In preparation for my /Nick Lewis/ trip to Washington D.C. next month, I’ve begun to develop a module that integrates the CAP XML format (Common Alerting Protocol) with drupal’s node, location, google map, category, and CCK modules.
Put plainly, the CAP format seeks:“[to standardize] the content of alerts and notifications across all hazards, including law enforcement and public safety as well as natural hazards such as severe weather, fires, earthquakes, and tsunami. Systems using CAP have shown that a single authoritative and secure alert message can quickly launch Internet messages, news feeds, television text captions, highway sign messages, and synthesized voice over automated telephone calls or radio broadcasts.”
The United States' National Weather Service provides a listing of current watches, warnings, and advisories in CAP. While I've been curious about the CAP format, I've only used the RSS feeds from the NWS. I have not used the CAP format for two simple reasons:
- I currently don't have a clear understanding to the advantages of CAP over generic RSS feeds. Though if I cared to look into the format, I'm sure there are some advantages to the format for the purpose of emergency management.
- Until recently, there hasn't appeared to be much interest in the open source community to work with CAP.
A Drupal module providing the ability to parse information from CAP feeds would really be a huge benefit for those connected with emergency management.
Nick Lewis then goes into a number thoughts to how XML within a CMS could be improved. He even states that "the generic container vs. category paradigm represented by taxonomies, and categories is so 2002". I wonder how many of us who are just coming up to speed on XML, RSS feeds, and content management systems are ready for the next big thing. I say that because I start losing Nick Lewis' train of thoughts in the rest of his post. To me, the post offers an interesting glimpse to how Drupal and other open source developers work on their project.
To be honest, I don't understand how or even know where the developers are going with XML. Although they may have lost me a bit, I'm very excited to be along for the ride! Bring it on...