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XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 07 February 2007

XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 07 February 2007
A Cover Pages Publication http://xml.coverpages.org/
Provided by OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org
Edited by Robin Cover


This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by
IBM Corporation  http://www.ibm.com



* Meet the Specs: WS-RT 1.0 Operations, Part 2
* Sun to Offer ODF Plug-In for Microsoft Office
* Microsoft's Open XML Format Hits Roadblocks in U.S., Abroad
* Service Modeling Language Manages IT Assets
* W3C Proposed Recommendation: Semantic Interpretation for Speech
  Recognition (SISR) Version 1.0
* Sun Sticks With Solaris CDDL (For Now)
* NIST Invites Public Input in Upgrading Cryptographic Algorithm


Meet the Specs: WS-RT 1.0 Operations, Part 2
Kane Scarlett, IBM developerWorks

The WS-ResourceTransfer 1.0 initial draft specification (WS-RT) defines
extensions to WS-Transfer, a general SOAP-based protocol for accessing
XML representations of Web service-based resources. The family of Web
services specifications, the "WS-" group, is designed to interoperate
with other members of the family to deliver a set of tools for the Web
services environment. As such, this specification relies on other WSs
for such functions as message delivery and to express WS metadata. WS-RT
is an essential core component of a unified resource access protocol for
Web services. The WS-RT extensions deal mostly with fragment-based
access to resources to satisfy the common requirements of
WS-ResourceFramework and WS-Management specifications. The specification
goals are to fulfill these requirements: (1) Define a standardized
technique for accessing resources using semantics (get, put, create,
and delete) familiar to system-management professionals; (2) Define
WS-I BP 1.1-compliant WSDL 1.1 portTypes for the Web service methods
described in the specification; (3) Define minimum requirements for
compliance without constraining richer implementations; (4) Compose
with other Web service specifications for secure, reliable, transacted
message delivery; (5) Provide extensibility for more sophisticated or
currently unanticipated scenarios; (6) Support a variety of encoding
formats including SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 Envelopes. This article delves
into how WS-RT extends the create operation. Future columns on WS-RT
1.0 will look closer at how the WS-ResourceTransfer 1.0 specification
extends the put operation. They will also provide detail on the delete
operation, the fault-handling rules of WS-Addressing, terminology and
notation, and security -- how the is WS-ResourceTransfer spec works
with WS-Security.

See also WS-RT references: http://xml.coverpages.org/computingResourceManagement.html#ws-rt


Sun to Offer ODF Plug-In for Microsoft Office
Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld

Sun has created software that will provide translation between the
file format in Microsoft's Office 2003 suite and ODF (Open Document
Format for XML). The plug-in lets people who use computers with
assistive technologies to access documents written in ODF. A preview
of the software, called StarOffice 8 Conversion Technology, is
expected to be available in mid-February with a final release on
Sun's Web site by the middle of June. The software enables two-way
conversion between Microsoft Office 2003 and ODF, a standard format
approved by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
for office documents. Certain applications and devices that use
assistive technologies -- such as screen readers for the blind and
technologies that allow people who are quadriplegic to operate a
keyboard -- come with drivers that are compatible with Microsoft Word
2003 or earlier, said Simon Phipps, chief open source officer at Sun.
Vendors developing the assistive technologies have reverse-engineered
Office 2003 interfaces to create the applications and devices.  To
create the converter, Sun built a library from OpenOffice.org that
provides the same file conversions that are found in the OpenOffice.org
and StarOffice productivity suites, Phipps said. Sun then added ODF
support as a file format to all the places in Word using that library.
Sun is not the only company that offers software to do ODF translation.
IBM, which, along with Sun, is one of the most fervent supporters of
ODF, has developed APIs that specifically enable assistive technologies
to talk to ODF-based applications. Through Project Missouri, IBM
developed an API called iAccessible2 that make it easy for visuals
in ODF-based applications to be interpreted by screen readers that
reproduce that information verbally.

See also the announcement: http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2007-02/sunflash.20070207.1.xml


Microsoft's Open XML Format Hits Roadblocks in U.S., Abroad
Peter Galli, eWEEK

Andrew "Andy" Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer
Updegrove LLP and the editor of the ConsortiumInfo.org standards blog,
reports that Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom
have all submitted comments, complaints or formal contradictions to
JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1, the ISO/IEC body that is managing
the fast-track process under which Office Open XML (now Ecma 476) has
been submitted. India is also believed to have responded by abstaining
from voting, in protest over the extremely short amount of time
provided to review the 6,039-page specification, he said. Ecma now
has until February 28 [2007] to respond with its proposed "resolution"
for each contradiction. Once this has been received, JTC 1 will publish
the response, accompanied by the text of the contradictions themselves,
as submitted by the national bodies. Tom Robertson, general manager
for interoperability and standards at Microsoft, told eWEEK that there
is a competitive situation in the marketplace, with ODF supporters
actively trying to stop even the consideration of Open XML as a
standard under the ISO's rules: "This is a pure competitive play on
the part of ODF supporters like IBM; there are 103 countries that
participated in the ISO process, and each country has a national
standards body with the authority to act at the ISO on behalf of that
country." The fast-track process started with a 30-day comment period,
during which those national standards bodies could raise perceived
contradictions that they feel fundamentally conflict with something
the ISO is doing, or has done in the past. The ISO Secretariat then
has up to 90 days to seek resolution of these perceived contradictions.
After that comes a five-month technical review process, followed by
a vote.



Service Modeling Language Manages IT Assets
Andrew Conry-Murray, Network Computing

A high-powered working group is striving to improve IT management and
data-center automation with a common language to describe heterogeneous
IT assets. The Service Modeling Language (SML) is an XML-based schema to
define, or model, information about hardware, software, applications
and services. This common language will make it easier to share
information among disparate IT tools and provide a foundation for
automating common tasks, such as application provisioning, configuration
management and asset monitoring. SML also is being positioned as a way
to overcome the barriers to federation and reconciliation of disparate
data in CMDBs (configuration management databases). The outlook for the
standard is a good one, judging by the big vendors that have backed it
and the progress made thus far: The most recent draft of the
specification was released in November 2006, and the specification may
be submitted to a standards body this quarter.  The basic goal of the
SML working group is to create a grammar that describes everything in
an IT environment--hardware, software, applications and, eventually,
services -- in a unified way. With a common vocabulary in place, third-
party tools can more easily share information about the assets they
manage. The Distributed Management Task Force's CIM (Common Information
Model) offers much of what SML aims to do and is in wide use. SML
proponents say they are evolving CIM by writing definitions in native
XML, making SML built for Web services from the ground up. Today,
there's a host of software for building, parsing and validating XML
schemas, which will make it easier for vendors to create tools that can
understand SML. By contrast, a DMTF specification exists for
representing CIM in XML, but it requires complex transformations. That
said, the SML working group says it will use CIM definitions wherever
possible and will work closely with the DMTF to avoid reinventing the
wheel. Although the major backers of WS-Management and WSDM will
continue to support each technology, IBM and Microsoft are also
converging the two specifications into a single spec tentatively called
WS-Unified Management.

See also the SML Working Group: http://www.serviceml.org/


W3C Proposed Recommendation: Semantic Interpretation for Speech
Recognition (SISR) Version 1.0
Luc Van Tichelen and Dave Burke (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C has announced the advancement of the "Semantic Interpretation for
Speech Recognition (SISR) Version 1.0" specification to Proposed
Recommendation. SISR tags are used to extract meaning from speech
recognition. The specification defines the process of Semantic
Interpretation for Speech Recognition and the syntax and semantics of
semantic interpretation tags that can be added to speech recognition
grammars to compute information to return to an application on the
basis of rules and tokens that were matched by the speech recognizer.
In particular, it defines the syntax and semantics of the contents of
Tags in the Speech Recognition Grammar Specification (SRGS). The
results of semantic interpretation describe the meaning of a natural
language utterance. The current specification represents this
information as an ECMAScript object, and defines a mechanism to
serialize the result into XML. The W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity
is defining an XML data format (EMMA) for containing and annotating
the information in user utterances. It is expected that the EMMA
language will be able to integrate results generated by Semantic
Interpretation for Speech Recognition. Semantic Interpretation may be
useful in combination with other specifications, such as Stochastic
Language Models (N-GRAM).

See also the W3C Voice Browser Activity: http://www.w3.org/Voice/


Sun Sticks With Solaris CDDL (For Now)
Sean Michael Kerner, InternetNews.com

Whether or not Sun will migrate to the upcoming GPL version 3 license
for OpenSolaris and Java is a question resulting in much speculation.
Currently OpenSolaris is licensed under Sun's Common Development and
Distribution License (CDDL) license and Java is set to be licensed
under GPL v2. GPL v3 , which is currently still under development adds
new terms for digital rights management (DRM) and patents that could
have wide ranging effects on licensees. Sun Microsystems' Chief Open
Source Officer, Simon Phipps, explained that Sun is picking the best
license on a case-by-case basis for its software and will continue to
use the license that is most appropriate for the community involved.
Phipps noted that under CDDL, OpenSolaris has grown its user base and
contributions. At least five distributions are now available that are
based on OpenSolaris, which is facilitated by the CDDL. Just because
the CDDL is working doesn't necessarily mean that Phipps won't consider
adding another license to OpenSolaris. He commented that if the
community wants another license than he would consider it. In fact,
Phipps noted that he is just starting to see a debate in the OpenSolaris
community on whether to add GPL v3. Currently Sun uses the GPL v2
license in some of its software applications, though Sun isn't
automatically going to migrate to v3 when it comes out. Sun has been
very active in the GPL v3 process since the beginning. Phipps noted
that he has every confidence that GPL v3 will be a license that will
be usable in some areas of Sun's software business.



NIST Invites Public Input in Upgrading Cryptographic Algorithm
William Jackson, Government Computing News

The National Institute of Standards and Technology will conduct a
public competition to select new hashing algorithms for the Federal
Information Processing Standard. The agency in January published for
public comment a draft of minimum requirements for candidates for the
new standard, along with guidelines for submission and evaluation
criteria. NIST hopes to have the new standard in place by 2012. The
new standard would replace the current FIPS-180-2, which now specifies
several versions of the Secure Hash Algorithm, SHA-1; and SHA-224,
SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512, known collectively as SHA-2. The decision
to upgrade the standard comes in the wake of successful attacks developed
against some unrelated algorithms, as well as a partial compromise of
SHA-1. A hashing algorithm is a cryptographic formula for generating a
unique, fixed-length numerical digest, or hash, of a message. Because
the contents of the message cannot be derived from the digest and
because the digest is (to a high degree of probability) unique for each
message, the hash can be used to securely confirm that a document has
not been altered. This can be used to effectively 'sign' an electronic
document and link the signature to the contents.

See also NIST's Plan: http://www.csrc.nist.gov/pki/HashWorkshop/index.html


XML Daily Newslink and Cover Pages are sponsored by:

BEA Systems, Inc.         http://www.bea.com
IBM Corporation           http://www.ibm.com
Innodata Isogen           http://www.innodata-isogen.com
SAP AG                    http://www.sap.com
Sun Microsystems, Inc.    http://sun.com


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