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Re: [xml-dev] XML API Course Content: Yoir opinion

Jonas Mellin wrote:
> Chin Chee-Kai wrote, On 2008-10-03 09:41:
>> Agree.  Just from what you described, I'd say I'm in agreement with 
>> the writing of PHP program accessing XML source to pass an "XML API 
>> course".
> Even though state-of-the art processing of XML is moving away from 
> language-based processing based on DOM , SAX, StAX to XSLT, XQuery, 
> XPath and their ilk?
I see what you're trying to say, Jonas, but my point wasn't trying to 
measure the ability of participating students against the general trend 
and development of XML technology.  Just for comparison, if a school 
offers "COBOL programming", and the graduates of the course  did not 
know how to program even a simple "Hello World" COBOL program, it'd be 
quite an shame.  This is regardless of whether COBOL is in or out of 
trend for as long as the course is named "COBOL programming".

So, as in my  previous posting, if the course is titled "XML API 
Course", the school has deemed "XML API" as a subject important enough 
to be taught as a stand-alone class, then the graduates of the course 
ought to be able to perform at least simple API access.  As a contrast, 
suppose otherwise and  imagine the situation where a fortunate student 
found a marketing job which requires some level of XML API understanding 
to interact with internal technical guys.  When she shows her grade "A" 
for "XML API Course" to  potential employer, is asked to show a  simple 
demo and subsequently fails to do so, what might be the implications for 
her, the employer and the school?  May be it doesn't matter, or may be 
it is something which the school wants to avoid.

>> If the course objective is to understand and apply XML API, then 
>> students should be examined based on the knowledge required or 
>> expected of a graduate of the course.  PHP is certainly not low-level 
>> enough when compared with writing Java or C programs to  parse XML 
>> source.  So in terms of "difficulty level", it has been reduced and 
>> gives students time to understand the API aspects instead of nitty 
>> gritty aspects of programming languages.
>> If writing a simple program to access XML source is deemed too 
>> difficult for the non-CS students, then perhaps the course title 
>> needs to be changed to something like "XML Appreciation Course", 
>> where simple exposure to XML, what it can do, pros and cons, 
>> economical benefits and business modeling aspects could be some 
>> ingredients for the course material.
> That is what I have in mind.
My point is just that as long as the course content and manner of 
examination matches  the course title and outline, it'd do favors to 
everyone  - the student, the instructors, the department, the school and 
the potential employers.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss about XML curriculum for future 
champions and supporters of XML, Jonas.

Chin Chee-Kai

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