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Articles about W3C


Widgets and Webcams: Using Bondi APIs in Wookie
In my last post I wrote about device APIs - an exciting and rapidly developing area of interoperability standards. It explains a bit more of what BONDI is and how it relates to other specifications. In this post you can see how this can work in practice.


Time to move on ... to Wordpress?
My blog server is on its last legs...


Drag and drop with HTML 5 and Wookie
There are a lot of cool things about HTML 5, the standard for the next generation of the web, but drag and drop is one of those obvious ideas that makes you wonder why we've never had it before. So I've put together a quick demo to show how HTML 5 drag and drop works.


Portfolio reference models and interoperability
This meeting of the Portfolio SIG will discuss interoperability and related issues directly and in some detail. It will be informed by the discussions on Jiscmail's CETIS-PORTFOLIO and CETIS-PORTFOLIO-DEV.


EDF-4 Bolton
The 4th ELF Developers' Forum will cover the latest from Toolkit projects including the re-use of Enterprise toolkits and REST Webservices for Personal Learning Environments.


InfoCard on the way from Microsoft
It seems Microsoft learned the right lesson from the failure of Passport, its earlier effort in federated authentication. Rather than storing the crucial information about you on a server in Redmond, the new proposal -InfoCard- hands control back to the user. The technology is expected to come out with the new Windows variant (Vista) and its version of the IE browser (7). Says the MS fellow who designed the thing: "It’s important to note that all communications carried out by "InfoCard" use standards-based Web services protocols to ensure interoperability." They're spinning it furiously as the nice friendly interface on a open standards based meta identity system. Let's hope so.


Tag me stupid, baby!
Collection of rather biting commentary on an equally vitriolic piece on a well-intended but slightly misguided attempt to introduce the world to 'honor tagging'; a way to categorise your own blog posts by your communicative intention. Great for gratuitous metadata abuse ("The Road to Hell looks like it's going to be Tagged With Good Intentions") , but this should give pause for thought: "Failure is pretty much guaranteed when such cumbersome tagging systems are proposed, for the same reasons the semantic web has gone nowhere. Principally, it's impossible to imagine any non-Android volunteering to tag their own communications, before or after the fact." Unless, I'd say, there is an incentive for that non-android to tag with a reasonable degree of accuracy.


Google Maps Creator Takes Browsers To The Limit
By advising web techies to push bleeding edge tech that mau not be universally supported; Microsoft's Vector Markup Language (VML) for example. Not so sure about that one. If you're going to push the envelope, at least use reasonably open stuff, and leave the real whizz bang to applications that are more suitable- like Google Earth. Link via Slashdot


From RDF to Topic Maps and back again
If you want to share not just content, but your knowledge of a particular domain, there's two standards that can provide the means: RDF and Topic Maps. The two developed independent of each other, but the first survey of how to map knowledge in the one standard to the other has now been published. It'll be the first step to a standardised RDF - Topic Map interoperability guideline.


How to let educational systems talk
The public draft release of the new IMS General Web Services spec, is both a relatively simple and pragmatic guide as well as a milestone of some import for educational technology. It essentially sets out how systems on a network can have a webservice conversation. It doesn't determine what the conversation is about, and the language is from somewhere else, but it does set the basic template of how to do web services in the e-learning domain.


Accessible Web Design
"This workshop encourages designers to develop a single accessible web site that does not impose barriers to usage."


Patents, Open Standards and Open Source
In the last few months, there's been quite a lot to do about software patents: the idea of claiming intellectual property rights over ideas implemented in software, rather than just copyright over the software itself. An issue that used to just exercise corporate lawyers in the US is now starting to hit educational institutions everywhere, including the UK.


Zeroes and Ones
I've had quite a few conversations along the lines of "XML is great but are all these angle brackets really necessary or just a waste of bandwidth?"


Echopoint components and framework
What looks like a fairly highly developed framework for making stateful web applications- relatively small programmes that work like conventional desktop applications but operate over the web, through your browser. This area of technology is not new (Netscape promised to reduce Windows to a "pile of poorly debugged device drivers" way back when), but has been getting a lot of attention lately.


When metadata becomes content, and authoring learning
and the result an assessment method and part of a learner's/learning profile, you have something like Topic Maps. One of a number of emerging semantic web standards, it is the subject of quite a bit of research and development. The Norwegian estandard project and its members are busy working on educational applications of the technology.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course provides content developers with information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the SMIL specification supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


JOLTS (Joint Learning Technology Standards) Workshop
JOLTS is an exciting collaboration between three groups, who have got together for the first time to bring their work to a wider audience. Each group will hold open meetings on their particular aspect of e-learning specifications and standards and, as there are three groups, so there are three main strands to this conference: European Standards (CEN/ISSS); Accessibility (CETIS-TechDis); and Conformance (TELCERT) with a day devoted to each.


Web services stuff we can nick
From an education sector point of view, one of the nice things about a service oriented architecture (SOA) is that the commercial world is heading the same way. IT vendors have seen the signs and have been huddling together in a range of acronyms to bash out service specifications for all sorts of things- and implementing them too. We have a look at some of the latest specs that we could help ourselves to.


New application server marries Java to webservices
With the new, snappily titled Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8, Sun promises to make it easier for Java developers to develop and deploy web services. The new server software is free for both development and deployment, and includes support for the J2EE Connector Architecture to facilitate exposing existing enterprise systems as web services.


The Thirteenth International World Wide Web Conference
This conference is organised by the IW3C2 (International World Wide Web Conference Committee) and provides a forum for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL - (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) course provides content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using SMIL as supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


CSUN (California State University Northridge) International Conference "Technology and Persons with Disabilities"
This is a comprehensive, international conference, where all technologies across all ages; disabilities; levels of education and training; employment; and independent living are addressed.


W3C releases major Semantic Web building blocks
The ambitious, five year old vision of the Semantic Web is a major step closer following the release of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Ontology Web Language (OWL) as full World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations. We assess what it is and what it might mean for e-elearning.


Microsoft Files for Patents Related to XML Parsing and Word Processing.
In a sense, this was predictable: Microsoft's empire is largely built on locking the world into its proprietary document formats (MS Office). World moves to interoperability by adopting an open data interchange standard: XML. MS needs to interoperate with XML, but doesn't want to loose the lock-in. Result: Office has XML interoperability, but MS files a raft of patents to prevent anyone else offering an alternative to Office.


Accessibility-checking Bookmarklets
A very handy collection of bookmarklets -tiny single function programmes that you store as bookmarks- that help make webpages more accessible. Examples include checkers for <th> in tables rather than <td>, switching stylesheets of and on and a rather nifty bookmarklet that shows all <div>s on a page with their ids and/or classes.
Link via Edtechpost


OSS Watch survey findings: interoperability a major factor in educational Open Source adoption.
JISC's new Open Source Software Watch (OSS Watch) pilot advisory service was formally launched last week with a conference and the presentation of a scoping study of free and open source use in UK Further and Higher Education. In the study, the single biggest factor that Higher Education respondents mentioned as a motive to choose open source was interoperability through better standards support. Intriguingly, the single biggest factor holding back open source software adoption is ... interoperability and migration concerns.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course run by BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) will provide content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the W3C's (World Wide Web Consortium) SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language) specification.


ISO wants to charge vendors for use of country, language and currency codes
In a recent 'clarification' of its policy, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has decided to start charging commercial vendors for the use of the ubiquitous country, language and currency code standards that it publishes. These standards are directly normative for half of all IMS specifications and the IEEE LOM, and indirectly normative, via the W3C's XML, for all of them.


Authoring Rich Media Content Using SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language)
This course provides content developers with detailed information on how to author multimedia content using the features of the W3C's SMIL specification supported in the current generation of web browsers and media players.


A Quick Introduction to OWL
A link via Elearningspace to the most comprehensible introduction to the OWL Web Ontology Language I have seen so far. OWL is a mark-up language for publishing and sharing ontologies- basic semantic definitions of things you can find on the web and how they relate. It will play an important role in the semantic web, and might be used to ensure semantic interoperability elsewhere as well. The presentation is timely, as the W3C is in the final stages of releasing OWL 1.0


The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference
This conference covers all aspects of web devlopment.


New Web Will Enable Scientists to Share Data Across Disciplines
Article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about a status update Tim Berners-Lee did on the semantic web. Offers a slim but useful outline of the (very) big idea. "dentifying and using data hidden inside complex databases is a tricky problem. But Mr. Berners-Lee believes that solving it could accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, especially in areas of interdisciplinary research that draw data from disciplines other than the researcher's primary areas of expertise."


The one standard, LOM and the semantic web.
In a lengthy and characteristically thought provoking presentation, Stephen Downes challenges both the need and the demand for just one Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. That done, the very existence of such beasts as learning objects is called into question. We examine the argument.


Stretching and squeezing (X)HTML to your needs
At the bottom of the pile of educational technology specifications sits (X)HTML; common as grass and about as worthy of comment. Or is it? With new working drafts for Modularization of XHTML in XML Schema and XHTML 2.0, the W3C is squeezing the ubiquitous web language onto more devices and stretching it to cover more functions. Some web geeks can't wait, and have already begun to make XHTML do weird and wonderful things.


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ELECTRONIC BUSINESS, EDUCATION, SCIENCE, MEDICINE, AND MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES ON THE INTERNET
This is the winter edition of a rather wide ranging conference that covers most topics that touch on electronic communication. The interest for learning technology professionals lies in the two opening keynotes: "The Semantic Web" by Erich Neuhold of Fraunhofer IPSI and University of Technology Darmstadt, and "The Future of Education" by Neville Holmes, School of Computing, University of Tasmania. The fee for the conference is 600 (not applicable to those with accepted papers). Deadline for payment is December 10, 2002. Conference capacity is 200, so first come, first served.


LSC's Distributed and Electronic Learning Group looks to beef up e-learning support post 16
In a pretty substantial report, the distance and electronic learning group (DELG) of the UK's prime further education body (the Learning and Skills Council, LSC) outline their vision of e-learning post 16 in a series of 154 key issues and recommendations. In very general terms, the aim is to achieve a robust, targeted and comprehensive framework for the whole sector.


W3C promotes XML 1.1 to Candidate Recommendation.
The technology that most current elearning standards are based on, eXtensible Markup Language (XML), is slowly advancing to a new version. Version 1.1 will be different mostly in how restrictive the spec is with regard to what is allowed, how newer or as yet undefined Unicode characters are handled in names and older linebreak codes more generally.

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