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Re: [xml-dev] Seek your recommendation on content for a 3-day classon XML foundations

Maybe a XForms and XSLT demo via XSLTForms is worth including?

On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:57 PM, Thomas Passin <list1@tompassin.net> wrote:
On 2/22/2017 4:30 PM, Costello, Roger L. wrote:> Hi Folks,
> I will be teaching a 3-day class – 7 hours training per day – at my
> company on XML foundations.

By "professional engineers", do you mean actual licensed PEs, or do you mean people who are paid and have a job title of "engineer"?

Is this going to be a course for MITRE folks?  I'm just interested because I used to work there (at Bedford and then at McLean).

Whatever else you include -  and I completely endorse Ken Holman's experience - "Shouldn't you be asking the students or the people who tasked you with teaching them what the desired outcomes should be and work your way backward from there to figure out the appropriate topics?" - you should include some basic nuts and bolts, like:

- how to check well-formedness (I like RXP, run in a console);
- if someone gives you an XML schema, how to check it for correctness, preferably without buying expensive software and probably on the command line;
- how to run an xslt transform from the command line;
- how to extract data from an xml file in a program (that's assuming that they want to be able to write some xml processing programs).  This should cover at least some java and .net methods.  Work hard to make it simple!

If you get into xml schemas, I'd show them how different schema tools can disagree on validity of some documents with respect to their schemas.  Or maybe my experience is too out of date - do these problems not arise any more?  It was often a problem for me, back when I was still working with them.

Make sure that they have some exposure to unicode, and how they can write (and save) xml files in the intended encoding - and don't let them stay exclusively with ASCII.  Sounds trivial, but in practice you can easily be bitten.  Note that utf-8 in a Windows console can be a problem, even if you specify code page 65001, depending on the output.

Something that isn't talked about much but can be very useful - xml can be styled with css in a browser.  This can be handy for quickly viewing xml data more readably than with an editor.  This would have to cover using the stylesheet PI in a document, so that the browser would know what stylesheet to use.


> By “XML foundations” I don’t mean to imply that the course is
exclusively on XML. I can cover other XML-related technologies.

The class will be a combination of lectures and hands-on lab exercises.

The students are professional engineers and have no familiarity with
XML. Possibly they have some familiarity with HTML.


1. What topics should I cover?

2. What are the key points that the students should take away?

3. Suppose I was teaching this class 10 years ago. How should today’s
class differ from the class of 10 years ago?



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