Dev Bytes

An experimental programming language posted on a Xerox Corp.-run Web site is designed to build applications that translate documents and data among different formats so that they can be read by any application or on any device.

The new document language, Circus-DTE, was developed at Xerox’s Research Centre of Europe in Grenoble, France. It is designed for “document translation” as documents and data are transferred between different devices and applications, Xerox said. Currently, it is difficult to manipulate and merge data from different formats, Xerox spokesperson Bill McKee said. “Think about using a PDF file, for example. You can read it but apart from that you can’t do a thing with it.” Using Circus-DTE, users can take data from any document, no matter what software has been used, and manipulate it as they wish, McKee said. Circus-DTE also translates each document so that it can be viewed from different devices such as laptops, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and mobile phones, the company said.

Vendors push Web services spec

Setting the stage for another potential battle over Web services standardization, Sun Microsystems Inc., Fujitsu Ltd. and Oracle Corp. announced a specification for Web services reliability without participation from rivals IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

The Web Services Reliability (WS-Reliability) specification is intended to help accelerate adoption of Web services by promoting linking of applications via standard interfaces. WS-Reliability features extensions of SOAP (simple object access protocol) that are intended to provide for guaranteed Web services delivery, eliminate message duplication, and provide for message ordering.

An analyst applauded WS-Reliability, but added it may compete with an alternate proposal by IBM, dubbed HTTPR. “It’s a specification that’s in an area of much need for Web services,” said analyst Dwight Davis, vice-president of Summit Strategies, in Kirkland, Wash. But the lack of participation of IBM and Microsoft in WS-Reliability could be a hindrance to adoption and set up another competitive scenario, he said.