The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced its support for two newly issued publications that are critical to increasing the international reach of the World Wide Web. These publications, coordinated through both the IETF and W3C, are RFC 3986, STD 66 Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax and RFC 3987 Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs), respectively an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Standard and Proposed Standard. The World Wide Web is defined as the universal, all-encompassing space containing all Internet – and other – resources referenced by Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs, sometimes commonly called “URLs”). In Tim Berners Lee’s original proposal, and in the initial Web implementation, the Web consisted of relatively few technologies, including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Yet perhaps more fundamental than either HTTP or HTML are URIs, which are simple text strings that refer to Internet resources — documents, resources, people, and indirectly to anything. URIs are the glue that binds the Web together. IRIs extend and strengthen the glue, by allowing people to identify Web resources in their own language. Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax was written by Tim Berners-Lee (Director, W3C), Roy Fielding (Day Software) and Larry Masinter (Adobe Systems) with involvement of the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). The Standard describes the design, syntax, and resolution of URIs as well as security considerations and normalization and comparison (determining if two URIs are equivalent). This new Standard replaces the URI specification released in 1998. Among several technical changes, the host component of a URI is now enabled for internationalized domain names. Other technical changes include a rule for absolute URIs with optional fragments, a rewritten section 6 “Normalization and Comparison” by Tim Bray and the W3C TAG, simplified grammar, clarifications for ambiguities, and revisions to the reserved set of characters. The Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) Proposed Standard was developed in part by the W3C Internationalization Working Group, and was written by Martin Durst (W3C) and Michel Suignard (Microsoft Corporation). www.w3.org
Quadralay Corporation unveiled WebWorks OnTime, an online consulting service that converts Microsoft Word or Adobe FrameMaker documents into every major online format or professional online help system for implementation on a wide variety of electronic devices. WebWorks OnTime is on-demand ePublishing, reducing both the deadline pressure and the cost associated with deploying technical documentation, marketing copy, and other corporate communications. The only knowledge required for using WebWorks OnTime is proficiency in either Microsoft Word or Adobe FrameMaker. WebWorks OnTime will convert raw XML data as well, providing a service for publishing legacy database. WebWorks OnTime helps writers convert their Microsoft Word or Adobe FrameMaker content into one or more online formats without needing either the expertise to convert it themselves or the in-house hardware, software, and personnel that these tasks require. www.webworks.com
Stellent, Inc. announced it has partnered with Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) to expand the suite of search technologies it offers Stellent Universal Content Management customers. Under the agreement, Stellent will integrate the FAST InStream OEM enterprise search solution with its Stellent Universal Content Management technology to provide Stellent customers with an alternative search and retrieval platform. The solution searches unstructured information within documents, Web pages, email, presentations and similar content, and also searches the metadata for that unstructured information. www.fastsearch.com
Last Friday’s evening edition of the American Public Media radio program
"Marketplace" had a short piece about Sarbanes Oxley. (Here is a
to the program — I am not sure how long the link will be good ..).
The gist of the story was that Sarbanes Oxley sure seemed like a good idea right
after Enron, but–now that companies are facing the effort and costs of
implementation–there is backlash leading to an effort to get Congress to change
the law. According to this story, there is a significant lobbying effort
underway, led by the US Chamber of Commerce and others, to make
"technical corrections" to SOX.
There is a related story in today’s online edition of Business Week Online,
Dream of Simpler Accounting," bylined by Amey Stone. Stone’s
article covers a speech given by Don Nicolaisen, the Securities & Exchange Commission’s accounting chief,
at the New York State Society of Public Accountant’s conference yesterday.
Nicolaisen’s speech focused on his desire to simplify accounting rules by
moving away from detailed prescriptions to an approach based more on adherence
to principles. (One of the problems with very detailed rules is that they
can encourage companies to "game" the system … finding ways to skirt
the edge of ethics and of sound accounting principles while still technically
staying within the bounds of the rules. Another problem, of course, is
that detailed rules, universally imposed, can be onerous for many companies,
particularly mid-sized companies.) But, as Amey Stone reported in her BW
article, Nicolaisen’s speech on principles soon devolved into a defense of the
very detailed rules associated with Sarbanes Oxley. Nicolaisen reported
that he hears a lot of "noise" about Section 404 compliance.
I’d love to get a discussion going with some readers here as to whether SOX
is onerous and too detailed, or whether it is a necessary step in the direction
of guaranteeing standards of internal control over financial reporting.
But, apart from that discussion, it seems that, for many companies, Sarbanes
Oxley is JUST about compliance, rather than about making an investment that will
pay off in improved performance.
"Compliance" just means that you have followed the rules and can be
(relatively) free from fear of sanctions and penalties. But internal
control can be so much more than that. It can be about improved processes,
increased efficiency, and more effective governance. When companies talk about
"compliance" initiatives, does that imply that they are more focused
on avoiding the negatives than on seeking return from the positives?
A client of mine is looked for a hosted solution for a document collaboration project that will last several months to a year. Here are a few of the parameters and requirements as they see them:
–document storage and versioning
–calendaring with basic project timelines
–no need to integrate with other applications
–several thousand pages of documents.
They are looking at low- to moderate-cost alternatives and already consider Intranets.com to be an option.