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Martin LaMonica

Staff Writer, CNET

The World Wide Web consortium, the standards body in charge of developing XML, said Tuesday that it has issued three recommendations designed to make handling XML-formatted data more efficient. The specifications have the backing of large industry software providers, including IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems, which provide the software infrastructure to build and run XML data and Web services applications. The W3C and vendors are looking at a variety of methods of speeding up the performance of XML, which can be slow for certain applications.

The XML-binary Optimized Packaging, or XOP, specification provides an agreed-on way of sending binary information not typically represented as text, such as a photo, along with an XML document. This method for representing binary data has been incorporated into a communications protocol called Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism, or MTOM, which will speed up data transmission over the Internet. W3C members also developed Resource Representation SOAP Header Block, or RRSHB, a method for caching, or temporarily storing, data for faster overall performance.