The deadline for XTech '99 presentation submissions has been extended from a "soft" deadline of Monday, December 14, 1998, to a "hard" deadline of Friday, January 8, 1999. XTech '99 is the third annual West Coast spring GCA conference for XML and related standards. This year it will be held March 7-11 in the San Jose Convention Center.
Bill la Forge has posted the first version of MDBUILD, an extension to MDSAX that supports the construction of W3C DOM trees from XML documents for multiple document types. The initial release of MDBUILD is now included in the MDSAX zip file.
Bill Laforge has released the first version of MDSAX, the Multi-Document Simple API for XML, a set of tools for layering filters on top of SAX parsers.
Jonathan Eizenkopf's written a PERL-XML FAQ list.
Version 0.82 of the Silfide XML Parser (SXP) is now available. SXP is a validating XML parser written in Java that implements the XML 1.0 Recommendation and most of its satellite recommendations including
Jani Jaakkola has released version 1.91a of Sgrep, a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns. Binaries are available for Win32, HP-UX, Linux, OSF1 and Solaris platforms. Source code is also available. New features in version 1.91a include:
The beta 2 version of the XML parser for Java, co-developed by Microsoft and DataChannel, is now available for free download. New features include direct viewing of XML, an XML engine, XSL support, and XQL transformations of data.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the first public working draft of Ruby for supporting ruby (annotation) text used in East Asian ideographic languages like Japanese.
Steve Muench of Oracle has posted PLSXML, PL/SQL-based XML utilities including
James Clark's posted a new version of XT that supports the most recent release of XSL. There is no support for the previous version of XSL, so stylesheets that worked with the previous version of XT will not work with this version.
IBM's alphaWorks released the first version of the LotusXSL formatting engine. This is an experimental implementation of the transformation section of XSL. It's usable as a stand-alone Java 1.1 application, a Java applet, or a JavaBean.
The W3C Working Group on XSL has released the second working draft of the XSL specification. This version supersedes the previous draft released on August 18. More news once I've had a chance to look it over.
Steve DeRose has posted a list of nine implementations for XPointer.
XArc is a simple specification for supporting atomic "linking" in XML. One way to think about XArc is as a rewrite of the "simple" link construct in XLink. This rewrite provides built-in capabilities on which to layer the extended link facilities of XLink (albeit in a slightly more verbose but unambiguous syntax).
Oracle has posted an early adopter release of an XML Parser for Java. Registration is required.
Len Bullard's working on a DTD for VRML.
MDSAX (Multi-Document Simple API for XML) is an ongoing project to develop a set of tools for working with Java SAX parsers and parser filters. MDSAX provides developers with considerably more control over the creation and stacking order of SAX filters, and makes it simple for programs to specify different filter stacks for different types of documents (as identified by their root elements.) Factory classes make it possible to construct and initialize filters to take full advantage of all of their features without extensive custom coding. MDSAX also provides access to a number of services, allowing filters to communicate amongst themselves and with the application.
MDSAX originated as a part of Coins 4, a BSD-licensed open source project that uses XML to provide much friendlier and more flexible object serialization than current alternatives. No understanding of Coins is needed to use MDSAX, however - just an understanding of the SAX model for event-based parsers. MDSAX will work with any SAX-compliant parser or parser filter.
MacroMedia is claiming that version 2 of their payware DreamWeaver HTML editor supports XML. I'm not yet sure exactly what level of XML support is provided. Does anyone who anyone has checked it out (there's a free demo) care to elaborate?
Chinese XML Now! is a project at Academica Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, to help developers of Chinese XML software. The site features a FAQ about specific Chinese questions on XML, Chinese test files, and assorted other information.
The XML Fragment working group has published its initial Requirements document. The XML Fragment working group is chartered with defining a way to send fragments of an XML document--regardless of whether the fragments are predetermined entities or not--without having to send all of the containing document up to the part in question. This document specifies the design principles and requirements for this activity. Comments are solicited.
John Cowan's posted a DTD fragment declaring all the currently registered MIME types as XML notations. Media type attributes are not mapped. The MIME types are mapped as follows: / becomes _, _ becomes __, and $ becomes _DLR_, to avoid characters illegal in XML Names.
Paul Butkiewicz's XMLNet is a Java API for streaming XML. Using XMLNet, information such as realtime sports scores can be transferred over the Internet in real time as a series of XML documents immediately and with high frequency on a schedule determined by a server, as opposed to relying upon requests from clients. These documents are delivered, one after another, on continuously open sockets to connected clients and delivered to objects in that client as Document Object Model (DOM) documents. Client objects can subscribe to any of these documents by implementing an interface and specifying which documents it would like to receive.
A new version of Simon St.Laurent's XLinkFilter can now identify the starting locations of inline elements using simple XPointers so you can create XLink applications without putting ID attributes in all your elements. A new component, the LocationFilter, also extends SAX ParserFilter, and keeps track of where in the document each element is. XLinkFilter source is available under the Mozilla Public License.
Netscape has posted the first beta of "Gecko" for Windows 95, 98, and NT. Gecko is an implementation of Mozilla's next generation layout engine including XML and CSS support. Gecko is not expected to be a full featured Web browser like Navigator but it should at least allow you to display XML and HTML files.
Version 1.90a of the open source Sgrep is now available in source and binary form for Win32, HP-UX, Linux, OSF/1 and Solaris. Sgrep is a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns. New features in this version include
ICESoft AS's E-Lite is a lightweight web browser written in Java notable for native MathML support. It's $30 payware with a 30 day free trial. MathML support is provided through WebEQ 2.2 and should improve when WebEQ 2.3 is rolled in.
The HTML-NG Working Group of the W3C has posted a working draft of the specification for Voyager, a project to reformulate HTML 4.0 as an XML application.
IBM's alphaWorks has released a new version of XML TreeDiff, a set of Java beans and GUI tool that finds differences in parsed XML trees without considering irrelevant issues like indentation that don't affect the structure or contents of the document.
AlphaWorks has also released a new version of DataCraft, an application generation tool that provides an XML view of databases and allows you to publish XML forms to the Web.
A new mailing list for discussion of XML in French has been created. To subscribe send a message with word "subscribe" in the body of your message to email@example.com.
A new draft of XSchema fixes assorted typos and minor problems. XSchema is a proposed replacement for DTDs that uses XML syntax.
Python/XML version 0.5 has been released. These tools are definitely beta quality. Bug reports are solicited. The Python/XML distribution contains the basic tools required for processing XML data using the Python programming language, assembled into one easy-to-install package. The distribution includes parsers and standard interfaces such as SAX and DOM, along with various other useful modules. Currently included are several XML parsers, a SAX interface, a DOM interface, xmlarch.py, for architectural forms processing, a Unicode wide-string module, and documentation and example programs. Changes in this version include:
Techno2000 USA released version 1.5 of the $119.95 payware CLIP! XML Editor. New features include
CUESoft has released version 1.0 of the CUEXml ActiveX control/Delphi component as spamware. (You can download it after you give them your name, email address and other personal info.) A $195 professional version with source code and support is also available.
Late Night Software has released version 1.0d2 of XML Tools 1.0d2, an OSAX that allows AppleScript to parse XML via Expat. As far as I know this is the first XML parser for the Macintosh.
IBM's alphaWorks has released version 1.1.9 of XML Parser for Java (formerly XML for Java). This release conforms to the Namespace Proposed Recommendation, improves memory usage in SAX mode, ads -nowarn and -stdout options to XJParse, handles wildcards, and fixes many bugs.
metalab.unc.edu is officially changing its name to MetaLab.unc.edu. Naturally this affects both Cafe au Lait (http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq) and Cafe con Leche (http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/). All old links, bookmarks, email addresses, and the like should work for the foreseeable future, however. I'm going to be slowly updating my links on these pages. However, my first attempt to change over a couple of weeks ago uncovered a misconfiguration in UNC's SMTP server that lost my mail for a couple of days. Consequently, I'm going to be very cautious in the switch. If you notice any problems that seem like they might be caused by bad URLs please send me mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (NOT email@example.com since if there are any problems that address may lose your mail) and I'll try to fix them. All other email should go to firstname.lastname@example.org as usual.
Sun's posted the second early access release of the XML Library for Java on the Java Developer Connection. It's been renamed the much cooler Java Project X: Java Services for XML Technology. Java Project X is written in Java, and requires JDK 1.1.6 or later. It provides a SAX compliant, namespace aware, XML parser with optional validation, an in-memory object model tree for manipulating and writing XML structured data, and some basic support for integrating JavaBeans with XML.
Fujitsu's sponsoring a mailing list devoted to XLL (XLink and XPointer). To subscribe, send email to: email@example.com with the words "subscribe xlxp-dev" in the body of the message.
Philippe Le Hegaret has posted version 1.2 of KOML, the Koala Object Markup Language, an XML application to serialize Java objects. Version 1.2 fixes a bug and uses Base 64 encoding for the row element.
Version 0.7.1b1 of the Koala XSL engine is now available with assort bug fixes and performance enhancements.
I've updated the books page with several new and soon expected books.
Simon St. Laurent's expanded his XLinkFilter library with more examples.
XML won PC Magazine's 1998 Technical Excellence Award in the Standards category.
A draft of the new JIS extended Kanji character set is now available (in Japanese, of course) for public review and comment. The draft defines about 4000 Kanji and 630 symbols, apparently including some that aren't available in Unicode.
Jun Fujisawa sent in a number of new corrections for Chapters 2-4 of XML: Extensible Markup Language.
Three new reviews of XML: Extensible Markup Language have been posted at amazon.com since the last time I checked.
Mark Leisher has posted version 1.5 of the ClearyU BDF font. This is a 12 point, 100dpi, proportional Unicode font that includes 4120 Unicode characters. This covers most of Unicode except for the Han, Hangul, Tibetan, and Indic scripts. This version has numerous improvements in spacing, some minor glyph shape modifications (mostly fixing the Greek glyphs), and a few new glyphs.
IBM's alphaWorks has updated RDF for XML to the latest RDF draft specification and posted a whole bunch of new products for Java and XML integration including
Bean Markup Language, an XML-based component configuration and wiring language for JavaBeans.
DataCraft provides an XML view of databases and enables publishing XML forms to the Web.
Dynamic XML for Java, a processor for attaching Java displays and behaviors to XML trees and sub-trees (elements and children).
PatML, A rule-based pattern match/replace Java processor for XML.
TeXML, a path from XML into the TeX formatting language.
XML BeanMaker for generating Java bean classes from XML schemas
XML Editor Maker takes an XML schema and allows you to automatically generate visual editors for building SML documents.
XML Productivity Kit for Java, a layer on top of the XML Parser in Java
XML TreeDiff, a package of beans that provide the ability to efficiently differentiate and update DOM trees, just like diff and patch differentiate and update data files.
Jon Nelson found the XMI specification in PDF format on Unisys's Web site.
Simon St.Laurent is working on a Java class library for XLinks that extracts the linking information from a document, allowing the application to process the document without having to deal with the issues involved in creating and managing links. Right now the library supports simple and extended links, but not hub groups or attribute remapping.
IBM, Unisys, Oracle, and others have presented to the OMG the final proposal for the XML Metadata Interchange Format, XMI, an XML application for UML models. Unfortunately all that seems to be available to the public at this point is PR. The specification itself is nowhere to be found.
XML-APP is a new, informal, unmoderated mailing list created to support those who are interested in developing XML applications. This mailing list differs from XML-DEV in that it is intended to promote deployment of XML standards in real world applications. Only topics related to the application of XML technology are appropriate for this mailing list. XML-APP represents the "dwarvish" aspect of the XML community, down in the dirt and slime, working feverishly to make things work, and hounded by over-hype and deadlines. You can subscribe by sending a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsoft, WebMethods and Texcel, submitted a paper to the W3C about the Extensible Query Language (XQL). XQL, allegedly supported in IE 5.0 beta 2 (though I haven't yet tested this myself) allows developers to execute SQL like queries on XML documents. On the one hand I can see how this might be useful. On the other hand I'm worried developers will pour huge amounts of data into documents sent to the client rather than storing them in databases on the server and only sending the clients what they want.
Richard Tobin's RXP based, Web hosted XML well-formedness checker and validator now has an option to validate as well.
Jonathan Borden's Extensible Mail Transport Protocol (XMTP) is an XML encoding for MIME/SMTP; that is e-mail messages that may contain binary attachments. Particularly interesting is how binary data is embedded in XML documents using Base64 encoding.
Last night, my NT box finally finished downloading IE 5.0 sometime in the early A.M. hours, so I'll be checking it out today, and post more comments here later.
Update: I've finished checking and IE 5.0 most definitely does support direct display of XML documents plus CSS style sheets. Here's a very simple example of an XML document formatted with a CSS style sheet. View source to see the actual data. If you look at it in Netscape or an earlier version of IE, you'll probably also see the source. More of impressions of IE 5.0 are in today's Daily Verse.
Hans C. Arents, Director projects & consultancy OFFIS n.v. wrote in with some comments on the recently released IE 5.0 beta 2:
I saw a demo today by Sebastien Mizon of Microsoft France, given at the XML Forum conference in Paris (http://www.technoforum.fr/Pages/xml/xml.htm), of the XML capabilities of IE 5.0 beta 2. IE 5.0 by default shows a well-formed XML document as a (collapsible) tree of tags with content. When you attach a stylesheet to this XML file (a CSS 1.0 stylesheet, or an XSL stylesheet), the XML file is shown in all its glory as if it were an HTML file (although it is not converted to HTML, only rendered as such). As far as I could tell, the XSL it supports is something in between the original proposal and the present working draft, and they are clearly putting more effort in providing support for CSS stylesheets. We also got demonstrations of the different possibilities of the new msxml.dll XML parser (which can be used as a COM object not only on the IE 5 client side, but also on the IIS server side, e.g. in ASP pages), validation and error reporting for XML files in IE 5.0, XML islands in HTML,... We also saw Word 2000 in action, confirming the rumour that Word will *not* save in XML (and they don't plan to add this any time soon), but will save in HTML+XML tags for all the stuff which can't be captured in HTML. The guy from Microsoft assured me that their HTML+XML format will be identical in content and functionalities to the content and functionalities of their proprietary .doc format. The HTML+XML which comes out of Word 2000 isn't any real XML (yet), and I don't think they already have an XML DTD defined for this format: when asked to load a Word 2000 HTML+XML document in XML Notepad, XML Notepad already stopped at line 8 due to a syntax error.
I have not yet been able to duplicate the collapsible tree of tags with content style display I've heard about from several people. If anyone knows the secret, please email me.
Greg Stein's written mod_dav, a GPL'd DAV module for Apache. (the thing the Halloween document said couldn't be done). Current version is 0.9.0. DAV stands for "Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It's a Microsoft technology ostensibly for publishing documents to Web servers, but also for attempting to use complexity to lock out competitors in the Web server space, especially open source competitors. GDBM and Expat are required.
Speaking of open source, a second Halloween document has leaked.
I'm still trying to download IE 5 from Microsoft. However, I have been able to determine that this release provides optional support for the Vector Markup Language, VML. It also adds support for Vietnamese, Thai, Hebrew, and Arabic for the first time. Input methods for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, are also new. Most European languages are fully supported as well including Russian and Greek.
First reports are that this beta does support direct display of XML files as trees, and can even apply the transform parts of XML. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has more details about XML/CSS/XSL support in this beta.
Fujitsu's released version 0.8 of its HyBrick browser with support for XLink and XPointer. The site is in Japanese.
Microsoft has posted the first general beta of Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows. You may have trouble getting through, though. As usual, the site is severely handicapped by Microsoft's reliance on Windows NT servers that simply cannot handle the load of an extremely high traffic site like www.microsoft.com.
This beta is expected to support direct display of XML files with CSS style sheets. I'll check out the support myself, and report back on this page once I know more. For the first time, Java will not be bundled with the base configuration of the browser, but may be available as a separate download and in other, larger configurations.
Richard James Anderson has posted an early version of an ActiveX SAX control that can parse most XML documents that don't contain references to external entities. A sample VB6 app for reading and processing XML files is included.
The XML Syntax Working Group of the W3C is issuing a "Last Call" for comments on the specification Associating stylesheets with XML documents - version 1.0. Send any comments to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com by Friday, November 20th.
James Tauber has posted version 0.5 of FOP, his XSL formatting object to PDF translator. This version adds support for center and right paragraph alignment. XP and SAX are required.
Version 0.7b4 of the Koala XSL processor is now available. This release fixes assorted bugs.
The final version of XSchema 1.0 is now available. XSchema is a proposed replacement for DTDs that uses XML syntax.
James Tauber has posted version 0.4.5 of FOP, his XSL formatting object to PDF translator. This version is still pretty alpha. XP and SAX are required.
James Tauber has ported FOP, his XSL formatting object to PDF translator, to Java. The current version is 0.4.0 and very alpha. XP and SAX are required.
Several chapters from Building XML Applications by Simon St. Laurent and Ethan Cerami are now available. This book covers developing Java applets and applications that process XML.
ICE 1.0 is an XML based protocol for exchanging content between web sites.
The Mozilla team has elected to eliminate all the old front ends and move to a single, cross-platform front end that uses the next generation layout engine and scriptable components. This should improve CSS support, and probably XML as well. It should also result in a faster, more robust, and more predictable browser. However, the down side is that a stable version may be longer in coming.
Markus Kuhn has expanded his public domain, ISO 10646-1/Unicode version of the old "fixed" font that comes with the X11 Windows System to around 2500 characters, including all European characters of the commonly used 8-bit character sets plus a good selection of mathematical, phonetic alphabet, and other symbols.
Bill LaForge has released version 3.0 of Coins, his XML based scheme for serializing Java objects. This version is supposed to be easier to use, and is no longer free for developers.
Microsoft has submitted a proposal on HTML components to the W3C.
Dave Winer noticed that Netscape is using RDF/XML for the What's Related feature of Communicator 4.5.
Xmltr is a Frontier suite for translating XML documents into alternate representations like HTML.
The final review version of XSchema is available. The review period lasts until Sunday, 25 October and covers sections 4 and 5, appendix C, and those parts of sections 1-3 that have changed since the last version. If no technical questions are raised, the spec will be considered final on Monday, October 26th.
The W3C has released version 1.3b of the experimental Amaya web browser/editor for Windows and Linux. This release supports most of HTML 4.0. Amaya's most notable feature is limited support for MathML.
I note with regret the passing of Jon Postel at age 55 Friday. Postel, founder of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, and one of the key movers behind the still evolving restructuring of the domain name system. He was a true Internet pioneer. In a time when the Internet is filled with corporations trying make Internet standards a convenient club with which to bash their competitors, Postel was one of the last considering what was good for the many rather than what was profitable for the few. The Internet is poorer for losing him.
Michael Kay's released version 3.1 of SAXON a Java class library that sits on top of a SAX Parser and provides variety of facilities that help the application process an XML document. This release features assorted small enhancements. Source code is included.
Geir Ove Gronmo has released version 0.20 of xmlarch, an XML architectural forms processor written in Python. This release includes better documentation, full support for renaming, an option to get information about the original events, and assorted bug fixes.
Adobe has released the $895 FrameMaker 5.5.6 for Mac, Windows, and Unix. (Kudos to Adobe for releasing all three simultaneously.) This version offers the eagerly awaited XML export. Upgrades from 5.5 are $25, or free if you bought it since September 6. Upgrades from earlier versions range from $225 (Mac and Windows) to $645 (Unix shared license). Other new features include better support for Word 97 and PDF files and can handle Japanese, Chinese, and Korean for the first time if the necessary fonts and input methods are available on the host system. I'd like to hear from anybody who has a copy and can report on how well it works.
Markus Kuhn has created a public domain, ISO 10646-1/Unicode version of the old "fixed" font that comes with the X11 Windows System that covers around 1900 characters, including all European characters of the commonly used 8-bit character sets plus a good selection of mathematical, phonetic alphabet, and other symbols.
The big vapor/FUD news is that Microsoft has promised to support direct display of XML+CSS/XSL in the next beta of IE 5.0. No dates have been promised however. Several of the articles in Recommended Reading discuss this.
firstname.lastname@example.org has posted a very complimentary review of XML: Extensible Markup Language on amazon.com.
Chuck Allen's also working on XML for job postings. Although he doesn't seem as far along as HRML, his DTDs don't have HRML's copyright restrictions either, so it's actually possible for other people to use them.
Alan Esenther sent in a bunch of corrections for XML: Extensible Markup Language which I've added to the errata page. I'll try to get most of these fixed in the third printing.
XML-IT is a new Italian language mailing list for discussion of XML. To subscribe send email to email@example.com with the words "subscribe XML-IT" in the body of your message.
Interleaf and WebMethods were showing document management tools in the five figure range. Most of the other XML products were in the four figure region. By contrast, most HTML products I saw ran between $100 and $300. Clearly, these companies don't see XML as a mass market technology. If XML is going to take off, the freeware community is going to have to do the heavy lifting. Otherwise, at these prices XML is limited to the same markets as SGML.
IBM's alphaworks has released version 1.1.4 of XML for Java, an XML parser written in Java. This release supports the DOM Level 1 specification, runs faster, adds 18 new EBCDIC encodings, and fixes assorted bugs.
I'll be at Internet World in New York tomorrow, Friday October 9. Anyone who wants to get together or who has an XML product to look at should drop me an email.
PR3 of the Docuverse DOM SDK PR3 is now available.
Peter Flynn's posted version 1.4.1 of the XML FAQ List.
The following important announcement about corporate efforts in Congress to steal intellectual property rights from creators and consumers via the Digital Future Coalition:
On September 24, 1998, Congress held the first of several meetings, to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" (DMCA). These meetings could be completed by the end of this week!
The DMCA makes significant changes to American copyright law in the name of implementing recent World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright treaties. Unfortunately, some of the proposed changes could upset the uniquely American balance between the users and creators of copyrighted works. The Senate bill lacks adequate protections for fair use, encryption research, and personal privacy. It could also limit the availability of future consumer electronics and computer products. On the other hand, the House version contains many extraneous provisions that have little or nothing to do with implementing the important WIPO treaties. These provisions in the House bill would overturn three consumer-oriented Supreme Court decisions. The Justice department has concluded that one of these provisions, Title V, which creates sweeping new anti-fair-use rights in databases and other collections of information, may well be unconstitutional. (This Title V was previously a separate bill, the "Collections of Information Antipiracy Act.") Now is the time to speak up because these meetings will determine the final form of this legislation as it goes to the President's desk to be signed into law.
If you care about the future of the Internet, you should let your Senators and Representatives know, as soon as possible, how important it is to preserve the essential provisions of the House DMCA, which protects fair use, personal privacy, the availability of consumer products and encryption research - while rejecting its harmful extraneous provisions.
You can find out exactly what you can to do to help on the Digital Future Coalition web site.
International Data Corporation's latest study claims that Internet Explorer has passed Netscape Navigator as the most used browser. According to IDC, IE has 43.8% market share to Netscape's 41.5%. Figures are for the first half of 1998.
For some work I'm doing with Unicode programs, I need a large quantity of public domain Greek text encoded in Unicode or UTF-8, perhaps something like Homer's Odyssey or Plato's Republic. I could also convert text encoded in ISO 8859-7, Windows 1253, or MacGreek. However, all I've found so far is a variety of Roman transliterations and English and German translations. If you happen to know of such a thing available on the Internet, could you please drop me a line? Cyrillic text (War and Peace? The Brothers Karamazov?) would also be useful, but since I don't speak any Cyrillic languages, I'd prefer to work with Greek.
The Web Standards Project is coordinating a petition "to Let Netscape know you care about getting that standards-friendly NGLayout engine, which is supposed to make Navigator 100% compliant with CSS-1 and DOM, into the next version of their browser. Before they exhaust their resources on Netcenter, remind them that standards come first. Tell 'em you want your NGLayout!"
Members of the House Commerce Committee will vote this Thursday, September 23, on the Oxley bill, a.k.a "CDA II". This bill is yet another unconstitutional intrusion onto our free speech rights. If your representative sits on the House commerce committee, your phone call would be especially appreciated. More information including phone numbers of the members of the House Commerce Committee is available from the Center for Democracy and Technology.
John Cowan's posted the first preliminary version of DOMParser, a SAX compliant XML parser, except that its input comes from a DOM implementation rather than an
Geir Ove Gronmo has posted version 0.11 of xmlarch.py, an XML architectural forms processor written in Python. This software allows you to process XML architectural forms using any SAX parser. This is a bug fix release.
The W3C has posted the official DTD for the XML specification DTD and its documentation. This DTD is intended for W3C working drafts, notes, recommendations, and other technical reports. It includes tags for
The Silfide Working Group has released version 0.8 of SXP, the Silfide XML Parser, a validating, SAX compliant XML Parser written in Java that implements XML 1.0, the 18-05-1998 version of namespaces, DOM Level 1, XPointers and XLink.
Version 2.1.5 of the Unicode Character Database is now available. This incorporates all changes approved at the Unicode Technical Committee meeting held at the end of July, 1998.
Richard Tobin posted an RXP-based well-formedness checker
Sgrep-1.71a has been released in binary form Win32 and i386-Linux. Sgrep is a tool to search and index text, SGML, XML and HTML files using structured patterns.
miow is an alleged web browser written in Python that can render XML documents, using CSS style sheets.
James Clark has updated XT, his free XSL implementation in Java, to fix assorted bugs. Source is included. XT supports the tree construction/transformation half of the latest XSL draft, and is approximately alpha quality. It also implements the latest namespaces draft.
David Megginson's posted an psgml-xpointer.el, an add-on to the PSGML emacs mode that calculates an XPointer to the containing element of any arbitrary point in an XML or SGML document.
IBM's alphaworks has released a new version of RDF for XML, a Java implementation of the RDF XML application for describing, categorizing, rating, and searching data. This update corresponds to the latest W3C RDF draft specification and works with alphaworks' XML for Java 1.0.4.
I'm back from SD98 East in D.C. so this page should be updated more reliably this week. There was a surprising amount of interest in XML expressed by attendees although it was by no means a focus of the show, and most of the XML heavyweights were up in Canada at the XML Developers Conference in Quebec. Extrapolating from the set of attendees at SD98 East to the complete set of U.S. programmers, I'd say that most programmers don't know a lot about XML yet but they definitely want to know more. Although I was there to talk about Java Network Programming, I got a lot more questions about XML.
International Language Engineering Corporation has released OpenFilter 1.0, a free collection of XML-based localization tools for Windows.
The Silfide Working Group has posted yet another SAX compliant validating XML parser written in Java, the Silfide XML Parser (SXP, v0.7). SXP implements XML 1.0, XML Namespaces, Document Object Model Level 1 (DOM Core and XML, WD 20-07-1998), XPointer (WD 03-03-1998), and XLink (WD 03-03-1998)
A new version of XSchema is compliant with the latest namespaces draft.
Frank Boumphrey has posted tutorials on the W3C and IE5 Document Object Models (DOMs) for HTML and XML.
Bill LaForge has updated coins, his free XML based scheme for serializing Java objects, a whole lot of times since the last time I mentioned it here. The latest release includes support for aggregation and a real cache, but there've been lots of other improvements too over the last several weeks.
IBM's alphaworks has released a new version of its RDF for XML software written in Java. This RDF processor builds, queries, and manipulates RDF structures, and it serializes and deserializes them to and from XML forms.
Yoshida Masato has posted an XML Parser Module for Ruby (version 0.3.3) based on James Clark's expat C XML parser. (Software is at http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~yoshidam/xmlparser-0.3.3.tar.gz) Ruby is an object oriented, interpreted scripting language.
James Clark has released version 0.4 of his XP XML processor. This release fixes assorted bugs and provides more information about the markup of the document including information about comments, entity references and the document type.
Lars Marius Garshol has proposed a specification for XML Software Autoupdate (XSA), a system for automatically keeping track of new releases of software products.
Sebastian Rahtz has posted an updated set of JadeTeX macros, and some unofficial patches to Jade.
John Cowan's posted a new draft of the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Simple Hypertext DTD (IBTWSH). IBTWSH is a DTD for a small subset of HTML 4.0, adapted to XML syntax, and suitable for embedding HTML like text in XML documents.
IBM and Microsoft have submitted a proposal to the W3C for a Document Content Description (DCD) for XML. DCDs would replace DTDs in describing the allowable tags and structure of an XML document. The most notable change in DCD is that it allows for typed data such as dates or integers. To this extent it is based on a subset of the still controversial XML-Data proposal. It is important to remember that this note has no official status, and adoption by the W3C or indeed anyone is not guaranteed.
The Webstandards Project is a user and web developer consortium dedicated to browbeating the vendors who mostly make up the W3C into providing some minimal reliable level of cross-platform, cross-browser support for technologies like CSS, HTML, and XML. It's been formed by high end web shops and consultants who are tired of the time and effort it takes to develop multiple sites for different browsers. Worth checking out.
The list of speakers, talks, and abstracts for Montreal XML Developers' Conference later this month is now available.
IBM's alphaworks has posted a bug fix release, 1.0.4, of their XML for Java validating parser. This does NOT conform to the 19980720 DOM draft.
XML: Extensible Markup Language is once again out of stock at amazon.com after less than twelve hours of renewed availability. If you can find a copy buy it quick. They seem to be sell out faster than Seinfeld tickets in New York City. Computer Literacy, however, can ship it from the Web within 24 hours and has copies in all four of its brick and mortar stores.
Several correspondents noted that the galaxy on the cover of XML: Extensible Markup Language is the "Sombrero Galaxy". The most detailed response comes from Robert J. Brunner of Caltech's Astronomy Department:
As a professional Astronomer, I thought I would give you a little information on your book cover. The object appears to be the Sombrero Galaxy (Officially known as Messier 104). It has not, nor could it be (at least to my knowledge), been imaged by the Hubble space telescope (it is relatively nearby and hence too large to fit within their aperture). It is a late Sa or early Sb type galaxy that is inclined to us by around 6 degrees -- thus your observations as to an edge on spiral is quite astute.
This page contains links to images of M104, some of which should look very familiar.
The public pictures from HST are viewable at
The only clear example of an HST image is the Java RMI cover which is a dying star.
Dr. Brunner also had an excellent suggestion for the series nickname, but I'll withhold that for a few days to give other readers a chance to send in their own suggestions.
amazon.com has XML: Extensible Markup Language back in stock. Current rank is 18,429. My associates report for last week only shows 12 direct sales. There are probably some sales that didn't go through my links. Regardless, it doesn't seem like it takes that many sales to move a book in their listings. Computer Literacy now has it ready for shipment in 2-3 days, and is offering international buyers free until the end of July.
I still don't have my own copies of XML: Extensible Markup Language, but IDG did send me this small picture of the cover:
Near as I can make out that's a side-on view of a spiral galaxy, but I could be wrong.
IDG's official name for this series is "The Professional Series" but that's rather boring, and I don't think that name is used outside of IDG. Other books in the series include my own JavaBeans which has a picture of a nebula, Troy Downing's Java RMI, Bernard van Haecke's JDBC, and Daniel I. Joshi and Pavel A. Vorobiev's JFC: Java Foundation Classes. Cover pictures are below.
What do you think this series should be called? Space books? Astrobooks? Hubble books? (All the cover pictures come from the Hubble Space Telescope) Something else? Send me your ideas. I'll post the best ones here, and send a free copy of XML: Extensible Markup Language to the person who submits the most creative, humorous, or original suggestion.
IBM's alphaworks has released TaskGuide Viewer, an XML-based application for creating wizards. An XML markup language is used to write scripts that describe the steps taken in the wizard.
As you might expect, going out of stock doesn't seem to help a book's sales. XML: Extensible Markup Language dropped below 25,000 on the amazon.com bestseller list over the last couple of days though it's since bounced back to 3,920. This is depressing. I think I'm going to stop tracking this until they get back in stock. Computer Literacy has it in stock at their Vienna, VA store and can ship it from their web site in 7-10 days, and is offering international buyers free shipping until the end of July.
Microsoft has posted beta 1 of XML Notepad, a tree-based XML editor for Windows. XML Notepad requires IE4 Service Pack 1 or IE5.
XML: Extensible Markup Language reached as high as 390 on the amazon.com bestseller list yesterday and for at least two hours was the number one best-selling XML book before amazon ran out of stock. :-( Despite that little set back, it's continued to climb to 361. Although amazon currently lists the book as not yet published, that is incorrect. Amazon should have more copies soon, and it should also be available at other bookstores, online and off, very shortly. Computer Literacy has it in stock at their Vienna, VA store and can ship it from their web site in 7-10 days, and is offering international buyers free until the end of July.
The W3C has released a new draft of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) specification. This draft makes it clear that RDF does not have to be layered on top of XML, though in practice it likely will be.
XML: Extensible Markup Language reached as high as 1,790 on the amazon.com bestseller list yesterday after debuting at 289,821, probably due to sales from this site and Cafe con Leche. This made it amazon's second best-selling XML book behind Simon St. Laurent's XML: A Primer at 138. XML: Extensible Markup Language was #9 of all XML books at Barnes and Noble, but they didn't have it in stock yet. As I write this XML: Extensible Markup Language is down to 2,355. (Update: as of 10:50 it's jumped back up to 1,163. XML: A Primer is at 219.)
I've been tracking it pretty closely to try to figure out exactly how many sales it takes to move a book where in the rankings. As Dan Gray, a fellow computer book author told me, "this amazon sales ranking is more addicting than the stock market" So far I'm tracking it manually, but this weekend I'm going to use a little Java Network Programming to automate the process so I can track these figures minute by minute. Maybe I'll even write a "book ticker" applet for web sites.
Don Park has released Free-DOM 0.3.0 to support this new version of the DOM specification. Free-DOM is a SAX based java implementation of the DOM.
NSTL's YMark 2000 is a free program to help test PCs for Year 2000 compliance.
MacInTouch has noted an Internet Explorer 4.0 mystery involving unrequested connections to www.iechannelguide.com. It turns out that Mac IE 4.01 ships with an Active Channel named "Internet Explorer for Macintosh Channel" written in the XML-based Channel Definition Format (CDF).
CDF, discussed in Chapter 10 of my upcoming book XML: Extensible Markup Language, allows web sites to automatically notify readers of changes to critical information. Of course what's really going on is that the client machine periodically connects back to the server machine to look for updates, and that's what's happening here. You can eliminate this behavior by removing the channel file DefaultChannels.html from the Explorer inside the Preferences folder inside the System Folder.
Does anyone know if IE 4.0 for Windows does anything similar?
I've received a call for papers for the Hypertexts And Hypermedia: Products, Tools, Methods conference to be held in St. Denis, France, September 23-24, 1999. The conference aims to bring together designers, publishers and users of hypermedia technology on a pragmatic level. Relevant topics for this conference include strategic issues for the future development of hypermedia technology, such as:
Initial drafts of papers are due by February 2, 1999. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Henry S. Thompson's released the first beta of his XML editor XED with assorted bug fixes and a few new features including support for ISO Latin-1.
The W3C has released a new draft of the HTTP-ng Architectural Model.
The voting is closed on naming conventions for XSchema. The results are:
Meanwhile a new version of the XSchema specification has been posted that addresses assorted issues in Section 2.
I'll be at MacWorld NY today (Friday). At 2:00 P.M. I'll be participating in a panel discussion about the state of Java on the Macintosh. Stop by and say hi.
I'll be at MacWorld NY tomorrow (Friday). At 2:00 P.M. I'll be participating in a panel discussion about the state of Java on the Macintosh. Drop me an email if you've got something you want me to see or talk about. It would help if you include your phone number, especially if you don't have a booth.
I've updated the XML books page.
The W3C has decided that HTML 4.0 is the end of the line. Enhancements to what we now know as HTML will be limited to bug fixes and other minor changes. Future versions of HTML will be XML applications that are not compatible with current HTML.
A new HTML working group will be focusing on:
A call for votes for comp.text.xml has been posted. Approval is expected.
MIT Press is starting a new peer-reviewed academic journal titled Markup Languages: Theory & Practice to be published quarterly starting with the Winter, 1999 issue. It covers
research, development, and practical applications of text markup for computer processing, management, manipulation, and display. Specific areas of interest include new syntaxes for generic markup languages; refinements to existing markup languages; theory of formal languages as applied to document markup; systems for mark-up; uses of markup for printing, hypertext, electronic display, content analysis, information reuse and repurposing, search and retrieval, and interchange; shared applications of markup languages; and techniques and methodologies for developing markup languages and applications of markup languages.
IBM's alphaworks has released XML for Java 1.0 with a free commercial license.
Simon St. Laurent's posted the draft for XSchema attribute declarations.
James Clark has released a new version of expat, a non-validating XML 1.0 parser toolkit in C. This release is roughly feature complete for the first time. New features in this release include:
I stopped by PC Expo in New York yesterday and overall it was quite boring. There was almost no XML anywhere. I did hear from one gentlemant the Adobe booth that FrameMaker with XML support is now in private beta, and may be out by the end of the year.
I did note that for the first time in several years most companies on the main show floor managed to resist the urge to label every program, printer, mouse, scanner, hard drive and other gizmo as "Internet ready" or "Web compatible". There was a separate WebX hall that was almost empty of attendees. Finally, the Internet appears to be fading into the background of the computing infrastructure rather than being the "hot new thing."
IBM's alphaworks has updated XML for Java with XPointer support and assorted bug fixes.
According to Marc Andreesen of Netscape
the XML working group in the W3C has -- because the Navigator source code is available -- decided Navigator should be the delivery vehicle for the reference implementation of XML.
So they're putting the reference implementation of XML out of the working group into the Navigator source code themselves.
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
David Megginson has released the first beta of XAF, a free Java-based XML Architectural Forms Processor that acts as both a SAX application and a SAX parser. XAF uses any SAX 1.0-conformant parser to parse an XML document, then masquerades as a SAX parser itself so that the client application sees the architectural document instead of the actual XML document.
Lesley West and Peter Murray-Rust have launched the Virtual Hyperglossary (VHG). According to them:
Terminology (glossaries, dictionaries, etc.) are an essential part of providing semantic information ("what does FOO mean?"). The VHG is aimed at providing this in a distributed WWW context as has been developed so that non-experts in terminology can construct their own glossaries. Because these use XML syntax they can interoperate with any XML document and can therefore be used as a simple but powerful way of adding semantics. The VHG approach is deliberately simple so that glossaries can be developed and maintained without special tools.
The VHG is built from existing or emerging standards, at present:
The VHG is a philosophy as well as a technology and encourages organisations to develop their terminology for use in a global distributed context. We are already partnering with providers of high-quality content such as learned societies and governmental organisations.
- XML1.0 for syntax
- XLink (XML-LINK) for providing structure (e.g to support multilinguality)
- ISO FDIS 12620 for terminological data categories
Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard, Macromedia, Microsoft, and Visio have submitted a new XML based Vector Markup Language (VML) to the W3C for consideration as a possible standard. VML is in some sense a competitor to Adobe's previously proposed Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML). However VML is oriented more towards editing of graphics while PGML concentrates more on display.
Jim Whitehead and Murata Makoto have proposed using "text/xml" and "application/xml" as the XML MIME types. "text/xml" is for UTF-8 and similar encodings or any XML file sent via HTTP. "application/xml" is for UTF-16 encodings not sent via HTTP.
James Clark has released version 1.1.1 of his JADE DSSSL formatting engine. This is primarily a bug fix release.
Michael Kay has released SAXON, a Java package that provides a layer of services on top of SAX including
James Clark has reorganized his collection of XML test cases andded a few new test cases.
Bill Laforge has updated the documentation for Coins, his XML based Java serialization package.
Persimmon is working on ML style sheets for XML. Note that in this context ML is the programming language ML, not any markup language. This is a third path alongside CSS and XSL.
NFF, the Notes Flat File Format is an XML based interchange format for the Lotus Notes/Domino platform. The NFF DTD supports the majority of constructs that occur in Notes data such as structured fields, rich text, doclinks, import objects and so on. A Notes import filter for NFF files is also included.
The W3C's published the first working draft of the requirements for XSL.
IBM's alphaworks has updated XML for Java to support SAX 1.0 and UTF-16 as well as various bug fixes and a few API changes.
XMLTest now supports SAX 1.0. XMLTest generates canonical XML useful for testing SAX compliant XML parsers.
expat, a C library for parsing XML, adds support for external general entities.
XP 0.3 adds support for SAX 1.0, increases efficiency of large CDATA sections, and handles exceptions somewhat differently. There are also assorted bug fixes.
Mozilla source code is now available through Concurrent Versions System (CVS).
Media Design in*Progress says they've released the $795 payware Interaction 2.0, a plug-in for MacOS web servers that converts XML plus CSS style sheets to HTML on the fly before serving it to browsers. However as of 7:46 P.M. EDT today, the server at their advertised URL is throwing out blank pages.?
% telnet interaction.in-progress.com 80 Trying 18.104.22.168... Connected to interaction.in-progress.com. Escape character is '^]'. GET / HTTP/1.0 HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 00:51:03 GMT Server: CL-HTTP/63.1 (Macintosh Common Lisp; 3.1.4) Expires: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 00:51:33 GMT Content-type: text/html Set-Cookie: id=43QHD; Connection closed by foreign host.
This of course leads one to wonder whether or not in*Progress is eating their own dog food? Since the server's up and running, that certainly looks like it could be the result of a misbehaving plug-in that's trying to convert XML to HTML and failing. And if the blank pages are indeed a result of bugs in their own product, why you would want to pay $795 to beta test their product?