1. Abstract

"Principles of XQuery for XSLT Writers" introduces the XML Query Language (XQuery) 1.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/xquery W3C Recommendation to an audience already familiar with the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) 1.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt and XSLT 2.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt20 W3C Recommendations. All these specifications are used for transforming structured information (e.g. XML to XML, XML to HTML, XML to XSL-FO, XML to text, etc.). The course overviews the processing model and the basic principles behind the languages as described in the W3C Recommendations. Approaches to using XQuery for each of the display, formatting and arbitrary semantics are reviewed in comparison to how similar functionality is achieved using XSLT. The objectives of the course are to understand the role and utility of the standard, be introduced to the models upon which the standard is built, and identify available documentation and resources.

2. Length

This course runs in a one-day format and is designed as an introduction with exercises and not a comprehensive tutorial as it is not long enough to cover every construct. Please see Practical Transformation Using XSLT, XQuery and XPath for a comprehensive treatment of all of these specifications, or Practical Transformation Using XQuery and XPath for a focused class.

3. Expected Audience

This course is aimed at people who already know XSLT but need to understand both conceptual and practical aspects of the XQuery language and the available tools in comparison to XSLT.

4. Prerequisites - Is this the right class for you?

Attendees must have a working technical knowledge of XSLT as such concepts are presented only for comparison purposes to XQuery.

To participate in the hands-on exercises, attendees must have either an XQuery-equipped or 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. Synopsis

Many who already know the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) need to compare what they know with the XML Query Language (XQuery) . This class is instruction in the comparisons of the basics upon which these standards are built and exercise of the theory. Few people realize the parallels between XQuery and XSLT, and in fact some vendor products treat the two syntaxes merely as different skins for a single runtime engine.

"Principles of XQuery for XSLT Writers" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the major components of XQuery, and brief practice in introductory skills required to use XQuery, in comparison with XSLT. These skills can then be used after the course for self-study of any revisions to this standard and the facets that cannot be covered in such a short course time.

The hands-on exercises help introduce XQuery concepts in comparison to XSLT under the supervision of the instructor and collaboration with fellow students. Exercises cover basic concepts with simple objectives. Attendees are invited to research completed exercise solutions without needing to derive the solutions on their own.

6. Hands-on exercises

Sample complete answers to all exercises are available to attendees. All exercises produce HTML for use in a browser to check results, though the principles taught in the course cover all possible result tree syntax serializations.

7. One-day Delivery Syllabus

Morning    Course Introduction
           Instructor/Student Expectations
           Module 1: The context of XQuery and XSLT
           Module 2: Getting started with XQuery and XSLT
           Exercise: Setup
           Module 3: XPath data model
           Module 4: Processing model
           Module 5: Transformation environment
           Exercise: Simple document
Afternoon  Module 6: Transform and data management
           Exercise: Transform modularization
           Module 7: Data type expressions and functions
           Module 8: Constructing the result tree
           Module 9: Sorting and grouping
           Exercise: Simple grouping
           Annex A: Instruction, function and grammar summaries
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