Scientists and engineers trying to share materials property data over the Internet will have an easier time now thanks to a new computer language called MatML.
MatML, or Materials Markup Language, has been developed by an international group of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), industry, government laboratories, universities, standards organisations and professional societies.
MatML provides a standard format for managing and exchanging materials property data on the World Wide Web, eliminating interoperability and interpretation problems.
Based on the Extensible Markup Language (known as XML), MatML is a non-proprietary, generic language that makes it possible to parse and process data without the need for human intervention.
The MatML format makes it readable and understandable by scientists and engineers. At the same time, MatML provides software developers with a protocol that is both structured and ordered, facilitating the transmission, validation, and interpretation of materials property data between different applications and across different platforms.
Currently, the MatML Steering Committee is co-ordinating acceptance testing as well as prototype software development.
More information, including the MatML Version 3.0 Schema, which contains the formal specification for the materials markup language, is available at <a href=’http://www.matml.org’>MATML.org</a>.