XML News from Monday, June 5, 2006

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 6, I'll be joining the Philadelphia Java User's Group in Malvern, PA, at the Unisys East Coast Development Center, 2476 Swedesford Rd, Paoli PA. to talk about RSS, Atom, APP, and All That. The meeting is free and open to the public, but you need to RSVP to Dave Fecak if you would like to attend.

Next week on Tuesday June 13, I'll be deliveing essentially the same talk to the monthly meeting of the Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey (ACGNJ) JUG in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Again the meeting is free and open to the public.

Norm Walsh has published the sixth beta of DocBook 5.0 DocBook 5 is "a significant redesign that attempts to remain true to the spirit of DocBook." The schema is written in RELAX NG. A DTD and W3C XML Schema generated from the RELAX NG schema are also available. There's also a Schematron schema "that validates some extra-grammatical DocBook constraints. These patterns are also present directly in the RELAX NG Grammar and some validators, for example MSV, can perform both kinds of validation at the same time." This beta allows MathML and SVG in imagedata and improves support for aspect-oriented programming source code in DocBook documents.

Norm Walsh has also posted the third candidate release of DocBook 4.5. Version 4.5 implements a minor bug-fix to citebiblioid and updates the reference documentation.

As you may recall, I wrote Processing XML with Java in DocBook 4. I've been playing with DocBook 5 lately for a couple of possible future book projects. While it's clearly an improvement over DocBook 4 in numerous ways—for instance it uses namespaces, embeds SVG and MathML, and has reasonable XInclude support—the tool chain isn't up to snuff yet. The stylesheets and various editors like Oxygen haven't adapted to life in a DocBook 5 world yet. I'll probably continue to use DocBook 5 because I'm a bleeding edge sort of guy, but most users should stick to DocBook 4 for the time being.

Dominik Brettnacher has posted Annotate 0.1.6, a free-as-in-speech (GPL) annotation facility for DocBook documents. According to brettnacher, "Annotate enables visitors of an online version of a DocBook document to add comments to any paragraph or chapter of the document." This sounds immensely useful. The Uuser interface could use a little polishing, but it seems functional.

The Helsinki University of Technology has posted the first alpha of X-Smiles 1.0, a proof-of-concept XForms engine written in Java. According to Mikko Pohja, "The main new features of this release are in the areas of XBL, custom controls, and XHTML+SVG compound documents by inclusion."