Elpub buttonEP Topic News: 5th December 2002

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Contents
 
FP6 Workprogramme online
Opera 7 beta
The Scout Portal Toolkit
VoiceXML Forum survey results
WIPO - protection for broadcasting orgs
Internet research centre
FP6 and candidate countries
Future research networking studies
DiGRA announces Executive Board
Commission's e-Europe policies
Ektron CMS300 - XML management
Adobe - integrated web suite
The Information Society book
XML - escaping encoding characters
Charging models for Cultural Heritage
Google Monitor 1.0
European photographic archive
JPEG 2000 Advanced Networking

XML database releases
A reader's JavaScript collection
WebDeveloper Forum facelift
I3 Update/Entovation International News
OASIS Content Assembly Mechanism TC
IBM software for developers
eLearning Award Winners announced
W3C - RF-only patent policy
Web Ontology Language Guide
Enfocus Certified PDF Reader
Cultivate Interactive Issue 8
Web usability and Flash
eSafe Directions for 2003-2004
The European R&D Insider

FP6 Workprogramme online

UKISHELP, a DTI funded service for UK organisations seeking project funding under European Information Society Programmes, has sent us an email confirming that: "The Commission has now released the final version of the Workprogamme covering the Framework 6 IST thematic priority in the years 2003 - 2004. The Workprogramme is available on the UKISHELP website". Though when we visited, the page provided a link to an "IST Workprogramme Draft (679K Word doc) [in process of adoption by the Commission - not a binding document]". Details via the link below.

URL: http://www.ukishelp.co.uk/framework6/07Documentation.php

Opera 7 beta

Opera Software have release version 7 of their browser for Windows in beta. The company claims full DOM2, CSS2, and ECMAScript support in this version.

URL: http://www.opera.com

The Scout Portal Toolkit

Version 1.0.0 of this turnkey open source portal software has been released by the Internet Scout Project - the result of a two-year effort funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. According to the release notes, "The Scout Portal Toolkit (SPT) allows groups or organisations to catalogue and disseminate their collections or resources via the World Wide Web without a significant outlay of technical resources or expertise".

SPT's metadata tool comes packaged with Dublin Core fields which can be modified to fit a collection's specific needs. Other features include a flexible interface (through separation of PHP and HTML), privilege settings and workflow management features. Also of interest are a recommender system, reader ratings and comments, and a Google-like search engine. SPT was built with special attention paid to accessibility issues, in order to make it more useful to all users, including those with disabilities.

Persons hoping to take advantage of this free Toolkit will need to have access to a web server that supports PHP and MySQL, preferably running Linux and Apache.

URL: http://scout.wisc.edu/research/SPT/download.html

VoiceXML Forum survey results

In August 2002 the VoiceXML Forum's Education Committee conducted an on-line survey on VoiceXML. The results of the survey, which consisted of three sections: tools, conformance, and developer certification, can be viewed online.

URL: http://www.voicexmlreview.org/Oct2002/features/survey_results.html

WIPO - protection for broadcasting organisations

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) inched closer to agreement on the nature of the rights to be granted to broadcasting organisations in a multilateral treaty which would, if adopted, update international regulations in this area bringing them in line with the technological demands of the digital era.

Talks to update the intellectual property rights of broadcasters, which are currently dealt with by the 1961 Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, began in the 1990s. The advent of radically new types of communications and of content distribution over the Internet has made it necessary to review and upgrade existing international standards to ensure an appropriate balance between the different interests of all stakeholders and those of the general public.

While there is agreement on the need to upgrade these rights, differences still exist between member states on key issues. First, these relate to who should be the beneficiaries, namely whether only organizations which broadcast over the air are to be given better protection, or whether such protection should also be extended to cablecasters and certain categories of webcasters. Secondly, they relate to the rights to be granted to those beneficiaries, in particular, the right of fixation, the right of reproduction of fixations, the right of re-broadcasting, the right to decrypt encrypted broadcasts, and the right to rent fixations of broadcasts to the public.

Further information concerning the discussions are available via the WIPO web site.

URL: http://www.wipo.int
URL: WIPO announcement list http://www.wipo.int/lists/pressinfo-en

Internet research centre

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) aims to act as a European research centre studying the social impact of the web. The centre plans to collaborate with other academic and research centres along with industry and governments, focusing on four key themes: e-democracy (governance), online learning and education, science, the Internet and the household. The centre is planning to conduct research in the areas of web usage, standards, security and content relating to the key themes. Through its involvement in such work, the OII is hoping to to aid in setting the agenda for policies concerning the web and society in the future.

URL: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk

FP6 and candidate countries

CORDIS Focus reports that an association agreement for the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) that was signed by the EU member states and the candidate countries will see "applicant countries participating in FP6 on an equal footing with the EU Member States for the first time". For further information on the candidate countries and FP6 follow the link on CORDIS (below). (Source: CORDIS Focus)

URL: http://www.cordis.lu/candidate_countries

Future research networking studies

The SERENATE project, funded by the European Commission, will investigate the strategic aspects of next generation research and education network technologies. The project is expected to publish a number of reports based on a range of studies which will focus on technical, organisational, financial, market, and regulatory issues. Through these it is hoped that the project will provide policy makers, investors and managers of research networks with recommendations on which to base policy decisions relating to the development of the core high-speed networks of the future.

URL: http://www.serenate.org

DiGRA announces Executive Board

Following a gathering of volunteers among the network of games researchers the working group has taken vote and selected the executive board of Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). The aim of the association is to bring together the research community focusing on digital games and game-playing related questions. DiGRA believes that there is a need for interdisciplinary cooperation and the board therefore reflects this alliance between art and cultural studies, social sciences, computer sciences and technical research. The membership of DiGRA will open in 2003 and the board is actively seeking ideas for association goals and activities. Please address your comments to the email address below.

URL: http://www.digra.org
Email: comments mailto:workgroup@digra.org

Commission's e-Europe policies

"Towards a Knowledge-based Europe" is described as a document which outlines EU policies aimed at increasing Europe's competitiveness through the the promotion and use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Taking as its starting point analysis of the current penetration of ICT use in Europe, the report attempts to outline future strategies aimed at increasing the implementation and use of ICT across European society as a whole.

URL: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg10/publications/brochures/move/infoeduc/knowledge/bibli_en.html

Ektron CMS300 - XML management

Ektron CMS300 is a browser-based system offering XML content management and editing system. Priced at US$4,999 - $19,999, the software runs on Microsoft Windows servers, and according to its developers works with several Web application servers including Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP), ASP.NET, Macromedia ColdFusion or PHP.

URL: http://www.ektron.com

Adobe - integrated web suite

The Adobe GoLive PDF Module and a new version of the Adobe Web Collection, are being promoted by the company in order to further integrate portable document format (.pdf) into the web publishing workflow. The GoLive PDF Module enables web developers using the GoLive web authoring suite to convert HTML files into .pdf format. The Web Collection is the suite of software that Adobe is promoting to web developers and includes: a full version of Acrobat, GoLive, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, which is expected to be available by the end of November, 2002 priced at around Euro 1200 plus sales tax for all platforms. The Adobe GoLive PDF Module is expected to be available by the end of 2002.

URL: http://www.adobe.co.uk/products/webcoll

The Information Society

Facet Publishing has published "Challenge and Change in the Information Society" an anthology of key areas of debate concerning today's information society. Each chapter is contributed by a leading practitioner or specialist, offering a wide range of theoretical, social, political and professional viewpoints, divided into four sections encompassing broad themes:

• theories of the information society;
• how current developments are influencing society;
• the impact of the information society from a governmental and policy perspective;
• the consequences on the role of the information professional.

According to the publicity material for the book, some of the key concepts covered include: knowledge management, electronic publishing, technologies, information literacy, information policy, intellectual property, data protection, freedom versus protection.

The book costs £39.95 (ISBN: 1-85604-453-X) and can be ordered direct from the publishers.

URL: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk

XML - escaping encoding characters

As XML.com reports, "one of the first issues a newcomer to XML discovers is that of encoding characters: even if you're just using ASCII you bump up against the need to escape characters like '<' and '&'. The problems become worse when you're handling documents in Unicode or other encodings". As the editor of El.pub I can vouch for that! "Proper XML Output in Python" is the latest in the regular Python and XML column which addresses problems such as these. The author dismisses the notion that writing XML is as simple as a "print" statement, and provides guidelines that are applicable both for Python programmers and anyone dealing programmatically with XML.

URL: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/11/13/py-xml.html

Charging models for Cultural Heritage

"Exploring Charging Models for Digital Cultural Heritage" is a report which examines the move from storing analogue photographic databases to digital databases over the past decade, along with considering how marketable, cost efficient, and income-stable these new services and resources are, particularly when compared to previous methods. The study draws on a host of perspectives, including survey results from 51 institutions such as universities and public libraries, long form structured interviews with service providers, and close investigation of these institutions' pricing structures. The extended discussion of pricing structures also has material on the thresholds that determine when organizations may charge for the sale of content and other rights to their digital holdings, and any implicit or explicit reasons behind such a shift in policy. (Source: The Scout Report)

URL: study http://heds.herts.ac.uk/mellon/charging_models.html
URL: Scout Report http://scout.wisc.edu/report/sr/2002/scout-021115.html

Google Monitor 1.0

Google Monitor can be used to find and track the ranking of any web site or any other URL within the Google search results. You can either enter a URL and a keyword to find the top results, or select a URL and finds its ranking for several keywords simultaneously.

URL: http://download.com.com/3000-2181-10154563.html?tag=lst-2-11

European photographic archive

The Orpheus project aims to make available a range of web-based photo archive services to educational institutions in Europe. The project is developing a system to access to Alinari's photographic archive via the web which offers copyright management (watermarking on the fly using Digimark technology) and enlargement of images in real-time (using XL image technology from Centrica). The system is to be piloted in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Belgium and the project consortium plan to add other archives and roll-out a commercial service following completion of the validation phase. The project is keen to contact potential collaborators and other projects who would be interested in potential cooperation.

URL: Orpheus http://www.orpheus-edu.org
URL: Alinari http://www.alinari.it
URL: Digimarc http://www.digimarc.com
URL: Centrica http://www.centrica.it

JPEG 2000 Advanced Networking

2KAN (JPEG 2000 Advanced Networking) is a shared cost Information Society Technologies (IST) project which aims to strengthen the European contribution to the definition of JPEG 2000. Its two roles are to:

• coordinate the development and submission of its partners' technologies to JPEG 2000
• disseminate information on, and promote the use of the standard.

The JPEG 2000 standard provides a versatile framework for image compression and includes: a baseline compression algorithm (JP2); extended tools for specific applications (JPX); Motion JPEG2000 file format (MJ2); conformance; reference software; compound images file format (JPM); Secure JPEG 2000 (JPSEC); interactivity and protocols (JPIP); volumetric (JP3D); wireless (JPWL).

URL: http://www.2kan.org/

XML database releases

X-Hive Corporation have released X-Hive/DB Version 4, the latest version of its native XML database which it claims is "designed for software developers who need to process and store XML data in their applications". Available for Windows, Linux and Solaris, the database can be integrated with third-party XML tools. A free 30-day evaluation copy is also available.

URL: http://www.x-hive.com

Lucid XML Data Manager 1.0 is the latest version of Lucid's native XML database. According to the company, the database "is integrated with Lucid e-Globalizer, enabling multilingual content management for pluri-media publishing".

URL: http://www.lucid-it.com/en/actualite/index.html
URL: http://www.lucid-it.com/dev/lxdm.html

A reader's JavaScript collection

El.pub reader, Professor Hossein Arsham at the University of Baltimore, in the USA writes: "Since I'm benefiting from your constant efforts, I thought to bring you attention to the following JavaScript collection: 'JavaScript Applets-assisted E-labs Learning Objects'. I believe it will be of interest to visitors of El.pub".

URL: http://ubmail.ubalt.edu/~harsham/zero/scientificCal.htm

WebDeveloper Forum facelift

The discussion forum on the WebDeveloper web site have been updated with new software and a new look. The forum area contains sections of specific interest to web developers; including XML, CSS, JavaScript, and DHTML.

URL: http://forums.webdeveloper.com

I3 Update / Entovation International News

The November 2002 edition of I3 Update/ Entovation International News has a feature that takes a look at personal knowledge, there is also a report on KM Europe 2002 and details of new publications - "The Innovation Superhighway", the "Global Economy Monitor" and the "Handbook on Knowledge Management".

URL: http://www.skyrme.com/updates/

OASIS Content Assembly Mechanism (CAM) TC

The OASIS Content Assembly Mechanism (CAM) Technical Committee has been proposed to "provide a specification of a generalised mechanism in XML whereby implementers can deliver the means to bring together business process context and the localised implementation business rules needed to take a raw industry standard schema instance and combine that with actual business information content, context and roles and produce a valid consistent XML document instance". Further information on the OASIS web site.

URL: OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org
URL: list of current OASIS TCs http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/committees.shtml

IBM software for developers

Web Services Tool Kit for Mobile Devices provides tools and run-time environments that allow development of applications that use web services on small mobile devices. This tool kit's Java web service run-time environment is supported on PoctketPC, Palm, and BlackBerry. Learn more and download a free trial version via the link below.

URL: http://www.alphaWorks.ibm.com/tech/wstkmd?open&l=TS112102,t=awfl

Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Explorer is a Web application that displays WSDL files, generates views of operations, allows invocation of operations, and viewing of sample message flow. WSDL Explorer provides the ability to browse WSDL files, and it offers immediate access to Web service operations.

URL: http://www.alphaWorks.ibm.com/tech/wsdlexplorer?open&l=NT112102,t=awfl

eLearning Award Winners announced

European Schoolnet’s eLearning Awards were presented a prize ceremony during the EMINENT III conference in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 November 2002. Nineteen winning projects were picked out from more than 700 entries, and invited to present their projects to high-level experts from Ministries of Education all over the world and private companies. Winners received cash prizes or equipment for their schools. The eLearning Awards were launched as part of eSchola, an event to bring together schools all over Europe.

The European Schoolnet is an international partnership of 23 European Ministries of Education developing learning opportunities for schools, teachers and pupils across Europe. It also provides insight into the use of ICT (information and communications technology) in Europe for policy-makers and education professionals.

URL: European Schoolnet http://www.eun.org
URL: eSchola http://eschola.eun.org
URL: EMINENT http://eminent.eun.org

W3C - RF-only patent policy

The November 22, 2002 issue of EFFector (the electronic newsletter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) writes that:

"The W3C Patent Policy Working Group has published a new (and likely final) draft of the W3C's patent policy. This draft responds to the public outcry which resulted when an initial draft of the policy suggested that participants in a standards process could reserve the right to collect royalties from the use of a patented process in a standard.

EFF and other organizations expressed dismay at this prospect and encouraged the public to comment to the W3C. The resulting comments prompted the W3C Patent Policy Working Group's (PPWG) year-long effort to re-examine the policy and to consider whether W3C would permit royalty-bearing 'RAND licensing' for technologies used in standards, or require only 'Royalty-Free (RF) licensing'."

After significant deliberation, and informed by public comment, the working group adopted a "Royalty-Free Only" policy, which is now proposed for official adoption by the W3C. Comments on this draft from the public are being sought by ther W3C.

Further information on the Electronic Frontier Foundation, including back issues of the EFFector newsletter are available via the link below.

URL: draft policy http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-patent-policy-20021114/
URL: comments on the draft mailto:www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
URL: PPWG archive http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/
URL: EFFector http://www.eff.org/effector

Web Ontology Language Guide

The Web Ontology Language (OWL) is intended to provide a language that can be used to describe the classes and relations between them that are inherent in web documents and applications. The Web Ontology Language Guide, published by the W3C, demonstrates the use of the OWL language to formalise a domain by defining classes and properties of those classes, define individuals and assert properties about them, and reason about these classes and individuals to the degree permitted by the formal semantics of the OWL language. (Source: Agent News)

URL: OWL Guide http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-guide/
URL: Agent News http://agents.umbc.edu/

Enfocus Certified PDF Reader

The Enfocus Certified PDF Reader is a plug-in for both Adobe Acrobat Reader and the full version of Adobe Acrobat, and enables anyone to check the Certified PDF status of a file. Based on Enfocus' GATF 2002 technology, Certified PDF Reader opens Certified PDF technology to all stakeholders in pre-press workflows using the system (mainly the graphics arts industry). Each link in the chain of a Certified PDF workflow will now be able to easily check the quality of the file he or she is receiving, or passing on. The Enfocus Certified PDF Reader is available as a free download from the company's web site.

Enfocus also run an online user group forum where customers find solutions to their real-world publishing workflow problems. The virtual community has also provided valuable insight and feedback to Enfocus' product development and product development teams, highlighting the problems customers struggle with when trying to produce printed materials on a daily basis.

URL: Enfocus http://www.enfocus.com
URL: online user group http://www.enfocus.com/forum.php

Cultivate Interactive Issue 8

Issue 8, of Cultivate Interactive published towards the end of November 2002, features articles on:

• EC funded project CHIMER, which aims to establish a cultural heritage archive for children.
• EC funded project CIPHER, which aims to promote sustainable cultural heritage forums celebrating national and regional heritage in Europe.
• The online Compendium: a web-based information system on cultural policies in Europe.
• Not only Shamrocks: Digitising Local Studies Material in Ireland
• The Information Society and Technology in Russian Culture: Strategic Review and New Initiatives
• The ORIEL Project - biological information management from a new perspective.
• A Russian Province: ICT and culture in the Smolensk region.

Further information including a a free announcement service is available from the Cultivate Interactive web site.

URL: http://www.cultivate-int.org/

Web usability and Flash

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for November 25, 2002 is online, and is summarised: "In usability tests of 46 Flash applications, we identified several basic issues related to Web-based functionality's ephemeral nature. Some findings restate old truths about GUIs; others reflect the Net's new status as nexus of the user experience".

URL: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20021125.html

eSafe Directions for 2003-2004

The discussion paper: "eSafe Directions for 2003-2004" is online and the European Commission are requesting comments on its contents until January 7, 2003. The paper and related comments will be taken into account by the Commission when drawing up the eSafe work programme 2003-2004. The eSafe programme decision is still under discussion in the European Parliament and Council. The work programme will also reflect any amendments made by the European Parliament and Council in the legislative process.

URL: http://www.saferinternet.org

The European R&D Insider

The European R&D Insider is a monthly newsletter, published by the KA Line II of the Commission's IST programme, "with the intention of enhancing access to information on New Methods of Work and e-Commerce issues in the IST Programme". Delivered by email as a .pdf or Word document it provides news on developments in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6), appraisals of projects, links to workshops and events and news of a more general nature. The November 2002 issue is now available.

URL: http://www.cordis.lu/ist/ka2/


About topic news
We publish topic news occasionally with a separate page for each update, ensuring that links to our email alerter service continue to remain current.
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