Akoma Ntoso Updates - 29th April 2010 — Site
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Akoma Ntoso Updates - 29th April 2010
29 Apr 2010, 08:50

At a technical XML Workshop, hosted by the European Parliament but organised in collaboration with the Project in Brussels April 27th-28th, delegates tried to find a common understanding on how to harmonise the two de facto standards, CEN/MetaLex and Akoma Ntoso.

The participants exchanged ideas and explored opportunities for joint efforts with practitioners and academics working on and with these standards in order to to deliver to facilitate parliaments in creation, management and exchange of XML documents that could create benefit the development of high qualify information services.

There was a common recognition that  currently tools in the legislative chain, including the ones used in the EU-parliament and European Council and Commission, are too numerous, technically limited, too little integrated etc. Moving from unstructured documents to XML-structured documents is an essential step for improving the functional integration of the various processes in those and similar institutions.

The further alignment of CEN/MetaLex and Akoma Ntoso is intended to provide support for two specific use-cases:

  • To provide a meta-level XML language that provides the infrastructure for the interchange and the interoperability of heterogeneous legal and parliamentary documents that use different pre-existing Legal XML standards. This is specifically made possible by CEN/MetaLex.
  • To provide a document-level XML language that provides the vocabulary, constraints, philosophy and tools necessary to mark up legal and parliamentary documents of arbitrary institutions for a wide range of uses and with a strong emphasis on structure and semantics than simple on-screen presentation. This is specifically made possible by Akoma Ntoso.
  • The outcome of the above workshop led to the revision of Akoma Ntoso Schema during the second half of 2010. This work is currently ongoing - but there are two significant outputs of this activity; a new improved and updated release of Akoma Ntoso and the modularization of Akoma Ntoso - one of the stumbling blocks in the adoption of Akoma Ntoso has been the wide range and depth of the schema - which can make understanding the schema and its usage a daunting task. The modular schema project aims to generate filtered schemas for specific contexts - for example, the debate modular schema will have only items relating to debates and so on.