XML News from Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The W3C Schema working group has published the first public working draft of Guide to Versioning XML Languages using XML Schema 1.1. According to the introduction:

creating and using multiple versions of a language is common and useful. As described, extensibility is a key contributor to versioning. It can enable forwards and backwards compatible versioning. The majority of this guide focuses on Schema 1.1 extensibility techniques that enable forwards-compatible versioning. In schema terms, this is when a schema processor with an older schema can process and validate an instance that is valid against a newer schema.

The W3C GRDDL Working Group has posted the first public working draft of Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL). According to the abstract,

GRDDL is a mechanism for Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages. This GRDDL specification introduces markup for declaring that an XML document includes gleanable data and for linking to an algorithm, typically represented in XSLT, for gleaning the resource descriptions from the document.

The markup includes a namespace-qualified attribute for use in general-purpose XML documents and a profile-qualified link relationship for use in valid XHTML documents. The GRDDL mechanism also allows an XML namespace document (or XHTML profile document) to declare that every document associated with that namespace (or profile) includes gleanable data and for linking to an algorithm for gleaning the data.

The result of such a glean is an RDF description of the document.

Scott Stanchfield has released ANTXR, an ANTLR-based XML parser. ANTXR is distributed under the Eclipse Public License.

The Lucene Apache Project has released Nutch 0.81, an open source web-search engine based on Lucene Java but adding web-specific tools including a web crawler, a link-graph database, an HTML parser, and so forth.

SysOnyx has posted a beta of xmlDig, a tool that queries a database with a valid SQL statement and returns an XML result set.

The W3C Technical Architecture Working Group (TAG) has published a draft finding on Passwords in the Clear:

The purpose of this finding is to clarify the security concerns around using passwords on the world wide web.  Specifically, the objective is to point out a few conclusions the TAG has come to;

1) Passwords MUST NOT be transmitted in clear text.
2) Passwords MUST  use password masking when displayed in the html form

The purpose of this paper to explain these findings and give direction around possible alternatives.

I guess HTTP basic auth is dead then.

The W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group has published the last call working draft of the Ink Markup Language. According to the abstract,

The Ink Markup Language serves as the data format for representing ink entered with an electronic pen or stylus. The markup allows for the input and processing of handwriting, gestures, sketches, music and other notational languages in applications. It provides a common format for the exchange of ink data between components such as handwriting and gesture recognizers, signature verifiers, and other ink-aware modules. ...

This fourth version of the Working Draft includes a few conceptual changes to simplify the definition while achieving greater expressive power. It also contains many small changes of details to make element and attribute use uniform accross the the definition to make it easier to learn and simpler to process.

The main changes are:

Several changes of detail have been made to support the above, to make the naming and use of elements and attributes consistent, and to remove duplication.

My main objection to this spec is that it embeds lots of non-XML markup that you have to write your own parser for, ratehr than using an XML parser.

<trace id = "id4525abc">
   1125 18432,'23'43,"7"-8,3-5,7 -3,6 2,6 8,3 6 T,2 4*T,3 6,3-6 F F

<sarcasm>Gee, that's not the least bit opaque.</sarcasm>. This looks like the SVG mistake all over again. I wrote about this in Item 11 of Effective XML, "Make Structure Explicit through Markup.".

Steve Palmer has posted a new beta ( of Vienna 2.1, an open source RSS/Atom client for Mac OS X. Vienna is the first reader I've found acceptable for daily use; not great but good enough. (Of course my standards for "good enough" are pretty high.) 2.1 focuses on improving the user interface with a unified layout that lets you scroll through several articles, article filtering (e.g. read all articles since the last refresh), manual folder reordering, a new get info window, and an improved condensed layout.

Axizon has released the Tiger XSLT Mapper, a $399 payware Java tool that provides a visual interface for creating XSLT stylehseets by mapping expected inputs to desired outputs.