XML News from Thursday, August 24, 2006

The W3C Web Application Formats Working Group has posted the first public working draft of the Web Applications Packaging Formats Requirements. According to the draft,

Application Packaging is the process of bundling an application and its resources into an archive format (eg. a .zip file [ZIP]) for the purpose of distribution and deployment. A package bundle usually includes a manifest, which is a set of instructions that tell a host runtime environment how to install and run the packaged application. Application packaging is used on both the server-side, as is the case with Sun's JEE .war files and .ear files and Microsoft's .NET .cab files, and on the client-side, as is the case with widgets such as those distributed by Apple, Opera, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Currently, there is no standardized way to package an application for distribution and deployment on the web. Each vendor has come up with their own solution to what is essentially the same problem (see Appendix). The working group hopes that by standardising application packaging authors will be able to distribute and deploy their applications across a variety of platforms in a standardized manner that is both easy to use and device independent.