet." By Ann R. Thryft. In EE Times Issue 1053 (March 22, 1999). "The problem in wireless Internet access is marrying the network's IP-based packet-data technologies with the connectivity, wider bandwidth and real-time, multitasking demands of wireless communication. In addition, the added power and footprint demands of mobile-wireless client devices must be included in the equation. Essentially, the goal of 'always-on,' mobile, wireless Internet access is generating different visions of how to achieve it. . . Introduced in December, Palm Computing Inc.'s Palm VII model for wireless Internet access parallels WAP's. Both use servers to convert data and protocols into a form that is friendlier to mobile wireless terminals. However, the big differences are in WAP's XML markup language vs. Palm's use of HTML, and in Palm Computing's rejection of the browsing model as overkill for handheld devices with small screens and low bandwidth. Instead of a microbrowser, the Palm VII will use 'Web clipping' to strip off graphics and other extraneous content from a Web site, sending only relevant text portions as requested by the user. A typical Web clipping comprises less than 500 bytes of compressed data." For more on WAP Wireless Markup Language, see "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

  • [March 23, 1999] "Users Criticize IE 5, Test Win 2000 Beta 3." By Ellis Booker and Jeffrey Schwartz. In InternetWeek Issue 757 (March 22, 1999). "Microsoft last week released Internet Explorer 5.0 and promised an updated version of Windows 98 by the fall. Meanwhile, an earlier version of the third beta release of Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system got mixed reviews from users in Microsoft's Early Adopter Program. Microsoft claims that IE 5.0 offers faster rendering to speed Web surfing and enhancements that make the browser easier to use. But the Web Standards Project (WSP), a consortium of developers, said that IE 5.0 falls short in supporting key Internet standards. When browser makers do not fully implement standards, "it adds 25 percent in time and cost for testing," said WSP group project leader George Olsen. Specifically, WSP faults IE 5.0 for giving preference to the Extensible Stylesheet Language-which is under development-rather than the standard Cascading Style Sheets; "spotty at best" support for Document Object Model 1.0; bugs in the Extensible Markup Language parser; and an incomplete implementation of HTML 4.0. But a Microsoft official defended the company's record on implementing standards. "I'd defy them to show a more standards-compliant browser," said Mike Nichols, product manager in the Windows Desktop Group."

  • [March 23, 1999] "Seeking the Common Ground in E-Commerce -- Microsoft to Offer BizTalk Products in a Bid to Standardize Communication." By Aaron Ricadela and Kristen Kenedy. In Computer Retail Week (March 22, 1999). "Microsoft this month introduced a host of strategies designed to standardize communication between electronic retailers and suppliers, thereby doing away with proprietary systems that are seen as slowing the growth of e-commerce. Microsoft's plans revolve around three new products expected to be available in beta form this summer: Microsoft Small Business Commerce Services, a commerce package for small companies; Microsoft Commerce Server 3.0; and Microsoft BizTalk Server, a package that lets companies exchange disparate data and applications. BizTalk Server is built on Microsoft's new BizTalk framework for e-commerce transactions. BizTalk is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), a widely accepted architecture. According to Fadi Chedade, chief executive officer of the industry standards body RosettaNet, XML allows common descriptions of electronic files such as product catalogs, purchase orders and return authorizations. Microsoft is already working with Dell, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and others to describe common business practices within the BizTalk framework." See also "RosettaNet."

  • [March 23, 1999] "Netscape counts on layout engine to propel Navigator 5.0." By Wendy J. Mattson. In PC Week [Online] (March 15, 1999). "Netscape Communications Corp.'s lead engineer says the company is working on a fast new layout and rendering engine that will keep the next version of its Web browser 'ahead of the game.' The layout engine, named Gecko, is at the core of Navigator 5.0, and Netscape Director of Engineering Rick Gessner said it will be the fastest, smallest and most standards-compliant layout engine available -- features that Netscape hopes will help it win its bloody browser war with rival Microsoft Corp. . He said Gecko will make Navigator 5.0 more flexible in its handling of Web data while maintaining a 'tiny footprint.' With Gecko, 'we are way ahead of the game with CSS,' or Cascading Style Sheets, Gessner said. 'We have a great CSS1, a great XML story and soon a great CSS2 story.' Other features in the layout engine include support for Document Object Model, a mechanism for manipulating documents via C++ or JavaScript; a high-speed compositing and rendering engine; and support for XUL, a user-interface language. Netscape said Navigator 5.0 is scheduled for beta release by July, with commercial Mac and Windows versions due by year-end."

  • [March 23, 1999] "XML and related standards in Gecko. [NGLayout and XML.]" By Vidur Apparao. Expanded abstract and sample code materals from a presentation given at the XTech '99 Conference (March 7 - 11, 1999, San Jose, California). "Gecko is the embeddable, open-source, 'next generation' layout and rendering engine currently in development on Gecko will be the core rendering component in Netscape Navigator 5.0. Among other standards, Gecko supports XML, CSS, DOM Level 1 and XSL. This talk provides an overview of the features of Gecko, specifically those related to the display of XML documents and the application of the Level 1 DOM. . . XML, like HTML, is a native document type for NGLayout. Specifically, NGLayout can display XML documents with linked CSS style sheets. Stay tuned to this page for more information about XML support in NGLayout. . . See the slides from the presentation, the books example, and the table of contents example. See also the annotated conference program listing."

  • [March 22, 1999] "Expanded XML Support in Internet Explorer 5." By Charlie Heinemann. In extreme xml [Column] (March 18, 1999). ". . . some good new stuff: expanded XML support in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. [Easier Visual Basic Access to the XML Object Model;} Back in June, I explained to you a little about the troubles of a cousin and in the process gave you a glimpse of some of the datatype support within the Microsoft XML parser. In that article I provided you with some Microsoft Visual Basic code that accessed the parser and navigated some data. With Internet Explorer 5, accessing the parser and navigating the XML Object Model (XML OM) is even easier than before. There is no more casting DOMNodes to XMLDOMNodes. Now you simply have to work with four basic objects: XMLDOMDocument, XMLDOMNode, XMLDOMNodeList, XMLDOMNamedNodeMap. . . [More Control over Parsing:] The parser in Internet Explorer 5 allows you to choose whether or not you would like to validate your data, even if it has a schema or DTD associated with it, and whether or not you would like to resolve externals such as entities. The two properties that provide this functionality, validateOnParse and resolveExternals, are independent of one another. This means that you can choose not to validate the document, but still retrieve the entities. " Also explained: "A Better Way to Post to the Server", "New Built-in Support for Saving Your XML Back to a File", "Transforming XML Nodes to Objects". This article references several other recent articles on Internet Explorer 5.

  • [March 22, 1999] "Internet Explorer 5: All Power to the Document Object Model." By Rebecca Norlander. In SBN Magazine (March 18, 1999). "As the Web continues to evolve into the next great application platform, the power of dynamically manipulated content on the client machine becomes more important in creating truly interactive experiences. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Document Object Model (DOM) is a step in the evolution of the ways we manipulate elements on a page, whether it's creating, inserting, modifying, moving, or deleting. The combined power of Internet Explorer's object model, its support for Dynamic HTML (DHTML), and its support of the W3C DOM mark a great advance toward making Internet Explorer a powerful application development platform for the Web. This article focuses on using the DOM through script on HTML files; the DOM is also accessible through a set of COM Interfaces. While you could accomplish many of the things I'm going to discuss in browser versions previous to Internet Explorer 5, they previously required a lot more developer knowledge, ingenuity, and -- above all -- time than they now do."

  • [March 22, 1999] "XML Servers Aid Biz-To-Biz Translation." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek Issue 757 (March 22, 1999), page 19. "As users awake to the power of XML for integratingenterprise applications or e-commerce, a new server category, the XML server, is emerging. These dedicated platforms, which promise to offload XML document storage, translation, and manipulation, sport an XML-parsing engine plus utilities for processing XML documents, vocabularies, and ways to link all this to legacy systems. Microsoft earlier this month announced its BizTalk Server, which will be accompanied by industry-specific XML 'vocabularies' for e-commerce and the like. BizTalk, due in the second half of the year, also will be a major part of Microsoft Commerce Server, the successor to Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition 3.0."

  • [March 22, 1999] "SAP, Peoplesoft To Support Framework -- Going to bat for BizTalk>" By Scott Tiazkun. In Computer Reseller News Issue 834 (March 22, 1999). "Both SAP AG and PeopleSoft Inc. went to bat for Microsoft Corp.'s new electronic-commerce venture, vowing to use the BizTalk framework for their business applications. PeopleSoft, Pleasanton, Calif., plans to work with Microsoft to develop its PeopleSoft Business Network (PSBN), said PeopleSoft executives. PSBN, first discussed in November, will deliver applications over the Internet to end users. Within the next six months, the two companies will develop new XML schemas for document interchange between the SAP Business Framework and Microsoft's BizTalk framework." See also "BizTalk Framework."

  • [March 22, 1999] "Integration Software Links XML to Supply Chain." By Stacy Collett. In Computerworld (March 15, 1999). "A San Ramon, Calif.-based software company is using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to push the envelope of supply-chain integration tools. OnDisplay Inc. last week began offering XML support for its stand-alone electronic-business integration software. XML is a Web-based formatting language that allows users to categorize and structure data that's transmitted over the Internet. OnDisplay's integration software, called CenterStage, helps companies integrate supplier catalogs, bring in content from other Web sites and facilitate data conversion in enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations."

  • [March 22, 1999] "XML servers enabling e-comm and Web models." By Robin S. Hohman. In Network World Volume 16, Number 11 (March 15, 1999), page 30. XML server tools are starting to appear, but a revolution is already in the making, particularly in the fast-paced world of e-commerce. In the past year, Extensible Markup Language (XML) has come a long way from being just an extension of HTML. XML is now vying with electronic data interchange for new business-to-business applications over intranets, extranets and the Internet."

  • [March 22, 1999] "Searching for XML or: 'In search of XML'." By Jason Meserve. In Network World [Fusion] Volume 16, Number 11 (March 15, 1999), pages 1, 36. "XML could provide a standard metadata language for site developers, such as Northern Light and authors, such as its partners. Web crawlers would have to travel no further than the XML tags to know exactly what is on any given page. The impetus to support XML in their crawler would have to come from people and companies developing sites with XML, said Sprague. At the moment, most sites are sticking with the tried and true HTML. 'There is just so much HTML out there,' Sprague says. Northern Light is not alone in shunning XML when it comes to scouring the Web. Lycos, AltaVista and Excite also dismiss XML."

  • [March 17, 1999] "Microsoft takes aim at language barriers to business information." By Dylan Tweney. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999), page 59. ". . .'"data languages' comprise the vocabularies and grammars used to encode business data from accounting, manufacturing, purchasing, shipping, and payroll systems -- to name a few. And, with some exceptions (such as electronic data interchange, or EDI), there are very few common data languages in the business world. Microsoft wants to change that, using an Extensible Markup Language-based (XML) business data language the company is calling BizTalk. With the BizTalk standard, documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and product catalogs can be encoded in a common format, regardless of which applications generated and processed those documents. Microsoft's vision of BizTalk is bigger than simply facilitating business-to-business transactions. For Microsoft, this language also represents the possibility of more easily integrating applications within a single company -- for instance, linking enterprise resource planning and manufacturing programs."

  • [March 22, 1999] "IE 5.0 Arrives This Week With Fixes, but Few Bells and Whistles." By Nate Zelnick. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 10 (March 15, 1999), page 5. "Microsoft's release this week of Internet Explorer 5.0 highlights how much the power of browsers has diminished since the last big browser brouhaha two years ago. Thus there are almost no IE-specific tricks in IE5 and improvements are mostly under the hood. A new, fast XML parsing engine supports the W3C's Document Object Model and Namespace recommendations while the rendering engine displays XML documents with a default hierarchy. XML can also be displayed using CSS or transformed into HTML (or anything else) with an XSL "preview" component. IE5 also fixes many of IE4's broken features. For the first time, IE supports the "Expires" meta attribute. Now a page that changes daily, for instance, will be served out of the browser's cache until its expiration time passes."

  • [March 22, 1999] "Web Consortium Specifies Namespaces in XML." By [Staff]. In ent [Online] Volume 4, Number 5 (March 10, 1999), page 41. Note on the significance of the W3C Recommendation Namespaces in XML.

  • [March 22, 1999] "Explorer 5.0 doesn't follow Web standards 100%, some developers complain." By Tom Diederich. In Computerworld (March 19, 1999). "Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer 5.0 may be an improvement over Version 4.0, but it still doesn't fully support key Internet standards, an international coalition of Web developers said today. 'We realize that many business considerations go into selecting a release date, but we wish Microsoft had delayed Internet Explorer 5.0's release to focus on getting standards support right,' said George Olsen, project leader of the Web Standards Project."

  • [March 20, 1999] "XML to Play Bigger Role in Development." By Michael Vizard and Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 12 (March 22, 1999), pages 1, 28. "As part of an effort to make its technology more accessible to developers, IBM plans to deliver during the next 12 months an Extensible Markup Language (XML) toolkit within its WebSphere Studio application development environment. With the increasing deployment of Internet-commerce applications escalating the demand for robust transaction processing infrastructures, IBM needs to find a way to make its application server technology - including CICS mainframe query system, MQSeries, and IBM Transarc Lab middleware - easier to work with for a broad range of developers. Currently, the only way developers can invoke these technologies is through either their existing set of complex native interfaces or by writing an application that makes use of JavaBeans. However, IBM now plans to make a third path to these technologies available by leveraging XML. For customers, this means that they can make use of IBM's transaction processing technologies without necessarily having to hire developers that are fluent in either IBM's native interface technologies or in Java."

  • [March 20, 1999] "Netscape, WSP criticize [MS Internet Explorer 5.0] 'Innovations'." By Dylan Tweney, Dana Gardner, and Emily Fitzloff. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 12 (March 22, 1999), pages 1, 26. ". . . officials at browser rival Netscape, now a division of America Online, downplayed the Internet Explorer 5.0 product as a relatively minor release with a desktop-centric focus that misses the new developments on the Web. According to a Netscape white paper, Internet Explorer 5.0 is too large at 50MB and lacks such standards as Resource Description Framework and the Document Object Model (DOM). The WSP agreed with Netscape that Internet Explorer 5.0 falls short on standards support, and even issued a press release stating that such failures could lead to further fragmentation of the Web. Although Internet Explorer 5.0 makes major improvements compared to Internet Explorer 4.0, the product will require extensive "work-arounds and debugging" by Web developers, the WSP stated. The standards-related problems in Internet Explorer, as reported by the WSP, include, but are not limited to: a) failure to fully support Cascading Style Sheets 1.0; b) 'spotty at best' support for DOM 1.0; c) bugs in Internet Explorer 5.0's interpretation of XML data; d) implementation of an experimental version of XSL that could result in incompatibility with the actual XSL standard when it is finalized; e) and bugs and missing features in HTML 4.0 support.' Gecko, initially on the 32-bit Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms, will offer full support for XML and partial early support for XSL, as well as include the Expat XML parser. Full support for the World Wide Web Consortium's Cascading Style Sheets and DOM is also planned."

  • [March 20, 1999] "Personal Portals Make a Play for the Palm of Your Hand." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 12 (March 19, 1999), page 8. "MicroStrategy's solution, DSS Broadcaster 5.5, relies on a database backbone to analyze and extrapolate personalized information that can then be pushed to users through their device of choice. In contrast, Oracle's solution, dubbed Project Panama, is designed to allow users access to existing Web content through wireless devices using a pull method. MicroStrategy DSS Broadcaster, Version 5.5, works as part of a suite of products designed to access and analyze information stored in a company's relational database. That information is then personalized based on a user's demands, and delivered to a remote device as needed by the user. The latest version of DSS Broadcaster, which will ship at the end of this month, includes Extensible Markup Language (XML) support, allowing it to deliver personalized information in the form of dynamic Web pages to e-mail clients that support HTML. Users can then access and interact with the data they receive as if it were a Web page."

  • [March 20, 1999] "Internet Explorer 5 Falls Short On Standards Support, Web Developers Forced to Continue Workarounds." By [George Olsen and] The Web Standards Project. From The Web Standards Project (March 19, 1999). [for example:] "Unfortunately, Internet Explorer is heavily biased in favor of the still-experimental XSL (if a page provides both CSS and XSL, Internet Explorer chooses XSL). This is totally unacceptable given that CSS has been a stable standard since 1996, and XSL is still very far from being finished. Also, the Microsoft XSL examples include proprietary keywords and syntax that do not appear in any of the W3C drafts being used to develop the actual XSL standard." See the text of this paper from The Web Standards Project for details. [local archive copy]

  • [March 19, 1999] "XML in XML. [XML Support in IE 5.]" By Tim Bray. From (March 18, 1999). "[Microsoft officially released Internet Explorer 5 and's technical editor Tim Bray finds that though the final release of IE5 has some nice features for the XML community, its XML implementation is still a little buggy. The event that motivates publishing this article at this time is, of course, the arrival of Microsoft Internet Explorer Release 5.] The plan was that this story would cover XML in IE5, including the base language, setting up the server, CSS, XSL, and the DOM. Unfortunately, we had a hard deadline (IE5 went public on March 18th), and when it arrived, I'd invested so much time in learning XSL, without getting anything based on the public drafts working in IE5, that it occupied all the time we'd budgeted for both that and the DOM. We'll keep struggling with XSL until we get something that actually works and plays by the rules. Following that, we'll go on and do some DOM coverage. While we will try out one or two things in the bleeding-edge pre-alpha Netscape 'Gecko' code, the main focus of this article is publishing and browsing XML in a standards-compliant way using IE5. Of course, when there is actually some sort of real released product from Netscape, we'll publish an even more interesting article - how to publish and browse XML in an interoperable way. [. . .] In Conclusion: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? It's too early to call; rendering XML with CSS is nice (and will be even nicer once IE 5.x fixes a few more bugs), but the real value-add of XML in the browser isn't so much displaying it as processing it right there in the browser. For that, you need the DOM; if IE5 turns out to have a nice clean usable DOM, that will make up for a lot of little awkwardness in the parser. If not, this will look like a (huge amount of) wasted effort."

  • [March 19, 1999] "Microsoft Unveils IE 5, Confirms Interim Windows 98." By Dylan Tweney. In InfoWorld (March 18, 1999). "The new Explorer contains improved search tools, including an enhanced AutoSearch feature that lets users type words and phrases into the URL bar to find Web content. The browser offers full support for the Extensible Markup Language 1.0 and the Extensible Stylesheet Language, as well as the Vector Markup Language graphics description language and Web Distributed Access and Versioning remote file access protocol, Gates said. Key enhancements in Windows 98, Second Edition, will include a pre-installed Internet Explorer 5.0; Internet connection sharing technology that allows home users to connect multiple devices to the Internet via a single PC."

  • [March 19, 1999] "Sun, Adobe Post $90,000 Prize for XSL Implementation." By Liora Alschuler. From (March 15, 1999). "Frustrated with the slow pace of application development for rendering XML content, Sun Microsystems and Adobe are offering $90,000 in grants to individuals or corporations who can deliver applications to jumpstart XSL. Sun will offer $30,000 for the development of an XSL formatting engine for Mozilla. Sun and Adobe are each offering $30,000 for an XSL batch formatter written in Java that produces documents in Portable Document Format (PDF). The two firms announced that $40,000 will go to a first prize winner and $20,000 to a second prize winner." See also "Sun, Adobe Offer Bounty for XSL." By Paul Festa. In CNET (March 9, 1999); and "Sun, Adobe Offer Cash for Creativity, via XML Development Competitions." By James C. Luh. In Internet World (March 15, 1999).

  • [March 19, 1999] "XTech '99: Momentum Builds in the IT Sector. A Quieter Event, But No Letdown in Progress." By Liora Alschuler. From (March 15, 1999). "This year, at both Xtech and Seybold Seminars, the browser implementations were overshadowed by XML adoption by other heavyweights in the computer industry. Proclamations of strategic directions and product announcements by Sun, IBM, Lotus, Oracle, Adobe, and Object Store underscore the new thinking about XML: it is not just simplified SGML; it is not just a better way to publish to the Web or to interchange data; it is a standard central to the future development of our high-tech, information-handling infrastructure." See similarly by Alschuler (extracted): "XTech '99: Mainstream Vendors Join the Rugged Frontier" in Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 8 (April, 1999), page 40.

  • [March 19, 1999] "Arbortext Goes Freeform." By Liora Alschuler. From (March 15, 1999). The next release of Arbortext Adept Editor will ship with the capacity to edit and display DTD-less and stylesheet-less XML documents. At XTech '99, Vice President of Research and W3C Advisory Board member Paul Grosso demonstrated the importation of an XML document instance with no identified (or locatable) DTD or stylesheet. On import, the text and markup flow together with element boundaries shown as start and end tag icons. Under the covers, the meta tags are FOSIs -- format output specification instances -- the style sheets that drive the Adept Publisher, so users who are FOSI-savvy can add new meta tags and change meta tag behaviour." See the full text of the ArborText press release, "Arbortext, Inc. Advances Power of XML with 'Free-Form XML Editing' Capability. XTech Attendees to Preview New XML innovation from Arbortext's Epic", and on the ArborText Web site.

  • [March 19, 1999] "Object Design Ships eXcelon." By Liora Alschuler. From (March 15, 1999). "Announced at XML '98, Object Design is now shipping it's XML data server called eXcelon. While the product will doubtless aggravate the tendency to refer to XML as eXtensible rather than the correct per the spec "Extensible Markup Language," it should have a more beneficent effect on object-oriented management of data and documents. Unlike object-oriented document management systems such as Chrystal's Astoria and Poet's Content Management System, eXcelon has no check-in, check-out or workflow. While Poet's and Astoria's compete to manage parts catalogs and tech doc manuals, eXcelon will be deployed as an e-commerce hub and as the centerpiece in enterprise integration. eXcelon offers Object Store support for an XML data model in three components." See also the Excelon Web site information and the full text of the press release, "Object Design Announces General Availability of Industry's First XML Data Server. Company begins shipping eXcelon, a revolutionary data server for building eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Web applications."

  • [March 19, 1999] "New XML Tools on IBM Alphaworks Site. Java-based editor and parser." By Liora Alschuler. From (March 15, 1999). "IBM has extended its support for XML by posting a free XML editor called Xeena on its IBM alphaworks Web site. Keynoting the Thursday session of the Xtech 99 conference, Marie Wieck also announced version 2 of the popular XML4J parser written in Java and a forthcoming version for C++. The C++ parser, dubbed XML4C, which will be available by the end of the month for AIX and NT shipping with most of the features of XML4J 2.0. Xeena, like Vervet, is an editor for XML data, not for XML documents. It was developed to support IBM's own use of XML for test generation parameters for processor verification." See also the description of IBM's Xeena in the "What's New" news entry, 'IBM alphaWorks Announces Xeena XML Editor' and the IBM Web site 'Xeena - a new Java-based XML editing environment'.

  • [March 18, 1999] "A Study of Extensible Markup Language (XML)." By Pontus Norman. Technical Report [part of a 'degree project' for Decerno AB, Stockholm, Sweden]. February 25, 1999. "The attention paid by the Internet community to Extensible Markup Language (XML) is impressive. XML has been heralded as the next important Internet technology, the next step following the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), and the natural and worthy companion to the Java programming language. [. . .] This paper describes the XML effort, makes a survey of most of the associated specifications and discusses new kinds of Java-based Web applications made possible by XML. The paper also discusses the impact that XML will have on some of the existing technologies, like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and the exchange of industrial data (STEP). The end of this paper describes in detail one of the first efforts made to use XML in an industrial application." Note also: the author's XML/XSL demo 'car'.

  • [March 18, 1999] "News Markup Language Quickly Gains Advocates. Universal Standards Are Being Developed." By Martha L. Stone. In Editor & Publisher Interactive (March 17, 1999). "Creating a standardized news industry markup language has grown from a simple idea to the subject of widespread international interest in less than six months. The concept -- designed to save time and money for publishers by formatting news copy only once for use in a variety of mediums -- grew out of an American Press Institute seminar last fall [1998 called 'Grammar for New Media.' In recent months, the project has gained cooperation with a key international organization and major publishing vendors. Chris Feola, director of the Media Center of American Press Institute in Reston, Va., has led the vanguard group, which has created a set of 40 tags, or codes, to enable individual newspapers to streamline production so that copy is coded once, and used many times. 'News Markup Language opens up possibilities of aggregating data on the fly,' Feola says. 'It could put together what documents were critical, timely - a set of briefs, assembling timelines - things that we do to build out an article'." See additional information on NML in "News Markup Language (NML)."

  • [March 22, 1999] "Voice XML Effort Attracts Audio Web Pioneers." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 10 (March 15, 1999), page 19. "AT&T, Motorola, and Lucent Technologies have formed a Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum (VXML Forum) to develop a standard markup language for creating Web applications accessible by phone and voice browsers. VXML will be an XML-based language that merges features of phone markup languages that the three companies developed separately, executives said." For other references, see "VXML Forum (Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum)."

  • [March 18, 1999] "Follow That Truck, With XML. Firm gives its clients FedEx-like capability to track shipments." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 10 (March 15, 1999), pages 18-19. "With standards efforts and software development progressing rapidly, some companies are starting to use XML and Internet technologies to speed and expand access to their business and operational data. Orbital Sciences, a space systems company in Dulles, Va., is using an industrywide XML specification and an XML-based application integration product from webMethods to enhance its GemTrac trailer tracking service. GemTrac uses low-earth-orbit Global Positioning System satellites and ground-based wireless networks to track the location, status, and condition of trucking companies' trailers and cargo. To move the industry toward that goal, Orbital and other companies have worked to develop an XML-based Trailer Tracking Interface Standard (TTIS) for linking trailer tracking systems to dispatch software."

  • [March 17, 1999] "Sun, Adobe Offer Cash for Creativity, via XML Development Competitions." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 10 (March 15, 1999), page 45. "Sun Microsystems has announced it will award a $30,000 bounty to the winner of a contest to build XSL formatting capability into Netscape's Mozilla open-source Web browser, said Sun's Jon Bosak at the XTech '99 conference in San Jose, Calif., last week. In addition, Bosak said Sun and Adobe Systems will put up $60,000 to create a print-oriented batch formatter written in Java that produces Portable Document Format (PDF) documents from XML documents. The winners of the two contests will show off their work this summer and will deliver their final work at the December XML '99 conference. Some at the XTech conference said the Sun contest will help make Mozilla--which will be the foundation for Netscape's Communicator 5.0--more competitive with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, whose 5.0 version will debut Thursday with new XML features." See similarly: "Sun, Adobe Offer Bounty for XSL." By Paul Festa. In CNET (March 9, 1999).

  • [March 17, 1999] "IBM Debuts Catalog Tool." By Richard Karpinski. In CMPNet TechWeb News (March 16, 1999). "IBM Tuesday said it is shipping a tool to help users create and manage online catalogs, currently a costly and often inefficient activity for e-commerce merchants and suppliers. IBM's Catalog Architect is at heart a content-management tool, and automates the creation of online catalogs. Initial releases will stage catalog data only to IBM's Net.Commerce server, but future versions of the tool will take a more open approach, supporting non-IBM servers and data formats, including XML-based formats. Catalog Architect works by understanding catalog elements and their relationships, letting Web businesses create an object-oriented product database. The tool features a spreadsheet-like interface, and requires no database-management tools. Multiple users or departments can work collaboratively with the tool to build a single catalog. 'That is an area of significant challenge, and it will become more and more of a challenge as people look to place their catalogs in as many places as they can,' [IBM's] Liederbach said. 'XML will be a good format to extract content out and publish it or replicate it out to other sources'." See also the IBM announcement, "Catalog Architect helps businesses create and manage Web catalogs."

  • [March 17, 1999] "Metadata Registries: Averting a Tower of XML Babel." By Frank Olken and John McCarthy [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory]. Expanded abstract from a presentation given at the XTech '99 Conference (March 7 - 11, 1999, San Jose, California). "XML DTD's/schemas facilitate the development of community-specific XML dialects (MathML, ChemML, ...). However, the ease of DTD/schema development raises the specter of a tower of XML Babel. Shared metadata registries (a.k.a. repositories) are essential for development of common XML dialects for deployment of applications (such as E-commerce) among heterogeneous user communities. Such shared registries are essential to interoperability at both syntactic and semantic levels. . . We discuss the requirements of metadata registries and the adequacy of various existing and proposed registry standards (ISO 11179, ANSI X3.285), schema standards (RDF Schema, XML Schema, XML query languages, KIF, XMI) and other related standards (measurement units, naming standards) to address these problems. Specifically, we consider issues of expressiveness vs. computational tractability, the ability to reference/query schema fragments, support for measurement units and dimensionality, specification of schema mappings, metadata support for aggregation (summarizability), value encodings and translation, etc. We also describe some current efforts underway to implement these standards using XML." See also the conference summary. [local archive copy]

  • [March 17, 1999] "Iona Jumps Feet First into the EJB Market." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999), page 8. "Moving swiftly after its February acquisition of EJBHome, Iona Technologies this week plans to announce a free development kit to prod enterprises toward Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), and to set the stage for this summer's arrival of Iona's own EJB servers. Iona said it will deliver EJB implementations that take advantage of its OrbixOTM server and other Orbix-branded middleware that provide CORBA functionality and interoperability with Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM), said John McGuire, senior product manager for EJB at Iona. [HomeBase offers Java developers a fast powerful way to develop EJB component-based applications. It provides a full and complete implementation of the Enterprise JavaBeans 1.0 specification with advanced support for transactions, XML (Extensible Mark-up Language), GUI deployment tools and integration with the world's leading Java development environments. HomeBase is available free-of-charge to developers."]

  • [March 17, 1999] "Vendors Bet on Services, Standards." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999), pages 53-54. "As Internet commerce moves out of its adolescence, it is very quickly becoming central to the strategy of many businesses. The rise of the XML language has led Microsoft to hinge its recently announced BizTalk architecture on the technology. Likewise, Netscape officials last week announced support for XML in all of its commerce products. 'We believe for e-commerce to go to the next level, and to model the true types of relationships that exist out in the marketplace today, we need to have the capability of modeling cross-company business processes in a vendor-neutral way,' said Steve Savignano, senior vice president and general manager of Netscape's e-commerce division. 'We see XML as a necessary enabling technology.' But the adoption of XML could be fraught with danger if the technology is broken up into incompatible 'flavors' by each vendor, according to analysts."

  • [March 17, 1999] "Introduction to XML For Web Developers." By Selena Sol. In WDVL Resources (March 08, 1999). "Regardless of its mild-mannered appearance, XML is one of the most exciting and potentially powerful internet standards/technologies to be released in quite some time. XML allows web developers to abstract data sets from data formatting and data description in a way that makes applications much more easy to program, and data sets far more portable. In this tutorial, Selena Sol walks you through XML and the sister XSL style sheet language. Using simple, well-explained examples, Sol shows you how to get up to speed with the syntax of XML as well as helps you develop the more intuitive skill of learning how and when to apply XML to a problem."

  • [March 16, 1999] "XML Will Make Life Simpler, Editor Says." By Malcolm Maclachlan. In CMPNet TechWeb News (March 12, 1999). "At his closing keynote at XTech 99 here, Tim Bray gave what some might have interpreted as the opposite of a motivation speech. He encouraged developers to think small and get more rest. . . Bray, the co-editor of the XML 1.0 standard, said developers have made too much work for themselves by releasing multiple noncompatible technologies. The Internet is forcing people to recognize the need for compatibility, he said, and now people are trying to work all the development that has been done back together. This has become a daunting prospect, considering all the standards work that now needs to be done. For one thing, Bray said, the traditional way of getting standards written is to find highly skilled people who can spare 20 percent of their time."

  • [March 16, 1999] "XML Vocabularies: Opportunities for Efficiency and Reliability." By Steve Newcomb (TechnoTeacher). Slides in HTML and PPT format. Presented in the 'Strong Back Track' at the XTech '99 Conference (March 7 - 11, 1999, San Jose, California). "XML needs to support validation of inheritable vocabularies. Modularity and models are the keys. The standards, methodologies, and software already exist (ISO 10744:1997, SX, GroveMinder) and are in commercial use. . . This presentation outlines techniques and technologies for increasing the reliability of vocabulary-based information interchange, and for reducing the cost of implementing applications that must be sensitive to vocabularies." See the annotated abstract for further description and references.

  • [March 16, 1999] "Extending Mozilla or How to Do the Impossible." By Heikki Toivonen and Johnny Stenbäck. Tutorial materials from a presentation at the XTech '99 Conference (March 7 - 11, 1999, San Jose, California). "This document will contain information on how to create new components with XPCOM, how to add functionality without XPCOM and how to embed the Mozilla browser in other applications (either as an ActiveX control or programmatically). There will also be information on how to create plugins according to the new XPCOM interface. Sample code will be included for all cases." See also the the tutorial handout abstract and original presentation abstract. Also:

  • [March 16, 1999] "Rapid XML Prototyping with Perl and XML::Parser." By Clark Cooper. Slides from a [tutorial and] presentation in the 'Strong-Back Session' at the XTech '99 Conference (March 7 - 11, 1999, San Jose, California). "Perl, with its excellent text processing features, it's large set of ready-made open-source modules, and flying its banner - "There's more than one way to do it" - makes a great lab bench. XML::Parser, the perl module that provides perl access to James Clark's efficient and robust XML C library, expat, has evolved with flexibility as an important requirement. Examples [are] presented that demonstrate how easy it is to develop non-trivial XML prototypes with only a moderate amount of programming using perl and XML::Parser." For related information, see "XML and Perl", and the full abstract for the Perl Prototyping presentation.

  • [March 16, 1999] "What's Ahead for 1999." By Roy Tennant [Digital Library Project Manager, Library Systems Office, University of California, Berkeley]. In Information Today Volume 16, Number 1 (January 1999). "XML will become what SGML tried to be: When SGML was created, it was in the hope that an infrastructure would be created that would allow text markup to flower. While the U.S. government and others embraced it, SGML far from prospered. The problem appeared to be that by trying to allow anything, it buried everything in complexity. Its rightful heir, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is both less than SGML (in terms of complexity) and more (in terms of its hypertext capabilities). By being born in simplicity, and bred on the Web, XML has the opportunity to become a markup language that is more compelling than either HTML or SGML."

  • "IBM revs up its Pervasive Computing initiative." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999). "During 1999, IBM and partners in the auto industry will pilot technologies -- from navigation to communications -- that hook such embedded systems for cars into centrally managed corporate and commercial systems, including services offered by car makers and dealers. In the second half of this year, IBM plans to ship an updated version of On-Demand Server that adds what it calls 'transcoding' capabilities and will manage multiple Web servers as a single virtual domain, according to Victor Nyman, On-Demand Server product manager at IBM. Transcoding will be packaged as a series of plug-ins for On-Demand Server that allow it to convert content from one format to another, such as from HTML to Extensible Markup Language (XML), or from XML to Wireless Markup Language (WML), Nyman said. 'Transcoding -- if you look at the user with a PalmPilot or an in-car system user -- lets you reach that person and give them a portal. If you want to get them information -- the creation of which is out of your control -- [or] if you want to go from HTML to WML via WAP [Wireless Access Protocol], transcoding does that dynamic translation,' Nyman said. 'It will act as a transcoding gateway'."

  • [March 15, 1999] "XML Gains Ground -- Vendors Pledge Support As XML Stands Poised To Become A Universal Format For Data Exchange. [Top Story]" By Justin Hibbard, Gregory Dalton, and Jeff Sweat. In Information Week Issue 725 (March 15, 1999), pages 1, 18-19. "The Extensible Markup Language, which started as a better way to build a Web page, is emerging as a universal format for exchanging data between applications and among businesses. Nearly every major software company is pledging support for XML, and a growing number of IT shops are using it to integrate disparate data sources. Increasing vendor activity adds momentum to XML, a set of rules for defining data structures. Microsoft this week will release its most advanced XML engine yet as part of its Internet Explorer 5.0 browser. Last week, Sun Microsystems said it will develop a standard XML extension to its Java programming language, while Netscape said it will add XML support to its E-commerce applications." [...] Users look to XML to solve a variety of problems. Merrill Lynch uses it as a packaging mechanism for distributing software to PCs. Later this year, it will begin using XML to distribute news and financial data to desktop systems. The brokerage is also experimenting with using XML to distribute data to handheld devices such as 3Com Palm Pilots. As an all-purpose data-distribution mechanism, XML can have an impact on the bottom line. 'XML can save from 30% to 60% of the cost of distributing data,' says [Merrill Lynch' Ben] Meiry. 'The cost savings, performance gains, and scope of feature enhancements that you can roll out [using XML] can be so dramatic as to really make senior people take notice'." Other companies mentioned: GM, Datachannel, Oracle, Sun, Tempest Software Inc., Dun & Bradstreet Corp., IBM, [. . .]

  • [March 15, 1999] "Microsoft's E-Commerce Eruption." By Sean Gallagher. In Information Week Issue 725 (March 15, 1999), page 59. "Microsoft has unveiled the future of the electronic economy, and it's based on the Extensible Markup Language. There's no real surprise there, I suppose. Microsoft has been pre-announcing its commitment to XML almost since the data-formatting language was born-in such offerings as its Office 2000 suite and Web browser. But now Microsoft has unveiled its commitment to a new form of Internet commerce based on using XML as part of a middleware layer between disparate accounting and ERP systems, providing interoperability with electronic data interchange tools based on X.12 and other legacy standards, as well as proprietary systems. On top of that, Microsoft is opening up its proposed standard to various industry groups and standards bodies, in the hope of creating approved industry-specific XML templates for such transactions."

  • [March 15, 1999] "GM Expands E-Biz Scope." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 756 (March 15, 1999). "When General Motors Corp. cut the ribbon on a virtual dealership last week, it did more than begin selling cars online. The auto giant took a major step toward bringing build-to-order efficiency to the auto industry. GM's BuyPower site ( gives car buyers uncommon access to multiple GM data sources in real time, blending information about availability and features with financing options and test-drive calendars. GM also has ambitious plans to link the Web applications directly into the back-end systems that run its enterprise. . . Dennis Walsh is overseeing construction of an XML information infrastructure." See also: "GE Information Services Introduces GE InterLinx, First Java-Based Gateway Solution that Supports XML. A New Enterprise Application Integration Software Solution."

  • [March 15, 1999] "Sun, Netscape Announce XML Tools for Business Commerce." By James Niccolai. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999), page 10. "Sun Microsystems announced last week it is creating an extension for the Java platform to provide support for Extensible Markup Language (XML), a move the company said will make it easier for developers to build applications that integrate the two technologies. Separately, Netscape announced plans to add XML support to its CommerceXpert line of Internet-commerce applications."

  • [March 15, 1999] "Palm-Size XML Tool." By Ephraim Schwartz. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999), page 10. "Companies assembling Extensible Markup Language (XML) deployment strategies will be able to extend their reach to the Palm Computing platform next month when Bluestone Software makes its 10KB XML parser available for free on its and other Web sites. Bluestone, one of the first companies to design stand-alone XML server software, will also introduce later this month Bluestone Visual XML tools, which will allow developers to tie XML files to SAP or mainframe databases. Bluestone will offer the small XML parser for free download at MetroWerks' Web site ( as well as on 3Com's Palm Computing site (" Compare: "XML and the Palm Pilot." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 5-6.

  • [March 15, 1999] "XML, Java: Perfect fit? Sun pushes to add XML spec to Java; vendors support move." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 11 (March 12, 1999), page 10. "Sun Microsystems Inc. is leading favorite son Java down the aisle to wed another hot technology with good prospects: XML. The Palo Alto, Calif., company is developing extensions to Java that would provide a standard method for accessing data objects carried within Extensible Markup Language documents to Java applications. The extensions would help provide a standard way for mapping EJBs (Enterprise JavaBeans) to XML-carried data as well as streamline data sharing among applications. Sun next month expects to choose a company to lead a group of XML vendors to formulate, under Sun's Java Community Process, specifications for additional Java classes that could be added to Java 2 or Java Development Kit 1.1."

  • [March 15, 1999] "A Web Truth: The `X' Files Are Out There." By Dan Gillmor [Mercury News Technology Columnist]. In San Jose Mercury News (March 11, 1999). "'It's difficult to describe XML, an electronic-document standard, in a brief way -- at least if you want to describe it accurately,' jokes Jon Bosak, a Sun Microsystems engineer who is chairman of the XML Working Group at the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization that thrashes out Web standards. 'It's easier to describe the effect.' 'Communities with common problems of information exchange can define ways to exchange that information tailored to their particular problems,' Bosak explains. Entire industries are likely to come up with XML standards just for their own special needs. Take shoe manufacturers. Bosak says they might get together and define an XML-based solution for exchanging data on shoes, where the important information would include length, width, color, style, etc. Then other businesses dealing with manufacturers, such as wholesalers and retailers (and eventually consumers) would be able to use special applications to get information about each manufacturer's goods and compare the data. . . So when will all this happen? Not immediately, says Bosak. Standards groups have finished the easy part of XML, but there's plenty more to do. A genuine worry in the XML community is whether major technology companies will cooperate on creating open file formats for everyone. XML was created in part to help do this, but it won't dissuade a company that wants a proprietary advantage. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and many others have pledged allegiance to XML. The key question is whether they're pledging in the same language. If not, XML will be balkanized, to the detriment of all computer users."

  • [March 15, 1999] "GM to Implement Web-based IT Ordering System." By Carol Sliwa. In Computerworld [Online News] (March 15, 1999). General Motors Corp. today announced plans to scrap the manual, paper-based ordering system it uses for buying standard IT commodities, such as computers and help desk support, with a Web-based procurement system from Ariba Technologies Inc. GM will undertake several extensive XML pilots in engineering, quality control, manufacturing, finance and electronic commerce over the next few years. The company also hopes to use XML to enhance customer service, a company official said." See the announcement: "DataChannel Announcement: DataChannel's New XML Framework and General Motors' Enterprise Information Portal (EIP)."

  • [March 12, 1999] "Sun Leads Attempt To Create XML API." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek (March 12, 1999). "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) saw a ground swell of vendor support this week, starting with Sun Microsystems, which said it is working on an XML extension to the Java platform. Separately this week at the XTech conference in San Jose, Calif., IBM, Candle Corp. and Netscape also unveiled XML initiatives. Sun, noting that several vendors already have offered their own Java-to-XML parsers, said it would seek to create a standard Java API for XML. Sun's initial version of the XML extension includes basic functionality, such as the ability to read, manipulate and generate XML data streams and formats. It is based on the 1.0 spec and on the W3C's Document Object Model (DOM) spec, as well as the Simple API for XML (SAX) de facto standard for event-based XML document processing."

  • [March 12, 1999] "The XMLServlet." By John Hicks [Cerium Component Software]. In JRun Magazine (January, 1999). "The XMLServlet is one of three XML tools developed by Cerium for its own database website projects. What do we mean by a database website? For us, that means a website with (1) lots of content; or (2) content that is often replaced or updated; or (3) content coming in, rather than just going out. A database website stores both content and structure (browser page layouts) in a database; and a database website combines that content and structure automatically, under software control, at the moment of delivering it. . . The three XML tools provide a mechanism for `knowledge experts' to use a common data sharing format for various functions. In addition, XMLServlet provides the ability to dynamically creating HTML pages that encapsulate all the information. All three tools are available for download."

  • [March 12, 1999] "IBM Announces Two New XML Technologies." By Scott Clark. In Web Developer News (March 9, 1999). "IBM Tuesday announced two new XML technologies which are available for free on IBM's alphaWorks Web site. IBM said it believes that XML can become the 'standard for defining and sharing data on the Web and a key component in extending the capabilities of e-business.' Xeena is a Java-based graphical XML editor which provides developers a visual interface for creating and editing XML documents using any valid XML vocabulary. By using the Xeena interface, developers are able to edit multiple XML documents, and copy, cut and paste from one document into another. The tool provides syntax directed editing, ensuring that all documents it creates are valid according to the specific XML vocabulary that is used. Additionally, IBM announced the release of XML4JParser V.2, the second version of IBM's XML for Java Parser."

  • [March 12, 1999] "LDAP Set To Be A Money Spinner." By Paul Briggs. In TechWeb News (March 09, 1999). "Directory technology based on LDAP [Lightweight Directory Access Protocol] will be a tremendous sales opportunity for resellers as companies implement e-business, according to Greg Lavender, technology director at Innosoft. The messaging and directory vendor co-invented LDAP and will launch an LDAP directory server and Java-based XML servlet tool this month. Using an XML extension called the Extensible Template Language (XTL), the servlet will be used to draw different sets of information from different servers into one Web page. Lavender said LDAP directories from his company and others such as Netscape will proliferate because customers cannot afford to wait for Microsoft's hyped Active Directory. . . Sara Appleyard, marketing manager at Essential Computing, Innosoft's sole distributor, said the XML tool will make it easier to sell directory technology, and some companies do not understand what directories can do for them."

  • [March 12, 1999] "Adobe Gives Acrobat, PDF a Major Facelift. Acrobat 4: Adobe's Bid to Make It More Than Just A Browser." By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 7 (March, 1999), pages 1, 3-11. "On the surface, Adobe's latest upgrade to its venerable PostScript-based document viewer contains a suite of annotation and markup tools that changes its role from mere reader to a dynamic tool for collaborative review of and Web sites. But, under the hood, something even more significant has changed. Adobe has upgraded its Portable Document Format, and at last provided a way to embed structure, such as XML tagging, inside the PDF data stream. Working with the beta release, we review the new features in PDF 1.3 and Acrobat itself, including digital signatures, a Web-capture utility and the cross-media enhancements to Distiller. . . For years, publishers have asked if Adobe couldn't find a way to carry descriptive markup along with the PostScript representation of body copy inside a PDF document. Doing so would combine the best of both PostScript for layout, and SGML for document structure. At long last, they'll get their wish. In Acrobat 4, Adobe offers an API for creating a PDF dictionary containing hierarchical structures. This will enable XML-like tags (which, by definition, are hierarchical), to be embedded in the text stream of the PDF document. This information can be used in a variety of to improve searches, to locate elements for manipulation or retrieval, or to carry additional information for interchange. Adobe is not making use of this facility in Acrobat 4 or the initial release of InDesign, but we wouldn't be surprised if Adobe exploited it in the very near future in its vector graphics applications (PGML/SVG are XML-based), in FrameMaker (which has an XML option) and in future releases of InDesign (which are supposed to address cross-media publishing). In addition to storing structure inside the document, PDF makes it easy to attach files of other data types. This hasn't changed in 1.3; it just becomes easier because it's supported in the user interface of Acrobat. In the XML scenario, for example, you'll be able to attach the XML source document as well as embed tags within the PostScript stream. PDF is agnostic about what types of objects you're they may be spreadsheets, movies, Powerpoint presentations or files of any data type."

  • [March 12, 1999] "Microsoft's Style Sheet Patent Is Bogus, So Why Not Turn It Over To the W3C?" By Matt McKenzie and Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 7 (March, 1999), page 12. "On January 12, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Microsoft a patent that could have a major impact on Web standards, but which we hope will instead be largely ignored. [Microsoft's] Reardon claims that this patent could actually prevent other vendors from engaging in 'standards terrorism' with intellectual property claims of their own, which strikes us as disingenuous. If Microsoft really wants to protect Web standards, the company should immediately turn over its patent to the W3C and renounce all claims on the technology. Any other action, however charitable, casts doubts on Microsoft's commitment to any public standards process and tarnishes the W3C's reputation as the arbiter of standards in Web publishing."

  • [March 12, 1999] "NCompass Resolution: Content Management and Workflow for Mid-range Sites." By Matthew McKenzie. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 7 (March, 1999), pages 13-17. "A new release from Vancouver-based NCompass Labs straddles the gap between departmental-size intranet-oriented systems and enterprise-level systems designed for dynamic external sites. Resolution packages a database-driven Web publishing system with a strong set of workflow and administrative tools. Resolution is a Microsoft-centric system, relying heavily on ActiveX and COM and providing native support for only one database (Microsoft SQL Server 6.5), one Web server (Microsoft IIS), one browser for preview (Internet Explorer) and one method of generating dynamic pages (ASP). Clearly, this will appeal to all-Microsoft shops and create some difficulty for those who choose a more open architecture. The one change on the new feature will be NCompass's support for Oracle and SQL Server 7. In its literature, NCompass talks the XML talk, but, at this point at least, Resolution fails to walk the XML walk. The server has no XML smarts; its use of an attribute tag in an HTML element has nothing to do with well-formed or valid XML; it merely serves as the handle by which the server pulls resources from the database. In contrast with DynaBase, for example, Resolution's server does not parse XML to recognize user-defined tags in context; it does not validate XML; and it does not use DTDs to create a schema. In the future, though, NCompass does hope to add XML parsing and validation to its server. That step would enable it to interact with XML-authoring tools and with other XML-aware servers, such as content-syndication servers following the ICE protocol."

  • [March 12, 1999] " spins Expressroom product out of Web service business. Web content-management system features Java clients, XML, and built-in e-commerce." By Victor Votsch. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 7 (March, 1999), pages 21-22. "Alexandria, Virginia-based ( will debut its Web-authoring and content-management system at Seybold Seminars Boston this month. This version of Expressroom will rely heavily on Java 2.0 (the Java previously known as 1.2) and XML to deliver a platform-independent toolset. Previous versions used a browser-based interface and server-side scripting to input content into a DBM-based repository. When setting up a publication, Expressroom abstracts XML DTDs into Java classes calls Document Content Definitions (DCDs). asserts that its Java client provides a user interface for defining and manipulating the definitions that is more intuitive than working with DTDs."

  • [March 12, 1999] "Inso buys AIS from Berger-Levrault. Picks up Balise, Dual Prism, European talent and customers." By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 6 (February, 1999), page 20. "Continuing its quest to build the most complete framework for SGML- and XML-based publishing on the market, Inso has acquired the Advanced Information Systems (AIS Software) division of French publisher Berger-Levrault. The acquisition significantly beefs up Inso's toolset for converting documents into and out of SGML and XML. It also gives Inso a Web publishing system, Dual Prism, that operates with a more open database architecture than DynaBase. In recent years, AIS has risen as an aggressive challenger to OmniMark in the SGML/XML data conversion tools market, where few, if any, other vendors have established brand recognition. AIS's Balise (, a robust scripting language with built-in XML and SGML capabilities, complements Inso's DynaTag, a lower-end product that lacks the extensive programmability of Balise." See also the Inso press release.

  • [March 12, 1999] "SageMaker: Adding Intelligence Makes for Intelligent Business." By Liora Alschuler. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 6 (February, 1999), pages 13-15. "SageMaker is a classic Web middleman: collecting material from publishers and selling it to consumers and, working the same vertical market but in the opposite direction, collecting consumers and selling publishers access to this market. Working in the information-hungry energy industry, the core SageMaker process aggregates and classifies information from about 40 publishers with over 4,000 sources, including newsletters, newswires, reports, databases and legacy sources. With its service currently based on a proprietary tagging language, SageMaker is committed to moving to XML. White estimates that doing so will cut 70% of his production costs, as SageMaker could simply reuse publishers' source markup. SageMaker is experimenting in-house with Word-to-XML conversion based on Word macros, some scripting and an RTF conversion step. The advent of Office 2000 and use by publishers of the XML facilities in Corel's WordPerfect, along with specialized XML editing tools, is the basis for White's optimistic forecast."

  • [March 12, 1999] "The Commercial Birth of XML [Component Front]." By John K. Waters. In Component Strategies Volume 1, Number 9 (March 1999), pages 11-12. Ron Rappaport, analyst at the Redwood City, CA-based Zona Research "believes that [the XML] technology will revolutionize the exchange of businss information the way telephones, fax machines, and photocopiers did when they were invented. 'XML is poised to have an impact on the Internet area the same way'."

  • [March 12, 1999] "Sun Spec to Link XML, Java." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (March 9, 1999). "Sun Microsystems said today it plans to develop an extension to Java to support the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) in order to link the two development technologies. Sun's plans include creating a Java extension that alllows Java developers to build XML applications and for XML applications to link to Java code. The specification will ensure that XML, an increasingly popular technology, and Java can be easily combined within applications, and are speaking on the same terms, said Sun."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Sun Heats New App Server." By Erich Luening and Wylie Wong. In CNETNews [Enterprise Computing] (March 11, 1999). "Sun Microsystems today rolled out a new version of its NetDynamics application server and announced a new software strategy for the product to deliver portal computing services. . . 'Between Sun, AOL, and Netscape, we have great technology and we're working on how to best integrate them into one complete middleware suite,' Baratz said [Alan Baratz, president of Sun's Java software division] Baratz added that the three companies will also integrate their browser technologies into one. Sun has a 100 percent pure Java browser called HotJava. Netscape has Communicator, while AOL has its own client as well, he said. 'One of the goals is to bring the initiatives together and bring an XML-based browser with first-class Java 2 support,' he said. And as time goes by, the browser will be built more and more with Java, he added."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Web Ecology: Recycling HTML Pages as XML Documents Using W4F." By Arnaud Sahuguet [Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania] and Fabien Azavant [École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications Paris, France]. From the W4F project, PENN Database Research Group. '1999'. Abstract: "In this paper we present the World-Wide Web Wrapper Factory (W4F), a Java toolkit to generate wrappers for Web data sources. Some key features of W4F are an expressive language to extract information from HTML pages in a structured way, a mapping to export it as XML documents and some visual tools to assist the user during wrapper creation. Moreover, the entire description of wrappers is fully declarative. As an illustration, we demonstrate how to use W4F to create XML gateways, that serve transparently and on-they HTML pages as XML documents with their DTDs. The rise (yet to come) of XML will lead to some interesting ecological issues (HTML and XML can be seen as competing species in the Web arena). Proposals like XSL already address the problem of translating XML into HTML. But a more interesting problem is to integrate legacy HTML pages in an XML environment, using HTML wrappers. In this paper we argue that our toolkit can offer a simple and elegant solution to this ecological problem, and we show how to create XML gateways that serve { transparently and on-they { pages from HTML sources as XML documents with their DTD. We illustrate our approach using the CIA World Factbook." See also the W4F project Web site with its referrences to related projects.

  • [March 11, 1999] "DataChannel RIO 3.2." [Reviewed] By Robert P. Lipschutz. In ZDNet Product Reviews (March 9, 1999). "Are you still using file servers to share information on your network? Consider DataChannel RIO 3.2 (100 users, $9,500 list), a Web-based document management system. Via a Web browser, users can view content such as Microsoft Office or HTML pages and also publish them into a directory-like structure. This version of RIO adds better security, XML on the back end, and the ability to assign URLs to channels, folders, and items. RIO has not yet matured into a great product, but it certainly has potential. . . RIO is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), but in the current release, we didn't see many of the benefits that can come from using XML. For example, XML can be used to create custom attributes or to expose an attribute-based search engine, but these features were not available in the product. DataChannel has worked with some of its clients to integrate other kinds of content, such as legacy mainframe data and information feeds using XML. The information is mapped to XML and then stored within RIO."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Ways to Rome: Processing XML with Perl." By Ingo Macherius. GMD-IPSI Tutorial. February 23, 1999. "One of Perl's key features is: things can be done more then one way. This holds when processing XML using Perl. This brief tutorial solves a simple task again and again using different, XML-related CPAN modules and programming styles. This tutorial was done for a talk on the German Perl workshop 1.0 on February 17th, 1999 in Bonn. The focus in on the code examples, not the explanatory text. All code is tested and should work 'cut-and-paste' if you have the above modules installed and a copy of REC-XML in your working folder."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Tutorial 1: XML and Perl: Embedding XML in HTML." By Jonathan Eisenzopf. In Mother of Perl. XML is the standard that promises to free us from the shortcomings of HTML by allowing authors to create documents using their own descriptive markup. Despite the clear benefits of XML, it is still unclear how authors should mix XML and HTML. In this article we'll show you how to turn your HTML files into mini databases by embedding XML tags in your Web pages to describe the enclosed content. We'll then build a Web-based Perl client that queries and displays the contents of these embedded XML tags. Finally, we'll extend what we've learned by developing a script that builds a top-news summary." Other XML/Perl references: "XML and Perl."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Building a Self-Actualized Web." By Chris Oakes. In Wired News (March 09, 1999). "What's the best method for transforming the Web from a collection of electronic documents into a smart information-delivery service? It's one of the fundamental questions driving the work of Web developers meeting in San Jose, California, this week to advance the eXtensible markup language, known as XML. Devotees and developers see XML as the mainstay for improving a well-worn, but still very useful, human construct: the document. They're slowly winning converts. 'Documents are still very much with us,' said Jon Bosak, chairman of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML coordination group, who's considered by many the father of XML. 'They haven't really changed much in 5,000 years, in general. People like to do some very basic things using documents. That doesn't change just because they're electronic.' XML is founded on electronic-document concepts originally developed by hypertext pioneer Ted Nelson in the 1960s. 'It will bring linking on the Web into the 1970s, said Bill Smith, Chairman of the hyperlink working group at W3C, speaking at the conference. 'This is something that's been around for a long time.'

  • [March 11, 1999] "Sun Extends Java to Support XML." By James Niccolai. In InfoWorld [Electric] (March 10, 1999). "Sun Microsystems said on Tuesday it is creating an extension for the Java platform to provide support for Extensible Markup Language (XML), a move the company said will make it easier for developers to build applications that integrate the two technologies. The extension will take the form of a standard API that will be developed using the Java Community Process, which takes input from multiple vendors to define Java standards. XML is used to create documents that are distributed over networks such as the Internet, and is sometimes seen as a successor to HTML. While HTML describes only how a document is formatted, XML provides more complete information about the data, making it a more flexible tool. Several XML proponents -- including Sun, IBM, and Microsoft -- have already developed programs that allow applications written in Java to read XML. Sun's goal is to define a standard that will ensure that those programs, known as 'parsers,' will all work together, said Nancy Lee, Sun's senior product manager for XML." More information on Sun's work with Java and XML technologies can be found at See also the February 26, 1999 news entry and the earlier press release: "Sun Unveils XML Technology Support in the Java Platform. Leading Efforts to Define Java Standard Extension for XML Language."

  • [March 11, 1999] "Making the Leap With XML." By Peter Coffee. In PC Week Online (March 10, 1999). "This week's XTech '99 conference demands the attention of anyone who creates, delivers or uses information on either public or private networks. Attendees at the San Jose, Calif., gathering are exploring and extending the limits of what we'll do with XML, which Web gurus have dubbed 'the future of HTML.' DHL Airways, the U.S. arm of DHL Worldwide Express, has disclosed plans to make extensive use of XML in its shipping operations. Automated manufacture, assembly and testing of printed circuit boards can be streamlined with an appropriate vocabulary of XML tags for communication between the different stages of production. In San Jose this week, XTech participants heard from keynote speaker Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, who chairs W3C's XML working group. Bosak observed that XML is needed to deliver appropriate subsets of Web site content to the growing variety of Web-client hardware."

  • [March 11, 1999] "1998 - A Lot of Extensible Markup." By Tim Bray [Introduction by Frank Gilbane]. In The Gilbane Report on Open Information & Document Systems Volume 6, Number 6 (November/December, 1998), pages 2-15. Tim Bray, co-editor of the XML 1.0 specification and editor of the Gilbane Report, provides a summary and analysis of XML's progress through 1998. ". . . we focus not so much on explaining XML, but on the issues around and behind it. . . [the author is one engaged] in defining what XML is and will be [so] This probably means that you can expect this article to have a bias that overemphasizes the importance of XML - which is odd, since most XML insiders, including myself, worry that XML s getting overhyped." Section headings: A Miniature History, What XML Isn't, What XML Is, A Word about Object Orientation ['Over-excited marketeers love to claim that XML is somehow object-oriented. This is entirely false; in fact, XML itself is in many respects the opposite of object-oriented. This doesn't mean that object-orientation isn't a good idea, and in fact one that combines well with XML.'], Why Markup Anyway, Where We Stand Today, Creating Information, Creating Without Authoring, Maintaining Information, The Filesystem Approach, The Database Approach, Storing and Managing XML, Database Architectures for XML, Delivering Information, But Let's Not forget Stylesheets, Standards and Standards Committees, Standards and Vendors, Near-Term Futures - Standards, Near-Rerm Futures - The Market, Risks and Costs, Conclusions." The article is introduced by Frank Gilbane (editorial director) as a note to the Gilbane Report readership: "When we wrote about SGML in the early days of this newsletter (1993) we were careful in our coverage even though we were strong proponents of the standard, especially the philosophy behind it. The reason was that SGML was strong medicine and the perception was that its prescribers were particularly partisan. Rather than spend time talking about SGML directly we chose to cover it in the context of the technologies and information management strategies we were writing about. We wanted our audience of IS/IT managers to see it as part of an overall strategy - not as a point solution, and not as the entire solution. We wanted to ensure companies had the right expectations about the role and capabilities of the standard. With XML the challenge is a little different. Instead of medicine that is tough to swallow, XML is looked at as more akin to a miracle cure for all weaknesses found in web technology (at least!). XML is associated with every buzz-term from object-oriented to e-commerce. Of course it is far from a cure-all, but it is very difficult not to be enthusiastic about it and therefore contribute to the possibility of unrealistic expectations. In the Gilbane Report we have been extra careful to keep our references to XML supportive but neutral. Given Tim [Bray]'s role in the development of XML this was important. It was also important because we didn't want to contribute to any potential politicalization of the standard. With this issue we felt it was time to provide our readers with a direct discussion of XML designed to ensure you have realistic expectations about what XML can do for you. Our goal, as always, is to help you make well-grounded, successful strategic decisions about standards and technology." Note: Beginning with Volume 7, Number 1 (January 1999), the Gilbane Report will be published 10 times yearly, and some news items (with editorial comment/analysis) will be available online to subscribers. These publication changes are part of the CAP Ventures' Dynamic Content Software Strategies (DSS) Group restructuring.

  • [March 10, 1999] "Visually Specifying Context." By Stefan Hermann, Prof. Dr. Anne Brüggemann-Klein, and Professor Derick Wood. [To be] presented at The Third ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing. ". . . recently, we have focussed our attention on style-sheet specification primarily for graphics designers but also for other neophyte screensetters and typesetters. Since we expect such designers to be inexperienced computer users we decided to use a declarative approach to style-sheet specification. In our experience, almost all style rule difficulties are caused by contextual issues; therefore, we decided to separate the specification of context from the issue of style specification. One observation about this separation is in order: we need provide only a mechanism that tests whether a specific context of a given part of a document is present or not. Based on this observation, the style rules may now incorporate conditional statements or expressions to express context-dependent choices. . . We introduce a simple and novel visual technique for the specification of context in structured documents, that we call T-graphs, that we base on what we call T-configurations in document trees. The technique is implemented in the current version of Designer. Although we are applying this technique in the specification of context-dependent style sheets for HTML, SGML and XML documents, it can also be used in other environments such as query specification for structured documents and for computer program transformations. We compare T-graphs with the context specification techniques found in other style-sheet systems and we also provide examples of context that we can and cannot specify with T-graphs. Although T-graphs are restrictive, they lend themselves to visual construction and modification, our main requirement when we designed this context-specification method." One of several SGML/XML presentations at the ICCC/IFIP 1999 Conference.

  • [March 10, 1999] "XPointer, XLoc and a Man-Eating Clam." By Neill Kipp. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 1-4. Kipp "explains the functionality and purpose of linking across objects, and suggests a method that might not have been considered by the W3C linking and pointing crowd. Real Requirements? The practical requirements for locating are these: 1) we need a standard way to locate the sub-components of XML documents; 2) we need software to resolve these locators, and; 3) reating and resolving these locators to sub-resources must be (almost) as fast and easy as creating and resolving locators of whole resources. In other words, sub-resource location should be a natural extention to regular resource location, with minimal overhead to server and author. Note that determining the semantic of whether to extract the sub-resource or scroll to its position should be implied by the context of the location address, and not within the locator itself."

  • [March 10, 1999] "Case Study: <TAG> Online." By Brian E. Travis. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 7-13. <TAG> is undergoing a transformation from a paper-based publication to a multi-media publication. This article presents a study in how we learned about the need for multiple deliveries, and the importance of Web delivery to our subscribers. The article also shows how we did two generations of Web-based applications, and explains the tools and techniques we used. The case study details the technology behind the current site, and shows how we got here. It is a system that uses SGML, XML, and several Web technologies, as well as desktop publishing tools and simple email."

  • [March 10, 1999] "XML and the Palm Pilot." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 5-6. "The Palm Pilot is a pocket-sized computer that has become much more than its collection of plastic and silicon. In this article, our XML man-on-the-beat explains how a pocket-sized computer gives us the ability to practice what we preach about the utility and functionality of XML." Cf. "Palm-Size XML Tool." By Ephraim Schwartz. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 11 (March 15, 1999).

  • [March 10, 1999] "Is Good Enough Good Enough?" By Brian E. Travis. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 1, 5. Brian Travis, Managing Editor of <TAG> and President of Architag International Corporation, "talks about the need to adhere fully to any published 'standard', including SGML. Perhaps all tools do not need to support all of a standard in order to be useable. . . If you need to use partially formed XML, the Microsoft parser is not a good choice. But if you are only creating valid XML documents, it could be considered. Likewise, if you only want to create well-formed documents, an editor that supports well-formed but does not support valid XML could be considered. Sometimes good enough is good enough."

  • [March 10, 1999] "TclXML: XML Support for Tcl." By Steve Ball. In Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Tcl/Tk Conference (San Diego, CA, 18-24 September, 1998; Berkeley, CA: USENIX Association). Pages 109-119, with 14 references. Abstract: "XML is emerging as a significant technology for use on both the World Wide Web and in many other application areas, such as network protocols. Documents written in XML have a rich, hierarchical structure, the document tree. An application which is to process XML documents must be able to access and manipulate the document tree in order to be able to examine and change the structure. The DOM is a language-independent specification of how an application accesses and manipulates the document structure. TclDOM is a Tcl language binding for the DOM. The TclDOM specification provides a standard API for Tcl applications to process a XML or HTML document. TclXML is a Tcl package which provides a sample implementation of TclDOM. It provides XML parsers along with the tools needed to create a hierarchical representation of documents which can be conveniently processed by a Tcl script. There are also facilities to check the validity of a document, along with commands to produce document output. TclXML provides a framework for parser and validator modules which allows some or all of the various components to be implemented in an extension language." See also TclXML and TclDOM.

  • [March 10, 1999] "Creating High Performance Web Applications using Tcl, Display Templates, XML, and Database Content." By Alex Shah and Tony Darugar. In Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Tcl/Tk Conference (San Diego, CA, 18-24 September, 1998; Berkeley, CA: USENIX Association). Pages 121-130, with 10 references. "We describe an online system that provides a framework for the rapid creation of high performance, database driven web sites based on content from XML files. The software that 'glues' the content to the presentation is written in Tcl. The proposed architecture uses a pool of persistent Tcl engines to substantially improve performance and robustness as compared to traditional server-side programming techniques. Tony Darugar described Binary Evolution's Velocigen package for generating dynamic Web pages. The Velocigen package solves the problem of fork/exec overhead in CGI scripts with a client-server model. The Velocigen engine runs separately from the Web server to service CGI requests. Velocigen uses Tcl to link the database engine and Steve Ball's TclXML, allowing the system to extract an XML document from the database, parse the XML document into a tree, and finally map the XML-tagged information to HTML tags. One of the advantages of this technique is that by divorcing the content from the presentation you can modify the display without modifying the base data simply by changing the XML-to-HTML mapping functions. Darugar demonstrated a technique that can be used to describe content with XML using a carrot cake recipe as the example. In this example, the ingredients are tagged as <ingredient>, making it easy for an automated engine to parse the page for content and index the content in a database. When the page is displayed, the <ingredient> tags are mapped to HTML tags. See more at at, [local archive copy]. See similarly: Ceating High Performance Web Applications using Perl, Display Templates, XML, and Database Content, [local archive copy].

  • [March 10, 1999] "[Review of] XML: The Annotated Specification, by Bob Ducharme." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 12 (February 28, 1999). Summary: "If you are new to XML and trying to make sense of the specification, XML: The Annotated Specification will be invaluable. If you are an implementor who needs to clarify a technical detail from time to time, this text will help validate that your interpretation of the Spec is the correct one. I f you are a writer, trainer, or Web historian, you will find this text makes you feel as if 'you were there!' XML: The Annotated Specification should be added to your technical library. See also the main bibliography entry. Note that several online reviews of SGML/XML books are available in the GCA's XML Books section.

  • [March 10, 1999] "New XML Tools Announced in February." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 12 (February 28, 1999). Descriptions/announcements for RXP: Validating XML Parser, XML Spy for XML Authoring, Oracle XML Utilities, XwingML: Freeware Java/XML Platform, XML & Java Web Tutorial, etc.

  • [March 10, 1999] "XML Vocabularies in the News: XMI and ADEX." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 12 (February 28, 1999). Descriptions of 1) XMI from The Object Management Group (OMG), and 2) XML Standard for Newspaper Classified Advertising: ADEX.

  • [March 10, 1999] "Sun, Adobe Offer Bounty for XSL." By Paul Festa. In CNET (March 9, 1999). "In an attempt to jump-start XSL development, Sun Microsystems and Adobe are putting up $90,000 in bounties for independent developers who come up with specific XSL implementations. Sun's Jon Bosak, chair of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) XML coordination group, alluded to the prizes during his keynote presentation at the XTech 99 conference here. Bosak said the companies would formally announce the prizes next month. The companies will reveal the winning implementations at the Graphic Communications Association's XML 99 conference, scheduled for the first week of December. The firms plan to eventually put the winning technologies in the public domain. The second part of XSL is its formatting language, and it is this area that Sun and Adobe's incentive prizes are meant to stimulate. Sun will put up $30,000 for implementations of XSL to be added to the open source effort, developing the source code to Netscape Communications' Communicator browser. This implementation would be a plug-in that would provide XSL formatting capabilities for the Mozilla browser and would fall under the Mozilla public license. The second set of prizes, funded in part by Adobe, will provide a $40,000 first prize and a $20,000 second prize for a print-oriented batch formatter written in Sun's Java programming language and that supports Adobe's portable document format (PDF)." [local archive copy] See also: "Sun, Adobe Offer Cash for Creativity, via XML Development Competitions." By James C. Luh. In Internet World (March 15, 1999).

  • [March 09, 1999] "ICAAP eXtended Markup Language: Exploiting XML and Adding Value to the Journals Production Process." By Mike Sosteric. In D-Lib Magazine Volume 5, Number 2 (February 1999). "This article discusses the technological advances attained by a recently announced international effort to reform the scholarly communication system and provide an alternative to the high priced commercial presses. This consortium, named the International Consortium for Alternative Academic Publication (ICAAP), has as its explicit goal the elimination of technological, social, and political barriers to reforming the scholarly communication system. ICAAP is an international consortium of scholars, libraries, and programmers, based at Athabasca University, and devoted to demonstrating that a high quality scholarly communication system can be created without the high cost of the old paper based system. This paper describes the progress that has been made on the technical aspects of that agenda. ICAAP has been exploring SGML and XML as the central technologies to be used to deliver online resources. In fact, ICAAP has developed an XML implementation known as the ICAAP eXtended Markup Language, abbreviated 'IXML'."

  • [March 09, 1999] "E-commerce Catalog Construction. An Experiment with Programmable XML for Dynamic Documents." By Robert Thibadeau, Jorge Balderas, Andrew Snyder, and John Nestor. In D-Lib Magazine Volume 5, Number 2 (February 1999). "This paper introduces the notion of a strongly dynamic document that may be useful in electronic commerce catalogs, advanced textbooks, and other applications. It augments the existing XML web standard to include tagging for conditional interpretation. With this inclusion, a document can perform computation as well as simply feeding classed data to an external computation. In the web, the conventional way of implementing dynamic documents is to have external scripts that interact in prescribed manners with a marked-up page. This is particularly the case for a document that is composed from dynamic sources, such as databases. By extending markup to support conditional interpretation, dynamic documents can be composed and preserved without the need for writing special scripts for each document application. We show an operational E-commerce catalog that employs a version of this augmentation that we have called XML For All, or XFA." See also the Web site, XML For All.

  • [March 09, 1999] "A Tool for Building Digital Libraries." By Martha Anderson. In D-Lib Magazine Volume 5, Number 2 (February 1999). Martha Anderson (Senior Digital Conversion Specialist, National Digital Library Program, Library of Congress) provides a Journal Review article for Markup Languages: Theory & Practice, Volume 1, Number 1 (1998, MIT Press), edited by C.M. Sperberg-McQueen and B. Tommie Usdin. "With detailed technical descriptions and the assumption that readers already know and use markup, Markup Languages promises to be a source of solid practical experience and thought provoking ideas. The journal will be a welcome arrival in the mailboxes of those who have rolled up their shirtsleeves and are up to their elbows in the nitty-gritty work of making data accessible and usable." See also the journal announcement and Markup Languages: Theory and Practice. Volume 1, Number 1: Table of Contents.

  • [March 09, 1999] "Co-Stars in Networking: XML and Java Technology. XML and Java technologies are perfect complements, creating a whole new world of possibilities for developers." By Jon Byous. Feature article from Java.Sun.Com (March 9, 1999). "A Java Technology Standard Extension for XML Technology: Sun is supporting XML technology through the Java platform and is leading the effort to define a Java technology standard extension for XML. It will be developed through industry participation in the Java Community Process, ensuring stability and compatibility. Enterprises can rely on the XML standard extension to for high-quality integration with the Java platform. The first step is to provide an XML standard extension that delivers basic functionality to read, manipulate, and generate XML text. These core features will form the building blocks for developing fully functional, XML technology-based applications. The XML standard extension will consist of a specification, reference implementation, and a compatibility test suite. Following Sun's commitment to the open process and industry standards, the XML standard extension will conform to the XML 1.0 specification and will leverage existing efforts around Java platform APIs for XML technology, including the W3C DOM Level 1 Core Recommendation and the SAX 1.0 API." See also the 1999-03-09 press release: "Sun Unveils XML Technology Support in the Java Platform. Leading Efforts to Define Java Standard Extension for XML Language." See further information at the Java.Sun.Com Web site and in the February 26, 1999 news entry.

  • [March 09, 1999] "Microsoft Strengthens Its E-Commerce Hand. But will businesses wait to see the cards?" By Bill Roberts. In Internet World News (March 8, 1999). "Microsoft corp. announced several initiatives to shore up its e-commerce offerings, including a new Commerce Server, plans to improve MSN as a business portal, and a framework to hold it all together based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). . . Analysts offered high praise for Microsoft's XML initiative, called BizTalk. It's a framework that could make it easier for businesses to integrate applications and conduct business with partners over the Web. Microsoft has already launched the initiative by working with various vertical industries on the semantics of specific XML vocabularies. It has created, for instance, an insurance markup language for that industry, which is different from, say, the car manufacturers' markup language. Companies need to nail these details down so they can exchange documents, product descriptions, and other data. Microsoft promises to offer proposals for review this summer and to announce several of these markup languages before year's end."

  • [March 09, 1999] "OnDisplay Announces CenterStage With New XML Features." By Scott Clark. In News (March 8, 1999). "OnDisplay Monday released CenterStage 3.3, its solution for rapid application integration which now features "next-generation" XML support. CenterStage's XML support enables companies to parse, query, transform and map XML content and messages directly into ERP applications, E-commerce applications, databases and back office systems. The tool leverages legacy, ERP and e-business applications so they can link with external partners." See the press release.

  • [March 08, 1999] "Microsoft: XML Key To E-Commerce." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 755 (March 08, 1999). "Microsoft recharged its Internet strategy last week with sweeping product plans that include an XML lingua franca for Web commerce. The details came as the vendor fights to make up ground lost to enterprise stalwarts, including IBM and Sun Microsystems, portal powers Yahoo! and America Online, and a slew of start-ups. . . Perhaps the most ambitious piece of the strategy is BizTalk, Extensible Markup Language schemas through which Microsoft aims to create industry-standard definitions for business processes, such as corporate purchasing, product catalogs and promotional campaigns." See similarly "Microsoft Details E-Commerce Strategy."

  • [March 08, 1999] "The Buck Stops Here." By Teri Robinson. In InternetWeek Issue 755 (March 08, 1999). "It doesn't take a retailing genius to understand that the flurry of Internet buying-$9 billion worth in 1998, according to the U.S. Commerce Department-signals a momentous turn for e-commerce. And the numbers are only on the way up. Forrester Research Inc. predicts that Internet buying will top $3.2 trillion by 2003. Now, Web merchants need to know that the buck stops with them to get their online payment processing systems in place. . . Payment processing systems can't reach their potential until different vendor systems along the supply chain can communicate. The standardized data format vendors are turning to is XML. Just as EDI offered a common data format for suppliers and buyers on value-added networks, XML is aimed at achieving the same thing-but at lower costs and with fewer limitations now that the Internet is the venue."

  • [March 08, 1999] "XML Tagging Technology On A Roll." By Tim Scannell. In Computer Reseller News (March 05, 1999). "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) has quickly become one of the hottest technologies in Web-based content and document-sharing over the Internet. . . Major players such as Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp. and IBM Corp. have rallied behind XML as a core standard. In fact, Microsoft has positioned XML and technology developed by DataChannel as key elements in its enterprise computing strategy. XML tools are not yet readily available but they are becoming a reality. DataChannel last week released a cross-platform technology and collection of services that can be used to link disparate systems across an enterprise. At the core of this is a technology based on XML called the XML Framework, which allows developers to write applications that extend the reach of legacy systems over the Internet and corporate intranets. As part of its XML push, the company plans within the next few weeks to beef up the services part of its business, said Lucie Fjeldstad, president of DataChannel."

  • [March 08, 1999] "XML in Excelsis. Meet the New and Improved Markup Language. [Internet Basics]" By Elizabeth Powell Crowe. In Computer Currents Magazine [First Published] (February 9, 1999, Bay Area Edition). "The last time I wrote about XML, the markup language was still in swaddling cloth. Today, XML is well on its way to becoming an international standard. I thought this was an appropriate time to revisit the subject. In a nutshell, XML (extensible mark up language) is a stripped-down version of SGML, the standard markup language for creating structured documents. XML isn't quite a programming language, but it's far more powerful than macros. It is used to set up content on Web pages or databases so that elements are suited to your preferences."

  • [March 08, 1999] "Sun, IBM to Trumpet XML Strategies at XTech." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 10 (March 8, 1999), page 6. "Sun Microsystems will deliver its long-awaited Extensible Markup Language (XML) plans this week at the XTech developer conference in San Jose, Calif., detailing where the technology fits within its enterprise products and Java strategy. Also at the conference, IBM will promote several of its partners that are already using its XML tools. Sun's presentation at the conference will spotlight four of its employees, including Jon Bosak, online information technology architect at Sun, who is also head of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Working Group and a co-chair of the XTech conference. The company has previously delivered XML technologies to its Java developers under the code-named Java Project X. The company is expected to announce a standard Java API to support XML at the show. . ." [local archive copy]

  • [March 08, 1999] "Microsoft outlines commerce strategy. BizTalk language plays central role." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 10 (March 8, 1999), page 6. "Looking to strengthen its status in the electronic-commerce marketplace, Microsoft is working on several products and services intended to allow applications to interoperate for business. Key to the Microsoft strategy will be BizTalk, a framework based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) that enables the exchange of business data among applications. BizTalk evolved from the Commerce Interchange Pipeline as a combination of the Component Object Model (COM) and XML. With BizTalk as the glue, Microsoft intends to put XML support in all of its Office, BackOffice, and Windows software programs. Microsoft also announced the latest version of Site Server Commerce Edition, now called Microsoft Commerce Server, and Small Business Commerce Services. The use of XML should be essential for commerce, and will change the dynamics between competing commerce application vendors, according to analysts."

  • [March 08, 1999] "SAP and PeopleSoft back BizTalk." By Stannie Holt. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 10 (March 8, 1999). "Electronic commerce was the lure for enterprise application vendors PeopleSoft and SAP to leap on Microsoft's bandwagon last week in support of its BizTalk framework." See further on in the BizTalk Framework in the main news entry.

  • [March 08, 1999] "XML To Add New Function To Forms." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week Volume 6, Number 10 (March 09, 1999), page 24. "With eXtensible Markup Lan-guage gaining a wide following on the Web, a question has emerged over how it will impact the aging electronic forms standard, Electronic Data Interchange. To some observers, eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is destined to replace electronic data interchange (EDI) -- sooner rather than later. To others, XML will merely be the new language used to pour a more pliable text into EDI formats, which will remain as rigid as ever. But a growing number of people believe EDI vendors will adapt their products to handle data produced in XML format."

  • [March 08, 1999] "New Markup Language Ties Telephone To Web." By Kathleen Cholewka. In Inter@ctive Week Volume 6, Number 10 (March 09, 1999), page 14. "Major software developers are writing a new language that will enable businesses and end users to access information on the Web via their regular telephone service. The Voice eXtensible Markup Language (VXML) is being pushed by AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Motorola, which have created an industry forum to work toward standardizing the technology. Equipment and application developers may see the VXML standard as soon as year's end." See "VXML Forum."

  • [March 08, 1999] "Voice XML Forum Created to Work on Standard." By Nancy Weil. In Computerworld [Online News] (March 02, 1999). "AT&T Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Motorola Inc. have formed the Voice Extensible Markup Language (VXML) Forum. And some 17 other companies also have signed up to work on a standard for voice- and phone-enabled Internet access, said David Unger, a product strategy and development division manager at AT&T. . . The objective is to create a standard that is platform-independent and allows developers, content providers, communications service providers, equipment and infrastructure vendors, and speech technology companies to work together to push the voice-enabled Internet access market." For other references, see "VXML Forum (Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum)."

  • [March 05, 1999] "Microsoft Touts Broad I-Commerce Strategy." By Nancy Weil and James Niccolai. In InfoWorld [Electric] (March 05, 1999). "Microsoft pitched a broad Internet-commerce strategy Thursday that includes three new software products and new services for the company's MSN Web portal. The buzzword for the day was BizTalk, a new technology framework based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) that is designed to allow companies with different computer systems to exchange the data required for I-commerce -- such as product information and purchase orders -- more easily. BizTalk provides the 'glue' that will bind together all the services and products outlined Thursday, said Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief executive officer. The software vendor is working with partners and vertical industry groups to define schemas for BizTalk, which will be supported in all Microsoft software and will be made freely available for other vendors to support, company officials said."

  • [March 05, 1999] "The Quest for an XML Query Standard." By Lisa Rein. From (March 02, 1999). "Is there a need for a query language that speaks XML? Learn what went on when XML experts got together to talk about the need for an XML query standard at QL'98. [This] W3C workshop on query languages for XML produced a number of interesting proposals for extracting information more efficiently from XML documents. In terms of next steps, the W3C must decide whether they will simply incorporate feedback into the existing XML working group activity? Or will a separate Query Language Working Group or XML Query Language Working Group be formed? One of the difficulties is the somewhat delicate placement of the work within the W3C's architecture, since so many different groups will depend heavily on its deliverables. At this point, the W3C is gathering input from its members as to how the query effort should proceed." For other references, see "XML and Query Languages" and the "QL'98 - The Query Languages Workshop."

  • [March 05, 1999] "Microsoft, IBM to Collide on Supply Chain Initiatives." By Jim Kerstetter. In PC Week Online (March 04, 1999). "Microsoft is looking to take control of an area that IBM also wants to handle: a company's supply chain . . . For its part, Microsoft plans to release its BizTalk Server, which essentially acts as XML and EDI translation and mapping software, into beta by July. The next version of its Commerce Server (which is really version 4.0 but will now be known simply as Commerce Server) will be in beta this summer, as will the MSN Marketplace. And Microsoft will soon start a barnstorming tour for its BizTalk framework, a set of published XML schemas that link various e-commerce systems together."

  • [March 05, 1999] "Microsoft's E-Commerce Strategy Hinges on 'BizTalk'." By Mary Jo Foley. In Sm@rt Reseller (March 4, 1999). "BizTalk is at the heart of future Microsoft commerce products, services and strategies. . . Microsoft is planning to incorporate elements of this BizTalk Server into almost its entire platform suite, including Windows, Office, Visual Studio and its forthcoming Commerce Server, which is the next version of its existing Site Server Commerce Edition 3.0 product. Microsoft will present 35 tracks on BizTalk at its TechEd developer conference in May in Dallas."

  • [March 05, 1999] "Quark Responds to Adobe Challenge at Seybold." By Matthew Rothenberg. In PC Week News Online (March 3, 1999). Responding to Adobe's plans for InDesign, "Gill [Quark Inc. Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Tim Gill] introduced Troika, the code name for a three-part package for repurposing content and deploying it dynamically on the Web. Troika includes tools for extracting XML content from QuarkXPress documents, creating and editing templates for the Web, and combining them on the fly in response to user requests. The company demonstrated how Troika will facilitate such sophisticated text and graphics effects as flowing text on path and overlaying it on a graphic."

  • [March 05, 1999] "XML Tutorials for Programmers." By Ralf I. Pfeiffer, IBM XML Technology Group. [February] 1999. "This tutorial shows users how to write XML through interactive examples that invoke IBM's XML Parser for Java (XML4J) and give immediate feedback. These tutorials are written for programmers, Web authors, and technical managers who need to understand the XML standard and develop applications that process XML documents. Tutorial 1 ('Overview of XML') covers XML technology and its current status. We'll also look at the key benefits of XML from business and programming perspectives. Tutorial 2 ('Writing XML Documents') will show you how to write a well-formed XML document, as well as a grammar, or DTD, which constrains a valid XML document and gives it structure. Interactive examples give feedback on XML errors. Tutorial 3 ('Parsing XML Using Java') [Coming soon!] will show you how to write a Java program to access the structure of an XML document through the DOM API, using the IBM XML for Java (XML4J) Parser."

  • [March 05, 1999] "Microsoft Takes Wraps Off I-Commerce Strategy." By Nancy Weil. In InfoWorld (March 04, 1999) "[Microsoft has] unveiled its Internet commerce strategy, including three new products, new services, and a bevy of partnerships with existing I-commerce powerhouses. Microsoft's goal -- aside from boosting its own bottom line -- is to bring 1 million new businesses into the world of I-commerce within one year. In a flurry of statements regarding the I-commerce event, Microsoft said that its strategy is to make it easier for companies and consumers to do business over the Internet. The company will expand its commerce platform with three new software products and new service offerings. All three enhancements include support for BizTalk, a framework based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas and industry standards that will let companies integrate systems regardless of operating system, platform, or technology. BizTalk support in the expanded commerce platform is supposed to allow tighter integration of promotional services on the Microsoft Network, or MSN, so that companies have better access to customers. . . MasterCard International and Clarus said they will cooperatively market Internet-based corporate purchasing products based on the platform." See the main news item for references.

  • [March 03, 1999] "Processing XML With Python." By Bob DuCharme and Paul Prescod. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 1 (January 1999), pages 1-3. In this <TAG> feature article, Bob DuCharme interviews Paul Prescod on the use of XML in Python. "To learn more about what Python can offer to the XML developer, I talked to Paul Prescod, a Consulting Engineer for ISOGEN and the [Python evangelist] 'St. Paul' of Python in the XML world . . . Next question [sample Q/A]: (Q) why is Python so great. . . (A) #1) Python has a really great standard library; Now, languages like Python, Perl and Java are in a race to have the most robust standard libraries. In Python, you can build an HTTP server in three lines of code by subclassing an HTTServerBase class; #2) There are add-on libraries for everything in the world. The Python community is smaller than the Java or Perl communities, but I think that Python's library support is as good as those other languages because Python programmers are very prolific and share everything; #3) Python is interpreted, dynamic and really flexible. There is no compilation step and no need to design an entire type system before you start hacking; #4) Python is easy to integrate with other stuff. Python talks COM, CORBA, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, CGI, WDDX and almost everything else." For related information, see "XML and Python" and note the upcoming Python tutorial "XML Processing with Python."

  • [March 03, 1999] "Predictions for 1999 ." By Brian Travis. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 1 (January 1999), pages 1, 3-6. Brian Travis, President of Architag International Corporation, offers an XML "Review of 1998" and then predicts the likely events of 1999 with respect to XSL, XLink, and XPointer; Feel-good Implementation, Schemas (1999 will be the Year of The Schema'), Browser Wars, Bad Information ('There will continue to be bad information about XML'); A Rosy Outlook ('This will be a banner year for both XML and the Web'). See the full article for details.

  • [March 03, 1999] "<TAG> Tips & Techniques." By Brian Travis. [Monthly tutorial column] In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 1 (January 1999), page 10. Two lessons: 1) Use partial parsing to make a well-formed document useful (for a brief tutorial on well-formedness, check out; 2) Understand pre-defined entities.

  • [March 03, 1999] "DataChannel Frames Enterprise Picture in XML." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld (March 02, 1999). "Extensible Markup Language (XML) software vendor DataChannel Tuesday unveiled a set of products and services pitched at enterprises looking to unify their data-access and dissemination schemes. The Bellevue, Wash. vendor's XML Framework comprises consulting, design, software, integration, and support for the planning and implementation of so-called enterprise information portals, and the move will entail a significant increase in DataChannel's professional services and support abilities through hiring and partnerships, according to company officials. In describing the software components of the framework, the company underscored XML product partnerships with Microsoft and SoftwareAG. DataChannel has licensed Microsoft's XML parser and ported it to Java, and teamed with Software AG in the development of an XML database, according to DataChannel officials."

  • [March 03, 1999] "DataChannel Extends XML Reach." By Tim Scannell. In Computer Reseller News (March 02, 1999). "DataChannel Inc., a value-added integrator and developer of XML-based products, has released a cross-platform technology and collection of services that can be used to link disparate systems across an enterprise. The XML Framework, unveiled this week, is the first of a planned series of products that target large enterprise systems, or technologies that allow top executives in a company to cruise across an information resource without concern for technical boundaries that exist in legacy systems. The package of products and services includes XML solution software, training, architectural design and consulting integration services."

  • [March 03, 1999] "XML Fits Dual Role in Device Management." By Mark Sigal. In EE Times [Electronic Engineering Times] Issue 1050 (March 01, 1999). "It is easy to look at the rapid emergence of the Internet and conclude that Internet computing standards such as the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) are like hurricanes taking out everything in their paths. But the reality for network-device manufacturers is destined to be much different. . . the XML message for device vendors is clear: XML offers great promise as both a man-to-machine and machine-to-machine interface. It is, however, only as good as the schema or schemas that ride on top of it. And while a standards-based schema, such as CIM, offers great promise as an enterprise-management standard, there are no free rides. Actually implementing an XML-enabled application requires giving XML something to do, which translates to an engineering effort in your programming language of choice. In this age of Internet computing, that means Java for platform-independent processing. . . XML requires developers to think beyond systems management to areas such as policy-based control, plug-and-play integration, technical-support automation and, more importantly, a whole new set of problems and solutions that haven't even been contemplated."

  • [March 03, 1999] "Sun Offers Peek at Next Version of NetDynamics Server." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] (March 2, 1999). "Sun Microsystems Inc.'s next version of the NetDynamics application server will include Enterprise Java Bean support and integration with back- and front-end office applications, making it a solid platform for hosting portal sites for business-to-business commerce, company officials say. Through NetDynamics' Platform Adapter Component architecture, connectors are available for Internet standards such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and Mail. New connectors are also available for CICS, IMS, MQSeries and AS/400."

  • [March 02, 1999] "Major Players Team Up on Voice Markup Language." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld [Electric] (March 02, 1999). "After starting down separate paths, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Motorola have joined forces to back a standard markup language for writing voice-activated and telephony applications for accessing Web content. The vendors Tuesday announced the formation of the Voice Extensible Markup Language (VXML) Forum, which has as its primary stated goal opening Web resources to phone access. By generating and backing a single version of VXML and turning it over to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for ratification and licensing later this year, forum members hope to boost the markets for Web-based content and services accessible by phone and for the related tools, according to David Unger, manager of product strategy and development for AT&T's consumer markets division, in Basking Ridge, N.J. The timing of the handoff to the W3C depends on the volume of input from the public comment phase, according to Unger, who said the lead forum members will likely have between 20 and 100 people working on the effort. So far, the W3C's Voice Browser group has been tracking the VXML work." For other references, see "VXML Forum (Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum)."

  • [March 02, 1999] "Procurement Players Clash Over Standards." By Whit Andrews. In Internet World (March 1, 1999). "Ariba announced earlier this month that it has enlisted 40 partners, none of which are also competitors, in using an XML variant to exchange product data and to conduct transactions. Pilot programs may begin this month, and specifications, including software interfaces and XML document type descriptions, are scheduled to be released later this year. That format, dubbed cXML, might conflict with the Common Business Libraries (CBL) developed by Veo Systems, which CommerceOne acquired in January. CBL has been submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium, and exists on its own without associated programming interfaces. Both schemes are expected to intersect in some way or another with eCo, an initiative of the non-profit CommerceNet industry consortium that is supposed to promote automated transactions. Meanwhile, the Open Buying on the Internet project, an effort undertaken by another consortium of companies interested in procurement, is being reworked as an XML application." Other details on cXML: see in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [March 01, 1999] "XML JavaBeans, Part 2: Convert Your JavaBeans to XML Documents." By Mark Johnson. In JavaWorld (March 1999). "This month in Part 2 of 'XML JavaBeans,' Mark Johnson develops a class that writes JavaBeans as XML files, using the same XML dialect. . . A flood of mail from excited JavaWorld readers indicates that with my previous column I've hit a nerve: there's a great deal of interest in XML in the Java community. Readers are also particularly interested in the marriage of JavaBeans with XML, because it's a concrete example of using a platform-neutral component technology (JavaBeans) with a generalized document format (XML). The result of this combination is a component technology that is network-mobile, standards-based, and potentially interoperable with new and legacy systems alike." See also "XML JavaBean, Part 1."

  • [March 01, 1999] "An Introduction to XML for Java Programmers. The Extensible Markup Language and Java are a perfect duo for data exchange and more." By Piroz Mohseni. In DEV-X XML-Zone (March 1999). "XML has often been associated with HTML and discussed in the context of content markup, content management, search engines, and meta languages, but there are some aspects of XML that are also a perfect match for Java. And, not surprisingly, there are standards that link the two technologies. The goal of this article is to show what XML is and how it can be used in the context of Java. XML is not a programming language -- it is merely a language in which you can create a markup language. XML provides a method to represent data in a universal way. Data and the logic to process data (programs) have a long-standing relationship. It should come as no surprise that such a relationship exists and will emerge fully from XML and Java."

  • [March 01, 1999] "XML Does for Data What HTML Does for Display. Sure, the world of XML is a work in progress - but it's progressed to the point where you can do useful work with it." By Chris Helzerman. In Enterprise Development (March 1999). "Extensible Markup Language (XML) can increase business opportunities, increase efficiencies and improve all our lives. Approved in February 1998 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), XML neither replaces nor improves HTML. Rather, XML relates exclusively to data. It lets developers define custom tags for marking and describing data. This helps you tackle issues such as collaboration, information reuse, and interoperation with strategic partners. . . hese three opportunities illustrate how businesses might collaborate over the Internet. The ability for businesses to effectively share information over the Internet may well prove to be a larger shift in the way we do business than Internet retailing. XML provides the catalyst for this revolution because it gives you a way to easily exchange data while preserving meaning."

  • [March 01, 1999] "XML Tools Can Unlock Access To Legacy Data." By JP Morgenthal. In InternetWeek Issue 754 (March 01, 1999). "A recent examination of products that support repurposing of legacy data trapped behind 3270 and 5250 data streams revealed a noticeable shortcoming-none of these products supports translation to XML data formats. Granted, XML has only recently been introduced, but it seems that these groups are missing a great opportunity. . . Leveraging existing data and applications as terminal streams and converting them to and from XML seems like an excellent solution for moving ahead in the age of digital commerce without risking further opportunities because of Y2K concerns."

  • [March 01, 1999] "Spotlight on Skills: Excelling at XML. XML is at the Vanguard of a New Spirit of Intercompany Cooperation" By Ross Owens. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 9 (March 1, 1999). "Take a moment to set aside all the hype that has accompanied the advent of Extensible Markup Language (XML). Forget about the articles that include words like "revolutionary" and "panacea" or rhapsodize about the language's steadily solidifying standards. Behind all this XML-related hoopla lies a single, essential business skill: cooperation. The promise of XML lies not in its potential to soup up your Web pages, but in its capability to help you structure both documents and data in such a way that they can be exchanged between departments, customers, suppliers, and yes, even between rivals. If the thought of this free exchange of documents and data makes you wince, consider the alternative: proprietary formats."

  • [March 01, 1999] "Xerox Rolling Out New Version of Knowledge-Sharing Platform. DocuShare 2.0 Supports New Net Standards." By James C. Luh. In Internet World (February 22, 1999). Version 2.0 of the company's DocuShare knowledge-sharing platform expands support for Internet standards, including XML. . . Version 2.0 also expands DocuShare's support for Internet standards. Higher-level versions of DocuShare 2.0 include support for XML and for version 1.5 of the Open Document Management API, a standard for linking document management systems and applications. Docushare 2.0 is also one of the first software products to support WebDAV, a set of extensions to HTTP 1.1 that specifies a protocol for interactions between clients and server-based document repositories."

  • [March 01, 1999] "cXML: A New Taxonomy for E-commerce." By Mark Merkow. In Web Reference (February 25, 1999). "Commerce XML (cXML) is set to relegate to extinction a significant impediment in the growth of business-to-business E-commerce. . . A significant impediment in the growth of business-to-business E-commerce is on its way to extinction. Commerce XML (cXML), a new set of document type definitions (DTDs) for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), will be released to the public in March 1999 for an open comment period and pilot testing. cXML is an explicit meta-language to describe the characteristics of items available for sale. It enables the development of 'intelligent shopping agents' that help to do the dirty work of corporate purchasing. By programming the characteristics you're seeking into request messages and releasing them to the network, your request will return exactly what you're seeking or nothing at all - which in itself is sometimes important to know. Think of cXML loosely in terms of 'bar coding' for the Web, but with a far richer set of attributes to uniquely identify and describe products, and can be incorporated into computer programs." Other details on cXML: see in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [March 01, 1999] "Microsoft to Mount Multifaceted I-commerce Offensive." By Matthew Nelson and Bob Trott. In InfoWorld (February 26, 1999). "In one fell swoop, Microsoft is poised next week to shake up several aspects of the electronic commerce landscape, including commerce applications, commerce system connectivity, and the emerging commerce portal market. . . Commerce Interchange Server will now include Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology to facilitate interoperability, sources close to Microsoft said. . . Commerce Interchange Server will include an interchange engine, a data transformation engine, mapping tools, and an application connector architecture, all of which will support XML Document Type Definitions. . . MSN Marketplace will be similar to Yahoo Store and Lycos Shop. It will be based on the Microsoft New Interactive Technology for Resellers Online, or Nitro technology and will also utilize XML."

February 1999

  • [February 24, 1999] "Enigma's Insight publishes large document collections to various media." By Richard Medina and Joe Fenner. In KMWorld Magazine (February 1999). "Enigma's Insight publishing tool is designed to automate the process of electronically publishing large document collections to a variety of distribution and access media, including the Internet, intranets, internal networks or CD-ROM. The tool also supports dynamic updates to the published information, ensuring that users are accessing the most current content available. Insight is flexible in its support for source document types. For example, Insight can publish documents generated in common formats such as Microsoft Word, RTF, SGML, PDF and FrameMaker, as well as from document management systems such as those from Documentum (, FileNet ( and PC DOCS (" [local archive copy] Or: alt.

  • [February 24, 1999] "W3C Issues Recommendation for Resource Description Framework." By [IDM Staff]. In Intranet Design Magazine [news] (March 1999). "XML Connection: RDF uses the W3C's eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to define a foundation for processing metadata. The standards are in fact complementary. Whereas XML can be used as a general way to transport data on the Web given prior agreement between the parties on the specific form of the data to be transported, RDF layers on top of XML a general form for a broad category of data. When the XML data is declared to be of the RDF format, applications will be able to understand much of the interpretation of the data without prior arrangement. This gives Web users the benefit of generic metadata processing tools that will be reuseable across a variety of metadata application domains."

  • [February 24, 1999] "EC Vendors Back New XML Initiative. Commerce XML to Define Purchase Orders, Other Payment Information." By Ellen Messmer. In Network World Volume 16, Number 7 (February 15, 1999), page 10. "About three dozen electronic commerce vendors, from old-line electronic data interchange software firms to up-and-coming electronic catalog suppliers, are backing an effort to standardize Extensible Markup Language (XML) elements for online purchases. Spearheaded by online catalog hotshot Ariba Technologies, the first draft of Commerce XML (cXML) is due next month. The new specification will define the shape of purchase orders, order acknowledgements and other core business documents. With rising customer demand for the new XML technology, even EDI old-timers such as Sterling Commerce are rushing to embrace cXML - sight unseen." See details on cXML in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [February 22, 1999] "Building XML Applications Is Getting Easier." By Nate Zelnick. In Internet World (February 22, 1999). "Just as ASCII is now invisible, XML will disappear into the infrastructure in a few years as it becomes the basis for any and all structured electronic data. It will become so transparent that only an elite group of document designers or cross-industry working groups will ponder elements and attributes and the words and values to describe them. But we're not there yet. Thanks to yeoman's work in the various World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working groups, XML's foundation has been solidly laid Beginning with basic syntax rules and adding the Document Object Model (DOM), there are now lots of useful and safe-to-deploy tools to work with. . . a host of new, and more complex, services built on the basic building blocks of XML are so critical. In the last few weeks, Namespaces -- the first addition to that foundation -- has passed from draft stage to 'Recommendation,' W3C-speak for an approved specification."

  • [February 22, 1999] "GEIS Pushes EDI Toward The Internet." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek (February 19, 1999). At its user conference in Orlando next week, GE Information Services will reveal an acquisition and a new EDI gateway product, based on Java and XML, to help integrate enterprise and e-commerce applications. . . Also this week, GEIS will introduce GE InterLinx, an EDI and application integration gateway. InterLinx runs on Windows NT and was developed entirely in Java. The platform offers a single point of integration for enterprise applications, as well as an e-commerce gateway and messaging brokering services, for both traditional EDI formats and new XML-based architectures. GE InterLinx supports standard SMTP and S/MIME protocols."

  • [February 22, 1999] "IBM, W3C Advance XML Standards." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld (February 20, 1999). "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) continued to build momentum across a wide range of areas this week, with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) issuing recommendations for describing XML-based schemas, and IBM posting plans to use XML to bring speech capabilities to browsers. The XML Schema proposal, which is on the standards track at the W3C, enables developers to create markup constructs and document structures different than what is allowed in Document Type Definitions (DTDs). XML Schema also allows for data-typing so tagged information can be identified as, for example, an integer or a date. The proposal merges previous W3C submissions for XML Data and Document Content Description. . . IBM will use XML to define a new language to deliver speech capabilities to Web browsers. Speech Markup Language, or SpeechML, which is described on the company's Alphaworks Web site, is similar to the Motorola-proposed VoxML, which aims to provide access to Web content via telephone. Both companies expressed interest in submitting their proposals to a standards body. Motorola said IBM's XML-based approach will make integrating the languages easier."

  • [February 22, 1999] "Adobe Adds Editing Options to Acrobat 4.0." By Christa Degnan. In PC Week [Online] (February 22, 1999). "With XML nipping at its heels, Adobe Systems Inc. is giving its Acrobat software a face lift with Web and structured content reuse features. Version 4.0 of Adobe Acrobat, due by April, will get Web site conversion to PDF (Portable Document Format), PDF document comparison and annotation enhancements, security features such as digital signatures, and structured content reuse. The software's reuse feature enables users to treat file elements as structured content that can be moved or edited -- something Extensible Markup Language (XML) handles inherently well."

  • [February 22, 1999] "Corel WP Office 2000 looks fine for faithful." By Herb Bethoney. In ZDNet [News - PC Week Labs Product Review] (February 22, 1999). "The first public beta of Corel Corp.'s WordPerfect Office 2000 has several bright spots that should make users more productive . . . The upcoming version of Corel's suite focuses on open standards, adding support for JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) to the support the current version already has for HTML and ODBC (Object Database Connectivity). As with previous versions, the WordPerfect 9 word processor still provides the best SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) support of any major word processor PC Week Labs has seen. WordPerfect 9's support for XML document creation -- including a new XML editor -- will let users create structured documents for the Internet just as the SGML support lets them structure printed documents."

  • [February 22, 1999] "Personal data standards on the way." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 8 (February 22, 1999). "A new standard for delivering personalized information was submitted to the W3C this month by three NEC employees in Japan. The Personalized Information Description Language (PIDL) provides a framework with which to deliver content and personalization information in a single Extensible Markup Language (XML) document. For example, a corporation that is looking to send news throughout the organization could deliver one PIDL document to every employee. Client-side software would parse this document so that department-specific data would only be viewed by members of that department. PIDL may be relevant to corporations and narrowly focused sites, according to industry observers."

  • [February 22, 1999] "Tech Track: XML breaks down data barriers." By Jessica Davis. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 8 (February 22, 1999). "Although many vendors have released tools for coding XML, two that are poised to be major drivers of the technology's acceptance -- Microsoft and Netscape -- have not yet XML-enabled their Web browsers. That lack of cooperation by software leaders troubles those members of the industry who are looking for XML to be quickly adopted. . ."

  • [February 21, 1999] "SoftDock: a Distributed Collaborative Platform for Model-based Software Development." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto. Paper submitted to The Second International Workshop on Network-Based Information Systems (NBIS '99). Held in conjunction with the 10th International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA '99), University of Florence, Florence, Italy, August 30 - September 3, 1999. Abstract: "This paper describes our SoftDock system, which is a distributed system to support the collaborative software modeling. SoftDock leverages the team development, reuse of software models and tool interoperability by interchanging model information with eXtensible Markup Language (XML) through the Document Object Model (DOM) interface implemented on top of CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). In SoftDock, the model information is encoded with UML eXchange Format (UXF) that is a XML-based interchange format for Unified Modeling Language (UML). This paper addresses the mechanism to circulate UXF-encoded model information on the network environment, presents the SoftDock extensible architecture, and describes a solution that combines promising standard technologies." [local archive copy]

  • [February 21, 1999] "Making UML Models Exchangeable over the Internet with XML: UXF Approach." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto. Paper presented at the International Workshop <<UML>>'98 (June 3 - 4, 1998, Mulhouse - France). "This paper [...] proposes 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." Available in Word97, PDF, and Postscript formats.

  • [February 21, 1999] "Managing the Software Design Documents with XML." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto, Keio University. Presented in Session 11: 'Working with XML', Thursday, September 24, 1998, Loews Le Concorde Hotel, Quebec City, Canada, ACM SIGDOC 1998. "In the software engineering community, Unified Modeling Language (UML) has been widely accepted as an object-oriented software analysis/design methodology, since it provides most of the concepts and notations that are essential for documenting object oriented models. UML, however, does not have an explicit format for interchanging its models intentionally. This paper addresses this lack and proposes UXF (UML eXchange Format), which is an exchange format for UML models, based on XML (Extensible Markup Language)."

  • [February 21, 1999] "Toward the Interoperable Software Design Models: Quartet of UML, XML, DOM and CORBA." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto. Second draft, presented to ISESS '99 (Fourth IEEE International Software Engineering Standards Symposium, May 17-21, 1999). "This paper addresses a standard-based UML model interchange and presents our effort to make UML interoperable. We developed a XML-based exchange format called UXF (UML eXchange Format) and a distributed model management system for UML. The system leverages the team development, reuse of design models and tool interoperability by interchanging the model information with XML through the Document Object Model (DOM) interface that is implemented on top of CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). DOM provides a platform and programming language neutral interface to manipulate the content, structure and style of documents."

  • [February 21, 1999] "Making UML Models Interoperable with UXF." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto. "This paper addresses the UML model interchange and presents our efforts to make UML highly interoperable. We developed an interchange format called UXF (UML eXchange Format) based on XML (Extensible Markup Language)."

  • [February 19, 1999] "The Morse Code of Data - XML." By Patrick T. Coleman. In SunExpert: The Server/Workstation Magazine [ISSN: 1053-9239] Volume 10, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 52-54. [WebServer Supplement] "The integration of data from disparate sources with enterprise and, more recently, Web applications is a daunting task for any IT organization. In an attempt to find a solution to this problem, several industry vendors are turning to XML as a modern-day Morse code for data. . ." For the full text online, see: "The Morse Code of Data - XML." from WebServer, January 1999.

  • [February 18, 1999] "Using XSL to Sort and Filter Your Data." By Charlie Heinemann. In Extreme XML [A Monthly Column on Using Extensible Markup Language] (February 08, 1999). "In past articles, I've described ways to use Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) to transform XML into HTML for display. There are, however, other fine uses for XSL. It can be used to transform your current XML into new XML. You can use XSL to transform existing XML into different formats for different applications. I will show you how to use the sorting and filtering capabilities of XSL in conjunction with the XML Data Source Object (XML DSO) to create a basic data entry Web application. The XML DSO allows a simple declarative method of displaying data. It also has the nice feature of being live with respect to the bound XML document. Using XSL, you can further increase the benefits of the XML DSO and have even greater control over what data is displayed and how that data is displayed."

  • [February 18, 1999] "Book Publishers Mull XML." By Mo Krochmal. In TechWeb News (February 17, 1999). "The book publishing industry is slowly adopting XML, said executives from vendors serving the industry. It's a movement, not an avalanche . . ." [See for example the Open eBook Initiative: 'One element of the Open eBook initiative is a specification for eBook file and format structure based on HTML and XML . . ."]

  • [February 18, 1999] "IBM Offers Speech Extension to XML." By Rebecca Sykes. In InfoWorld (February 17, 1999). "IBM on Wednesday announced Speech Markup Language (SpeechML), which provides an open framework to add speech capabilities to Web-based applications. SpeechML is based on Extensible Markup Language, which is a specification for formatting data on Web pages. SpeechML will be considered by the World Wide Web Consortium as the standard for speech markup language, according to a statement from IBM. SpeechML is designed to let a Web site developer use 'tags' to add interactive speech capability to his or her Web site without being an expert in speech technology, the statement said. Tags are the way the developer marks certain Web site content as content that is to be spoken by an application, such as reading a menu to a Web site visitor, IBM said." Further references: see "SpeechML."

  • [February 17, 1999] "Dynamic Servers: New XML Trend? Analysts see new Bluestone system as first in wave of Java-based, app-oriented servers." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 6 (February 15, 1999), page 16. "Bluestone Software has shipped its Bluestone XML-Server, a prepackaged system aimed at helping customers exploit the advantages of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) for data interchange without having to build their own solutions from scratch. The Java-based Bluestone XML-Server allows users to automatically extract information from existing data sources and build that information into XML document type definitions (DTDs) and documents. The server then lets users share the XML-encoded data with other applications and data sources using standard networking protocols, including HTTP, SSL, RMI, and IIOP."

  • [February 16, 1999] "XML: Technology Changing the Way We Look at the Web. [1998 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR AWARDS.]" By Jeff Senna. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 7 (February 15, 1999), pages 93-94. "We anointed the Extensible Markup Language (XML) the technology most likely to change the way we look at the Web due to its groundbreaking potential to solve problems that have plagued the Web. Because it defines the actual data on your Web page, XML enables software designers to create their own custom tag sets for use in a variety of Web applications. Because XML documents describe content, information can easily be parsed into an object tree, then manipulated by both client-side and server-side scripting languages for a variety of uses. . . Based on the interest and adoption of XML, 1999 should prove to be the time when major vendors bring to market a variety of XML-enabled products. XML and its offspring promise to help simplify EDI and business-to-business automation and enable the Web to better handle transportable databases, making the language an important technology for the year 2000, as well."

  • [February 15, 1999] "Catalog Manager -- Group Proposes cXML As Standard." By Gregory Dalton. In Information Week Issue 721 (February 15, 1999) [Section: Intranets/Internet]. "A group of 40 end-user organizations and software and vendors engaged in electronic commerce is proposing to customize the Extensible Markup Language to facilitate the procurement of non-production supplies by businesses. . . CAP, a division of McGraw-Hill that publishes catalogs for furniture manufacturers, will incorporate cXML in its Offices Online software product that will connect furniture makers and business customers when it's released in April. CAP, in Grand Rapids, Mich., plans to use cXML to aggregate catalogs from manufacturers such as Steelcase and Hon and present their products in a unified fashion to Ariba customers such as Chevron. 'We'll be able to connect 140 Chevron offices with many furniture dealerships and allow them to buy from the custom catalogs we've made,' says Charles Origer, CAP national sales manager." See further in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [February 15, 1999] "XML Pushes Web Management To The Fore." By Tim Wilson. In InternetWeek Issue 752 (February 15, 1999). [Section: News & Analysis.] "Move over, SNMP. There's a new management kid in town. A growing number of devices-including routers, switches and servers from Cisco, Compaq, Lucent Technologies and Sun Microsystems-are shipping with embedded Web servers that let administrators conduct browser-based monitoring and configuration without using separate management software. And last week, that technology got even better. Agranat Systems Inc., the company that provides embedded Web server technology used by Compaq, Lucent, 3Com and dozens of others, began shipping new software that will help vendors add XML to their embedded technology, thereby facilitating information sharing among Web-based management apps. In short, SNMP is no longer the only element or the only answer to the management question. . . XML also may provide a pathway for linking embedded Web servers with enterprise management systems such as Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG, Hewlett-Packard's HP OpenView and Tivoli Systems Inc.'s Tivoli Enterprise, experts said."

  • [February 15, 1999] "Vendors Can't Agree On XML Data Exchange." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 752 (February 15, 1999). "Ariba introduced cXML along with 40 supporters, including e-commerce vendors such as Extricity Software Inc., Saqqara Systems Inc., Sterling Commerce Inc., Vignette Corp. and webMethods Inc. Ariba also lined up some of its customers as backers, including Barnes & Noble, Office Depot Inc. and Staples Inc. on the supplier side, and Chevron Corp., Cisco and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on the buyer side. Ariba will begin pilot projects and publish the cXML spec in March, the company said. The availability of a standard for describing catalog content will fuel the move of catalog content out from behind the buyer firewall and onto the open Internet." See further in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [February 15, 1999] "Ariba Pushes CXML." By Mel Duvall. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (February 9, 1999). "The new protocol, called Commerce XML (cXML) is being pushed by electronic procurement vendor Ariba Technologies but has managed to gain the support of a number of other procurement vendors and leading electronic commerce companies, including Harbinger, InterWorld, Ironside Technologies, Office Depot, Sterling Commerce and Vignette. It is described as a lightweight version of eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which supports all supplier content and catalog models, including buyer-managed, supplier-managed and Internet marketplaces. It also incorporates a request/response process for the exchange of transaction information, which provides a mechanism for the exchange of purchase orders, change orders, ship notifications and similar business processes." See further in "Commerce XML (cXML)."

  • [February 15, 1999] "Fax Integration Using XML Technology." By Dave Droman and Gila Jones [V-Systems, Inc.]. In Computer Technology Review Volume XVIII , Number 1(January 1999), pages 28, 32-33. "As it stands today, there is no standard means of communicating between (1) fax servers and the applications that need faxing services and (2) among various fax servers or fax service providers across a network, including the Internet. . . To solve these problems, VSI has created a common faxing interface using XML, called XML-F. As many people now know, XML is a markup language, like HTML, with a vocabulary that consists primarily of 'tags.' HTML was specifically designed for marking up documents to communicate how they should be formatted for display on the World Wide Web. The purpose of XML is far more open-ended, but in general it is a 'meta-language' intended to be used to define other standard markup languages (known as Document Type Definitions or DTDs) that can be used to allow different systems to exchange information in a standard, process-readable format. Businesses can define their own vocabulary of XML tags and rules that are embedded within the DTD inside the XML document or made publicly available to any program that wants to comply with the agreed-upon information exchange format. The use of XML-specific parsers eliminate the burden of parsing and validating XML interchange documents, reducing the work and support required to implement an application reading XML." For other references, see XML-F ('XML for FAX')."

  • [February 13, 1999] "Java To Get XML Support." By [Staff]. In InternetWeek Issue 751 (February 08, 1999), page 7. "Sun Microsystems last week said the next release of its Enterprise JavaBeans specification, code-named Moscone, will be ready in the second quarter with a reference implementation by year's end. The most important addition to Moscone will be the use of XML. A follow-up to Moscone, code-named Javits, will be ready in the first quarter of next year and will focus on legacy data integration." See also "Sun Joins Fray in Tackling XML", cited below.

  • [February 13, 1999] "New Development Platforms Bring XML into the Spotlight." By Joseph McKendrick. In ent [Online] [The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing] Volume 4, Number 3 (February 03, 1999), page 17. "In recent months there has been a slew of announcements involving XML. Software vendors are scrambling to support or incorporate XML into tools and applications. But is this hype or hope? Analysts say many of these vendors are treating the technology as the latest flavor in Web-centric software rather than fully exploiting its cross-application flexibility. But, they add, the new breed of XML application server that is emerging may finally help facilitate the growth of XML beyond the Web. The industry analyst firm GartnerGroup ( projects that XML (eXtensible Markup Language) will represent a $1 billion market within the year. Based on Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), XML provides a universal method for describing and formatting messages by placing information in context with simple, but customized, markup tags, similar in appearance to HTML tags. As a result, users will be able to access and exchange data from differing applications. Data can be delivered using HTTP -- in the same way that HTML can today -- without any changes to existing networks and across corporate firewalls."

  • [February 13, 1999] "Commerce program looks to bolster EC with common library of XML definitions." By Florence Olsen. In Government Computer News Volume 18, Number 2 (January 25, 1999), pages 40-41. "Extensible Markup Language holds great promise for online government and electronic commerce over the Web. But it could fizzle quickly into semantic chaos, said Jay Tenenbaum, founder and chairman of the CommerceNet Consortium. 'Without some kind of common business library, the whole promise of XML goes out the window,' Tenenbaum said recently. Officials in the Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program apparently shared Tenenbaum's view enough to award a $4.8 million contract in 1997 to the CommerceNet consortium and three Internet startup companies. 'This is very infrastructural technology. That's the beauty of it,' said Shirley Hurwitz, ATP manager for the Commerce award. The award program, which funds high-risk ventures, has helped three small Internet companies develop a library of XML document type definitions (DTDs) and other technologies for Web commerce."

  • [February 12, 1999] "The World Wide Web Consortium Statement on US Patent #5860073." By [Contact] Janet Daly. February 08, 1999. "Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded patent #5860073 for Style Sheet technology. Without complete legal analysis, W3C cannot make a statement regarding how the patent affects style sheet technologies (CSS, XSL) developed within W3C. We do note that Style sheets were used with the first Web browser, and proposals on cascading style sheets arose from CERN in 1994. Further, W3C's own licensing agreements reinforce its open practices."

  • [February 12, 1999] "Auto parts distributor bets on XML for e-comm." By Ellen Messmer. In Network World (February 08, 1999), pages 29-30. [According to WordPac's Hellweg,] "XML can become 'our real-time Electronic Data Interchange' because the developing markup standard allows business data from one application to be transferred directly to where it should be added to another, he says. And Worldpac wants to have its customers - primarily garage-shop mechanics - not only purchasing parts from electronic catalogs, but also downloading business data directly into their own desktop applications using XML. Hellweg isn't afraid to put his money where his mouth is, and has budgeted up to a half million dollars to get Worldpac's trading partners going with XML. Worldpac, which each year sells $150 million worth of auto parts to repair shops, is building its entire e-commerce effort around a 100% XML-based server instead of a Web server. Worldpac is going to distribute XML client software from ThinLink Solutions to its repair-shop customers rather than asking them to use Web browsers. Worldpac expects to be using ThinLink's XML server, now under development, within a few months. 'Browsers are just the terminals of the '80s,' Hellweg notes with some scorn. 'Web sites are really designed for just surfing, not for dedicated use of a business-to-business application.' With the XML server, Hellweg says he'll have a much faster, more powerful way for his customers to order parts than they do today."

  • [February 12, 1999] "Microsoft lays knowledge management foundation." By Mary Jo Foley. In Sm@rt Reseller (February 11, 1999). "Six months after Windows 2000 ships, Microsoft is aiming to deploy new knowledge management applications, code-named Tahoe and Polar Server. With the offerings, sources speculate, the company will take aim squarely at archrival Lotus Development Corp., which unveiled its knowledge management strategy based on Notes/Domino and DB2 last summer. The Site Server upgrade will provide document management and search capabilities and include features such as approval workflow, templated publishing, document versioning, XML support for indexing documents and natural language processing, sources said."

  • [February 12, 1999] "XFDL - Representing Business and Government Forms in XML." By David Manning [CTO, UWI.Com]. Presented at the XML'98 conference, Chicago Sheraton, November 15th-18th, 1998. "XFDL (Extensible Forms Description Language) is an XML language designed to represent complex business forms on the Web. XFDL was co-authored by UWI.Com and Tim Bray, one of the editors of the original XML specification. XFDL includes support for high precision layout, context- sensitive help, integrated computations and input validation, multiple overlapping digital signatures, and auditable transaction records. Do we really need a language just for describing business forms on the Web? What about HTML and Java? Besides, aren't forms supposed to disappear in a wired world? This paper explores XFDL, the business problems it addresses, and the questions it raises. Perhaps the best place to start in our exploration is with a quick look at where we are and where we want to go." For other references: see "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)."

  • [February 11, 1999] "[DRAFT] Syntax for Regular-but-non-local Schemata for Structured Documents." By MURATA Makoto. Technical Report [written for the XML Schema WG]. February, 1999. "In this note, I show practical requirements for regular-but-non-local schemata for structured documents, and then suggest a syntax for writing regular-but-non-local schemata. Thoughout this memo, a schema is said to be local if it describes a local tree set. A local schema language is a schema langauge that can express local schemata only. A schema is said to be regular if it describes a regular tree set. A regular schema language is a schema language that can express regular schemata only."

  • [February 10, 1999] "Regularity and Locality of String Languages and Tree Languages." By MURATA Makoto. Technical Report [written for the XML Schema WG]. February, 1999. Abstract: "Regularity and non-locality of string languages and tree languages are considered. First, we study string-regular languages and string-local languages. String-local languages can be accepted without using non-local information (i.e., what has occurred before the current symbol), while string-regular languages require non-local information via non-terminals. Then, we study tree-local languages, which does not use non-local information (i.e., what has occurred above the current symbol). DTDs correspond to such tree-local languages. Finally, we consider tree-regular languages, which require non-local information via non-terminals. Tree-regular languages naturally capture ancestor-sensitivity." For related work, see "SGML/XML and Forest Automata Theory."

  • [February 10, 1999] "Specializing Application Servers. To compete, smaller developers build products that perform particular functions." By Antone Gonsalve. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 6 (February 8, 1999), page 10. "Bluestone Software Inc., Gemstone Systems Inc., Novera Software Inc. and Haht Software Inc. are each crafting their latest Web application servers for particular functions such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), EJB (Enterprise JavaBean) or ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications. Automotive Resources International, a Mount Laurel company that leases and sells cars to corporations worldwide, plans to implement XML-Server. . . Bluestone plans to release in April VisualXML. . ."

  • [February 10, 1999] "Putting It All Together: SMIL, Real Pix, and Real Text." By John Maxwell Hobbs. In ZDNET DevHead (February 4, 1999). "The recently released beta version of Real Networks' new G2 Player and Server system features support for SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language), the new XML-based standard for synchronized multimedia from the World Wide Web Consortium and Real's own XML extensions, Real Pix and Real Text. The G2 player is only available now for Windows, although Real Networks has promised versions for Mac and Unix in the future."

  • [February 10, 1999] "Java XML Parsers. A Comparative Evaluation of Seven Free Tools. [Product Review.]" By Juancarlo Añez. In Java Report (February 1999). "[Conclusion:] Here, we've reviewed both beta versions and officially shipping products. In the case of MSXML we even looked at a retracted product. Ordinarily, a comparative review such as this would be patently unfair to all products involved. But this is a unique situation. All products are free and all are available on the Web. Whatever games the producers may be playing with labels like 'beta' or 'early access' or 'version 0.72', the products have all been released. That said, nothing can be concluded about their current performance or about their limitations, if any. As an example, when evaluations began, IBM's XML4J at version 1.0.4 was one of the worst performers in terms of speed, memory use, and correctness. Things changed considerably with the 1.1.4 release and was one of the best parsers we reviewed. These parsers will certainly continue to improve or 'die' and do so at breakneck speed. Our intention was to help you evaluate the current crop of parsers. As the evaluation results show, different parsers excel under different requirements. The lightweight Ælfred from Microstar is the obvious choice when deploying simple applets on the Web. When XML document validation is required IBM's XML4J and Microsoft's MSXML are probably the right choices, with excellent standards compatibility being in favor of the former, and outstanding speed being the latter's claim to fame. For applications like the one we're working on, DOM Level 1 compliance is of primary concern because good compliance with that standard makes the parsers almost plug-and-play, and hence completely replaceable."

  • [February 09, 1999] "Procurement Vendors Tussle Over XML." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek (February 09, 1999). "The Extensible Markup Language has the potential to smooth electronic commerce, but only if vendors and large users can all get along. In the e-procurement space, at least for now it seems, competition is taking priority over cooperation. Yesterday, Ariba introduced Commerce XML (cXML), a set of XML document type definitions, or DTDs, to help define the exchange of transaction information between buyers and suppliers over the Internet. The cXML spec supports a variety of business processes including purchase orders, change orders, acknowledgments, status updates, ship notifications and payment transactions. The Ariba XML solution competes most directly with an alternative being developed by Ariba's largest rival, CommerceOne, which recently bought XML vendor Veo Systems. Veo's Common Business Library (CBL), which is written in XML, was recently turned over to the CommerceNet consortium, which is using it as part of its eCo Framework specification for business-to-business commerce." See also the Ariba press release.

  • [February 09, 1999] "Common Information Model. [Quick Study]" By Elisabeth Horwitt. In Computerworld (February 01, 1999). "CIM is a part of the Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), the initiative within the standards group Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF). The initiative recently adopted the Web-based Extensible Markup Language as a standardized means of structuring CIM data for presentation, and Hypertext Transport Protocol for sending it from system to system. [It is] a standard that defines a consistent model by which network devices, systems and applications can display information about themselves and make the information available to management tools. CIM can describe information such as desktop software and hardware configurations, the CPU box's serial number and traffic levels on a particular router port." See also: "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • [February 09, 1999] "WBEM Just Might Make Systems Management Real. Finally! Key vendors are supporting the standard, but users should pressure them to pay more than lip service." By Elisabeth Horwitt. In Computerworld (February 01, 1999). "At the heart of WBEM [Desktop Management Task Force's Web-Based Enterprise Management initiative], is the Common Information Model (CIM), a standard set of schema for describing network systems management data, from static information such as the hardware and software installed on a desktop to dynamic data such as traffic levels on a router port. Today, each brand of managed device defines and structures that information in a different way, making it difficult for management tools to consolidate, correlate and share the data. By contrast, CIM schema promise consistent descriptions not only of objects such as peripherals and applications, but of the relationships among those objects. The other crucial piece of WBEM is the Web-based Extensible Markup Language (XML)."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Vendor Visions and User Realities." By Tim Bray [Introduction by Frank Gilbane]. In The Gilbane Report Volume 6 Number 5 (September/October, 1998), pages 1-13. Introduction: "Corporate information management applications have almost always required more than an out-of-the-box installation of a software product. It is simply too difficult to build products that exactly meet the wide variety of business needs we have. Even straightforward desktop applications need to be configured -- document systems can require quite a bit of programming. Perhaps it is because so much information is so easy to access today that it is still so common for all of us to forget how much work is really involved. The vast majority of money being spent on document systems today is on tools for building solutions. Document system products can save enormous amounts of time and effort and expense, but they can't do it all without a little human help. The reality is that there is not a simple choice between building and buying, but a more complex choice of how much building will come on top of the buying. Tim [Bray]'s main point in this issue is that there is a disconnect between what vendors imply in their marketing literature and what the reality of implementation actually entails. This is not vendor bashing, but part of the traditional dance between users and vendors. We (as users) naturally gravitate towards simple solutions that we assume will be less expensive and easier to use -- we demand to hear it will be easy. It is only human nature to push for the answer you want, and it is also human nature to give someone the answer they want. We tell vendors all the time that they need to manage customer expectations. Users however need to bear some responsibility as well -- mainly in managing their own expectations. As a way of illustrating the range of building and buying combinations Tim takes you through a number of approaches to building a Web content management system. These scenarios are valuable tools for anticipating the level of effort to expect." [Note: The The Gilbane Report is now a monthly publication.]

  • [February 08, 1999] "19 Short Questions about Namespaces (With Answers)." By David Megginson. Posting to XML-DEV. Monday 8 February 1999 (v.2). This brief review [of XML Namespaces] uses James Clark's notation for writing names that contain both a URI part and a local part. For more on namespaces, see "Namespaces in XML."

  • [February 08, 1999] "XML: More Than Just A Quick Fix. Extensible Markup Language is seen as a universal object model that will enhance Web development and simplify application integration." By Don Kiely. In Information Week Issue 720 (February 08, 1999), pages 77-82. "Extensible Markup Language is finding many uses in IT departments -- driven largely by an insatiable need for new applications to drive electronic commerce. XML will help developers build and deploy sophisticated Web applications faster. XML will also hasten enterprise integration efforts so important to supply chains and other business collaboration initiatives."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Microsoft Tools Offering More Support For XML -- Component Supports Visual Basic 6.0, Makes Data Easier To Use In Applications." By Don Kiely. In Information Week Issue 720 (February 08, 1999), pages 84-90. Microsoft has long been a proponent of the Extensible Markup Language, and has served on the standards committee for the technology. The company's support of this emerging standard, and its implementation of early versions in its many development products, will help accelerate industry acceptance of this data exchange format. . . Microsoft has introduced an updated MSXML.DLL. Besides closer adherence to the various approved and proposed standards (see code example at right), the new version of MSXML has a number of features that make it easier for developers to create applications that use XML. The latest release includes searching capabilities to support complex queries of XML data. New schema features allow explicit use of data types, and allow aggregation of existing schemas into more complex schemas. They support XSL for formatting data, but also support a default style sheet to display data when no XSL file is specified. The core enabling technology in MSXML is the XML parser, which Microsoft has released in beta form in C++ and Java. The parser is the means by which developers access XML's object model."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Pros And Cons Of Microsoft's XML Object Model." By Don Kiely. In Information Week Issue 720 (February 08, 1999). "Like most XML implementations, Microsoft's XML object model is a work in progress. It's early in the standard's life cycle, after all. Some of Microsoft's documentation is inconsistent, and there doesn't seem to be any logic to the naming conventions. And Microsoft's COM interfaces are regularly confused with object models."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Sun Joins Fray in Tackling XML." By Jeff Walsh and Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 6 (February 8, 1999), pages 1, 12. "Sun Microsystems will unveil its Extensible Markup Language (XML) implementation strategy in March at a trade show for XML developers, Sun officials said. The company is finally stepping up to the XML plate just as other software vendors, including Netscape and industry consortium Object Management Group (OMG), further elaborate their own XML plans. Sun will detail its strategy at the XTech '99 show in San Jose, Calif. The company already has an implementation online called Java Project X, which provides core XML functionality to Java developers. 'We had to let the dust settle and determine what makes sense for XML so we have a clear path,' said Nancy Lee, product manager for XML at Java Software, a Sun division in Mountain View, Calif. The company's next step is to provide a standard Java API to support XML, Lee said. The API will go through the Java Community Process, a multivendor standards process for Java technologies. The next release of Sun's Enterprise JavaBeans product, code-named Moscone, will also include XML-based user interface features. Moscone is expected to be released in the second quarter." Note: Sun's David Brownell says on XML-DEV to keep an eye on (Java Developer Connection). . .

  • [February 08, 1999] "XML Ties Together Disparate Development Teams." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (February 5, 1999). "The Object Management Group (OMG) and a group of its members are building a specification which will provide application developers with a common way -- using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) -- to build powerful applications using a variety of tools and object types, the OMG announced Friday. . . This means development teams from different tool and object format backgrounds -- perhaps to soon include the disparate Component Object Model (COM) and CORBA/Java camps -- will be able to collaborate more easily in developing shared and widely distributed object-based applications." See the full tet of the press release and "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Who Owns the Patent to Style Sheets? The Web Standards Project calls for clarification of whether patent gives Microsoft control over two key Web standards." By [Staff]. From (February 5, 1999). "The Web Standards Project (WSP), an international coalition of Web developers, today called on Microsoft Corp. and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to clarify whether a recent Microsoft patent gives the company control over two key Web standards developed by W3C. U.S. Patent No. 5,860,073 appears to include key concepts used in W3C's Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and eXtensible Style Language (XSL) standards, which could potentially require these currently-open standards to be licensed from Microsoft. If the CSS and XSL standards are in fact covered by the patent, WSP believes Microsoft, which participated in W3C's development of these standards, should immediately take legal steps to ensure these Web standards remain openly available on a nondiscriminatory basis, assuming that it has not already done so."

  • [February 08, 1999] "Questions Raised About Microsoft Patent." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] (February 5, 1999). "The World Wide Web Consortium is investigating whether a patent issued to Microsoft Corp. gives it the control to license certain Web technologies developed by the standards body. The technologies include W3C standards for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and XSL (Extensible Style Language). The former provides hundreds of layout settings that can be applied to HTML pages, while the latter defines the presentation of data contained in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) document."

  • [February 05, 1999] "The Role of Document Type Definitions in Electronic Data Interchange." By Martin Bryan [The SGML Centre]. Technical Report. February, 1999. This paper looks at the role document type definitions (DTDs) will play in the management of XML-based business-to-business electronic data interchange. It is designed to clarify a number of issues that seem to be causing concern at the beginning of 1999 during discussions relating to the best way to set up and manage shareable repositories of business message types. In particular it looks at: 1) The XML Process Model; 2) The Role of XML Namespaces; 3) The Role of Repositories in the Process of Creating DTDs; 4) The Role of Repositories in the Creation of Applications; 5) The Role of Repositories in the Management of DTDs." [local archive copy]

  • [February 05, 1999] "XML In The Drivers Seat For GM." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 751 (February 08, 1999), page 15. "Aiming to use Web technologies to slash its engineering design cycle, General Motors Corp. has turned to the Extensible Markup Language to help consolidate data from a variety of applications and databases into an enterprise information portal. The redesign of the automaker's information architecture is being done with the help of DataChannel Inc., which is under a consulting contract to build XML interfaces between disparate GM data sources. DataChannel's Rio server will serve as the front end of an information portal for GM designers, engineers, and ultimately, its dealers and customers. . . 'Before we do anything, we need to go in and Webify GM's architecture, adding XML from an integration perspective'."

  • [February 05, 1999] "XML: Text and Context." By Lou Rosenfeld. From (February 05, 1999). "Web Architect, Lou Rosenfeld, examines the way XML effects the way developers view document structures in a bottom-up environment."

  • [February 04, 1999] "Sun Spills Beans on Future EJB Releases." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld (February 3, 1999). "Sun Microsystems detailed the future releases of its Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) product here Wednesday during the closing keynote at Iona World. Mala Chandra, director of enterprise Java at Sun, went through the history of EJB and the Java 2 platform before talking about future versions of EJB and the importance of Extensible Markup Language (XML) to the Java platform. The specifications for the next release of EJB, code-named Moscone, will be available in the second quarter of this year, with a reference implementation due by the end of the year, Chandra said. 'The major focus of the Moscone release is to tighten up [EJB] 1.0 and to use XML for deployment descriptors,' Chandra said."

  • [February 04, 1999] "Software AG to Take Wraps Off XML Server." By Mary Lisbeth D'Amico. In InfoWorld (February 4, 1999). "Software AG plans to unveil its new information server based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) at the CeBit '99 trade show in Hanover, Germany, in March, the company said. Called Tamino, the server is designed to facilitate Internet-commerce transactions between companies, according to Software AG spokesman Wolf-Rüdiger Hansen. It will serve as an intermediate storage location for XML-based documents shared by companies. An airplane manufacturer, for example, could store data on parts or ordering in XML documents on Tamino, which suppliers could then access." See also the press release and more on Software AG in "XML industry support."

  • [February 04, 1999] "XLink: The XML Linking Language." By Sean McGrath. In Dr. Dobb's Journal Volume 23 Number 12 [#292] (December 1998), pages 94-101. [Internet Programming.] ISSN: 1044-789X. "The XML Linking Language (XLink) is a draft proposal from the World Wide Web consortium that addresses the shortcomings of HTML's simple hypertext model and allows the rich structure of XML documents to be fully utilized in hypertext creation and management."

  • [February 04, 1999] "Microsoft Awarded Style Sheet Patent." By [Seybold Staff]. In The Bulletin: Seybold News & Views on Electronic Publishing Volume 4, Number 19 (February 4, 1999). "In January, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Microsoft a patent that could have a major impact on Web standards. The patent, which broadly covers 'the use of style sheets in an electronic publishing system,' appears todescribe some of the key concepts used in the World Wide Web Consortium's Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and eXtensible Style Language (XSL) standards. Specifically, it claims that the method of applying style sheets in documents rendered by the customer's computer (as is done by all Web browsers) is different from previous style sheet implementations." [as posted to xsl-list, Thu, 4 Feb 1999 14:41:30 -0500 (EST),]

  • [February 03, 1999] "XML JavaBeans, Part 1. Make JavaBeans Mobile and Interoperable with XML." By Mark Johnson. In Java World (February 1999). "The buzziest of buzz words these days is XML, the acronym for the eXtensible Markup Language. But it's more than buzz. This rapidly developing technology is well-suited for use with JavaBeans -- and nicely complements Java, whose write-once, run-anywhere philosophy has given the world unprecedented network mobility. This article, the first of a two-part series, describes just one possible application for XML: making JavaBeans mobile and interoperable by representing them as XML documents. Follow along as columnist Mark Johnson describes XML, defines his own custom markup language, and creates a class that converts XML files to JavaBeans running in memory." Also: source code for the article

  • [February 03, 1999] "XML: The future of EDI? Can XML revive EDI and accelerate its adoption as the best option for data exchange in this age of the Web?" By Uche Ogbuji. In SunWorld Volume 13, Number 2 (February 1999). "IT managers have long complained about the complexity and expense of EDI. A vocal and growing group of professionals is advancing XML as the solution to these woes, and the key to the broader adoption of EDI. Is this just another car in the hype train, or does XML have a legitimate chance to revamp EDI? As in many areas where Internet technologies collide with traditional business, change is inevitable, but the results are rarely as clear as anticipated." [local archive copy]

  • [February 02, 1999] "Enabling 'Smart Spaces:' Entity Description and User Interface Generation for a Heterogeneous Component-based Distributed System." By Todd D. Hodes and Randy H. Katz [Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley]. Technical Report CSD-98-1008. (August 6, 1998). Abstract: "This paper motivates and describes a document-centric framework for component-based distributed systems. In the framework, XML documents are associated with programs that provide either static, immutable interface descriptions as advertisements of functionality at the server-side, or specification of manipulations of these server descriptions to express their usage at clients. We illustrate how the framework allows for: 1) remapping of a portion of an existing user interface to a new room control (for example, due to movement of the terminal); 2) viewing of arbitrary subsets and combinations of the functionality available; and 3) mixing dynamically-generated user interfaces with existing user interfaces. The use of a document-centric framework in addition to a conventional object-oriented programming language provides a number of key features. One of the most useful is that it exposes program/UI to referent objects mappings, thereby providing a standard location for manipulation of this indirection."

  • [February 02, 1999] "Metadata Standard Advances, But Widespread Usage Waits. Indexing, cataloging are RDF's proximate applications; spec may aid e-commerce, too." By James C. Luh. In Internet World (February 1, 1999), page 22. "The World Wide Web Consortium's early work on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) is nearly complete, and the standard is in much the same situation XML was in a year ago: showing promise, but still waiting for broad industry adoption. RDF is a framework for 'metadata,' or information about information. It lets authors attach descriptive data about a Web resource, such as an author's name or a version number for the content. The W3C recently issued the basic RDF Model and Syntax specification as a Proposed Recommendation (the final step before becoming a formal W3C Recommendation). The W3C is also expected to finalize work on an RDF Schema specification soon. RDF is similar to XML in that it provides not a single strict format, but a platform of general rules with which a developer can define a 'schema'--a set of rules for building and interpreting metadata statements. For example, an RDF schema designed for indexing books might provide for 'title' and 'author' properties, while a schema for e-commerce might provide a 'payment type' property that can be set to 'credit card' or 'invoice.'

  • [February 02, 1999] "Commerce One Completes Deal for Veo Systems." [UPDATE] By Whit Andrews. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 4 (February 1, 1999), pages 14-15. "Commerce One has acquired XML pioneer Veo Systems in an all-stock deal. The deal vaults Commerce One forward in the race to establish a credible marketplace for the prosaic supplies that support business operations, from toner cartridges to lightbulbs. Veo has developed the Common Business Libraries, a set of XML schemas intended to ease automation of business purchasing."

  • [February 02, 1999] "Web's Technical Future Becoming Clearer, but What To Do Today? Developers must decide when to embrace standards." By Nate Zelnick. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 4 (February 1, 1999), page 21. "What's more, there's still a lot of work in progress in the standards bodies on crucial pieces of the puzzle. While HTML 4 is generally safe, CSS2 is still--to use a technical term--hinky, and the DOM is even less dependably deployed. The eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is going to make everything easier, but developers would be crazy to rely on the presence of a compliant parser--or a parser at all--on the client. Until the fifth-generation browsers get released, the new W3C model for Internet development is going to be risky. In the meantime, there is still a safe spot between the bleeding edge and a fatal hemorrhage."

  • [February 02, 1999] "The Platform for Privacy Preferences." By Joseph Reagle [W3C/LCS/MIT,] and Lorrie Faith Cranor [AT&T Labs-Research]. In Communications of the ACM Volume 42, Number 2 (February 1999), pages 48-55. "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. (XML is a language for creating elements used to structure data; RDF provides a restricted data model for structuring data such that it can be used for describing Web resources and their relations to other resources.)" A related version of this article is published online as "The Platform for Privacy Preferences." For general information, see the W3C P3P Project. See also the W3C Working Draft - Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P1.0) Specification.

  • [February 01, 1999] "Bluestone Tool Melds Java, XML. XwingML will provide access to Swing interfaces." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 5 (February 01, 1999), page 14. Bluestone Software this week is launching a freeware project that makes the Java Swing application programming interfaces and foundation classes available to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Available now from the company's Web site, the XwingML (pronounced 'zwing'-ML) project lets developers represent an entire Java GUI as an XML document."

  • [February 01, 1999] "[Book Review] of The XML Companion." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 11 (January 29, 1999). The reviewer summarizes and evaluates Neil Bradley's book The XML Companion (ISBN: 0-201-34285-5). "I found the XML Companion to be just that. It provides an excellent, but concise, introduction to XML. It provides more technical discussions for those that will be writing XML processors. I particularly like the way Neil Bradley points out details of the standard that remains mysterious to many, the way that he relates XML to prior knowledge of other standards, and the way he provides a complete picture through numerous diagrams, examples, and explanations of related standards."

  • [February 01, 1999] "XML Standards News." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 11 (January 29, 1999). News links (summaries): XML '98 Provides Update on W3C Standards, New DOM Working Draft, an XML Version of ISO 12083, DocBook, etc.

  • [February 01, 1999] "New XML Parsers Announced." By Dianne Kennedy. In XML Files: The XML Magazine Issue 11 (January 29, 1999). XML parser summary: XML::Parser Announced, XML Parser XJ2, New XP and xpat XML Test Version, New Releast of XT.

  • [February 01, 1999] "Bluestone XML Server First of a New Breed." By Owen Thomas. In Red Herring Online (January 29, 1999). The latest support for Extensible Markup Language -- a standard that allows the exchange of complex data formats -- comes from Bluestone, a Mount Laurel, New Jersey startup. Bluestone's announcement also signals a shift in the application server market. In the past year or so, several startups developing Java-based platforms for applications have sold out to larger companies. Bluestone hopes its XML Server will drive sales of its Sapphire/Web application server. John Capobianco, Bluestone's vice president of marketing, describes XML Server as an 'adjunct' to Sapphire/Web."

  • [February 01, 1999] "Bluestone To Release XML Server." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (February 1, 1999). "Bluestone Software, supplier of the application server Sapphire/Web, is expected today to launch a different stripe of application server that it said will become a common feature of Web sites in the future, the XML Server. In addition, Bluestone is putting the finishing touches to an XML developer tool kit, which will become available in beta version in March and be available for sale at $99 per developer in April [1999]."

January 1999

  • [January 30, 1999] "XMI Builds the Bridge for Object Developers." By Brian Ploskina. In ent [Online] Volume 4, Number 2 (January 20, 1999), page 14. "For those who dream of programmers, developers and all others who work with object technology living in perfect harmony, that day isn't so far off. IBM Corp., Unisys Corp. (, Oracle Corp. and other leading software vendors and end-users presented the final proposal of the XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI), an industry standard designed to streamline collaborative application development efforts on the Web. The proposal was submitted to the Object Management Group (OMG,, an object technology standards body, at the group's annual member meeting in November. XMI is intended to give developers working with object technology and using a diverse set of tools, even ones from different vendors, the ability to exchange programming data over the Internet in a standard method. With the widespread support it's receiving, XMI aims to make XML (eXtensible Markup Language), integrated with the OMG's Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Meta Object Facility (MOF), the best option for an open information interchange model." For more information on XMI, see "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)."

  • [January 30, 1999] "Actuate, Sqribe Tap XML for Enterprise Reporting." By Scott Bekker. In ent [Online] Volume 4, Number 2 (January 20, 1999), pages 28, 31. "In mid-December Actuate Software Corp. ( announced support for EXtensible Markup Language (XML) in its as-yet-unnumbered version of the Actuate Reporting System, due out the second quarter of 1999. But phrases in the company's public statements, such as 'Actuate is solidifying its leadership position at the cutting-edge of Web-based enterprise reporting,' raised hackles at Sqribe Technologies (, which already worked XML into its October release of the Sqribe Enterprise reporting suite. But while vendors argue about who has the better approach, the fact that two major companies in the market space are embracing XML could signal a new direction for enterprise reporting."

  • [January 29, 1999] "Using HyTime for Scheduling Events." By Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre. Technical Report. "This paper summaries the event scheduling facilities provided in Clause 9 of ISO 10744, the Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language (HyTime) and illustrates how these facilities can be used in an XML environment. The HyTime scheduling module allows a set of information objects to be associated with an event that takes place within a finite coordinate space (fcs). Events have scheduled extents within the coordinate space. Multiple event schedules (evsched) can be defined within a single coordinate space. Events can be grouped within event groups (evgrp) within each schedule. A HyTime finite coordinate space can have any number of dimensions, including one or more time-based dimensions. The coordinate space is defined in terms of a set of uniquely named axes. Each axis can be used to position a finite number of measurement granules. Measurement granules are defined with reference to measurement domains which have standard measurement units (SMUs) that are identified using notation declarations. A default set of measurement granules and related notations are provided in the standard that allow meaurements to be defined in terms of either SI units or virtual units. Users can define their own sets of measurement granules if this starter set is not sufficient. Note: This paper has been prepared as an informative white paper for the AICI discussion on the relationship between MPEG-4, VRML, HTML and XML." [local archive copy]

  • [January 29, 1999] "Bluestone Moves to Marry Java and XML." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld (January 29, 1999). "Bluestone Software on Monday will launch a new freeware project that makes the Java Swing application programming interfaces and foundation classes available to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The XwingML (pronounced as zwingML) project, available now from the Bluestone Web site, enables developers to represent an entire Java graphical user interface as an XML document, which has an upside and a downside to developers, according to one analyst. On Monday, Bluestone will ship XML-Server, a dynamic XML application server, which can also be integrated with CodeWarrior to build applications for PalmPilot users."

  • [January 29, 1999] "Bluestone Preps XML-Only Server." By Wylie Wong. In (January 28, 1999). "Bluestone's new XML Server, which can be used as a standalone product or used with Bluestone's Sapphire/Web application server, automatically generates and distributes XML documents from information in databases. A forthcoming toolkit, called Visual-XML, allows developers to create and receive XML documents and build Java graphical user interfaces, such as menus, tool bars, and dialog boxes for applets and applications, without having to write any code."

  • [January 29, 1999] "Media-Independent Publishing: Four Myths About XML." By Jon Bosak. Originally published in IEEE Computer Volume 31, Number 10 (October 1998), pages 120-122. Now referenced within the section "Introducing the Extensible Markup Language (XML)."

  • [January 27, 1999] "Aliens or Micro-Organisms." By Dave Winer. From The DaveNet website (January 25, 1999). ". . . our interchange format, XML-RPC [has] caught fire, and now there are full client/server implementations for Python, Perl, Java and a client for ShockWave. I have hopes that we'll get an endorsement from a major platform vendor shortly, we're working on it, so things keep moving in XML-Land, and that's good! And we're looking forward to working with our new friends at Allaire to build compatible bridges with Cold Fusion and the other environments they support with WDDX."

  • [January 26, 1999] "XFDL Digest." (January-February 1999). From UWI.Com. Articles on XFDL, Extensible Forms Description Language. "In the first issue of the XFDL Digest, we're focussing on Internet standards: what they are, why we need them, and how are they created. We'll also take a look at upcoming XML-related events and sources of XML information. Also, in this issue we have a tutorial that will get you up and running with XFDL in no time flat. Finally, we've included all the latest information about XFDL. Enjoy!" See also the local database entry, "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)."

  • [January 26, 1999] "E-Book Standards Process Faces Rough Road." By Margaret Quan. In EE Times (January 25, 1999). "In back-to-back meetings, two groups of electronic-book manufacturers, publishers, software companies, and electronics companies will meet this week here to push forward standards for e-books, their content format, distribution, and copyright protection. The Open eBook Standards Committee will present a draft of its Publication Structure Specification, a content format for e-books drawn up by Microsoft, NuvoMedia, and Softbook Press. The Open eBook group is expected to detail a spec that uses HTML and XML as the basis for a content format. It is also expected to leverage the ClearType font technology Microsoft announced at Comdex last year."

  • [January 26, 1999] "Examining XML: New Concepts and Possibilities in Web Authoring." By Nina Exner and Linda F. Turner. In Computers In Libraries [ISSN: 1041-7915] Volume 18 Number 10 (November/December 1998), pages 50-53. "Many in the Internet community are introducing XML as a tool for revolutionizing information on the Web. As librarians try to stay abreast of forthcoming technologies, some wonder what XML is and how it will impact the library field. First of all, the advent of XML should cause the variety of materials available on the World Wide Web to increase. The breadth of scientific and research information made available will increase as specifications for new fields aremade. Patrons already use the Web extensively as an information source, so understanding the developments ininformation availability is important. Additionally, the publishing industry should find the new developments to beof enormous benefit. XML will have greater versatility than PDF, and will be more economical and easier to implement than SGML."

  • [January 25, 1999] "WebSphere Embraces Web Standards." By Timothy Dyck. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 4 (January 25, 1999), pages 25, 32. "More Java muscle, XML support and better management tools are the key enhancements that organizations can expect from IBM's WebSphere 2.0 Web application server. WebSphere 2.0 adds XML (Extensible Markup Language) libraries for writing and reading XML-formatted data and includes three XML formats. Organizations can use this convenient text-based data format to pass information among internal heterogeneous systems or out to partner companies.

  • [January 25, 1999] "XML Removes Last Bars to Online Data Archives." By Peter Coffee. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 4 (January 25, 1999), page 38. "XML is quickly making its way into mainstream software, and I hope that it completes the expansion of my virtual desktop to global size -- while making my physical desk and my cabinets of paper files irrelevant. XML, with its ability to define and use content-related tags within a document, represents a valuable tool toward the end of crafting data that knows itself. This was always a goal of relational database design, but XML seems a far better match to the way that most of us think about medium-size collections of data in typical business document formats."

  • [January 25, 1999] "Online Catalog Vendors Build B-To-B Answers." By John Evan Frook. In InternetWeek Issue: 749 (January 25, 1999). "The land rush for on-line business-commerce catalog and buying services has begun. CommerceOne Inc. and Purchase Pro Inc. last week disclosed separate plans for building business-to-business answers to America Online: Internet catalog services for all comers. CommerceOne will leverage the Extensible Markup Language (XML) so that its applications can create catalogs that can be reused by multiple buyers, while adding more automation to its indirect purchasing management applications. To that end, CommerceOne last week purchased Veo Systems Inc., a company specializing in XML."

  • [January 25, 1999] "Using XSL as a Validation Language." By Rick Jelliffe (Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan). "XSL can be used as a validation language. An XSL stylesheet can be used as a validation specification. Because XSL uses a tree-pattern-matching approach, it validates documents against fundamentally different criteria than the content model. This paper gives some examples. XSL can be used on structured documents which do not use markup declarations. And XSL used in consort with XML markup declarations seems a very nice and straight forward approach: two small languages, each good at different things. What is missing? The current XSL does not have some features which would be desirable (how to report the current line and entity, in particular) for a user-friendly system. Regular expression pattern matching on strings would be very useful. (The main thing missing from this note is a definite way to create the message "This file is valid"; validity is shown by an empty list of validity errors.)" See the main XSL document for other articles on the Extensible Stylesheet Language.

  • [January 25, 1999] "Data Mart, Warehouse Integration Drive Ardent Software XML Strategy." By Jeff Walsh and Michael Vizard. In InfoWorld [Electric] Volume 21, Issue 4 (January 25, 1999), page 20. [Interoperability] "While many companies are using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to extend the reach of stand-alone products and to enable their integration with other companies' products, Ardent Software is taking the opposite tack. Fresh off the acquisition trail, Ardent is using XML as a means of unifying all of its own recently acquired technologies. . . The middleware software Ardent is using for the arrangement comes from its June 1998 acquisition of Dovetail Software. Underneath that middleware technology will be new support for XML file formats, which will be stored in Ardent's O2 object database server, technology that Ardent acquired from UniData in February 1998."

  • [January 25, 1999] "[XML Update] XML Poses Data-architecture Debate. Experts Disagree: Is XML a Database Feature, or the Next Middleware?" By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld [Electric] Volume 21, Issue 4 (January 25, 1999), pages 51-52. [News] "As the Extensible Markup Language (XML) gains momentum on the Web, the debate is no longer whether it should be implemented. The question now is where the XML data should be stored when it is implemented. With the November 1998 announcement of its XML-based Excelon data server, Object Design outlined a new XML infrastructure that allows XML data to be stored in a middleware cache where, according to Object Design officials, it can be manipulated more fully than in a relational database. . . But not everyone subscribes to this view. Relational database vendors, such as Oracle, say XML's greatest value will come when developers use it to make their current databases and data warehouses work harder for them on the Web. Even other object database vendors, such as Userland Software, aren't on the same page with Object Design."

  • [January 22, 1999] "XML and Java: The Perfect Pair: Part 3: Editors and Parsers." By Ken Sall. In Web Developer's Virtual Library (January 12, 1999). "Previously in Part 1 of this 3-part article, we considered why XML and Java are two technologies which make a 'perfect pair'. We also covered some fundamental concepts such as validating parsers, event-based parsing, tree-based parsing, and the DOM. Last month, in Part 2, we discussed a number of Java APIs for XML, such as SAX, the DOM, Sun's Java Project X (formerly called the 'XML Library'), XML Productivity Kit for Java by IBM's alphaWorks research group, and many other APIs layered on top of SAX and/or DOM. This month, we'll examine XML editors and parsers written in Java. We'll also look at a few specialized Java applications for use with XML."

  • [January 22, 1999] "XML: The Pivotal Format for 'La Vie Sportive / Sportleven'." By Albert Bruffaerts. Presented at SGML BeLux 1998, Antwerp, Belgium. "In the general context of the renewal of its computer system, the Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) was forced to replace the old production system for its weekly monitor 'La Vie Sportive / Sportleven' (VSSL). The contents of VSSL is a mix of texts, written with a commercial wordprocessor, and data, extracted from databases. There are 13 coordinated information sources, distributed on 9 different geographical sites around Belgium. This weekly is issued in 12 different editions, some in French and some in Dutch. The main problem to solve was to prepare the texts and the extracted data in order to reduce, at the maximum, the manual intervention of the prepress department of the printer, while giving the source coordinators a user-friendly way to define the contents of their contribution to VSSL. The new system, currently producing the VSSL every week since 6 July 1998, is heavily based on the use of future-proof portable technology, as XML-based formats, Java and Sema's own SGML Application Framework written in C++/STL. XML-based formats are used for nearly all external data representations, be it configuration files or database extractions, the content structure definition of the newsmagazine or the definition of the numerous conversions required for preview and publishing. We propose to describe in some details how the markup language XML was actually put to work and the resulting advantages."

  • [January 22, 1999] "Don't Dive Into XML Until Standard Arrives." By Nate Zelnick. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 3 (January 18, 1999), page 17. "XML is simple to understand conceptually. It's just a set of straightforward markup conventions, but its use in the real world will entail some complex organizational issues. A bunch of W3C committees and activity groups are trying to hash these out and, unless you have a direct commercial or intellectual interest in the guts of namespaces or metadata formatting, most of these issues will be academic to developers. Jumping the gun by using a pre-baked spec for a site or application will come back to bite you, just like building to non-Internet specs will. XML will be everywhere, but when it succeeds it will disappear just like the standards that make the Internet possible."

  • [January 21, 1999] "IBM Gets Developer Input on Raw Code. Tiny alphaWorks lab helps big company remain nimble." By James Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 3 (January 18, 1999), pages 17, 19. "Wolpert and Bahr agreed that alphaWorks' most successful debut to date is the XML for Java Parser, a Java-based XML parser that alphaWorks released last year. Shortly after releasing the parser, IBM issued a new license that allows developers to incorporate the parser into their own software free of charge. The parser was an instant hit, Wolpert said."

  • [January 21, 1999] "Toward a Layered Model for XML." By Simon St. Laurent. In Articles and Essays. "The XML 1.0 specification and many of its sibling standards (XLink, XSL, and possibly schemas) are simplifications of more complex systems, but still perform multiple tasks in single standards, often mingling issues that demand separate processing. While XML 1.0 itself is a dramatic step forward for structure markup, simplifying document markup and amplifying its power simultaneously, the specification still leaves well-formedness and validity deeply intertwined, and provides options for parsers that complicate the situation further. The relationships between XML 1.0 and namespaces are already complex, and the relationships between XML itself, XLink, XSL, schemas, and other XML projects are unclear at best. It's not clear from reading individual standards how they are supposed to interact with each other, and dependencies between them may introduce additional processing overhead that isn't always needed. Instead of creating a denser thicket of standards, it would be extremely helpful if the standards-builders would create standards as independent modules that can be layered, and a separate standard allowing documents to identify appropriate layering possibilities. . ."

  • [January 21, 1999] "Commerce One Acquires Veo Systems." By Mel Duvall. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (January 20, 1999). "Electronic procurement vendor Commerce One announced Tuesday that it has acquired eXtensible Markup Language pioneer Veo Systems as part of an effort to gain an edge in the industry-shaping technology. Commerce One President Mark Hoffman said the company recognizes that eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is becoming the cornerstone of efforts to integrate a wide variety of catalogs from suppliers over the Internet, and that Veo Systems' knowledge of the technology could provide Commerce One with a competitive edge." See the full text of the press release.

  • [January 21, 1999] "CommerceOne To Buy Veo Systems." By John E. Frook. In InternetWeek (January 19, 1999). "CommerceOne Inc. is stepping up the development pace in the white-hot area of Internet procurement. Already one of the top companies in publishing online business catalogs, CommerceOne today bought Veo Systems--a company specializing in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) -- in a stock-swap deal. The value of the transaction was not specified. CommerceOne is one of the first companies to establish a business trading portal -- an Internet service that enables companies to run indirect purchasing applications, and list their wares for sale. This deal comes just as a series of competitors are bidding to gain a foothold in this space, including PurchasePro, Netscape, and TPN Register." See the full text of the press release.

  • [January 20, 1999] "Wireless Internet Protocol Garnering Wider Support." By Ephraim Schwartz . In InfoWorld [Electric] (January 20, 1999). "The Wireless Application Protocol group, founded by phone giants Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet, gained some key industry adherents Wednesday when it was announced that Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and Toshiba are now members. . . The protocol currently includes an Extensible Markup Language-compliant language, Wireless Markup Language (WML). According to a WAP spokesperson, WML will speed development of Internet applications that can be accessed over wireless devices." See the full text of the press release: "Computer Industry Leaders Join the Wireless Application Protocol Forum. Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Toshiba Are Among Seven New Members Adopting WAP Standard." Or: the database entry "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

  • [January 20, 1999] "A Company Trying To Drive A Real-World Use of XML. Eight-year-old Muze Inc. Thinks Standardization Will Unite Music Retailers with Suppliers." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 3 (January 18, 1999), pages 17, 19. "Now that most of the fundamental standards for XML are in place, the baton has been passed to XML's end users to work with their suppliers, customers, and competitors to take advantage of the new format. Among the first companies to start is Muze Inc., which is building an XML data interchange format for retailers and distributors of books and recordings. . . Matt Puccini, the senior vice president of Web technology and business ventures who is leading Muze's XML development initiative, said his company is an ideal candidate to lead the effort to standardize data interchange. Puccini billed Muze as 'the Switzerland of our industry' -- neutral and not beholden to any one distributor's or retailer's interests." [Note: "Matthew Puccini, Senior Vice President of Web Technologies and Business Ventures, was the founder and president of Visual Bridge, a software development firm focused on XML editorial solutions for the publishing industry, most notably Edition, a browser-based XML authoring tool. He has a diversified technical and management background in marketing, sales, strategic business planning, and project management from his nine-year career at IBM, with particular expertise in high-end Web development, content management, and publishing leveraging the XML platform. His primary role at Muze is overseeing the implementation of next-generation publishing solutions through product development and business partnerships."

  • [January 20, 1999] "Commerce One Buys Veo Systems." By Staff. In [] Electronic Commerce News (January 19, 1999). "Commerce One Inc. Tuesday acquired Veo Systems Inc., a privately-held company specializing in the development of Extensible Markup Language (XML) for e-commerce applications. No financial terms of the acquisition were disclosed, but Commerce One, an enterprise procurement company, said the acquisition will accelerate the pace of open XML-based business-to-business e-commerce solutions. Veo System's XML technology will be integrated into Commerce One's Commerce Chain Solution, technology designed to develop a trading community between an enterprise and its suppliers, delivered through the Internet." See also the text of the press release.

  • [January 20, 1999] "IBM alphaWorks Releases More XML Technologies ." By Scott Clark [Managing Editor, Java Boutique]. In Web Developer News (January 19, 1999). "IBM Corp. this week announced the release of two new XML technologies on its alphaWorks Web site. The new tools, XML Enabler and XML Diff and Merge Tool, support the emergence of open standards and the growth of e-business. XML is currently being used in a a growing number of commercial and Web-based applications. According to IBM, the technology is designed to "make data interchange smarter," meaning the data is easier to find, categorize and customize by using tags which identify the information in a document." See also the announcement posted to CTX.

  • [January 20, 1999] "XML Namespaces by Example." By Tim Bray. From (January 19, 1999). "January 14th [1999] saw the arrival of a new W3C Recommendation, Namespaces in XML. 'Recommendation' is the final step in the W3C process; the status means that the document is done, frozen, agreed-upon and official. Namespaces are a simple and straightforward way to distinguish names used in XML documents, no matter where they come from. However, the concepts are a bit abstract, and this specification has been causing some mental indigestion among those who read it. The best way to understand namespaces, as with many other things on the Web, is by example." See also the W3C Recommendation and the database entry "Namespaces in XML."

  • [January 20, 1999] "LRVRwXML (Low-Rent VR with XML)." By Tim Bray. From (January 19, 1999). "Late in 1998, with very little fanfare, a very little company named Flatland Online, Inc., announced a new application of XML: 3DML. While none of their marketing material actually admits that 3DML is XML (in fact they claim it's an extension of HTML), their developers do use the X-word in the technical newsgroups hosted at the Flatland web site. 3DML, as the name suggests, is a way to encode three-dimensional spaces. . . an alternative to VRML." See also the press release, "Flatland Introduces 3DML. New Internet Company Releases Easy-to-Author 3D Home Page Format And Garners Acclaim from Inventor of VRML."

  • [January 20, 1999] "XML Takes Another Step." By [Wired News Staff]. In Wired News Report (January 14, 1999). "The World Wide Web Consortium has placed another finishing touch on a next-generation markup language that one day may usurp HTML as the scaffolding of the Web. The standard allows them to mix two or more XML-based languages in a single document without any conflict or ambiguity, the consortium said. 'This recommendation is engineering to make the Web capable of evolving -- not just good, but capable of becoming ever better,' says consortium director Tim Berners-Lee." See also the W3C Recommendation and the database entry "Namespaces in XML."

  • [January 20, 1999] "Namespaces in XML Adopted by W3C." By Mark Walter. From (January 19, 1999). "The 'Namespaces in XML' specification has been formally adopted by the W3C as a recommendation from its members and its director, Tim Berners-Lee, paving the way for vendors to create software that will more easily support the rich markup vocabularies made possible by XML."

  • [January 19, 1999] "News Markup Language May be Spoken Soon. The Web-based Initiative Could Affect Print and Broadcast Too. [Beyond Classifieds.]" By Martha L. Stone. In Editor & Publisher Interactive (January 19, 1999). "The creation of a 'news markup language' - born out of the need to streamline production for news Web sites - could have efficiency and cost-savings implications for media operations with print, broadcast or other delivery methods. The development also signals a move toward print, online and broadcast newsrooms working more closely together in the future. . . When this group of print, online and news library managers and academics [American Press Institute's 'Grammar of New Media'] met again earlier this month in Dallas, they created some 40 'tags' or computer codes that designate the nuts and bolts of almost every story. Tags were developed for bylines, captions, nut paragraphs, headlines, persons quoted in the story, names of books, and so on. Though the tags would exist industry wide, the specifications for the tags could be customized for each news outlet. The language would be written in the XML code, which is a flexible markup language based on plain language." See other information on NML in the main database entry.

  • [January 19, 1999] "The Extensible Style Language. Styling XML Documents." By Norman Walsh . In Web Techniques Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 1999). "From the very beginning of the XML effort, it was recognized that in order to successfully send XML documents over the Web, it would be necessary to have a standard mechanism for describing how they were to be presented. That's why we need style sheets. The Extensible Style Language (XSL) is the style language for XML. At the time of this writing (October 1998), XSL is under active development by the W3C. On August 18, 1998, the XSL Working Group (WG) released its first Working Draft. This article introduces XSL as described in that document. . . There are many important and complex issues that must still be resolved, among them: interactivity, support (if any) for a more powerful scripting language, further harmonization of the formatting object semantics, and the definition of many additional formatting objects." See the main database entry for other tutorial articles on XSL.

  • [January 19, 1999] "An XML Document to JavaScript Object Converter [Script Junkie]." By Alexander Hildyard. In Web Techniques Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 1999). "One of the ironies of Web technology is that many of the most interesting advances, such as the Document Object Model (DOM), Dynamic HTML, and style sheets, cannot be fully taken advantage of by Web developers unless they decide to target a specific browser vendor and version. . . I have come up with an approach that brings some of the benefits of XML-based documents to non-XML browsers. My workaround is a server-side conversion of XML documents to JavaScript code; this code gets interpreted by the browser and results in a data structure roughly equivalent to the parse tree that would have been produced by an XML-enabled browser. Transforming XML documents from tag-stream to DOM provides a similar benefit of increased accessibility for the data consumer that moving data from databases to XML data sources provides for data producers."

  • [January 19, 1999] "Representing vCard v3.0 in RDF." By Renato Iannella. "This memo specifies a Resource Description Format (RDF) encoding that corresponds to the vCard electronic business card profile defined by RFC 2425 (VCARD). This specification provides equivalent functionality to the standard format defined by VCARD. RDF is an application of the eXtensible Markup Language XML. Documents structured in accordance with this RDF encoding may also be known as 'RDF vCard' documents." For more information, see: "vCard Electronic Business Card."

  • [January 19, 1999] "Beyond Classifieds. NAA Unveils Classified Ad Exchange Standard. A Report from NAA's SuperConference '99." By Jim Rosenberg. In Editor & Publisher Interactive (January 13, 1999). "A new classified advertising standard should make it easier for the newspaper industry to collectively aggregate classifieds for Web sites. . . The desire to collect ads in certain categories on searchable Web sites drove the development of ADEX, though the media-independent format should be suitable for print and voice products as well. In its print products alone, each newspaper typically accepts, processes and prints ads in its own manner, according to section design, preferred practices and system capabilities. ADEX 1.0, which sets standard data format text formatting tags (ad abbreviation and transaction formats will follow), is ready for release and is about to be distributed one last time for review and comment. Verification pilot projects are already scheduled and ADEX education sessions are planned for all NAA functions throughout 1999, according to Stanley. ADEX is a human- and machine-readable form for transmitting an ad from any source to any destination - either might be an advertiser, agency, publisher, audiotext studio or Web site." See the main database entry, "Newspaper Association of America (NAA) - Standard for Classified Advertising Data."

  • [January 18, 1999] "Standards Update: Work on Commerce Security Standards Plods Along." By Whit Andrews. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 2 (January 11, 1999), pages 10-11. ". . .the Internet Open Transaction Protocol (IOTP), a less prominent standard [than SET] used to manage consumer purchases, has advanced. In June [1998], the Internet Engineering Task Force agreed to take the transaction protocol under its wing from a consortium of companies that conceived it. A[n IETF] working group hopes to deliver a request for comments early this year." See the main database entry, "[Internet] Open Trading Protocol."

  • [January 18, 1999] "My XML, Your Browser." By Charlie Heinemann. In Extreme XML [Column] (January 11, 1999). "Sometime between the holiday turkey and the turkey soup, I polished off a Web-based scheduling application that utilized the new XML functionality within Internet Explorer 5 Beta. Proud of myself, I phoned up a colleague and had him take a look. He was a little annoyed at my timing, but he nevertheless humored me and took a peak at my new site. He wasn't very impressed. I sat dumbfounded for a couple of seconds, and then realized why he was not as elated as I was: He wasn't running Internet Explorer 5 Beta on his home machine. Upon this epiphany, I hung up and began work on a version of my Web site that would be friendlier to other browsers. . ."

  • [January 18, 1999] "Actuate Adds XML Support." By [PC Week Staff]. In PC Week [Online] (January 18, 1999). "Actuate Software Corp. has announced plans to enhance the electronic commerce and Web application capabilities of its data distribution system by incorporating XML technology in all upcoming versions. The next version of the Actuate Reporting System, due in the first half of the year, will generate and support Extensible Markup Language for both data and display report representations." See also the text of the earlier press release and the recent update (January 13, 1999).

  • [January 18, 1999] "Microsoft's Messy Marketing." By Scott Berinato. In PC Week [Online] (January 18, 1999). "In its attempt to generate customer interest in Windows 2000 without cannibalizing Windows NT sales, Microsoft Corp. has begun to walk a narrow line. To prevent a delay in mass upgrades to Windows 2000, Microsoft plans to trumpet the operating system's features more than its performance and stability. That message has already gotten through to some customers, who say they're eagerly awaiting the new Active Directory and support for such protocols and standards as USB (Universal Serial Bus) and XML (Extensible Markup Language)."

  • [January 18, 1999] "XML Name Spec To Help Avoid Ambiguity. [W3C Approves XML Namespaces.]" By Richard Karpinski. In Internet Week (January 25, 1999), page 17. "The W3C this week formally approved XML Namespaces, an addition to this rapidly maturing technology that prevents conflicts in naming XML data sets. The recommendation, which was widely supported among XML vendors and expected to be quickly implemented in parsers and browsers, lets developers qualify element names uniquely and thus avoid collisions between XML elements with the same name." See also "XML Namespaces." [try also]

  • [January 18, 1999] "Web language that tags site data gains industry support." By David Orenstein. In Computerworld (January 11, 1999). "Extensible Markup Language (XML) was one of the hottest technologies to emerge in 1998, but 1999 is when it will become a stylish way to publish on the Web. Extensible Style Language (XSL), which provides a powerful way to display XML-formatted data, is working its way through the World Wide Web Consortium's standards process. A proposed recommendation of XSL 1.0 is due by midyear."

  • [January 15, 1999] "XML Schema Languages." By Ronald Bourret. January, 1999. Presentation slides. Summary: "I recently gave a presentation on XML schema languages. Due to the recent questions about these on XML-Dev, I've annotated my slides and made them available on the Web. A majority of my audience didn't know XML, so the presentation starts with a brief description of XML. It then discusses why you might want XML schema languages, their basic syntax, and what the major differences between the four existing languages (XSchema, DCD, SOX, and XML-Data) are. It ends with a summary of what I think a schema language should have today and what languages I think you should use for what purpose. . . This presentation briefly reviews the current (January 1999) state of XML schema languages -- why we have them, how to use them, and what each language offers. Disclaimer 1: I am one of the co-authors of XSchema. Because of this, there is likely to be some bias, especially in the 'Existing XML Schema Languages' and 'Summary' sections. If you have complaints, comments, or suggestions, please send me email. Disclaimer 2: Because I know XSchema, it is used as the sample language for illustrating most schema language concepts. DCD, SOX, or XML-Data could have been used equally well." Also available in Powerpoint format. Note: The W3C has recently chartered an XML Schema Working Group, co-chaired by Dave Hollander of Hewlett-Packard and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • [January 15, 1999] "99 to Watch in '99." By [InternetWeek Staff]. In InternetWeek Special Issue, 747 (January 11, 1999), page 9. [Software] "XML Fractionalization. XML will be more important than ever, and as with Java, look for it to become more highly politicized, especially in the definition of XML schemas. Microsoft XML point man James Allard calls it the next big computer API. Avoiding the Tower of Babel will be a major challenge."

  • [January 15, 1999] "CIM-plifying Net Management." By Jeff Caruso. In Network World Volume 16, Number 2 (January 11, 1999), page 23. "Common Information Model tools could change the way enterprises are administered. Coupled with Extensible Markup Language (XML), CIM could become a way to share management data using Web technology. . . Last August, the Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF) specified how to represent CIM data in an XML document. XML is a way of representing structured data, much like HTML is a way of describing a text document. The next step for the DMTF is to specify how to get information from and put information into a CIM database using XML. The group plans to finish that specification by March [1999]." See: "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • [January 15, 1999] "Zona Sees '99 as XML's Year." By Tom Diederich. In Computerworld [Online News] (January 05, 1999). "Attracted by the ease with which it allows programmers to build Web pages that can be readily indexed, businesses are beginning to embrace Extensible Markup Language (XML), according to a new report from Zona Research Inc. XML supports vertical vocabularies, or XML-based protocols, that are integral components of many applications and databases used by firms in areas including finance, telecommunications and multimedia -- to name a few, Zona said. The specification's flexibility also allows for interoperability between vertical vocabularies, the report added. 'This implies, for example, that an XML-based voice-recognition protocol can easily interoperate with an XML-based financial-management protocol. . . banks or businesses can create personal financial-management applications that are voice-aware simply by adding a few lines of XML code rather than integrating an entire voice-recognition application,' the report said. . ."

  • [January 14, 1999] "XML: User-Friendly Office Format." By James E. Gaskin. In Inter@ctive Week Online (January 11, 1999), page 23. "Office suite developers over the past two years provided export utilities to help users publish documents in Web format. Now, exporting could become a thing of the past. The next step is to make the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) an official file format for the three major office suites. The impact: XML may become the next-generation file format on the Web and inside office suites. . . [and see S. Mohr's article, cited immediately below]"

  • [January 13, 1999] "XML Use in Office 2000." By Stephen T. Mohr. In WROX Web Developer [Programming Articles]. (January 1998). "It is no secret that Microsoft is increasingly pushing their Office suite toward the Web. Office 97 began the trend with the ability to publish documents in HTML. The forthcoming Office 2000 (no Y2K problems in this name!) continues this effort to the point where HTML becomes a viable format in which to store your documents. Word has gotten around that Office 2000 would include some XML support. Some wild speculation led some to believe that Word might become an XML editor. The Office 2000 Corporate Preview dispels those rumors. Office 2000 does support XML, but as an application vocabulary, not as a development tool."

  • [January 13, 1999] "OMG's Meta-data Exchange Spec to be Put to a Vote." By Cara Cunningham. In InfoWorld (January 12, 1999). On Wednesday [1999-01-13] at the Object Management Group's (OMG's) technical meeting held [in Arlington, VA], a team of vendors plan to submit for approval the XML Metadata Interface (XMI) specification that aims to facilitate the sharing of meta data between tools and repositories. The XMI specification will be submitted to OMG's Object Analysis and Design task force on Wednesday, according to Sridhar Iyengar, object evangelist at OMG member Unisys, in Mission Viejo, California. If the specification passes this group, it will be voted on by the OMG's Architectural Board, and subsequently by all OMG members for final approval, which is expected within eight to 10 weeks. XMI unites the Extensible Markup Language (XML) with the OMG's Universal Markup Language (UML) and Meta Object Facility (MOF) so meta data can be described in UML, stored in MOF, and exchanged among tools and repositories via XML, according to OMG officials." See "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)" for more information.

  • [January 12, 1999] "XML and EXPRESS as Schema Definition Languages." By Daniel Rivers-Moore [Director of New Technologies, RivCom, and Joint Project Leader of the ISO Preliminary Work Item on SGML and Industrial Data]. Paper presented at the MetaStructures 1998 Conference (August 17 - 19, 1998. Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montréal, Québec, Canada). Abstract: "EXPRESS is a rich and mature language for the definition of data schemas. It is part of the STEP standard (ISO 10303), and is in widespread use to define data models for large-scale industrial applications, including manufacturing, engineering, defence, oil rigs, processing plants, etc. As part of the ongoing STEP/SGML harmonization activity under ISO TC184/SC4, a New Work Item proposal has just been put forward under the title 'An XML representation of EXPRESS-driven data'. The scope of the work item includes the use of XML to encode both the EXPRESS schema definition, and the instance data that conforms to that schema. This presentation will outline the main semantic features of the EXPRESS language, and show the current state of work on defining an XML representation of those semantics. The relationship of this work to other ongoing efforts to develop an XML syntax for schema definitions will be discussed." See also: "SGML and STEP."

  • [January 12, 1999] "XML on the Desktop: The Document as Application in Shell's Competence Gap Analysis Tool." By Tony Stewart. Presented at the XML '98 Conference. Extract: "The XML family of standards is changing the ways in which people interact with documents. Where traditionally documents have served as static snapshots of information, the combination of XML, XSL and Xlink will allow us to deliver documents that look and behave very much like interactive software programs. A document designer now has to consider not only how the document should look, but also how it should behave, and how it will fit into the information architecture of which it is a part. Similarly, an information architect who is designing a system must consider which goals of the project are best served by traditional software development, and which should be filled by XML-based interactive documents." See also Rivcom White Papers for other formats and related papers.

  • [January 12, 1999] "Web Technology: XML's Business Benefits Seen in 1999." By [Staff]. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 2 (January 11, 1999), page 26. "The entrance of Extensible Markup Language (XML) into computing in 1998 could be seen as an auspicious beginning for a new technology, but some pundits say 1999 will be the year that XML will be 'commercially born.' Zona Research recently released a report predicting that XML will accelerate its meteoric rise as a data-tagging technology. The main programming benefits of XML are its ease of use and its capability to easily index data, according to the report."

  • [January 11, 1999] "Microsoft, IBM Get XML to Users." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 2 (January 11, 1999), page 14. "IBM and Microsoft Corporation are working to extend XML support to databases and through tools that simplify development in the emerging technology for moving data in Web applications. IBM (IBM), which supports Extensible Markup Language in its WebSphere application server, plans to extend that support to DB2 this year through an XML extender. For its part, Microsoft (MSFT) is considering adding a COM (Component Object Model) object to SQL Server that would convert SQL's relational data to an XML format."

  • [January 11, 1999] "Inso Divides, Conquers. DynaBase Tackles Web Chores with Task-Oriented Modules." [Web Publishing] By Jeff Senna. In InfoWorld (January 11, 1999), page 59. "If your Web site has become a nest of cobwebs, you are probably long overdue for a site overhaul. But it's likely that your home-grown solution is far past the point of super-glue and rubber bands. Inso's enterprise solution, DynaBase 3.01, provides solid Web publishing and content management via a wealth of features that can banish those cobwebs for good. With the DynaBase Server Plug-In and object-oriented data repository (developed by Object Design), each Web site is stored and managed as a single database file located on the ObjectStore Data Server -- which can reside separately from the Web server. This flexible architecture makes it easy to create and manage multiple Web sites and site editions."

  • [January 11, 1999] "XML via the Document Object Model: A Preliminary Course." By Aaron Weiss. In Web Developer's Virtual Library (December 21, 1998). "XML is a technology which promises great potential for web development. While it is a powerful, flexible, and intuitive way to structure data, it does not, by itself, process the data. One technology which can be employed to process XML data is the Document Object Model, a construct which provides programmatic access to the components of an XML document. Using a DOM-supporting programming language, such as the lightweight JavaScript scripting language, one can maneuver within the XML data to perform queries, processing, or modifications." [R McGuinness]

  • [January 08, 1999] "XML Basics" and "XML in Context." (XML Course. Slides). By Jon Bosak. December 10, 1998. Course description extracted from: Manifestations et séminaires - Séminaires de l'INRIA Rhône-Alpes. Salle de conférences du bâtiment de l'Unité de Recherche INRIA Rhône-Alpes à Montbonnot. PART I : XML Basics: the Technology Itself This session will introduce basic XML concepts, show typical syntax, explain the requirements that drove the development of the standard, and exhibit the paradigmatic Web applications for which XML was originally designed. This session should be attended by people just starting with XML. Slides available in HTML format. PART II : XML in Context: How it Works with Related Standards XML is just one of several interrelated standards that will form a complete next-generation infrastructure for the WWW and information management in general. This session will explain the relationships among the working groups making up the XML activity (Linking, Schemas, Syntax, Fragments, and Information Set) and the closely related XSL Working Group. The larger economic and political implications of truly open document and data interchange standards will also be discussed. This session should be attended by everyone interested in the current status of XML-related efforts and what XML means for the future. Slides available in HTML format. [Introduced as: If anyone is interested in knowing where I stand on XSL and related issues, however, I would refer them to a presentation that I gave at INRIA last month. It's available in two parts linked from this page: Part 1 of the presentation includes a demo you can download that is not based on XSL but does demonstrate the concept well enough to show why XSL has always been conceived of primarily as a style language by the people who agitated for the creation of the current W3C XSL Working Group.]

  • [January 07, 1999] Web Software -- Energizing E-Commerce -- Object Design's one-of-a-kind XML data server stores Web documents for easy search and retrieval." By Lee Bruno. In In Data Communications Issue: 2801 (January 07, 1999). "What's the hottest thing since HTML? XML-and Object Design is harnessing the heat with its Excelon server software. It's the first XML server built on an object-oriented database that can convert data into XML and store, cache, and deliver it across the network. On top of that, built-in caching software ensures the data is delivered in a hurry, regardless of server location."

  • [January 07, 1999] "XML Mixed Content Grammars." By Pim van der Eijk. Abstract: "XML documents are composed of sequences of character data and markup codes, which encode document structure under control of a Document Type Definition. Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems that manipulate XML encoded data therefore need to account for both linguistic structure and document structure. Three case studies (AECMA Simplified English, the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, and Machine Translation) show a need for grammar rules that are not just sensitive to, but can actively manipulate both textual content and markup that encodes document structure. We show how a small extension to an existing NLP system, which enables it to process XML mixed content, allowed for this functionality to be expressed within an existing Controlled English system. Finally, we discuss some practical conventions for grammar writing that make sure that an NLP system for grammar checking and auto-correction will preserve XML well-formedness and validity." Note: Pim van der Eijk has posted several other slide sets on XML and related issues; see for eample: (1) "XML: A Portable Document Format." [Presentation for the European Portable Document Association]; (2) "Overview of XML and Related Standards"; (3) "Overview of Recent XML-Related Standards".

  • [January 06, 1999] "The Morse Code of Data - XML." By Patrick T. Coleman. [Cover Story] In WebServer Online Volume 4, Number 1 (January 1999). "The integration of data from disparate sources with enterprise and, more recently, Web applications is a daunting task for any IT organization. In an attempt to find a solution to this problem, several industry vendors are turning to XML as a modern-day Morse code for data. . . Defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), XML is a metadata language. The language is used to describe the relationship of data elements to form meaningful units of information. Whereas HTML is a presentation language defining the appearance of data, XML gives that data meaning. XML is actually a subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and is designed specifically for use on the Web. As its name states, XML is extensible, allowing for tags to be added to the language based on a user's needs."

  • [January 06, 1999] "Browser Wars To Move To a Standards Focus." By Nate Zelnick. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 4, 1999), pages 17, 19. "This year will see the end of the browser as a product of consequence, largely because of the acquisition of Netscape Communications by America Online. . . For most of the industry, the elimination of the browser as a vector for new and proprietary technologies is a good thing, particularly as the number and type of Web clients mushrooms with the introduction of non-PC access devices. If you thought writing Web pages that worked in Internet Explorer and Navigator across platforms and versions was hard, imagine if they also had to work with cell phones, set-top boxes, and thermostats. With the leverage that a browser could bring to advancing a platform strategy now diminished, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is hard at work fixing the extensions to HTML that have made developing universally parsable pages a nightmare. HTML 4.0 -- or HTML clean, as it is colloquially known -- will radically simplify the markup language into core structural elements, passing off presentation-oriented subsets such as forms and tables to XML vocabularies."

  • [January 06, 1999] "With Several Specs Complete, XML Enters Widespread Development." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 4, 1999), page 17. "With most of the core XML specifications complete or nearly so, the industry will enter a new phase in 1999: building real-world applications that take advantage of XML. By year's end, users can expect XML support in applications, authoring tools, and most important, browsers. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) completed several XML specifications in 1998, including the core XML specification, Level 1 of the Document Object Model (DOM), and XML Namespaces. Now, the W3C is pursuing a number of initiatives to round out XML's functionality, and the industry is moving toward a widespread release of XML applications."

  • [January 05, 1999] "A supply chain lingua franca? Electronics industry picks XML as key data-sharing mechanism." By Stannie Holt. In InfoWorld Volume 20, Issue 52/01 (January 4, 1999), pages 49-50. "Bound by their typically closed enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, businesses are finding that sharing data electronically with partners may be the toughest nut to crack in 1999. But some industries are already looking to the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for business-to-business supply-chain collaboration. Agile Software, which sells applications to describe and configure complex products, is proposing to make an XML-based open standard for supply-chain collaboration in the electronics industry. . .Agile itself could create a usable version of an XML standard in six to nine months, but there's no telling how long certification by standards bodies would take, the Agile representative said." See the press release "Agile Software Launches Industry-Backed Initiative for Product Information Exchange Based on XML. Proposed Standard Will Deliver Dramatic Supply Chain Efficiencies" for other details.

  • [January 05, 1999] "IBM's alphaWorks: Thinking Outside the Blue Box." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld [Electric] (January 5, 1999). The [alphaWorks] group's well-received Web site ( functions as a showcase for emerging technologies and as a developer community forum of sorts. alphaWorks also distributes finished products such as the Jikes Java compiler, which was recently released as open source code. Steering IBM's efforts in such cutting-edge sectors as Java, Extensible Markup Language (XML), Internet media, and the extended network of mobile and embedded systems demands a nimble approach." See also IBM's XML Home Page and the XML software tools.

  • [January 05, 1999] "XML-Java Combo Continues to Interest Vendors." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 20, Issue 52/01 (January 4, 1999), page 10. "Ever since developers first introduced the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Java to each other in early 1998, this pair has become the industry's hottest couple, making combined appearances in tools and applications with increasing regularity. In hindsight, it seems obvious that a cross-platform programming language and a cross-platform structured data format would work well together. Jon Bosak, chairman of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) XML Working Group and an online IT architect at Sun Microsystems, takes credit for introducing the two technologies, noting how much better Java's disposition became after meeting XML. 'XML gives Java something to do,' Bosak said in what became an oft-quoted remark in 1998. These days, more and more industry heavyweights -- including Microsoft, DataChannel, IBM, and Lotus -- are pairing up the two technologies. Microsoft and DataChannel in late December announced the second beta release of their co-developed XML parser written in Java. And IBM and Lotus delivered the LotusXSL processor, which includes the Extensible Style Language (XSL) specification. This processor, available as a JavaBean, emerged from work done in IBM's alphaWorks division."

  • [January 05, 1999] "XML's Role in 3-Tier Web Architectures." By Stanford Powers. In <TAG> Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1998), pages 1-4. Powers explains the 3-tier architecture and elaborates upon the role of XML: "XML allows all of these transactions to happen more effectively by providing a standard, easy-to-use syntax that packages the transactions into self-describing pieces. . ."

  • [January 05, 1999] "Editorial: doveriai, no proveriai." By Brian Travis. In <TAG> Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1998), pages 1, 6-7. Travis refines/revises an earlier judgment about the ongoing XML schema work, with its emphasis upon the validation of typed data. A good compromise position, he thinks, is "trust, but verify" - use schema formalisms when they are appropriate, e.g., upon receipt of data.

  • [January 05, 1999] "Markup Technologies '98." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1998), pages 4-5. DuCharme provides a report on some ot the more important highlights and presentations given at the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, November 19 -20, 1998 (Hyatt Regency, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, USA). He believes the GCA succeeded in its attempt to let conference attendees focus upon individual areas of interest by splitting XML '98 from Markup Technologies '98 - the latter being more for programmers and for those also interested in SGML. For references to online versions of papers from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

  • [January 05, 1999] "Tips and Techniques." By Brian Travis. In <TAG> Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1998), pages 8-10. This article is a brief but complete tutorial outlining basic steps in using XSL - in this case, with Microsoft Internet Explorer. The sample documents (XML, XSL) are included, with instructions for use of the software.

  • [January 05, 1999] "Flotsam and Jetsam. Diogenes Needs a Searchlight." By Arnold M. Slotnik. In <TAG> Volume 11, Number 12 (December 1998), page 14. [Granting that it would be difficult to guess the content ...] this monthly column by 'Arnold' Arnold M. Slotnik in <TAG> serves as a lighter-side forum for opinion. For December, the author laments the lack of content and the abundance of XML 'hype' at a certain November conference, characterizing it as 'Content-Lite' and a 'seventeen-hundred-dollar drink.' [An alternate appraisal, from a different perspective: "XML software isn't complete or mature, understandably, since the relevant specs are only 60% finished, but a lot of people already realize that three key verdicts lead directly to XML: a) the Internet is the new marketplace, ready-or-not; b) HTML [3.2, 4.0] itself is too weak and presentation-specific to be of use for e-commerce; c) closed, proprietary standards have fallen into disfavor. Ergo..."]

  • [January 05, 1999] "A Transactional Approach to SGML Storage: Why You should Ask More from Your Repository." By Stéphane Bidoul. Presentation at the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, November 19-20, 1998. Abstract: "Most SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) repositories are heavily oriented towards document storage. Because of this, there is a tendency to have an interface that is based on a check-out/check-in mechanism of documents or parts of documents. Such an interface is very well adapted to the way in which humans work when interacting with the repository. However, when SGML is considered as a data modelling language, and the stored data gets more complex, the document-oriented check-out/check-in approach becomes inappropriate as a data manipulation language. In this paper the benefits of a transaction-based interface to an SGML database are presented, along the lines of the update capabilities of traditional databases. Several real-world applications of this mechanism are described. An interface of this type is then presented, and it is shown why this is a very flexible way to access any SGML database, including document-oriented information bases. " For other online presentations from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

  • [January 05, 1999] "SGML Joins the Battle Against International Art Robbery,." By Jorge Leal Portela. Presentation at the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, November 19-20, 1998. Abstract: "Many organizations, such as museums, police forces, and insurance companies, are faced with the problem of identification of stolen and recovered objects of art and have difficulties in sharing relevant information. GRASP (Global Retrieval, Access and information System for Property items) is a project which addresses the problem of sharing information by demonstrating how descriptions of objects can be captured, stored in a heterogeneous database, and widely distributed across a network environment. This paper addresses the issue of how SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) was successfully used for numerous aspects of the project, ranging from data storage and specification of the exchange structure, to distributed database synchronization control, in combination with a programmable processing tool." For other online presentations from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

  • [January 05, 1999] "SGML Boosts Standard Document Processing for a Major European Bank." By Philippe Fontaine. Presentation at the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, November 19-20, 1998. Abstract: "Large banking organizations have always been faced with the problem of distributing information that constitutes professional knowledge to the right people, at the right time, and in the right place. With the ever-increasing arrival of new technologies - information highways - this is a hot topic again. Internet and intranet-based solutions can bring new aspects into the communication of information. Over and above the scope of distributing information, structured documents that contain professional knowledge have to be produced, validated, stored, maintained, and eventually distributed in a traditional environment that is being turned upside down. This paper shows how an SGML-based solution successfully transforms the dream of managing core business information into reality. " For other online presentations from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

  • [January 04, 1999] "Stretching the Concept of the Document. XML: One Size Fits All." By Tim Bray. In Web Techniques Volume 3, Issue 12 (December 1998). "The first wave of XML fans was made up of people who'd spent years working in the SGML community, mostly with a publishing background. These people knew what a document was, what a style sheet was, and how to publish information for human consumption. The second generation of XML users is starting to crowd the conference hallways and Internet forums, and they're a kettle of fish of a different color, so to speak. Mostly, they're computer programmers trying to build stuff that works across the network, and they're seizing on XML as a way to move structured data back and forth between this application and that. Most of them go from day to day without worrying about fonts or white space or image wrapping or table rendering. It's reasonable to wonder what will become of the notion of a document in general, and the culture of XML in particular, when the second wave becomes (as it soon will) the majority. . . "

  • [January 04, 1999] "Using architectural processing to derive small, problem-specific XML applications from large, widely-used SGML applications." By Gary F. Simons. A paper presented at Markup Technologies '98, Chicago, 19-20 November 1998. Abstract: "The large SGML DTDs in widespread use (e.g. HTML, DocBook, ISO 12083, CALS, EAD, TEI) offer the advantage of standardization, but for a particular project they often carry the disadvantage of being too large or too general. A given project might be better served by a DTD that is no bigger than is needed to solve the specific problem at hand, and that is even customized to meet special requirements of the problem domain. Furthermore, the project might prefer for the data it produces to meet the different syntactic constraints of XML conformity. This paper demonstrates how architectural processing can be used to develop a problem-specific XML DTD for a particular project without losing the advantage of conforming to a widely-used SGML DTD. As an example, the paper discusses the markup for a dictionary of the Sikaiana language (Solomon Islands) and develops a small XML application for the purpose derived from the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) DTD. The TEI Guidelines offer a mechanism for building TEI-conformant applications; the paper concludes by proposing an alternative approach to TEI conformance based on architectures." For other online presentations from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

  • [January 04, 1999] "20 Years of Abstract Markup - Any Progress?" [Early Development of Descriptive Markup and a Document Production System (Scribe), from a 1981 Presentation.]" By Brian Reid [Digital Equipment Corporation]. The visuals in PowerPoint 97 format from Brian Reid's Opening Keynote Address at the Markup Technologies 98 conference, given 19 November 1998. Abstract: "Brian Reid's work with markup systems began in the 1970s. He independently invented and implemented descriptive markup and developed its theory. His Scribe system may have been the cleanest separation of structure and format ever built. His dissertation on it was already complete in 1981, the year he presented in Lausanne in the same session where Charles Goldfarb publicly presented GML; SGML was proposed about a year later. In recent years Reid has turned his attention to network systems and the internet." This presentation was a reflection on the early development of descriptive markup based upon a presentation made at the Conference on Research and Trends in Document Preparation Systems at Lausanne, Switzerland, February 27-28, 1981. Many of the slides in Reid's Chicago keynote presentation were taken from the 1981 paper, "The Scribe Document Specification Language and its Compiler." For other online presentations from the Markup Technologies '98 Conference, see the annotated/linked program listing.

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: