Comment on UCLP Submission
W3C is pleased to receive the
UCLP submission from SAIC/Bellcore.
The Universal Commerce Language and Protocol (UCLP) is an Extensible
Markup Language (XML) application for metadata related to commercial products
and companies and that can be used in identifying and retrieving product
data residing across the Internet. The tags provide a base level of data
typing and define a set of industry-specific names.
The UCLP submission is related to the following activities of W3C:
XML Activity developing XML Schemas:
UCLP demonstrates experience in this area and suggests requirements for
Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides a syntax to design applications
with particular functions.
UCLP is an application of XML, focussing on the design of a language
for identifying data on the Web. UCLP indicates a strong need for strong
and extensible data typing within XML.
The XML Schema provides means for defining the structure (structural
schemas are a mechanism somewhat analogous to DTDs for constraining document
structure), content and semantics of XML documents (primitive data typing
, integers, dates, etc).
XML Schema requirements need to address whether or not this user-level
datatyping and data validation falls within their scope for version 1
Metadata Activity developing RDF:
We observe that as specified in this Submission, there appears to be no
mechanism that permits independent user communities to evolve separate
vocabularies with protection from name collision (see the Namespaces
in XML Recommendation).
Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a foundation for exchanging metadata.
The RDF Model and Syntax
specification , now in Proposed Recommandation state, provides an interoperable
foundation using XML permitting user-domain definition of metadata vocabularies
like the vocabularies proposed in UCLP.
Resource Description Framework
(RDF) Schema Specification provides a basic type system for use in
RDF models. It provides a machine-understandable system for defining 'schemas'
for descriptive vocabularies, allowing the introduction of semantics.
Unlike an XML DTD, which gives specific constraints on the structure
of a document, an RDF Schema provides information about the interpretation
of the statements given in an RDF data model.
DTDs are not a critical element for interoperable metadata exchange,
where dynamically extensible metadata vocabularies are important. It allows
user communities to choose their own domain-specific vocabularies without
requiring agreement from a central coordinating authority and to add their
own user-specific metadata elements to a document without destroying the
interoperability of the remainder of the document . This principle is reflected
in both UCLP and RDF.
This has been addressed in the design of RDF and retargetting UCLP
to be an RDF Schema would cause UCLP to inherit this solution.
Electronic Commerce Activity :
The E.Commerce Interest Group is a forum designed to allow the members
to share information with the Consortium staff and other members about
work underway in related areas.
UCLP relates to the Electronic Commerce and EDI arena, providing a
framework for information on domains, such as products and organizations
to be managed, searched and exchanged over the web.
Next Steps :
UCLP will be brought to the attention of the participants in the Electronic
Commerce Interest Group and in Working Groups in the XML and Metadata for
consideration as requirements and design input.
UCLP, also proposes interface definition; "method signatures" as mentioned
in the submission. W3C has had other Submissions
Interface Definition Language (WIDL) that discuss this technology as
well. Perhaps there is now sufficient critical mass for a working group
to look into a common vocabulary for exchanging (programming) interface
If a Working Group does pick up this Submission for discussion we expect
that the group will want to clarify the IPR terms, particularly the degree
to which the Submission discusses proprietary technology that might impose
limitations on the openness any resulting recommendation.
Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group agenda does
not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the
Working Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group will agree
to take any specific action on a Submission.
Thierry Michel, W3C E Commerce Activity
last revised $Date: 1999/01/20 17:41:06 $