Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 2 February 2001
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Reuters, WAVO Release NewsML Toolkit

Reuters, the global information, news, and technology group, and WAVO, a news-software developer, have joined forces to launch the NewsML Toolkit, an interface that facilitates the implementation of the newly ratified NewsML standard. Developed by Reuters and WAVO with the assistance of XML expert David Megginson, the NewsML Toolkit offers developers with no prior XML knowledge a fast and simple way to analyze and filter multimedia NewsML items using regular Java, according to the announcement.

The NewsML Toolkit is being released as open source software under version 2.1 of the GNU Lesser General Public License and can be incorporated into commercial software packages royalty-free, with the stipulation that any modification or improvements are released back to the public.

NewsML is the new industry standard for delivering multimedia news. Reuters conceived the idea for NewsML in 1999 and donated it to the news industry for further development. The International Press and Telecommunications Council (IPTC) ratified it last October. NewsML provides a common framework to publish news in any format. It can be used by news providers to combine their pictures, video, text, graphics, and audio files into news output available on Web sites, mobile phones, high-end desktops, interactive televisions, and other devices.

Mike Sayers, Reuters' chief technology officer, said, "The NewsML Toolkit is a practical tool openly available that will allow developers to concentrate on innovation in news rather than writing basic processing code."

Larry Rafsky, WAVO's chief technology officer, said: "We plan to fully implement NewsML throughout our product line. Our MediaXpress service is based on open, industrywide standards to ensure that it delivers increased productivity for end-users of news and related digital media. Our support of XMLNews.org and its NewsML efforts will continue, with the goal of complete interoperability across all feeds, all protocols, and all content-management systems."

The NewsML Toolkit can be downloaded from the Reuters Web site at http://about.reuters.com/researchandstandards/firstcontact/newsml-toolkit and at http://www.xmlnews.org/NewsML/toolkit. NewsML is a trademark of the IPTC.

Source: Reuters, New York, 212/603-3300; http://www.reuters.com.

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