Navy steams forward on XML standardization

Navy steams forward on XML standardization

Less than a year into the Navy's effort to standardize the use of Extensible Markup Language, the service's XML working group recently published the second edition of its developers' guide.

Since May 1, Navy developers have had Version 1.1 of the 41-page guide that the working group published last November as Version 1.0. Both are available online at quickplace.hq.navy.mil/navyxml.

The Navy is committed to participating in XML standards organizations, said Michael Jacobs, data architecture project lead for the Navy CIO's office. The service has already joined the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards and is applying for membership in the World Wide Web Consortium.

Jacobs spoke yesterday at a government-industry meeting for XML developers hosted by Mitre Corp. of Bedford, Mass.

It's critical for the Navy to stay involved in development of the standards, because the Defense Department has a history of having to modify off-the-shelf applications after they are acquired, Jacobs said.

The Navy's XML group, established in August 2001, attracts 50 to 60 Navy personnel to its meetings, Jacobs said. The group's near-term goals include drawing up an XML implementation plan and documenting the requirements for a Navywide repository of XML schemas and code.

In the developers' guide, the Navy aims to present a balance between being overly restrictive and being so loose that developers use nonstandard components at their discretion, said Brian Hopkins, an engineering consultant working with the Navy CIO's office. It's supposed to provide general guidance on XML component selection, component naming conventions and design of XML schema.

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