It has been a busy week for both W3C and anyone who is serious about XML. The W3C XML Core Working Group has published the fourth edition of XML 1.0, and second editions of XML 1.1 and Namespaces in XML 1.0 and 1.1.

Forming, as they do, the bedrock for W3C-defined technologies used in the querying, transforming, displaying, encrypting, and optimizing of XML their importance cannot be overestimated. As well as correcting ‘all known errata’ according to a W3C release, the revised specifications also clarify where before there was ‘potential for misunderstanding’ although I have to admit I have yet to read them in full and compare to the previous versions so cannot actually comment on the particulars. Hey, sometimes life is just too short and pool too inviting to spend time going over XML specs with a fine toothcomb!

Not so for the folk at W3C of course, they have vowed that by the end of this year they will have published their recommendations for XML Query 1.0 and XSLT 2.0, as well as revising the XML Schema which is heavily used in SOAP-based Web services, and planning additions to XML Query that go beyond the 1.0 version. If that wasn’t enough, the XML Processing Model Working Group are also expected to publish the first draft of an XML language for specifying sequences of operations on XML documents, such as transformation, validation, inclusion and decryption, based on existing XML pipeline products and free and open source designs.

And the final bit of news coming out of W3C that will ignite a spark of interest from web developers is regarding compression techniques that can be applied to XML documents. Apparently a number of XML-specific technologies for improving the efficiency of XML storage, transmission and processing have been developed and W3C has chartered a Working Group on Efficient XML Interchange to expand the outreach of XML into further domains that require even greater performance and additional capabilities such as streaming.

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...