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Last modified: October 26, 2000

The Web site XMLNews outlines a proposed "suite of specifications for exchanging news and information using open Web standards." According to documentation in the 'XMLNews Technical Overview',XMLNews-Story defines the content of textual news stories; and (2) XMLNews-Meta defines a set of metadata information about news objects. You can use XMLNews-Meta to transmit metadata about any kind of news object, whether textual (such as an XMLNews-Story document) or non-textual (such as an image or audio clip) in the same, standard format." XMLNews-Story is said to be "fully-compatible subset of the 21-September-1998 XML version of the News Industry Text Format (NITF) developed by the International Press Telecommunications Council and the Newspaper Association of America as the new standard for exchanging news stories (replacing the old ANPA 1312 wire format)." Both specifications use XML. Draft DTDs for XMLNews are provided on the Web site, along with an XML tutorial.


  • XMLNews Home Page

  • Introduction

  • News stories about XMLNews

  • Documentation List

  • Technical Overview - how the XMLNews specifications work together

  • XMLNews Users [WavePhore NewsPak, Corel WordPerfect Office 2000, Infoseek's Ultraseek Server, iSyndicate, InterKnack, <XML>fr Portal, etc. ]

  • XML Tutorial "This tutorial provides a brief overview of XML to help you become familiar with the markup language's most common features. After reading the tutorial, you should be able to read examples that use XML syntax and understand the basic structure of an XML document. The tutorial concentrates on the technical rather than the business side of XML, and is aimed at technical specialists such as software engineers and documentation writers who are approaching XML for the first time."

  • Contact XMLNews

  • [November 19, 1999] A communiqué from David Megginson reports on the recent launch of the XMLNews-L mailing list. XMLNews-L is a moderated list that's open to people who are involved in some way with news and information exchange. "The xmlnews-l mailing list is devoted to discussing the exchange of news and information using open standards such as XML, RDF, and NITF, with a focus on practical implementation. Membership is free and is open to all parties actively involved with any type of online news and information exchange including (but not limited to) information providers and distributors, software developers and vendors, researchers, and print or electronic publishers. To help prevent spam, all subscription requests must be approved by the list moderator. For more information on XMLNews, please visit our Web site at The address for subscribing or unsubscribing is"

  • XMLNews-Story Technical Specification

  • XMLNEWS-STORY DTD [local archive copy]

  • XMLNews-Story Tutorial

  • XMLNews-Meta Technical Specification

  • XMLNEWS-META DTD [local archive copy]

  • XMLNews-Meta Tutorial

  • News Industry Text Format (NITF)

  • The AxKit - The Apache XML Delivery Toolkit supports XMLNews. "Using David Megginson's XMLNews::HTMLTemplate there are two modules here, one for XMLNews RDF files and one for XMLNews NITF files."

  • [October 26, 2000] "Learning to RELAX." [Tutorial] By J. David Eisenberg. From October 16, 2000. ['The RELAX schema language is a simpler alternative to W3C XML Schemas. This easy-to-read tutorial shows you just how easy it can be to RELAX.'] "In this article, we'll explore some of the more advanced features of the RELAX schema language by using it to create a schema for the XMLNews-Story Markup Language. Although the XMLNews-Story markup language has been superseded by the News Industry Text Format, I've chosen it because it's simple, quite widely used, looks a great deal like HTML, and its RELAX specification will use most of the features we want to focus on. . . [Summary:] RELAX is a powerful markup language that permits you to specify how other XML documents are to be validated. You may, as with other specification methods (1) specify an element with an ordered sequence of sub-elements; (2) specify an element with a choice of sub-elements; (3) permit mixed content (text outside of tags); and (4) specify attributes for tags. Additionally, RELAX gives you the power to (1) specify in great detail the type and range of data that an element may contain; (2) specify the type and range of values that an attribute may have; (3) permit a single tag to have different content depending upon the context in which it is used; and (3) permit a tag to have different content depending upon the value of that tag's attributes." See also in this connection the RELAX Quick Reference (a quick reference to RELAX schema definition language, covering all its major features). For schema description and references, see "XML Schemas."

  • [May 17, 1999] "WavePhore aims to simplify integration of news feeds for Web publishers. But the old guard snubs its effort to set a new standard." By Mark Walter and Matt McKenzie. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 9 (May, 1999), pages 21-23. [This month's free sample article.] "Last month at Internet World, news aggregator WavePhore launched NewsPak, a Web service that delivers a variety of news feeds tagged in a single, normalized XML format. While its service promises to simplify news syndication, WavePhore's attempt to position its XMLNews format as a new standard for newswires was rebuffed by newspaper groups. Well-known in standards-setting circles, Megginson is principal of Megginson Technologies, chair of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) XML Information Set Working Group, and maintainer of the widely implemented Simple API for XML (SAX). Megginson called his spec XMLNews and launched just before WavePhore announced NewsPak at Internet World. In addition to support from WavePhore, XMLNews is backed by Corel, which announced it will support XMLNews in WordPerfect Office 2000, including a stylesheet template for WYSIWYG editing. Since then, however, the XMLNews initiative has drawn flak from a group of press agencies and newspapers that developed NITF [News Industry Text Format], the newswire DTD on which XMLNews is based. . ."

  • [April 07, 1999] "XMLNews Initiative Announced. Corel and WavePhore Support XMLNews in New Products." - "David Megginson, principal of Megginson Technologies, today announced a new initiative for news information delivery over the Internet. XMLNews uses the popular Extensible Markup Language (XML) to enable exchange of news information and metadata across different platforms and system configurations. Dr. Megginson, who chairs the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) XML Information Set Working Group and maintains the widely-implemented Simple API for XML (SAX), said that XMLNews brings together existing Web and Industry standards into a single package. 'XMLNews is good news for everyone in the industry," he said. 'With a single standard format for all feeds, XMLNews will make it easier to share news all along the distribution chain, from reporters in the field and international press agencies to end-users such as news portals and corporate intranets'." [local archive copy]

  • [May 04, 1999] "WavePhore Backs XMLNews Initiative. Simplifying a Standard for Newswires." By Mark Walter. From April 20, 1999. "A new XML initiative announced last week promises to spread the syndication of news content on the Web. XMLNews, developed by David Megginson, is an XML specification that describes the text and metadata of news content. The specification and related materials have been published at"

  • [April 07, 1999] "WavePhore Announces Support of XMLNews Initiative; A Suite of Open XML Standards for Internet News Delivery." - "WavePhore, Inc. announced its active involvement in the XMLNews initiative, which will promote and support the use of open standards for news delivery. WavePhore will be delivering most of the major news feeds in the two open, XML formats defined by the XMLNews initiative: XMLNews-Story for content and XMLNews-Meta for metadata. XMLNews-Story is a fully compatible subset of the September 1998 XML version of the News Industry Text Format (NITF) developed by the International Press Telecommunications Council and the Newspaper Association of America. XMLNews-Meta uses XML together with two other standards from the W3C: The Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Namespaces in XML."

  • "WavePhore Introduces NewsPak." - "WavePhore's NewsPak product will deliver most of the major North American news feeds in the two open XML formats defined by the XMLNews initiative. These include XMLNews-Story for content and XMLNews-Meta for metadata. Both formats are compatible with open industry standards such as RDF (Resource Description Format) and NITF (News Industry Test Format). They can also be processed with any XML-enabled software. In addition to fully conforming implementation, WavePhore incorporates appealing enhancements. For example, news story metadata items are presented in a single, standardized format, but original vendor-supplied metadata tags are available as well, all appropriately identified in the XML file." [local archive copy]

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