Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Day: January 25, 2000

fourthchannel Extends Personalization with Content Management

fourthchannel, inc., announced a new version of its e-commerce solution, now offering new content management capabilities. The solution, formerly called fourthchannel, has been renamed “profitlaunch.” Along with the name change, a new Content Wizard has been added, which enables companies to personalize customer sites by adding internal and external content. The new version also includes improved customer service and marketing capabilities, making profitlaunch a complete and compelling e-commerce solution for the mid-market. profitlaunch’s Content Wizard is designed to help companies improve their customers’ Internet buying experience beyond providing a simple online catalog. The wizard makes it easy to add timely customer briefings or general industry information to a selling site. This new capability extends a site’s value to its customers and turns it into a “community site” where people come not only to place orders, but also to check industry news, trends and other items of interest. Accessed from within profitlaunch’s browser-based catalog management tool, the Content Wizard also has a customer personalization capability that enables individuals to choose content based on their unique needs. The wizard allows non-technical users to manage the content on their e-commerce sites easily adding, editing, or deleting Internet feeds and information. profitlaunch is available immediately. Pricing is based on the size and complexity of each company’s catalog and type of implementation. An ASP solution is available for companies that want fourthchannel to host and manage their Internet catalogs off-site. For companies that want to run the application internally, fourthchannel also offers a licensing option. www.fourthchannel.com

W3C Issues XHTML 1.0 as a Recommendation

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the XHTML 1.0 specification as a W3C Recommendation. This new specification represents cross-industry and expert community agreement on the importance of XHTML 1.0 as a bridge to the Web of the future. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C membership who favors its adoption by the industry. HTML currently serves as the lingua franca for millions of people publishing hypertext on the Web. While that is the case today, the future of the Web is written in XML. XML is bringing the Web forward as an environment that better meets the needs of all its participants, allowing content creators to make structured data that can be easily processed and transformed to meet the varied needs of users and their devices. In designing XHTML 1.0, the W3C HTML Working Group faced a number of challenges, including one capable of making or breaking the Web: how to design the next generation language for Web documents without obsoleting what’s already on the Web, and how to create a markup language that supports device-independence. The answer was to take HTML 4, and rewrite it as an XML application. The first result is XHTML 1.0. XHTML 1.0 allows authors to create Web documents that work with current HTML browsers and that may be processed by XML-enabled software as well. Authors writing XHTML use the well-known elements of HTML 4 (to mark up paragraphs, links, tables, lists, etc.), but with XML syntax, which promotes markup conformance. The benefits of XML syntax include extensibility and modularity. With HTML, authors had a fixed set of elements to use, with no variation. With XHTML 1.0, authors can mix and match known HTML 4 elements with elements from other XML languages, including those developed by W3C for multimedia (Synchronized Multimedia Language – SMIL), mathematical expressions (MathML), two dimensional vector graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics – SVG), and metadata (Resource Description Framework – RDF). W3C provides instruction and tools for making the transition from HTML 4 to XHTML 1.0. The “HTML Compatibility Guidelines” section of the XHTML 1.0 Recommendation explains how to write XHTML 1.0 that will work with nearly all current HTML browsers. W3C offers validation services for both HTML and XHTML documents. W3C’s Open Source software “Tidy” helps Web authors convert ordinary HTML 4 into XHTML and clean document markup at the same time. www.w3.org/

Microsoft Announces Support for XSLT & XPath

Microsoft Corp. released a preview version of its XML parser. The XML parser delivers on Microsoft’s commitment to support the W3C’s latest recommendations of XSL Transformations (XSLTs) and XML Path Language (XPath) and includes new features that increase performance and efficiency. Today’s preview release is available for immediate download at . Microsoft plans on releasing technology previews regularly to allow products and services to be updated in “Web time” and to be compliant with the latest industry standards. In addition, this vehicle will be used to introduce new features with the intent of soliciting feedback from the developer community. These releases do not replace shipping product; rather, they are technology previews that allow early adopters to build prototype applications. Microsoft plans to use the feedback received from users of these releases in the integration of new features into mainstream product cycles. Growing use of XML in business-to-business solutions means increased demands on server-side processing of XML. Microsoft continues its ongoing focus on server-side optimization with this version of the XML parser, which has resulted in performance gains of 200 percent to 300 percent in some common scenarios. In addition, developers will be able to install this preview release with their existing solutions and run their current applications as before, because it runs side by side with their existing parser, allowing developers to build new applications that take advantage of the XML services and features in the preview release. http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/

BroadVision to Acquire Interleaf, the e-Content Company

Interleaf, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement providing for the acquisition of Interleaf by BroadVision. Key to the acquisition is the e-Content Company, a division of Interleaf and leader in XML-based content management tools. This separate Interleaf business unit is dedicated to the development, marketing and sale of XML-based content management tools which enable the design, creation and management of dynamic and intelligent content for web and wireless applications. The e-Content Company comprises nearly 70 percent of Interleaf’s approximately 400 employees and has been the most significant area of growth and investment within Interleaf over the past two years. Under the terms of the agreement each outstanding share of Interleaf common stock will be exchanged for .3465 shares of BroadVision common stock, and all outstanding options and warrants to purchase Interleaf common stock will be assumed by BroadVision. Based on basic shares outstanding as of January 25, 2000 and both companies’ closing price as of that date, the transaction represents approximately a 40 percent premium over Interleaf’s current value. On a fully diluted basis, BroadVision would issue approximately 5.6 million shares of its common stock, having a value of approximately $877 million based on BroadVision’s closing stock price on January 25, 2000. www.interleaf.com, www.broadvision.com