W3C is pleased to receive this submission in the field of applying digital signatures to documents. The W3C Digital Signature Initiative (DSig) stated as its goal the development of mechanisms to allow statements of the form: "signer believes statement about information resource". While our initial goals were focussed on signing metadata, such as PICS Labels, we now believe in broadening the scope to include signing many types of documents.
SDML describes how to structure a complete signed document, with the material being signed as part of the document. We expect that a web-based document signature scheme would have to address external documents, also referenced by URI.
SDML makes a number of tradeoffs customized towards the application area of electronic checks. We expect that the next phase of DSig would want to move to an XML-compliant syntax, and fully address internationalization requirements.
W3C will shortly be issuing a "Call for Participation" for a DSig 2.0 effort. This project is currently awaiting staffing. At such time as a working group is formed, SDML will be presented to it for their consideration.