ERCIM News No.41 - April 2000 [contents]

Promoting XML in Italy

by Laura Abba

During 1999, the Institute for Telematic Applications of the Italian National Research Council (IAT-CNR) promoted the creation of XML-Italy, an open working group similar in constitution to the Internet technical groups. One of the objectives of XML-Italy is to promote R&D collaborative activities between Italian research and industry.

XML-Italy’s primary goal is to coordinate existing national expertise in order to spread XML know-how in an organised manner. Technicians, researchers, operators and vendors interested in XML have joined the group, and it has become a point of reference for the Italian scientific and industrial community. The group facilitates the approach to the new technologies, and thus contributes to a more efficient and safer management of information on the net.

The Italian XML Group has four main goals:

Participation in the activities of the group is open. The work is carried out during the meetings and through the ‘group communication’ system via electronic mail at the address: xml@xml.it. More than 230 public and private Italian organisations subscribe to this list and the average traffic is about 4 e-mails per day. Technical problems – such as XML parsers, CR/LF treaty in XML, applicative co-operation using XML instead of CORBA, parameter transfer in xslt, WAP and XML files, MS-WORD document representation in XML, etc - are debated. Requests for assistance and information on markup languages, particularly XML, for publishing, data exchange, and the visualisation of complex and structured documents on the net are frequently received.

Many of the most relevant research activities and applications of XML technologies in Italy were presented last June in Bologna, at the first XML-Italy workshop (http://www.xml.it/bologna.html). More than 200 researchers attended this event. The next XML-Italy meeting will be held in Pisa, at the Research Area of the National Research Council, 9-10 May 2000.

In addition to XML-Italy, IAT-CNR is also currently responsible for several research programmes on technologies for the processing, exchange and protection of information. Languages and models for the representation of the information content of data files are being studied for use by the next generation browsers and web servers, in order to facilitate access to distributed data and surfing on the net. The considerable changes that have been made in the architectures of information systems, following the rapid evolution of the de facto standards, are also being investigated with particular attention. The technologies used for this line of research are WEB, JAVA, and XML.


Activities of XML-Italy: http://www.xml.it/

Please contact:

Laura Abba - IAT-CNR
Tel: +39 050 315 2633
E-mail: Laura.Abba@iat.cnr.it