1. Abstract

"XML Models, Stylesheets and Transformations" is a lecture-style presentation that overviews the use of a number of presentation vocabularies, modeling technologies, and stylesheet and transformation technologies with which to either present Extensible Markup Language (XML) information or manipulate it for web services and electronic commerce. This is a high-level overview with working examples to compare and contrast various vocabularies and languages from a technical perspective, but does not attempt to teach the details. Overviewed are Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Stylesheet (CSS), Wireless Markup Language (WML), Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects (XSL-FO), Document Type Definitions (DTD), Regular Language for XML (RELAX-NG), Schematron, W3C XML Schema, the Simple API for XML (SAX), the Document Object Model (DOM) and the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). Principles regarding the appropriateness of each type of presentation, modeling, stylesheet and transformation technology are covered.

2. Length

The presentation is a half-day (3 hours) long.

3. Expected Audience

This course is aimed at people needing to understand conceptual aspects of modeling and presenting XML information using presentation vocabularies, stylesheets and transformations. This is not a programming course, though concepts are overviewed from first principles from a technical perspective.

4. Prerequisites

Attendees must have knowledge of XML concepts, as these are not covered explicitly in the presentation. It is assumed that attendees have no prior knowledge of modeling, stylesheets or transformations.

5. Synopsis

Modeling and translating XML information from one vocabulary to another is critically important in electronic commerce/web services, information dissemination, and document publishing contexts. Understanding the appropriateness and utility of different modeling, transformation and stylesheet languages is essential when choosing an approach to manipulating XML information.

Modeling XML information is critical to ensure consistency and accuracy of the content of an XML document, providing essential functionality for validating documents before and after transmission, and for making applications simpler by confirming content before processing.

A stylesheet is a specification of transformation, typically for the presentation of information to people. Transformations are also required for our XML information to be accepted by other programs and systems expecting different vocabularies than the ones we use. Both problems raise the need for us to rearrange and translate instances of our XML into instances of other vocabularies, be they presentation vocabularies for human consumption of information, or semantic vocabularies for machine consumption such as electronic commerce and web services.

"XML Models, Stylesheets and Transformations" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the principles upon which various presentation vocabularies and stylesheet and transformation technologies are based for an understanding of the different scenarios for processing XML information for different purposes. Working examples of each technology presented are presented in a way that each can be compared and contrasted with the other, but no attempt is made to teach the bits and bytes of each of the languages in technical detail.

The first half of the lecture overviews stylesheets and transformations in general, and takes a look at Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Stylesheet (CSS), Wireless Markup Language (WML) and Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects (XSLFO) for the presentation vocabularies. The second half of the lecture overviews XML itself, Document Type Definitions (DTD), Regular Language for XML (RELAX-NG), Schematron, W3C XML Schema, Simple API for XML (SAX), Document Object Model (DOM), and the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). An annex regarding the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL) is included for reference, though this is not part of the lecture.

A number of resources that are publicly available over the Internet are briefly described so that the attendee can obtain the materials used in the demonstrations.

6. Syllabus

 00:00   Module 1: Overview
         Module 2: Presentation technologies
                   (HTML, CSS, WML, XSL/XSL-FO)
 01:30   Break
 00:00   Module 3: Representation technologies
                   (XML, RELAX-NG, Schematron, W3C XML Schema, DSDL)
         Module 4: Transformation technologies
                   (SAX, DOM, XSLT)
         Question & Answer
 01:30   End of Session
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