Martha's XML Concepts - a Final Review of COIN 78

  1. What are the primary differences between XML and HTML?

    Although HTML and XML are both mark-up languages, they were designed for different purposes. HTML was designed to display data, and XML was designed to transport and store data. As such they are complementary web tools, and often enhance the capability of one another.

    XML is a way for you to define structured information of all kinds -- content, object data, inter-application messages, or syndicated content summaries and represents data apart from visual markup. It separates data from content.

    SOURCE: COIN 78 Lesson 1

    XML is a markup language for documents containing structured information.

    Structured information contains both content (words, pictures, etc.) and some indication of what role that content plays (for example, content in a section heading has a different meaning from content in a footnote, which means something different than content in a figure caption or content in a database table, etc.). Almost all documents have some structure.

    A markup language is a mechanism to identify structures in a document. The XML specification defines a standard way to add markup to documents. SOURCE: xml.com

    XML is not a replacement for HTML. XML and HTML were designed with different goals:

    HTML is about displaying information, while XML is about carrying information. SOURCE: W3C Schools

    EXAMPLE (Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 1):
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <message>
    <from>Jane Doe</from>
    <to>John Doe</to>
    <date>February 14, 2006</date>
    <body>Are the annual report files finished yet?</body>
    <priority>high</priority>
    <attachments>
    <attachment type="jpg">file_1.jpg</attachment>
    <attachment type="pdf">file_2.pdf</attachment>
    </attachments>
    </message>

  2. * Why was XML created?

    XML allows you to create your own customized markup language, which can be described in a DTD or XML Schema, and can thus be validated. This means that anyone can adapt the tools of XML to accommodate their own needs - AND, others can adopt what they have created, and adapt it to THEIR own needs. All of this can be done in a way that legitimizes the output - by enabling the validation of self-created, customized structures, people can vastly increase the ability to store, structure, and share information. See: COIN 78 Lesson 1

  3. * What business problem does XML solve?

    "XML was created so that richly structured documents could be used over the web. The only viable alternatives, HTML and SGML, are not practical for this purpose. HTML... comes bound with a set of semantics and does not provide arbitrary structure. SGML provides arbitrary structure, but is too difficult to implement just for a web browser." SOURCE: xml.com

    XML is application agnostic, and vendor neutral; as such, it can be read by any XML-aware application (such as most of the current browsers). It's main advantage for businesses is that it separates content from data. This means that different teams can work on a website at the same time without interferring with one another: design teams can concentrate on CSS, structure teams can work on XSL, and content teams can work on HTML/XHTML/XML. Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 1

  4. * Is XML a language or meta-language? Explain

    In HTML, both the tag semantics and the tag set are fixed. An <h1> is always a first level heading and the tag <ati.product.code> is meaningless. ...XML specifies neither semantics nor a tag set. In fact XML is really a meta-language for describing markup languages. In other words, XML provides a facility to define tags and the structural relationships between them. Since there's no predefined tag set, there can't be any preconceived semantics. All of the semantics of an XML document will either be defined by the applications that process them or by stylesheets. SOURCE: xml.com

    XML is a markup language that has both syntax and grammar. In this sense it IS a language, but it is also a meta-language, a language ABOUT the language properties that it describes. Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 1.

  5. * What language was XML and HTML derived from?

    Both XML and HTML are derived from SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language.

    XML is defined as an application profile of SGML. SGML is the Standard Generalized Markup Language defined by ISO 8879. SGML has been the standard, vendor-independent way to maintain repositories of structured documentation for more than a decade, but it is not well suited to serving documents over the web...XML is, roughly speaking, a restricted form of SGML. SOURCE: xml.com

  6. * Why does XML need to be human and machine readable?

    XML is usually created for and read by humans, but it is also almost always written and read by machines. This means that it needs to meet the demands of BOTH humans and machines. In fact, increasingly the web world is populated by machine-to-machine XML, such as Web services, SOAP, and e-commerce applications. Therefore, it's all the more important that XML satisfies the demands of both it's authors/audiences. Reference: COIN Lesson 1.

  7. * What are the three requirements for writing well formed XML?

    The XML specification defines an XML document as a text which is well-formed, i.e. it satisfies a list of syntax rules provided in the specification. The list is fairly lengthy; some key points are: * It contains only properly encoded legal Unicode characters. * None of the special syntax characters such as "<" and "&" appear except when performing their markup-delineation roles. * The begin, end, and empty-element tags which delimit the elements are correctly nested, with none missing and none overlapping. * The element tags are case-sensitive; the beginning and end tags must match exactly. * There is a single "root" element which contains all the other elements. SOURCE: Wikipedia

    The primary 3 requirements are: one and only 1 root element, preservation of symetrical element nesting (FOLE - first element opened is the last element to end), and snytactically-correct names (start with an alphabetic character or an underscore, and maintain both case and order). Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 2

  8. * What is the role of a DTD with XML? (Think valid XML)

    The Document Type Definition (DTD) outlines the valid structure of an XML document, and enables an XML document to be validated against it. This ensures consistency and accuracy among XML documents, and greatly increases the power of the XML language. The DTD describes the document to both humans and machines, and includes definitions of its 5 components: elements, attributes, entities, PCDATA, and CDATA. Reference: COIN Lesson 4

  9. * Write a very short DTD document - in red. Reference: COIN 78 - Lesson 4

    <?xml version="1.0"?>  
    <!-- The first step is to name and define our documents-->
    <!DOCTYPE books [ <!ELEMENT books (book+)>
    <!ELEMENT book (title, author, subject)> <!ELEMENT title (#PCDATA)>
    <!ELEMENT author (#PCDATA)> <!ELEMENT subject (#PCDATA)> ]>
    <books>
    <title>Title</title>
    <author>Author</author> <subject>Subject</subject> </books>
  10. * What is the role of CSS with XML?

    CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are used to enhance the presentation of content in an XML document. The CSS document is linked to the DTD or XML Schema via a processing intruction that tells the browser's XML parser to use the linked CSS to display the XML content.

  11. * Write very short CSS document (saved as "books.css") Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 5

     books { text-indent: .5em; text-align: center; color: maroon; }
     book { text-align: left; font-size: larger; color: blue;}
     author { font-size: smaller; text-transform: uppercase; color: black;}
    subject { color: black;}
  12. * What is the role of XSD with XML? (Think namespaces and datatypes)

    XML namespaces provide a simple method for qualifying element and attribute names used in Extensible Markup Language documents by associating them with namespaces identified by URI references.

    SOURCE: ZVON Namespace Tutorial

    data-type specifies the data type of the strings; the following values are allowed: text specifies that the sort keys should be sorted lexicographically in the culturally correct manner for the language specified by lang number specifies that the sort keys should be converted to numbers and then sorted according to the numeric value; the sort key is converted to a number as if by a call to the number function; the lang attribute is ignored, a QName with a prefix is expanded into an expanded-name; the expanded-name identifies the data-type; the behavior in this case is not specified by this document. The default value is text.

    SOURCE: XSLT 1.0 Reference - ZVON

    The purpose of an XML Schema is to define the legal building blocks of an XML document, just like a DTD.

    An XML Schema:

    We think that very soon XML Schemas will be used in most Web applications as a replacement for DTDs. Here are some reasons:


    SOURCE: W3Schools.com

  13. * Write a very short XSD document

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <xs:schema xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
    <xs:element name="book">
      <xs:complexType>
        <xs:sequence>
          <xs:element name="title" type="xs:string"/>
          <xs:element name="author" type="xs:string"/>
          <xs:element name="subject" type="xs:string"/>
          <xs:element name="cost" type="xs:integer"/>
        </xs:sequence>
      </xs:complexType>
    </xs:element>
    </xs:schema>

    Reference: W3Schools.com


  14. * Why are namespaces important to XSD? (Think about the Web as a database)

    Namespaces allow web designers to describe the contents of their web files in such a way that they can be verified by independent sources. The XSD specifies what can be contained in a particular file, and the namespace defines where it is located.

    XML namespaces provide a simple method for qualifying element and attribute names used in Extensible Markup Language documents by associating them with namespaces identified by URI references. SOURCE: Namespaces in XML - W3C

    Reference: COIN 78 Lesson 7

  15. * Compare and contrast DTDs with XSD

    DTDs are the precursor to XSDs. In fact, XSDs were designed to fix the faults of DTDs. For instance, XSDs allow for namespaces; they can define portions of webpages, as well as the entire document. And, XSDs allow web authors to define datatypes, which enables them to further refine their specifications.

    DTD's are not namespace aware.
    DTD's have #define, #include, and #ifdef -- or, less C-oriented, the ability to define shorthand abbreviations, external content, and some conditional parsing.
    A DTD describes the entire XML document (even if it leaves "holes"); a schema can define portions.
    XSD has a type system.
    XSD has a much richer language for describing what element or attribute content "looks like."  This is related to the type system.
    You can put a DTD inline into an XML document, you cannot do this with XSD.  This means DTD's are more secure (you only have to protect one bytestream -- the xml/dtd -- and not multiple).
    The official definition of "valid XML" requires a DTD.  Since this may be impractical, if not impossible, you often have to settle for schema-valid, which is not quite the same.
    SOURCE: Weblogs

  16. * Compare and contrast CSS with XSLT

    Cascading Style Sheets are strictly concerned with styling webpages. XSLT is part of a 3-part system of transforming XML documents. Part of that transformation includes styling, but another portion is formatting (XSL-FO), and a 3rd portion is XPath, a technique for navigating nodes on XML pages. Reference: W3Schools, COIN 78 Lesson 5 and Lesson 8.

    Cascading Style Sheets or CSS were developed a few years ago to define the look and feel of markup languages. Extensible Style Sheet Language for Transformations or XSLT were created to transform documents. They are both style sheets, but they serve vastly different purposes.

    What CSS Can Do

    What CSS Cannot Do

    XSLT is a powerful language for transforming documents. It was created to allow developers the ability to create data and then transform it to various different formats. It is meant to keep the distinction between content and design separate.

    What XSLT Can Do


    SOURCE: Webdesign.About.com


  17. * What is XSL or XSLT?

    XSLT is a language for styling and transforming XML pages, and it is part of a packet of XML tools for transforming, formatting, and navigating data stored in an XML format.

    Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation on October 15, 2001 after several years of development. It augments the flexibility of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard. XSL is a far more sophisticated style language than is CSS. XSL draws on earlier specifications including CSS and DSSSL. According to the W3C's XSL page, Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) is a language for expressing stylesheets consisting of three parts:
    1. a language for transforming XML documents: XSLT
    2. an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics: XSL, sometimes called XSL-FO (Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects; aka XSL-FO, XSL:FO or XSL FO)
    3. a syntax for addressing parts of a document: XPath, a syntax which is also significant in XPointer and to the emerging XQuery, an XML query language.

    "An XSL stylesheet specifies the presentation of a class of XML documents by describing how an instance of the class is transformed into an XML document that uses the formatting vocabulary." In other words, a stylesheet tells a processor how to convert logical structures (the source XML document represented as a tree) into a presentational structure (the result tree). Note that an XSL stylesheet is actually an XML document! SOURCE: Web Developer's Virtual Library

    A template is analogous to a method in an object-oriented programming language. It allows a single XSLT stylesheet to be broken into multiple logical units, each of which performs a specific transformation.

    There are two types of templates, distinguished by having either a 'match' attribute or a 'name' attribute. If a template has a 'match' attribute, it will be invoked when the pattern specified as the value of the attribute is matched against one or more nodes in the input document. If a template has a 'name' attribute, it may be invoked by calling the template explicitly by name. SOURCE: XSLT by Example

  18. * What is XLink and XPointer?

    XLink is a method of navigating the nodes in an XML document. XPointer is a technique for pointing to arbitrary parts of an XML file.

    XML Linking Language (XLink) and XML Pointer Language (XPointer) augment the flexibility of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard. According to the W3C, "[XLink] offers XML authors an advanced hyperlinking mechanism. In addition to an extensible linking semantics, XLink supports annotation services and precise addressing of subresources when using XPointers." Essentially, XLink provides a way to associate powerful linking capabilities to XML elements with arbitrary names. XLink describes how simple uni-directional links (a la HTML) as well as more sophisticated multi-directional links can be added to XML documents. XPointer specifies a mechanism for pointing to arbitrary chunks (fragments) of a target document, even when the original author of the target document did not provide fragment identifiers (e.g., "some_target.html#section2"). XLink and XPointer are based in part on two mature standards from the publishing world, Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language (HyTime). SOURCE: Web Developer's Virtual Library

  19. * What is RDF?

    RDF is designed to be read by computers, and therefor it is not actually "designed". In fact, it's more of a descriptive language, that enables web resources to be described and made accessible by other programs and machines. However, this is no reason to shy away from it. It's ability to easily reference and store information ABOUT web resources makes it an elegant solution for many situations. In particular, it can be used by institutions and corporations to facilitate their functions. For instance, libraries can use it to reference materials, stores can use it to catalog products, and teachers can use it to describe courses . Since it is written in XML, it can be understood by those with knowledge of XML.. Another advantage of RDF is that it can incorporate such technologies as the Dublin Core, which uses predefined properties for describing documents. And, RDF in turn is the base of other languages, such as OWL (Web Onthology Language), designed to provide a common way to process the content of web information. Reference: W3C Schools

    Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications originally designed as a metadata model but which has come to be used as a general method of modeling information, through a variety of syntax formats. ..The RDF metadata model is based upon the idea of making statements about resources in the form of subject-predicate-object expressions, called triples in RDF terminology. The subject denotes the resource, and the predicate denotes traits or aspects of the resource and expresses a relationship between the subject and the object. For example, one way to represent the notion "The sky has the color blue" in RDF is as a triple of specially formatted strings: a subject denoting "the sky", a predicate denoting "has the color", and an object denoting "blue".

    This mechanism for describing resources is...an evolutionary stage of the World Wide Web in which automated software can store, exchange, and use machine-readable information distributed throughout the web, in turn enabling users to deal with the information with greater efficiency and certainty. SOURCE: COIN 78 Lesson 11

  20. * What is EAI? Why is XML useful in EAI?

    Enterprise Application Integration is the goal of businesses to modernize, consolidate, and coordinate computer applications. XML is one of the tools for doing this, but also one of the applications that needs to be coordinated with other web languages!

    EAI (enterprise application integration) is a business computing term for the plans, methods, and tools aimed at modernizing, consolidating, and coordinating the computer applications in an enterprise. Typically, an enterprise has existing legacy applications and databases and wants to continue to use them while adding or migrating to a new set of applications that exploit the Internet, e-commerce, extranet, and other new technologies. EAI may involve developing a new total view of an enterprise's business and its applications, seeing how existing applications fit into the new view, and then devising ways to efficiently reuse what already exists while adding new applications and data.

    EAI encompasses methodologies such as object-oriented programming, distributed, cross-platform program communication using message brokers with Common Object Request Broker Architecture and COM+, the modification of enterprise resource planning (ERP) to fit new objectives, enterprise-wide content and data distribution using common databases and data standards implemented with the Extensible Markup Language (XML), middleware, message queueing, and other approaches.

    SOURCE: SearchSOA.com

    EAI typically integrates ERP packages, such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Baan, in addition to customer relationship management (CRM) packages, databases, and older mainframe systems. EAI also allows organizations to externalize existing enterprise application information to interested parties, including real-time B2B information exchanges and Web-enabled applications...XML comes into the EAI picture at several levels, including data interchange, schema transformation, metadata management, process integration, and even message persistence. However, the use of XML within the firewall needs some architectural thought, with an objective to leverage the appropriate XML technologies to address the appropriate technical problems. Complicating this is the fact that XML standards are either emerging or changing, and many enterprise architects and CIOs may consider leveraging XML-enabled technologies for EAI as high risk, at least in the short term. This is not to be confused with the B2B problem domains, where the use of XML is more acceptable
    SOURCE: XML Journal

  21. * Compare and contrast middleware with EAI

    Middleware is what's between the hardware and software that rules the Web. XML is a language that facilitates both the goals of EAI and the middleware applications that enable it.

    XML-enabled middleware technology manages the extraction of information from the source system(s) as well as the conversion of the information into XML (if required) and the placement of the information in the target system(s). All this occurs automatically and is transparent to the end user.
    SOURCE: XML Journal

    XML's value to middleware is clear. Middleware simply "carries the load." It moves messages (XML documents) that encapsulate or abstract XML and ensures that those messages are understood by any source or target applications that need that information. Middleware may also manage the interfaces with the source or target applications and move information into and out of the applications through an unobtrusive point of integration, such as a database or an API.

    Because of XML's value, every middleware vendor, new and old, has declared dominance in the XML space, applying its technology to EAI problem domains. None of us should be surprised that there's a certain degree of "puffery" to these declarations. The truth is that it's not particularly difficult to XML-enable a product. Therefore, vendors were able to react quickly.

    XML-enabling a product is simply a matter of embedding a parser within the middleware and teaching the product to read and write XML from and to the canonical message format. In addition, since many of these products already have native connectors to traditional enterprise systems and data stores, such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and DB2, they provide enterprises with the ability to produce and consume XML without im- pacting the applications.
    SOURCE: XML Journal

  22. * How do Microsoft and Sun use XML?

    Both Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are using XML in their business applications, and by doing so, are both adapting the language, and extending it. To have such powerful companies adopt XML is a big boost for usability of the language itself.

    Microsoft and Sun Microsystems today released new Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology that companies can use in business conduct via the Web.

    Microsoft today published its BizTalk framework, a set of guidelines that will help tie together the e-commerce systems for different industries, such as banking or manufacturing, by using the XML Web standard for data exchange.

    Sun today released technology that links XML and the Java programming language together, allowing software developers to build applications that use both technologies.

    Unlike HTML, which has a predefined vocabulary, XML allows developers to define their own vocabulary for data, such as price and product. The result is more efficient data exchange and better Internet searching capabilities.

    Microsoft's BizTalk, previously available in draft form, provides a set of guidelines for specific industries to define their XML vocabularies. It also defines a common way businesses can handle and route data to each other.

    SOURCE: news.cnet.com


  23. * What is UDDI, and why is it important? What is SOA?

    UDDI, or Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration, is a world-wide registry for businesses that enables them to make themsevles findable, and hopefully more usable. It is backed by some of the biggest companies in the world, and as such it has a great chance of success. SOA stands for Service Oriented Architecture, and serves the business goal of allowing businesses to talk to one another, and enables businesses to share their services.

    UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) is an XML-based registry for businesses worldwide to list themselves on the Internet. Its ultimate goal is to streamline online transactions by enabling companies to find one another on the Web and make their systems interoperable for e-commerce. UDDI is often compared to a telephone book's white, yellow, and green pages. The project allows businesses to list themselves by name, product, location, or the Web services they offer.

    Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba spearheaded UDDI. The project now includes 130 companies, including some of the biggest names in the corporate world. Compaq, American Express, SAP AG, and Ford Motor Company are all committed to UDDI, as is Hewlett-Packard, whose own XML-based directory approach, called e-speak, is now being integrated with UDDI.

    While the group does not refer to itself as a standards body, it does offer a framework for Web services integration. The UDDI specification utilizes World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards such as XML, HTTP, and Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. It has also adopted early versions of the proposed Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messaging guidelines for cross platform programming.

    In November 2000, UDDI entered its public beta-testing phase. Each of its three founders - Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba - now operates a registry server that is interoperable with servers from other members. As information goes into a registry server, it is shared by servers in the other businesses. The UDDI beta is scheduled to end in the first quarter of 2001. In the future, other companies will act as operators of the UDDI Business Registry.

    UDDI registration is open to companies worldwide, regardless of their size.
    SOURCE: SearchSOA.techtarget.com

    A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the underlying structure supporting communications between services. SOA defines how two computing entities, such as programs, interact in such a way as to enable one entity to perform a unit of work on behalf of another entity. Service interactions are defined using a description language. Each interaction is self-contained and loosely coupled, so that each interaction is independent of any other interaction. SOURCE: SearchSOAtechtarget.com

  24. * What are Web services, SOAP, and WSDL, and how do they incorporate XML?

    SOAP is Simple Object Access Protocol. Web services are applications made available to businesses and users from a web server. WSDL stands for Web Services Description Language. All of these depend upon and extend the use of XML. In fact, XML is truly becoming the lengua franca of the business world.

    SOAP is an XML-based protocol that lets you activate an application, or even an individual object or method within an application, across the Internet. SOAP could revolutionize the whole process of developing Web applications. SOURCE: Web Developer's Virtual Library

    Web services (sometimes called application services) are services (usually including some combination of programming and data, but possibly including human resources as well) that are made available from a business's Web server for Web users or other Web-connected programs. Providers of Web services are generally known as application service providers. SOURCE: searchSOA.com

    Besides the standardization and wide availability to users and businesses of the Internet itself, Web services are also increasingly enabled by the use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a means of standardizing data formats and exchanging data. XML is the foundation for the Web Services Description Language (WSDL). SOURCE: searchSOA.com

  25. * What is the Semantic Web? Discuss RDF and Web 2.0 as needed

    The semantic web is an effort by many top-level web architects, including Tim Berners-Lee, to standardaize and extend the web languages by ensuring taht the meaning is maintained across disparate systems. The Resource Description Framework provides a framework for describing Internet resources, and RDFa (RDF in attributes) is a way to label information which ensures that the purpose of the content is understood. Standardized labels help regulate the inherent free-for-all atmosphere that XML can generate. All of these efforts make the Web 2.0 goal of increased interactivity amongst users and providers more achievable. Reference: WhatIs.com and COIN 78 Lesson 11

    RDFa is a way to label content to describe a specific type of information, such as a restaurant review, an event, a person, or a product listing. These information types are called entities. Each entity has a number of properties. For example, a person has the properties name, address, job title, company, and email address.

    In general, RDFa uses simple attributes in XHTML tags (often <span> or <div>) to assign brief and descriptive names to entities and properties.

    SOURCE: Google Webmaster Central - About RDFa

    The Semantic Web is a mesh of information linked up in such a way as to be easily processable by machines, on a global scale. You can think of it as being an efficient way of representing data on the World Wide Web, or as a globally linked database.

    The Semantic Web was thought up by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW, URIs, HTTP, and HTML. There is a dedicated team of people at the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) working to improve, extend and standardize the system, and many languages, publications, tools and so on have already been developed. However, Semantic Web technologies are still very much in their infancies, and although the future of the project in general appears to be bright, there seems to be little consensus about the likely direction and characteristics of the early Semantic Web.

    What's the rationale for such a system? Data that is geneally hidden away in HTML files is often useful in some contexts, but not in others. The problem with the majority of data on the Web that is in this form at the moment is that it is difficult to use on a large scale, because there is no global system for publishing data in such a way as it can be easily processed by anyone. For example, just think of information about local sports events, weather information, plane times, Major League Baseball statistics, and television guides... all of this information is presented by numerous sites, but all in HTML. The problem with that is that, is some contexts, it is difficult to use this data in the ways that one might want to do so.

    So the Semantic Web can be seen as a huge engineering solution... but it is more than that. We will find that as it becomes easier to publish data in a repurposable form, so more people will want to pubish data, and there will be a knock-on or domino effect. We may find that a large number of Semantic Web applications can be used for a variety of different tasks, increasing the modularity of applications on the Web. But enough subjective reasoning... onto how this will be accomplished.

    The Semantic Web is generally built on syntaxes which use URIs to represent data, usually in triples based structures: i.e. many triples of URI data that can be held in databases, or interchanged on the world Wide Web using a set of particular syntaxes developed especially for the task. These syntaxes are called "Resource Description Framework" syntaxes.

    SOURCE: infomesh.net - The Semantic Web

    The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a general framework for how to describe any Internet resource such as a Web site and its content. SOURCE: searchSOA.com


Bonus: In 300 to 400 words total (one page single spaced more or less), answer all three of the following:

XML is easier to learn and use than HTML

XML is NOT easier to learn that HTML! HTML has the advantage of using pre-defined tags with specific, non-changeable meaning. XML, on the other hand, is by its very purpose and development composed of flexible, extensible, custom-created tags. The meaning of a tag depends on its DTD or schema, which means that the same tag may have 2 different meanings in 2 different locations, or that 2 different tags may actually have the same functional meaning. The very nature of its variablilty makes XML much harder to learn. However, once learned, it may prove more useful...

Will XML completely replace HTML (soon or ever?)

XML will never completely replace HTML, but it may be the basis of far more variations and hence become increasingly more popular. However, HTML will remain the backbone of the Internet. It is the red-blue-and-yellow of the Internet's "color spectrum", whearas XML is the 64,000 variations.

How will you use XML? Please be specific and tell me more about your career and interests.

I will first and foremost use my understanding of XML to tweak my favorite XML-based applications, such as the simpleviewer and autoviewer photo slideshow programs. Secondly, I will extend my XML understandings to learn new programs and applications, such as KLM and RSS. Finally, I will apply my XML skills by creating web pages for myself, family, and friends. These web pages will highlight my hobbies, such as photography, travel, genealogy, web development, and blogging. Maybe someday, with a little bit of effort, I may even be able to use XML to retrieve data from databases, such as Excel or MySQL, and to display them on the web. Professionally, I will use XML to upgrade the capabilities of our federal retiress' organizational web site, and include adding a feed to our blog - I hope! Coincidentally, I have just signed up for Intermediate XML, since there is so much more to learn!!


Hints - you get 1 point for questions 1 -25, and 5 points for the bonus question. I'm looking for short answers in the first 25 questions, then your imagination in the bonus question. The total possible score is thus 30 points, out of 25 for the assignment.

If you can't find an answer then you haven't learned to use http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/, whatis.techtargetcom or Google.com. Also try http://www.xml.com/ or http://www.xml.org/ but remember that whatis.com will be hyperlinked to other subjects. Please attempt the bonus question as it works in your favor, and it affects the entire exam score.