W3C announced Web Platform Docs, which promises to be a valuable new resource for web developers of all levels. Imagine a single site that you can depend on for up-to-date, accurate, and browser and device neutral answers and advice for both simple and complex questions. It is brand new and “alpha” but already useful. Below is info from their announcement and a short video. For those of us that prefer textual info see this blog post from Doug Schepers: http://blog.webplatform.org/2012/10/one-small-step/
W3C, in collaboration with Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera, and others, announced today the alpha release of Web Platform Docs (docs.webplatform.org). This is a new community-driven site that aims to become a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation. With Web Platform Docs, web professionals will save time and resources by consulting with confidence a single site for current, cross-browser and cross-device coding best practices.
Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that it has acquired EchoSign, a leading Web-based provider of electronic signatures and signature automation. EchoSign’s electronic signature solution will be a key component of Adobe’s document exchange services platform. The EchoSign solution will be integrated with other Adobe document services including SendNow for managed file transfer, FormsCentral for form creation and CreatePDF for online PDF creation. The EchoSign electronic signature solution automates the entire signature process from the request for signature to the distribution and execution of the form or agreement. The EchoSign service includes a rich set of APIs for incorporation with company-specific solutions to improve the process of sending, tracking and signing digital documents. EchoSign is based in Palo Alto, Calif. with a sales presence in the U.K. and Germany. The founders of EchoSign and all full-time employees will join Adobe. http://www.adobe.com http://www.echosign.com/
eZ Systems announced the release of eZ Components version 2008.2. This is the seventh major version of eZ Components, which is a general-purpose PHP library of over 40 components used independently or together for PHP application development. The latest versions of eZ Publish are also based on eZ Components. With eZ Components, developers can concentrate on solving customer-specific needs. The eZ Components tool set provides key application functionality, such as caching, authentication, database interaction, templates, graphs, and much more. Main improvements in this release include more features for the Document and Webdav components. The Document component, which enables you to convert documents between different formats, was already able to convert ReST to XTHML and DocBook. In this release, more formats are implemented, such as three different wiki formats (Confluence, Creole and DokuWiki), the eZ Publish XML formats, as well as reading XHTML and writing ReST. The wiki parser can easily be extended for other wiki formats. The Webdav component now supports authentication and authorization, as well as support for integrating authentication mechanisms into existing systems. In addition, it supports shared and exclusive write locks, even with custom storage back-ends. The main new development of the eZ Components 2008.2 release is the MvcTools component. The MvcTools component implements the tools for a framework. Instead of dedicating the structure of the application, it provides a dispatcher, two request parsers (one for HTTP and one for email messages through the existing Mail component), two routing methods, two view handlers (one through plain PHP scripts and one through the Template component), and a response writer for HTTP. http://ezcomponents.org
The XML Query Working Group has published the Candidate Recommendation of “XQuery Update Facility 1.0.” This document defines an update facility that extends the “XML Query language, XQuery.” The XQuery Update Facility provides expressions that can be used to make persistent changes (including node insertion, deletion, modification, and creation) to instances of the XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model. The Working Group also published two additional documents that will become Working Group notes– ” XQuery Update Facility 1.0 Requirements” and “XQuery Update Facility 1.0 Use Cases.” http://www.w3.org/XML/Query/
W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) announced the publication of SPARQL, the key standard for opening up data on the Semantic Web. With SPARQL query technology, pronounced “sparkle,” people can focus on what they want to know rather than on the database technology or data format used behind the scenes to store the data. Because SPARQL queries express high-level goals, it is easier to extend them to unanticipated data sources, or even to port them to new applications. Many successful query languages exist, including standards such as SQL and XQuery. These were primarily designed for queries limited to a single product, format, type of information, or local data store. Traditionally, it has been necessary to formulate the same high-level query differently depending on application or the specific arrangement chosen for the relational database. And when querying multiple data sources it has been necessary to write logic to merge the results. These limitations have imposed higher developer costs and created barriers to incorporating new data sources. The goal of the Semantic Web is to enable people to share, merge, and reuse data globally. SPARQL is designed for use at the scale of the Web, and thus enables queries over distributed data sources, independent of format. Because SPARQL has no tie to a specific database format, it can be used to take advantage of “Web 2.0” data and mash it up with other Semantic Web resources. Furthermore, because disparate data sources may not have the same ‘shape’ or share the same properties, SPARQL is designed to query non-uniform data. The SPARQL specification defines a query language and a protocol and works with the other core Semantic Web technologies from W3C: Resource Description Framework (RDF) for representing data; RDF Schema; Web Ontology Language (OWL) for building vocabularies; and Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL), for automatically extracting Semantic Web data from documents. SPARQL also makes use of other W3C standards found in Web services implementations, such as Web Services Description Language (WSDL). http://www.w3.org/
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced the public beta of Adobe ColdFusion 8 software. ColdFusion 8, designed for developers building dynamic Web sites and Internet applications, addresses day-to-day development challenges to increase developer productivity, integrate with complex enterprise environments, and deliver rich and engaging application experiences for users. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is a feature complete preview. ColdFusion 8 leverages Adobe Flex technology and Ajax-based components. The new ColdFusion 8 development environment also features advanced Eclipse-based wizards and debugging. The ColdFusion 8 Server Monitor lets developers identify bottlenecks and tune the server for better performance. ColdFusion 8 integrates with a broad range of platforms and systems, including integration with .NET assemblies, support for Microsoft Windows Vista and new J2EE servers including JBoss. ColdFusion 8 also delivers significant performance gains over ColdFusion MX 7 and earlier versions of the product. Additionally, ColdFusion 8 applications interact with Adobe PDF documents and forms. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is immediately available at Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com or through Adobe’s hosting partner, http://www.hostmysite.com/cf8
Curl, Inc. announced the availability of the public beta version of the Curl Run Time Environment (RTE) for Macintosh. The Curl RTE, a key component of the Curl Rich Internet Application (RIA) Platform, is the engine that executes Curl applications and displays their user interfaces. The Mac Beta release of the RTE is intended for customers looking to run their Curl Windows and Linux-developed applications on the Macintosh. The Curl RTE is part of the Curl RIA platform that allows developers to implement, complex enterprise Web-based applications. In addition to the RTE, the Curl platform consists of two other main components: the Curl Language, an object-oriented programming language that integrates rich text formatting, GUI layout and presentation scripting; and the Curl Integrated Development Environment, which includes tools for developing and debugging Curl applications and a Visual Layout Editor and numerous code examples. The Mac Beta RTE obeys standard Macintosh user interface conventions and supports the full range of features that are supported by the Curl Windows and Linux RTE products. The Curl RTE can run on Power PC and Intel Macintoshes with operating systems of OS 10.3 and later. The Beta version can execute applications developed for the most recent version of the Curl RIA platform, Version 5.0. The Mac Beta RTE can be downloaded free of charge. http://www.curl.com/