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From Nick Kew <n...@webthing.com>
Subject Becoming an Apache-XML project
Date Tue, 16 Apr 2002 19:16:22 GMT


I'm emailing everyone named on http://xml.apache.org/whoweare.html,
on the assumption that you are the right contacts for this.

You may have seen my announcement of mod_xml a couple of weeks ago.
In case you haven't, I'll append it to this message.

Following the initial announcement, it was suggested that mod_xml
could become an Apache-XML project.  I would be happy for it to
do so, as this will presumably improve its exposure, both to
users and developers.

Would you be interested?

Initial Announcement

This is a developer preview announcement for mod_xml, a platform for
XML applications on the Web.

(the download modxml.tar.gz contains everything).

What is it?

mod_xml is an XML applications development environment for Apache 2.0.

It comprises several components:
        * Main Handler: SAX and DOM APIs for applications development
        * Input Filter: converting request data to XML
        * Output Filters: XSLT and Charset transcoding.

There is currently a single example program, using SAX.
This is there to demonstrate the basics of the main API.

In principle, the SAX and DOM APIs offer a full alternative to
traditional options such as CGI or PHP for dynamic contents.
Both work via callbacks with dlopen/dlsym.

There are also a couple of optimisations available:

        * Pre-compiling and cacheing of XSLT stylesheets
        * Passing parsed documents (as a doc tree) from the main
          handler to the XSLT filter (where both are used).

It is under active development.  It will work for a range of simple
apps (one demo is provided with it), but is by no means robust enough
yet for operational use.


I have run it on Linux and FreeBSD.  In principle it should be simple
enough to run on other *X platforms (with dlopen).

XML platforms currently supported are:
        Apache (xerces-c + xalan-c)
        Gnome (libxml2 + libxslt)

Future plans

* Get what's described above fully working and reasonably stable.
* Upgrade the input processing from a hack to a filter, add XMTP
  support, and extend it to enable CGI vars.

* Document it properly.

* Support a wider range of protocols such as XMLRPC and SOAP
* Support RDF applications such as Annotea
* Develop hooks for databases and other applications
* Offer bindings for scripting languages
* Develop a secure/sandboxed API under which an admin can (relatively)
  safely open it to untrusted users, as with CGI or PHP.
  This may not be possible!

Nick Kew

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