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New W3C Standard Reuses Content

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) moved closer to making XML documents more efficient, issuing the XML Inclusions (XInclude) as a standard for programmers to combine multiple documents into one.

XInclude 1.0, which allows programmers to reuse content and save time, further fleshes out work by the W3C XML Core Working Group to improve XML as a vehicle to write software for the Internet. This XML group is also responsible for XML 1.0, XML 1.1, Namespace in XML and XML Base.

While XInclude is just a building block, reusing content and assets is a key characteristic of now popular distributed computing paradigms, such as service-oriented architectures . SOAs can employ Web services to automate tasks using software.

According to a W3C statement, XInclude 1.0 can be used in environments without Document Type Definition (DTD) support. But unlike the bits used in DTDs, XInclude gives the author something to fall back on in cases where the external document cannot be retrieved.

Authors may use XInclude to add another XML document in new composite content as mark-up or text, employing the XML Information Set (Infoset).

Because it merges information sets, it can be used with any version of XML or a related specification, including XML Schema and XSLT , as well as applications like Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and VoiceXML 2.0.

XInclude supporters include Microsoft , BEA Systems , Sun Microsystems , and Arbortext, whose co-founder Paul Grosso is co-chair of the XML Core Working Group.

"Reusing information contributes directly to the bottom line issues: cheaper, more timely, and more accurate results," said Grosso, noting that Arbortext's latest enterprise publishing software supports XInclude.

The chairman said reusing information helps authors work more effectively while increasing the accuracy of information they deliver.