1. Abstract

"Practical XML Information Description" is a thorough and detailed examination of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1 http://www.w3.org/tr/xml11, including the XML Information Set (Second Edition) http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-infoset and Namespaces in XML 1.1 http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-names11. The issue date for the above standards is February 4, 2004. The objectives of the course are to understand all of the functionality available when authoring or generating XML documents using these base standards, 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 (see below for details).

2. Length

This course runs only in a concentrated one-day format. See the detailed syllabi below.

This is an intensive class running 7 to 9 hours including the exercises. In markets where English may not be a strong language with students (e.g. China, Japan, etc.) or simultaneous or consecutive translation is needed, please allocate two days: the syllabus half-day segments will each be taught over a full day at the students' pace. This also leaves extra time for questions of clarification regarding language and the descriptions of the exercise solutions.

3. Expected Audience

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

4. Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course, though familiarity with HTML at the markup level is an asset.

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. XML Processors for exercises

Any processors supporting the XML description technologies being covered are acceptable for working the exercises in the "Practical XML Information Description" 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

Many people only use a small subset of the available XML information description features. Without an awareness of the available features, many description tasks are made more complex or considered "too hard" to do successfully. This comprehensive course is written for the writer of XML documents, not for the programmer writing XML processors, helping document writers understand all of the mechanics available in features of the XML 1.1 Recommendation. This necessarily includes coverage of the XML Information Set Recommendation and the XML in Namespaces 1.1 Recommendation.

"Practical XML Information Description" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the features available in XML 1.1, the concepts described by the XML Information Set, and the techniques of using Namespaces 1.1. With these fundamental principles people can take advantage of the available characteristics of these three Recommendations when writing XML documents or when generating XML documents through the use of programs.

Many people find that the technology specifications are difficult to read and understand, while others find the documentation outright scary. Many end up using only a small subset of features they understand, without having the full power of the Recommendations at their disposal. The curriculum comprehensively covers the available functionality in these technologies in order to understand how to be productive writing or generating XML documents in a production environment.

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 documents
         Module 2: XML standards
         Exercise: Setup
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 3: Characters and Lines
         Module 4: Names as labels
         Module 5: Information set for XML documents
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 6: Logical-model syntax
         Exercise: Well-formed XML
 01:00   Lunch
 00:00   Module 7: Physical-model syntax
         Exercise: Physical fragmentation
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 8: Constraint-model syntax
         Exercise: Document Type Definitions (DTD)
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 9: Namespaces
         Module 10: Conformance
         Q&A and additional exercise time
 01:00   End of Day
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