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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Paul Merrell

Paul Merrell - Live views on the Web of Data - Sindice Blog - 0 views

  • While is by no mean the first data aggregator for the Semantic Web, its contribution is to show that the sum is really bigger than the single parts and exciting possibilities lie in a holistic approach for automatic semistructured data discovery and consolidation.

    In, elements such as large scale semantic web indexing, logic reasoning, data aggregation heuristics, pragmatic ontology alignments and, last but not least, user interaction and refinement, all play together to provide entity descriptions which become live, embeddable data mash ups.

    • Paul Merrell
      Interesting experimental data aggregator for the Semantic Web. 7-minute video is well worth the watch.
Paul Merrell

Antitrust Chief Hits Resistance in Crackdown - - 0 views

  • WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top antitrust official and some senior Democratic lawmakers are preparing to rein in a host of major industries, including airline and railroad giants, moving so aggressively that they are finding some resistance from officials within the administration.
    • Paul Merrell
      Predictable. Government regulatory agencies tend to become dominated by the regulated industries in no small part due to the "revolving door" that sees particular officials shuttling back and forth between working for industry and government. As former Senator Scoop Jackson said, the perennial problem with regulatory agencies is who will police the police? Now the Obama Administration's antitrust reformers hit the obstacle of regulatory agency bias toward the regulated industries. The monopolists fight back.
Paul Merrell

Microsoft's EU Offer Gets Cautious Welcome From Rivals - PC World - 0 views

  • One industry source closer to Microsoft believes the software giant has lost its will to fight in its long-running antitrust battle in Europe.

    "They don't have the appetite to fight anymore. Now their aim is to settle up and make sure that other technology firms, like Google and IBM, are held to the same antitrust standards," said a person familiar with Microsoft's thinking who asked not to be named.

Paul Merrell

Press_release_20_July_2009_-_Ecma_Technical_Committee_46_has_delivered_the_OpenXPS_Stan... - 0 views

  • The two year effort of Ecma TC46 was rewarded on June 16, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary, with the Ecma General Assembly approval of ECMA-388, the Open XML Paper Specification.
  • During the voting process, the Ecma General Assembly noted that the efforts of TC46 to provide explanatory materials were most appreciated. These materials are available at
Paul Merrell

HTML5's Flash and Silverlight 'killer' potential chopped * The Register - 0 views

  • Much has been made of how HTML5 will "kill" proprietary media tools and players from Adobe Systems and Microsoft.

    The idea has been partly predicated on the fact those working on HTML5 would enshrine a baseline spec for audio and video codecs everybody could agree on, buy into, and support.

  • But the hope of a universal media experience is now dead, at least for now. Apple, Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, and - yes - Google could not agree on a common set of audio or video codecs for use in the proposed HTML5 spec.

    That means major browsers and media player will continue to implement the codecs and APIs ordained by their owners as they’ve always done, leaving developers and customers to pick a side or go to the additional cost and effort of supporting different players.

Paul Merrell

Microsoft vs. Google: Office Web Will Kill Google Docs - Business Center - PC World - 0 views

  • Maybe Google will be able to rescue something from its Docs misadventure, but it better do something quick. Microsoft says it can solve big customers' big complaint about Google Docs and will do so at a price Google understands: Free.

    Here's the gripe: Corporate IT doesn't think Google Docs are a secure place for important information. Microsoft will deal with this by offering something Google doesn't, the ability to host Office Web on the customer's own servers.

    And Microsoft will include this capability--for free--as part of all Office 2010 volume-licensing agreements. OK, that isn’t totally free, but for customers who will upgrade to Office 2010 it's a nice value add. It is also something Microsoft could easily package with other deals, such as server operating systems and even Windows 7, as an incentive to upgrade.

Paul Merrell

Microsoft Is Said to Be in Talks to Settle EU Cases (Update2) - - 0 views

  • Microsoft Corp., which has been fined 1.68 billion euros ($2.34 billion) in European Union antitrust cases, is in preliminary talks to settle two additional probes before EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes leaves office, four people familiar with the negotiations said.

    Any agreement would have to resolve a case over Microsoft’s Internet browser as well as a separate investigation into word processing and spreadsheet software, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.

  • The commission has said it is considering forcing the Redmond, Washington-based company to offer consumers a choice of browsers when setting up a new personal computer on a so-called ballot screen. Microsoft responded by saying it would ship Windows 7 operating-system software without Internet Explorer to avoid breaking EU law.
Paul Merrell

The HTML 5 Layout Elements Rundown - 0 views

  • TML 5 is an interesting beastie. The specification was not planned; The W3C was committed to HTML 4.1 as the last word in HTML. As such, most of the requests for HTML 5 came from the HTML user community itself, largely through the advent of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). The push from WHATWG was strong enough to prompt the formation of a HTML 5 working group a couple of years ago. Since then, the HTML 5 working group has slowly gone through the process of taking a somewhat hand-waving specification and recasting it in W3C terms, along with all the politics that the process entails.

    On April 23, 2009, the HTML 5 group released the most recent draft of the specification. Overall, it represents a considerable simplification from the previous release, especially as a number of initially proposed changes to the specification have been scaled back. The group defined roles for the proposed changes elsewhere.

    HTML 5 is a broad specification, and consequently, dozens of distinct changes—more than a single article can reasonably cover in any detail—occurred between HTML 4 and 5. This article focuses on the HTML 5 layout elements. Subsequent articles will examine forms-related changes (which are substantial), the new media elements, and DOM-related changes.

Paul Merrell

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the future of XHTML - 0 views

  • In its specifications and process, W3C seeks a balance between stability (for interoperability) and flexibility (to accommodate evolution).

    HTML 5 has a number of extensibility mechanisms, but none yet that satisfies the requirement XML namespaces was designed to address of decentralized extensibility - allowing parties to include their own elements or attributes in content without risk of name collisions (whether those names are the result of a consensus process or not).

    An HTML Working Group issue on decentralized extensibility is still open and unresolved. The text/html serialization of HTML5 contains extensibility points but does not provide a decentralized mechanism.

    One of the open questions is what extensibility mechanism can be used such that, when it is parsed from either the HTML or XML serialization, the DOM that results is the same (see HTML Design Principles section 3.5).

    • Work will stop on these documents (likely to be published as Group Notes):

      • XHTML 2.0
      • CURIE
      • XFrames
      • HLink
      • XHTML+MathML+SVG Profile
      • XHTML Modularization 1.0 Second Edition
  • W3C plans to continue work on XForms within the Forms Working Group (see information about deployment
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • As of June 2009, many parts of HTML have been written primarily for browser implementers. W3C has heard the demand from authors for a specification that addresses authors. This is still an open issue and W3C welcomes volunteers to work with the Working Group on a version for authors
Paul Merrell

Archive of W3C News in 2009 - 0 views

  • 2009-07-02: Today the Director announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by increasing resources in the HTML Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the progress of HTML 5 and clarify W3C's position regarding the future of HTML. A FAQ answers questions about the future of deliverables of the XHTML 2 Working Group, and the status of various discussions related to HTML.
  • 2009-08-26: The HTML Working Group has published Working Drafts of HTML 5 and HTML 5 differences from HTML 4. In HTML 5, new features are introduced to help Web application authors, new elements are introduced based on research into prevailing authoring practices, and special attention has been given to defining clear conformance criteria for user agents in an effort to improve interoperability. "HTML 5 differences from HTML 4" describes the differences between HTML 4 and HTML 5 and provides some of the rationale for the changes. Learn more about HTML. (Permalink)
Paul Merrell

Firefox 3.5 benchmarked: Twice as fast as Firefox 3 - Crave at CNET UK - 0 views

  • So it makes sense that Firefox 3.5 called its rendering engine TraceMonkey, and with it has made the browser more than twice as fast as Firefox 3, by our own measurements. Using the SunSpider Javascript benchmark tool on a Windows PC, Firefox 3.5 scored 1,426ms, which is significantly faster than Firefox 3 which scored 3,250ms. Safari 4 and Chrome 2 scored 910ms and 709ms respectively.

    The average user will not find the previous version slow, and so may not notice version 3.5 working much harder. But it is, and pages are loading closer to the speed of Chrome now.

Paul Merrell

Martian Headsets - Joel on Software - 0 views

  • You’re about to see the mother of all flamewars on internet groups where web developers hang out. It’ll make the Battle of Stalingrad look like that time your sister-in-law stormed out of afternoon tea at your grandmother’s and wrapped the Mustang around a tree.
  • The flame war will revolve around the issue of something called “web standards.”
Paul Merrell

MSDN Blog Postings » Blog Archive » Semantic interoperability - Dream or r... - 0 views

  • Last week, European Commission and the Ministry of Health from Germany, with the support of Microsoft, organized a two days workshop on semantic interoperability in EHRs.  The initiative was triggered by the work performed by 12 countries in the project epSOS - the large scale pilot conceiving and testing a EU shared EHR and ePrescribing solution. The workshop involved experts in terminologies from Europe, United States and from international organizations such as WHO, European Commission and International Health Terminology Standard Development Organization (IHTSDO).
Paul Merrell

Chromium Blog: Developer Tools for Google Chrome - 0 views

  • Since the initial launch of Google Chrome back in September we have had the Elements and Resources tabs of WebKit's Inspector available. We are now ready to present Inspector's Scripts and Profiles panels built on top of the V8 engine providing web developers with full-featured Javascript debugger and sample-based profiler in the dev channel release of Google Chrome. We are also re-introducing the Elements and Resources tabs running out of process for better robustness, security and support for the new debugger and profiler setup.
Paul Merrell

Working to Fulfill our Legal Obligations in Europe for Windows 7 - Microsoft On The Issues - 0 views

  • Earlier today CNET reported that Microsoft had sent a memo to computer manufacturers and retailers about our plans for Windows 7 in Europe.  We’re getting quite a few calls on this, so we thought it would be helpful to explain our plans.
  • In January the European Commission provided its preliminary view that Microsoft’s “bundling” of Internet Explorer in Windows violated European competition law.
  • Windows 7 will be offered in Europe in all of the versions that will be available here in the United States, both 32- and 64-bit, with an “E” at the end of the product name (for instance, Windows 7 Home Premium E).  The E versions of Windows 7 will ship at the same time as Windows 7 ships in the rest of the world, and they will be available in 23 European languages.

    What does this mean for European consumers?  The E versions of Windows 7 will include all the features and functionality of Windows 7 in the rest of the world, other than browsing with Internet Explorer.  Computer manufacturers will be able to add any browser they want to their Windows 7 machines, including Internet Explorer, so European consumers who purchase new PCs will be able to access the Internet without any problem.  Consumers will also be able to add any Web browser to their PCs, to supplement or replace the browsers preinstalled by their computer manufacturer. 

    Most importantly, the E versions of Windows 7 will continue to provide all of the underlying platform functionality of the operating system—applications designed for Windows will run just as well on an E version as on other versions of Windows 7. 

  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Our decision to only offer IE separately from Windows 7 in Europe cannot, of course, preclude the possibility of alternative approaches emerging through Commission processes.  Other alternatives have been raised in the Commission proceedings, including possible inclusion in Windows 7 of alternative browsers or a “ballot screen” that would prompt users to choose from a specific set of Web browsers.  Important details of these approaches would need to be worked out in coordination with the Commission, since they would have a significant impact on computer manufacturers and Web browser vendors, whose interests may differ.   Given the complexity and competing interests, we don’t believe it would be best for us to adopt such an approach unilaterally. 
  • In January 2009 the Commission sent Microsoft a “Statement of Objections.” In it the Commission advised Microsoft of its preliminary view that the inclusion of Web browsing software in Windows violates European competition law. The Commission said in this document that it intends to impose a fine for this. The Commission also said that, with hindsight, the remedy adopted in its 2004 decision was not effective because there was very limited consumer demand for the versions of Windows without media player. We were, of course, disappointed to learn that the approach we took in September 2008 would not adequately address the Commission’s concerns.

    Microsoft filed its response to the Commission’s Statement of Objections in April. We believe we made a strong showing that including Internet Explorer in Windows is lawful so that no remedy is needed. We hope that the Commission will ultimately agree with us. In the meantime, we have to move forward with final planning for the release of Windows 7, so we’ve decided that instead of including Internet Explorer in Windows 7 in Europe, we will offer it separately. As noted, we will continue to discuss browser issues and other matters with the Commission.

    Note the emphasis that this is a unilateral move by Microsoft and a different remedy may still be forthcoming from DG Competition. In particular, not only the remedy as to bundling may be different, but other related issues remain, such as Opera's complaint that Microsoft had been undermining Open Web standards with inadequate support.
Paul Merrell

Europe to get Windows 7 sans browser | Beyond Binary - CNET News - 0 views

  • Microsoft plans to remove Internet Explorer from the versions of Windows 7 that it ships in Europe, CNET News has learned.
  • "To ensure that Microsoft is in compliance with European law, Microsoft will be releasing a separate version of Windows 7 for distribution in Europe that will not include Windows Internet Explorer," the software maker said in the memo
  • Microsoft confirmed the authenticity of the document but declined to comment further.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Update, 12:20 p.m.: Microsoft has posted a blog on its law and policy Web site, in which one of its lawyers responds to our story.
Paul Merrell

Nokia Targets Web Developers -- Web Developer Tools -- InformationWeek - 0 views

  • Nokia on Tuesday introduced a set of developer tools that seeks to make it easier for Web developers to create widgets for mobile phones.

    Nokia released Web Runtime plug-ins for Microsoft's Visual Studio, Adobe's Dreamweaver, and Aptana Studio, enabling third parties to create mobile widgets using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, and other standard Web development code. The company said this should streamline the development process, as well as attract a new set of content creators who may not have mobile experience.

Paul Merrell

OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents [on Simon Phipps, SunMink] - 0 views

  • OASIS seems to have taken it to heart, because it has today announced what looks to me like the perfect basis for technology standards in an open source world.

    Their new rules2 include a new "mode" which standards projects can opt into using. In this new mode, all contributors promise that they will not assert any patents they may own related to the standard the project is defining. Contributors make this covenant:

    Each Obligated Party in a Non-Assertion Mode TC irrevocably covenants that, subject to Section 10.3.2 and Section 11 of the OASIS IPR Policy, it will not assert any of its Essential Claims covered by its Contribution Obligations or Participation Obligations against any OASIS Party or third party for making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell, selling, and otherwise distributing Covered Products that implement an OASIS Final Deliverable developed by that TC.
  • The covenant described in Section 10.3.1 may be suspended or revoked by the Obligated Party with respect to any OASIS Party or third party if that OASIS Party or third party asserts an Essential Claim in a suit first brought against, or attempts in writing to assert an Essential Claim against, a Beneficiary with respect to a Covered Product that implements the same OASIS Final Deliverable.
  • There's a redline PDF document showing the changes - the new stuff is mainly in section 10, although other areas had to be changed to match as well, I gather.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • OASIS Protects Open Source Developers From Software Patents
    This new technical committee IPR mode may not make much sense to the legally-inclined without reading the new section 2.7 definition of "Covered Product." There we learn that the patent covenant extends only so far as the implementation is conformant with the standard. I count that as a good thing, curing a defect in the Sun Covenant Not to Sue in regard to ODF, which at least arguably extended far enough to confer immunity on those who embrace and extend a standard. But the reciprocity provision allowing contributors to counter-sue for infringement if sued clashes with many definitions of an "open standard" adopted by governmental entities for procurement purposes. So a question remains as to who must bend, government or OASIS members.
Paul Merrell

White House preparing 2.0 -- Government Computer News - 0 views

  • White House officials plan to release Version 2.0 of the new government data portal,, in the next couple of months, federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra said today.

    The federal Web site, which makes government data available for public reuse, will likely feature new tagging capabilities and an expanded array of information tools, Kundra said., which debuted May 21, has 87,000 data feeds from various government agencies. That number is expected to top 100,000 by next week, Kundra said.

Paul Merrell

Google to slip SVG into Internet Explorer * The Register - 0 views

  • Microsoft might be hesitating on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in Internet Explorer 8, but Google's pressing on.

    The search giant's engineers are building a JavaScript library to render static and dynamic SVG in Microsoft's browser. Google promised that the library, a Javascript shim, will simply drop into IE.

  • SVG has a huge presence on the web. This facet of the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML 5 spec is supported in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Apple's iPhone, and is used in Google Maps and Google Docs. It also topped a list of features wanted by developers in a OpenAJAX browser wish list last year.
  • There's suspicion, though, that the reason has more to do with Microsoft's internal politics, with the company wanting graphics and drawing in IE done using Silverlight instead.

    SVG Web is more than an answer to Microsoft's foot-dragging, however. Google has declared for HTML 5 on the web, proclaiming last week that the web programming model has "won".

    Support for graphics capabilities in HTML 5 should also be seen as Google's partial answer to Adobe Systems' Flash. Google has complained that Flash is not open source and its development is not driven by the community. Google said the benefit of SVG Web is that it would sit inside the DOM whereas Flash "sits on top of the web, it's not part of the web"

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