Unfortunately with late changes to my timetable I did not get to attend the initial lecture or tutorial for this subject. It is however using the Walkabout web site program which suggest that all of the resource will be readily available online.
After attending the second lecture I am left with the question of why use xml? To learn about a topic in detail I find it helps significantly to have a very clear understanding of WHY.
My first impression is that data storage for cross platform access is a job for databases, not a mark up language. I ask the question of why XML and not MySQL? I am sure there is an answer to this as I see sites and applications everywhere using XML. This post will be focused on coming to a clear understand of the uses, advantage and disadvantages of the eXtensible Markup Language.
Our first lecture on the topic question XML vs HTML citing advantages such as:
- XML supports wide variety of applications
- XML separate presentation from data
- XML is cross application and cross platform
After reading through Topic 1 of the material provided to students I am still not 100% clear why XML is better then a LAMP structure. I will try reading through some online discussion on the topic.
- XML is much ‘liter’ than a LAMP web application
- XML is more standardized, schema are included so information sharing is easier
- The design goals of XML include “It shall be easy to write programs which process XML documents.”
- some further explanation can be found: http://xml.silmaril.ie/basics/whyxml/
- and: http://geekswithblogs.net/maisblog/articles/80683.aspx
There appears to be 2 major uses – Data storage and Data transmission. I still feel a bit foggy as to the real life uses for XML but I think the best step from here is to start the assignment which will help clarify how XML works. Also found a decent video on youtube (although the image quality is low, the explanation is good)
Some additional basics of XML:
- elements (nouns/objects)
Child elements/attributes for a complex type element achieves the same result.
Formal definition of XML documents is a schema (.xsd)