Introducing SPARQL: Querying the Semantic Web
Leigh Dodds presents the first of a multipart tutorial on SPARQL, a query
language for RDF and the Semantic Web, which may also play a role in Web 2.0 apps
An Introduction to FOAF
Friend-of-a-friend, FOAF, is an RDF vocabulary for machine-readable homepages. It
enables the expression of decentralized social networks akin to the centralized ones
Friendster and Orkut. Leigh Dodds provides an introduction to FOAF and its
In Leigh Dodds' last XML-Deviant column, he examines the ISO's DSDL project and
the XML development community's reaction to it.
The IETF, Best Practices and XML Schemas
In this week's XML-Deviant column, Leigh Dodds reports on the IETF's efforts to
define best practices for the use of XML, which has fanned the flames of debate about
XML Europe 2002 Coverage
Leigh Dodds is in Barcelona this week, busy munching tapas and attending XML
Europe 2002. This week's column features up-to-the-minute conference coverage.
This week's XML-Deviant surveys the multifaceted debates about the REST web
When to Use Get?
The XML-Deviant examines the recent debate surrounding the TAG's draft statement
on the proper use of GET.
XML Namespaces 1.1
This week's Deviant examines the Namespaces 1.1 Working Draft, as well as its
goals and likely impact on XML processors and development practices.
W3C XML Schema Needs You
In this week's Deviant column the issue of interoperability and specification
conformance of XML Schema processors is discussed.
Processing Model Considered Essential
This week's XML-Deviant uncovers an issue underlying many debates about XML: the
lack of a formal XML processing model.
In a Lather About Security
This week's XML-Deviant column recounts a recent discussion about the security of
SOAP, RPC, and REST.
Message Patterns and Interoperability
The XML-Deviant reports on the recent discussions about kinds of messaging
patterns, as well as industry efforts to certify web services
The Deviant column examines the relation of namespaces and document types, as
well as multi-typed documents, in the context of XML processing models.
Leigh Dodds looks at recent discussions about the efficiency of XML-based
distributed application frameworks.
The XML-Deviant asks whether the XQuery specification should be refactored, and
whether it should be released without specifying significant parts of the expected
The publication of the first draft of XML 1.1 is the cause of much dissent in the
Far from Patchy Progress
Leigh Dodds reviews the recent history of the Apache XML project, its the latest
SOAP developments, and concludes that Apache XML has matured considerably.
Wrap Your App
Leigh Dodds reports on recent community conversations about solving the XML
application packaging problem.
Leigh Dodds describes the recent XML developer community's debate about the best
way to fix XML's ID attribute problem.
XML and Databases? Follow Your Nose
Leigh Dodds explores the sometimes pungent, often sweet world of XML-database
integration requirement smells.
Being Too Generous
Leigh Dodds reports on the community's so far successful efforts to convince
Microsoft to fix XML conformance bugs in IE6.
Leigh Dodds searches the fault lines of the XML development community and finds
that a desire for technological diversity is the new epicenter.
A Path to Enlightenment
Leigh Dodds takes us for stroll down the path of XML complexity, seeking the
enlightenment of simplicity.
Leigh Dodds reviews a debate about the usefulness of XSLT, concluding that if
used as intended, XSLT is one of the successful XML technologies.
Opening Old Wounds
Leigh Dodds discusses the interpretation of namespaces and XML Schema and, in the
process, highlights an important flaw in the W3C's specification process.
Doing it Simpler
Dodds recaps the history of SML-DEV's efforts to simplify XML, including Common
XML, MinML, and YAML. He then examines where SML-DEV may be going next.
The RDF Calendar Task Force
Dodds describes the goals and methodology of the RDF Calendar Task Force, a
practical Semantic Web development effort.
The Collected Works of SAX
Dodds reports on XML-DEV's latest efforts to enhance the SAX API and to build a
standard library of SAX tools.
Sunshine and Blueberries
Leigh Dodds explores the issues behind the W3C's newly-forming Technical
Architecture Group, as well as giving an update on XML Blueberry.
Against the Grain
XML developers are talking about a perennial question: how can XML and database
technologies be integrated appropriately?
A proposed revision of XML to accommodate new Unicode characters is becoming a
sticky point of debate in the XML developer world.
A recent debate about supporting OASIS catalogs in XML shows that strong
differences of opinion still exist on interpretation of the XML 1.0 specification
What You See Isn't What We Want
Getting back to basics, we take a look at the best way of getting your documents
marked up in XML.
Time for Consolidation
Is XML changing the way applications are being designed? If so, what tools should
you use to model these applications?
Parsing the Atom
Not every piece of data the XML programmer has to deal with comes neatly packaged
in angle brackets. XML developers have been examining how W3C XML Schema could help
Intuition and Binary XML
Binary encodings for XML is a well-worn topicon XML-DEV, yet last week's
revisiting of the debate introduced some interesting new evidence.
XP Meets XML
The XML-Deviant has been watching advocates of the latest
trend in software development, Extreme Programming, get to grips with XML. At least
have acronyms in common.
Schemas by Example
There has been a lot of activity in the area of XML schema languages recently:
with several key W3C publications and another community proposed schema
Extensions to XSLT
Members of the XSL mailing list have started a commnunity-based project to
standardize extensions for XSLT.
Toward an XPath API
Since XSLT and XPointer rely on XPath, developers are asking whether an XPath API
should be created.
Answering the Namespace Riddle
Dodds introduces RDDL, the Resource Directory Description Language, the result of
a recent project conducted by the XML developer community to make XML namespaces easier
Does XML Query Reinvent the Wheel?
XML developers contend that the overlap between XML Query and XSLT is so great
that they aren't separate languages at all.
Time to Refactor XML?
The growing interdependency between XML specifications is causing concern among
XML developers -- is this just a case of sensible reuse, or are we creating a dangerously
tangled web of standards?
XSLT Extensions Revisited
The first Working Draft of XSLT 1.1, though attempting to address the portability
of stylesheets that use extension functions, has failed to please everyone in the
For the past two weeks XML-DEV has seen fascinating exchanges between three
inventors of alternative XML schema proposals.
Dictionaries and Datagrams
XML developers have been reexamining the textual encoding of XML, addressing
concerns of verbosity and multilingual elements.
XPointer and the Patent
Does a Sun patent threaten the future of hypertext on the web, or are XML
developers getting unnecessarily alarmed by the licensing terms on the XPointer spec?
Old Ghosts: XML Namespaces
The XML Namespaces ghost returned to haunt the XML community this Christmas.
However, developers on XML-DEV fought back with a new proposal to bring predictability
the use of URIs as namespace identifiers.
The 12 Days of XML Christmas
A light-hearted review of XML developer community 2000 as seen through the
watchful eye of the XML-Deviant.
Jon Bosak's comments at XML 2000 about the respective roles of ebXML and SOAP
have sparked discussion on convergence between ebXML's transport, routing and packaging
layer and the W3C's XML Protocol Activity.
What's in a Name?
The XML-Deviant looks at best practices for identifying XML
resources; then wonders why more developers aren't taking advantage of entity management
Profiling and Parsers
Can XML be meaningfully split up to facilitate partial implementation of the
specification? XML developers debate the issues.
Primed for the Semantic Web
Last week's article on the Semantic Web has sparked discussion among the RDF
developer community, who are considering the nature of the Semantic Web and how it
Is the incessant multiplication of XML standards leading to confusion, and what
is the real minimum a developer needs to know about XML in order to do useful
Schemas in the Wild
As adoption of W3C XML Schema technology increases, the need for documenting best
practices is becoming more important, not least where namespaces are concerned. The
An introduction to tools for writing and documenting schemas, and a look at a new
alternative to XML Schemas called RELAX.
Of Standards and Standard Makers
The debate over who makes XML standards and how they are made rumbles on. This
week the XML-Deviant examines the W3C and asks whether its Semantic Web
initiative informs or hinders comprehension of their mission.
The Rush to Standardize
Keeping track of the number of consortia in the XML space is rapidly requiring
the effort needed to track the burgeoning number of specifications. Is all this
"standardization" too premature? XML-Deviant covers the recent debate.
The Benevolent Dictator of SAX
As David Megginson gets ready to hand over the reins of SAX, the
community-developed Simple API for XML, a successor must be found.
Growing interest in RDF is seeing renewed work to increase understanding of the
specification, including a move to separate RDF's simple data model from its oft-maligned
Gentrifying the Web
XHTML promises to civilize the unruly mass of HTML on the Web. But is anybody
listening? Leigh Dodds examines whether web developers know or care about
RDF has some devoted followers, but is yet to hit the XML mainstream. Many
believe this is because of its complicated syntax. XML-Deviant
investigates the quest for "instant RDF".
Last Call Problems
This week the XML Deviant dips into the SVG developer lists to find developers
frustrated with the specification, which is still at Last Call status.
The XML-DEV mailing list has seen a renewed vigor in discussion recently, with
the spotlight being turned on the troubled issue of XML Schemas.
The Future of XT
James Clark, whose software has significantly influenced the popularity of both
XML and XSLT, has said he sees no future for his own XSLT processor, XT. XML-Deviant
at the community's reaction, and their determination to carry on with XT.
This week XML Deviant reports on a Namespace-related debate holding up XML work
at the W3C, and the final release of SAX2/Java.
Speaking Your Language
This week's column addresses the issue of internationalization in XML DTDs and
schemas, as well as reporting on the latest initiative of the SML-DEV group to produce
Forget about making XML simpler, what about RDF? While some may love this
specification, many others find it impenetrable. XML-Deviant probes the
grumblings of XML-DEV about this controversial technology.
OASIS and the Future of SAX
Last week on the XML-DEV list, Jon Bosak suggested that the OASIS consortium
should take on further development of the SAX API. Also, don't miss "Groves explained
Investigating the Infoset
XML's syntax was invented before its data model, but the XML Infoset
specification is seeking to plug the gap and formalize the data model. The
XML-Deviant examines what the Infoset is, and what people think of it so
Despite starting off life in a rather turbulent fashion, the "Xerces Refactoring
Intiative" promises to improve both the software and the internal structure of the
The popularity of RSS, the lightweight XML headline syndication format, is
provoking moves to extend and advance its feature set. XML-Deviant
reports on proposals and their connection with RDF and Namespaces.
New XSLT Technologies Debut
As XSLT adoption grows, developers from Sun and Oracle have been pushing the
boundaries of the technology with "translets" and an XSLT virtual machine.
XSL and CSS: One Year Later
Are the W3C's XSL formatting objects up to the job, and what is that job anyway?
XML-Deviant tracks the resurgent discussion about XSL.
Standards and the Vendor
This week, XML-Deviant comes from the XML Europe vendor panel
discussion. Representatives from IBM, Sun and Microsoft fielded questions on their
for XML standards.
Designing Schemas for Business to Business E-Commerce
In a fast-paced session at XML Europe, Arofan Gregory, Lead Scientist and Manager
of the XML Common Business Library, provided an overview of the role of XML Schemas
e-commerce and gave some guidelines for good design.
Reconstructing DTD Best Practice
In a presentation at XML Europe 2000, Henry Thompson examined current "best
practice" in DTD design and provided a reinterpretation using XML Schemas.
This week XML-Deviant reports on the progress with XML
Schemas, and an upcoming consolidation of the XML 1.0 errata into a second edition
News from the Trenches
Over four hundred mail messages in one week makes relative URI references in XML
Namespaces a hot topic. The discussions remain, however, fearsomely impenetrable.
XML-Deviant ventures into the battlezone to summarize the
JDOM and TRaX
Two innovative technologies have recently been announced to the XML developer
community: JDOM, a Java-specific DOM; and TRaX, an API for XML
Problems and Prospects
The last few weeks have been troublesome ones for the XML-DEV mailing list's new
hosts, OASIS. On the plus side, the resultant introspection has raised new ideas regarding
the future of the XML-DEV community.
Filling in the Gaps
The XML-DEV mailing list has long been a place for thorough examination of the
XML specification, and suggestions for areas where new activity is required. Recent
discussion has centered around the problems of describing parser capabilities and
resources required by a document.
Storing and Querying
Real-world use of XML is leading to repeated requests for a consistent way to
store and query XML documents. While a query language from the W3C seems a long way
level 3 may be able to help.
Unifying XSLT Extensions
XSLT processors each have a different way of implementing extension functions.
Developers in the XML community have stumbled upon this problem, and want to do something
about it. Leigh Dodds analyzes the arguments and suggests a way forward.
Good Things Come In Small Packages
One of XML's strengths is its human-readability. But the consequent verbosity is
also one of its weaknesses, according to a growing number of XML developers.
Painting by Numbers with SVG
Following the generally warm welcome received by SVG of late, the denizens of the
XML-DEV list have taken their microscope to the specification, resulting in some
Spotlight on Schemas
As the W3C XML Schema work nears the "Candidate Recommendation" phase, criticism
from XML developers abounds. Leigh Dodds summarizes the recent debates.
Birth of a Community
As the XML-DEV mailing list transfers to OASIS, XML-Deviant
talks to Peter Murray-Rust, the founder of the list.
An XML Apprenticeship
This week, XML-Deviant gets deeper into groves, takes another
look at the controversy over W3C processes, and finds real progress with SAX2.