Weaving the Web of News (5/5) - exploring XML
Weaving the Web of News
Internet Context Exchange (ICE)
ICE is a protocol for syndicating content on and over the Web. The ICE standard makes it easier for syndicators to deliver information in a controlled way to subscribers. It does not itself specify the format of the syndicated content data, it is just bytes inside an ICE-defined envelope. The character data inside can be structured using one of the industry-specific XML data representations like BizTalk, RosettaNet, CommerceOne, WDDX, and others.
ICE defines a publish and subscribe mechanism via simple request and response messages. Before syndication can occur, the syndicator must configure a syndication server, specifying which offers are available to which subscribers at what time. The server holds a catalog of all the available offers, including delivery policies. Offers can be grouped hierarchically for easier navigation, and subscribers can then pick and choose subscriptions from that catalog. To fulfill subscriptions, the syndicator sends directives in a package to update a subscriber from an old to a new state. So ICE defines how documents are distributed in a controlled way, not specifying what these documents are or how they look like.
A fair number of XML formats deal with describing, containing and transporting news. When implemented along the news production chain these formats can enable a timely, accurate, and automated exchange of information unprecented today, for print media as well as the Web. Watch out for the arrival of RSS at WebReference....
For the next "Standards" article I intended to take a closer look at xmlNews, but due to recent developments we will focus on XHTML instead, as it became an official W3C recommendation last week. If you want to make your Web site fit for the future, stay tuned....
Created: Jan. 30, 2000
Revised: Jan. 30, 2000