“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week 9 Readings -- XML

This week’s readings on XML, while interesting, definitely showed my weakness when it comes to programming. I got everything at a basic level. I understand that XML supports data while HTML is better suited to formatting and display… and then the waters began to get murky for me…

“It is important to understand that XML is not a replacement for HTML. In most web applications, XML is used to transport data, while HTML is used to format and display the data.”

“With XML, data can be stored in separate XML files. This way you can concentrate on using HTML for layout and display, and be sure that changes in the underlying data will not require any changes to the HTML.”

I sort of understood this area about schemas…

“One of the greatest strength of XML Schemas is the support for data types.
With support for data types:
* It is easier to describe allowable document content
* It is easier to validate the correctness of data
* It is easier to work with data from a database
* It is easier to define data facets (restrictions on data)
* It is easier to define data patterns (data formats)
* It is easier to convert data between different data types”
But when it started to get into XLST and style sheets I’m afraid I was in murky water again. I’d have done better to have been playing around with it. This is why I was an English major and not a programmer.

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

I think I'm just as confused, although your outline of the major points helped. I even took a few programming classes with my undergrad degree, and I am still confused! Thanks for the comment on my website. I can't wait to see yours!

Oliver Batchelor said...

Your outline was definitely helpful. The best way of describing XML I've heard thuis far is the "transportation" function. The mere fact that it exist goes to show that web design is only going to get more esoteric and complicated, but I don't want to sound like a pessimist. Thank you for your help.