1. Abstract

"Practical XML Information Modeling" overviews, compares and contrasts a number of modeling facilities for use with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) http://www.w3.org/tr/xml. The objectives of the course are to understand the function and benefit of modeling XML documents, to distinguish different ways XML documents can be modeled, to be introduced to the role and utility of each of Document Type Definitions (DTD), ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX NG http://www.relax-ng.org, XML Schema http://www.w3.org/XML/Schema, ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron http://www.schematron.com, and the ISO/IEC 19757-4 Namespace-based Validation Dispatching Language (NVDL) http://www.nvdl.org, and to efficiently navigate the available documentation and resources.

This hands-on course combines the use of lectures and exercises to convey the material. For the practical exercises, attendees are invited to bring a personal computer (with a USB port) and their own validating environment or they can use the validating software that will be made available for a Java-based environment.

2. Length

This course runs in either a one-day or two-day format. The one-day delivery is a subset of the two-day delivery. Both versions of the course provide foundation instruction, at different levels of detail, that can be used to work with the remainder of the technology. See the detailed syllabi below.

3. Expected Audience

This course is aimed at people needing to understand both conceptual and practical aspects of the modeling structured information using XML modeling technologies.

4. Prerequisites

Attendees must have knowledge of markup languages in general, hopefully with some exposure to at least well-formed XML specifically. Good familiarity with HTML at the markup level is an acceptable substitute, though some assumptions may be made by the instructor that are beyond HTML.

Crane's Practical XML Information Description is a recommended prerequisite as it covers the capture of information in XML document syntax in detail.

To participate in the hands-on exercises, attendees must have working knowledge of markup and a Java-equipped personal computer. Copies of the exercise materials are available on USB sticks at the course. Complete solutions are provided to research in place of attendees deriving the exercise solutions on their own.

Attendees must have a firm knowledge of the operating system environment as there is no time for coaching from the instructor regarding the command-line environments of today's operating systems.

5. Modeling Processors for exercises

Any processors supporting the modeling technologies being covered are acceptable for working the exercises in the "Practical XML Information Modeling" course. Java-based processors are brought to the course by the instructor. A future revision to this syllabus will enumerate candidate no-cost packages.

6. Synopsis

For many people, the plethora of approaches to modeling structured information in XML is a confusing tangle of concepts and practices, needing instruction in the basics upon which a number of XML modeling standards are built and exercise of their theories.

"Practical XML Information Modeling" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the major components of ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX NG (Regular Language descriptions for XML - Next Generation), XML Schema, and ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron. These skills can then be used after the course for self-study of any revisions to these methods and any formatting facets that cannot be covered in such a short course time. No attempt is made to cover every construct of every technology, but sufficient material is covered to be productive and practical in all of them.

Many people find that the technology specifications are difficult to read and understand, while others find the documentation outright scary. The curriculum covers the basics of functionality in these technologies in order to understand how to be productive using tools in a production environment. A number of resources that are publicly available over the Internet are briefly overviewed so that the attendee can determine which materials are important to obtain and use.

The hands-on exercises help cement concepts by leading the attendee to resolve basic, often initially frustrating, obstacles under the supervision of the instructor and collaboration with fellow students. Exercises cover important concepts with simple objectives. Attendees are invited to research completed exercise solutions without needing to derive the solutions on their own.

During the course the exercises are timed to cover breaks so that students can choose to balance work time with break time should extra exercise time be required, thus reducing the chance of delaying the progress of the course material.

Answers to all exercises are available to attendees.

7. One-day Delivery Syllabus

(this is all under development)

 00:00   Course Introduction
         Instructor/Student Expectations
         Module 1: XML modeling
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 2: Modeling technologies
         Exercise: Setup
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 4: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG
         Exercise: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG
 01:00   Lunch
 00:00   Module 3: ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron
         Exercise: ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 5: W3C XML Schema
         Exercise: W3C XML Schema
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 6: Data types
 01:00   End of Day

8. Two-day Delivery Syllabus

(this is all under development)

8.1. Day 1 of 2

 00:00   Course Introduction
         Instructor/Student Expectations
         Module 1: XML modeling
         Module 2: Modeling technologies
         Exercise: Setup
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 3: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 3: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG (cont)
         Exercise: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG (compact)
 01:00   Lunch
 00:00   Module 3: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG (cont)
         Exercise: ISO/IEC 19757-2 RELAX-NG (full)
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 4: ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 4: ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron (cont)
         Exercise: ISO/IEC 19757-3 Schematron
 01:00   End of Day

8.2. Day 2 of 2

 00:00   Module 5: W3C XML Schema
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 5: W3C XML Schema (cont)
         Exercises: W3C XML Schema
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 5: W3C XML Schema (cont)
         Exercises: W3C XML Schema
 01:00   Lunch
 00:00   Module 5: W3C XML Schema (cont)
         Exercises: W3C XML Schema
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 6: Data types
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 6: Data types (cont)
 01:00   End of Day
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