Web Development : Tools and tricks for developing on the web
Updated: 12/11/2003; 10:41:10 AM.


Web Development


Thursday, December 11, 2003

An article in XMLMania asks, "What's your government doing with XML?"  Great question.  And the answer is "more every day", but not as much as we should be doing. 

This is cool:

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently close to drafting all its introduced bills in XML.

The House maintains this XML website that has DTDs, schemas, etc.  XML should be the standard format for bills at every level of government.  That sure would facilitate what I would like to see happen with bills being made available to users as a wireless service.  There may be hope here, since as I mentioned the other day, the state legislature is now doing an RSS news feed.  I always viewed RSS as a gentle way to introduce people to XML and its potential for other services.  Ken Hansen (Administrative Rules) and Ray Matthews (State Library)are working to put together a legal RSS group in the state that would begin to look at some of these things.

10:37:17 AM    comment []

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The Data Extraction Group at BYU hosts a website for the International Conference on Conceptual Modeling which will be held next week in Chicago.  They have published some interesting papers recently, such as this one on Automating Schema Mapping for Data Integration by Li Xu and David W. Embley and this one that presents some insights on Target-based Integration Query System (TIQS) for e-business.  This whole site is really quite interesting for those pursuing development of the semantic web and integrated systems.

In his Masters thesis, Tim Chartrand asks, "With all the advantages of the Semantic Web, what keeps it from reaching a critical mass where it will gain widespread acceptance and use?"  Tim sheds some light on viewing and extracting RDF data.  Tim refers to some work done on the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML).

DARPA has terminated the Tactical Mobile Robotics project.  Another very interesting project is the neXt Generation (XG) Communications program which is developing the technology to allow multiple users to share use of the spectrum through adaptive mechanisms that deconflict users in terms of time, frequency, code, and other signal characteristics.

George W. Bush now has a blog.  Problem is, according to Dave Winer, the RSS feeds are a mess.

The O'Reilly RSS Devcenter now maintains an RSS digest.

Here's an interesting controversy developing from one of our online services: personalized plate search.

8:05:50 AM    comment []

Friday, June 20, 2003

The First Annual International Agile Software Conference will be held in Salt Lake City at the Hilton Hotel on June 25-28, 2003. As a sponsor, the Utah Technology Alliance is helping to promote this event.

The conference will bring together world leaders in Agile Software Development and Project Management. They will discuss, teach and present the latest advancements in this productive development methodology as well as offer presentations in four areas: research papers, experience reports, tutorials, and technical exchange topics and tutorials.

Details about the conference can be found in the attached a press release and media advisory or by visiting the following web site: http://agiledevelopmentconference.com

10:59:12 AM    comment []

Monday, June 16, 2003

I went to IBM's "e-business on demand Competitive Technical Briefing" this morning and came away impressed that we are underutilizing WebSphere in the State.  But then, don't we underutilize just about every software product that we own?  The presentations focused on topics like developer productivity, web services, and e-business.  IBM has done a good job at evolving WebSphere into a very productive development environment.

It has been almost a year since Utah IT workers were challenged to focus their web development on a web services model.  We still have a long way to go.

2:27:21 PM    comment []

Friday, May 23, 2003

Here are a couple of new eGov blogs:

John Gotze points out the latest draft of the W3C Web Services Architecture.  I haven't had time to digest it, perhaps this weekend, but it is something I need to share with a few key people including our semi-active XML working group.  The goals of the architecture standard are admirable:

  • interoperability between Web services,
  • integration with the World Wide Web,
  • reliability of Web services,
  • security of Web services,
  • Scalability and extensibility of Web services, and
  • Manageability of Web services.

XML is the key:

"One can imagine Web services that don't depend on the SOAP envelope framework or processing model, or that don't employ WSDL to describe the interaction between a service and its consumers, but XML is much more fundamental. It provides the extensibility and vendor, platform, and language neutrality that is the key to loosely-coupled, standards-based interoperability that are the essence of the Web services value proposition."

And the debate continues over what web services integration means for the consulting industry.

I am working to coordinate a Webex demo for next week of Forum Systems' XML security appliance.  It looks like an interesting product.

Paul TaylorYesterday morning, Paul Taylor of the Center for Digital Government gave an interesting presentation to state and local representatives in Salt Lake City.  The presentation, entited The Portal as a Capitol Dome, was an interesting metaphor comparing state portals to capitol buildings as the center of government ac tivity and services.  He suggests that it needs the same kind of care and support as the state capitol.  Novell followed up with this presentation on portal solutions.

8:50:29 AM    comment []

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

In a memo to state agencies, Utah CIO Val Oveson reconfirmed the State's commitment to website accessability standards.  The Utah State Library is supporting the effort by providing third party assessments of agency compliance and training for agency personnel.
10:01:25 AM    comment []

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Our Enterprise Development Group (eDG) is developing a utility that will allow the user to paste an RSS URL into a form and create presentation javascripts in a variety of formats, including headline only, scrolling, ticker tape, and full text.  In addition, they are creating a variety of RSS creation tools that will allow the user to create and display RSS in a variety of formats compatible with the News @ Utah.gov initiative.  They presented some prototypes yesterday following Ray Matthews' enthusiastic presentation on creative ways that we might use RSS in state government.  Ray maintains an online RSS tutorial that he uses to support a class that he offers through the State Library.  The Library maintains a growing body of RSS feeds such as the Utah and National Public Library News.

Content Syndication with RSSI just used one of the Library's outstanding online services to reserve Ben Hammersly's new book, Content Syndication with RSS.  First, I checked the online catalog to see the status, then I used the live chat to see what the process was for reserving materials, and the book will be sent through interoffice mail as soon as it is available (Ray's already got it checked out).

9:49:14 AM    comment []

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Several days ago, Jon Udell wrote about the efficacy of using weblogs for managing project communications.  I believe that I will take him up on that suggestion.  I already pull my Homeland Security RSS feed into the Utah Product Management Council website.  If I were more conscientious about doing this, it would be much easier than managing certain aspects of the site with Dreamweaver.  I have lagged in adequately maintaining that as other things have taken priority.
5:55:06 PM    comment []

Friday, March 28, 2003

Several years ago, GSA was charged with managing the .gov domain by the Federal Networking Council.  Fortunately, Utah had obtained the utah.gov domain prior to that time.  Today, GSA finalized rules associated with dot gov.  The rule includes recommendations for local government domain names.  GSA's registration service can be found at http://www.nic.gov/ .  In Utah, we are recommending for consistency and easy recognition that local governments register through utah.gov with the format "provo.utah.gov" or utahcounty.utah.gov".  Al Sherwood is the registrar for the Utah.gov domain.
2:49:24 PM    comment []

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Jenny Levine (the Shifted Librarian) and Ray Matthews of the Utah State Library will both be making presentations on the use of RSS at an upcoming GILS conference.  I am glad to see that Ray is involved since he has done a marvelous job of helping to promote the use of RSS in Utah.  I'm glad to see the collaboration that is taking place.  Jenny's goals for Illinois are very similar to ours:

What I'd really like to see is the RSS-ification of all library and government news (for starters), plus the creation of a news aggregator that can be branded by each individual library. The library would give away the software (or access to a web site), hand-pick a set of default, localized feeds, and then promote the aggregator to its residents while working with local government to RSS-ify the whole town! Ray and I both think NewsMonster has potential for this type of application since it claims to handle news sites that don't provide their own RSS feeds, but neither of us has had a chance to play with it yet. If nothing suitable has developed by August, I'd like to apply for grant funds to create such a beast (along with the bookmarklets + OPAC search toolbar).

I've established a goal with the Utah Product Management Council for every agency to have its own RSS feed.  We've got a long ways to go, but I believe that some progress is being made.

7:56:21 AM    comment []

Thursday, February 20, 2003

XACML is a newly adopted standard for access control (18 Feb 2003). 

XACML is expected to address fine grained control of authorized activities, the effect of characteristics of the access requestor, the protocol over which the request is made, authorization based on classes of activities, and content introspection (i.e. authorization based on both the requestor and potentially attribute values within the target where the values of the attributes may not be known to the policy writer).

 "XACML is designed to enable the expression of well-established ideas in the field of access-control policy. Such a common policy language, "if implemented throughout an enterprise, allows the enterprise to manage the enforcement of all the elements of its access control policy in all the components of its information systems."

Dave McNamee is the ITS product manager that is assigned to authentication services.  He is working on issues like single sign-on, directory integration with SSO, secure authorization, etc.  XML-based authentication services is another item to add to his plate.

7:28:47 AM    comment []

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Yesterday's Happy Birthday XML! announcement from OASIS.

A must read for egovernment product managers is DM Review's article Easing Integration with Web Services.  Even if you may not need to understand the technology in depth, you need to know what it's about and what it can help you accomplish.  This article may help you to do that.

1:12:47 PM    comment []

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Bill Gratsch asks the question, "Why doesn't  every elected federal official offer a free feed (of at least their press releases) to local organizational websites back home?"  They should and they will - beginning in Utah.  I think it's just a matter of time.  Watch closely.

I think the idea of doing this on regulations.gov is a great one.  I will discuss the concept with our Division of Administrative Rules to see what value might be added to the outstanding things they are already doing.

11:52:53 AM    comment []

Thursday, January 23, 2003

There are now 58 government-related RSS feeds on Syndic8.  That is a major improvement from when I looked about six months ago and an exciting development in light of my goal to have all Utah agencies produce their news in RSS.  I discovered that the Utah State Library's Ferret newsletter now has an RSS feed as well.  Good for them!  Time to add more sources to my aggregator.

10:49:08 AM    comment []

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Dave McNamee is the enterprise product manager for Actuate, a reporting tool that several agencies are using to deliver content to the web.  It looks like the Actuate server will deliver content in XML format which presents a number of interesting ideas based on the content that I know is already available through Actuate reports.  I am hoping that Dave and his customers are already looking at ideas related to this and thinking of new services that they can deliver to customers using this vehicle.  Once we have some working models, I would like to share them with the Utah product management council.
2:59:00 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 David Fletcher.

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