The W3C has released the “Namespaces in XML” specification as a W3C Recommendation. Teaming up with W3C’s Extensible Markup Language (XML) Recommendation, this new specification allows authors to mix two or more XML-based languages in one document without conflict or ambiguity, thus promoting the modular development and reuse of XML languages and applications. The “Namespaces in XML” specification resolves potential name clashes by using the Web addressing infrastructure. Each element name in a document may be prefixed with a unique address, thus precisely qualifying the name. The modularity and simplicity of XML technology combined with namespaces paves the way for future developments, such as the work in progress in W3C’s XML Schema Working Group, and data exchange based on W3C’s Resource Description Framework (RDF) architecture. The “Namespaces in XML” specification was created and developed by the W3C XML Working Group, which includes key industry players such as Adobe, ArborText, DataChannel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Inso, Isogen, Microsoft, NCSA, Netscape, Oracle, SoftQuad, Sun Microsystems, Texcel, Vignette, and Fuji Xerox; as well as experts in structured documents and electronic publishing. www.w3c.org.
MIT and Akamai Technologies Inc., announced a plan to deploy the “world’s largest fault-tolerant network for distributing Web content.” The new company Akamai has more than $8 million in seed financing from venture capitalists and private investors. The company’s first service offering, called “FreeFlow,” uses a new technology to shift the burdensome aspects of Web-based content distribution from a content provider’s server or servers to Akamai’s global network of host servers. FreeFlow is currently in beta in partnership with “some of the largest sites on the Internet,” which were not named. But officials said the beta testers include “five of the world’s most-visited Web sites. FreeFlow is designed to work with any Web server or site design, including database-driven and e-commerce applications. www.akamai.com.