Random XMLy Standardsy Things

Prague, Schema progress, Pentaformat, OData, Grey Power, ODF Interop

By Rick Jelliffe
March 22, 2010 | Comments: 2

Catching my eye at the moment:

  • XML Prague 2010's Proceedings are out now. (PDF)
  • W3C SC34 has its quarterly meeting, in Stockholm. I hope to be able to reveal a couple of interesting developments from this, pending acceptance at the plenary. I am hopeful the new version of Schematron will be progressing.
  • W3C's Ian Jacobs has extended a public invitation to Microsoft to start an Incubator Group at W3C for their OData technology. Microsoft's excellent Michael Champion has made some nice but non-committal noises back. (I blogged about CSDL, which is part of OData, a couple of weeks ago.)

    UPDATE: Miguel de Icaza weighs in"

    It seems like Microsoft is doing the right things to get oData to be adopted. It reused Atom as the exchange format, made the services REST-based, it made client libraries available for many developer platforms and placed the spec under the OSP. ... Microsoft has announced that they will be open sourcing the .NET client library under the Apache 2 license. ... This is trickier, and I believe that if Microsoft wants to bootstrap the oData universe they need to seed this space not only with some existing services but also with an open source OData server implementation for Unix.

  • Pentaformat is an analysis of document systems into five categories: content, structure, presentation, behaviour, and metadata, which comes out of the University of Bologna, and associated with Fabio Vitelli, Antonina Dattolo, Angelo Di Iorio and others. It has been suggested as a good conceptual and perhaps even practical framework for mapping formats such as ODF and OOXML (PDF). See Patterns for descriptive documents: a formal analysis (PDF) for details. Di Iorio's thesis Pattern-based Segmentation of Digital
    Documents: Model and Implementation
    is a much longer treatment, and has a really excellent survey of some seminal academic material: I recommend it to anyone wanting to bone up. It will be interesting to see whether Sc34 WG5 (ODF and OOXML Harmonization) can use it.
  • The SC34 website has the latest resolutions of the ISO/IEC JTC1 committee that looks after maintaining the JTC1 Directives. Among the changes are this addition "ISO and IEC will work towards eliminating barriers to accessing or participating in ISO and IEC activities and its body of work, especially for people with disabilities and older users" (emphasis added.) I blogged on grey power a few weeks ago.
  • Nils Klarlund's 2003 XML: Models, Schemas, Types, Logics and Queries presents XML from a very different angle than the Di Iorio thesis: for Di Iorio documents are linguistic artifacts for human communication, for Klarlund, documents are mathematical objects. So it is a great companion piece to that thesis for students approaching documents as an academic subject. I particularly liked the comment

    Schema languages mostly follow the tradition of programming languages: everything that is not explicitly specified to be allowed must not occur. This closed world assumption is fundamentally at odds with the extensibility assumption of XML.
  • ODF State of Interoperability (Committee Draft, PDF) identifies the following priority areas for improvement: document encryption, change tracking, form controls, embedded charts, spreadsheet formula syntax, nested lists and list continuations. Other issues include: style names beginning with a number, documents missing a mimetype file, and wrong DOCTYPE on MathML documents. Validation is commended as a proven tool for testing conformance.
  • Belatedly: Boycott-BoycottNovell.

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thanks Jeff for these really interesting references - much appreciated!

BLOG: Grazie. Who is Jeff?

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