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W3C Finishes XML Pipline Language Spec

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W3C Finishes XML Pipline Language Spec

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The World Wide Web Consortium has launched a new specification called " XProc," which provides a standard framework for composing XML processes.  It streamlines the automation, sequencing, and management of complex XML processes, the standards body said.  The "XML Pipeline Language" spec was developed to provide a framework for managing enterprise-level business processes.

A highly versatile markup, XML has standards for storage, validation, transformation, include, labeling, querying, and linking.  However, there have been no standard specifications for combining these actions for managing XML-rich processes, until now.  XProc specifies the plumbing to sequence various operations together.

XProc can control a variety of XML processes that might otherwise need to be implemented with a number of other standards such as XSLT, HTML, XQuery, XSLT-FO, or XForms.  The W3C gives an example of operations that can be sequenced using only XProc:

  1. Given a news ticker feed…
  2. Whenever a company is mentioned, use a Web service to contact a stock exchange
  3. Then insert current share prices into the feed
  4. Next, insert background information about the company that has been extracted from a database.  In addition, this enhanced feed could be presented in several ways to multiple users including…
  5. For print or…
  6. With an interactive form so that people can purchase shares online.

XProc Designer

"Processing XML as XML is a hugely powerful design pattern, and XProc makes this easy and attractive," said Henry Thompson, one of the co-editors of the specification.  Developers may use the mature tooling for XML to generate, transform, and validate XProc descriptions.  Download the XProc test suite to get started with the new spec.  The test suite covers both required and optional steps of the language.  It also handles static and dynamic errors. 


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