After missing the first week of classes I was in for a bit of a shock in the second week lecture. There were a much larger number of students in the lecture than normal, this is due to the fact it is a level 5 subject and not specific to the MAIT course. 

The lecturer, Janet Fraser was very good with high energy presentation of what could otherwise be a very dry introduction to XML documents and XML schemas. After feeling very disorientated after the glut of new information from the lecture I got to work on the assignment to focus my attention on learning the most important points. Creating an XML schema based on a textual design spec and then validating the associated XML was a very good exercise to cement the first and second week material. 

A fantastice Open Source ASP.NET IDE (superior to VisualStudio)

 We are recommended to use XMLwriter 2 for this subject which is a Windows only application as far as I could tell. As I am running ubuntu I had a look for an alternative IDE, finding Monodevelop. The functionality turned out to be far superior to Visual Studio 2010 which I run on my windows box. 

 Another great tool for XML development is: http://www.xmlvalidation.com/ 

 Interestingly, the validation tools for Visual Studio, MonoDevelop and xmlvalidation.com each returned differing results. As per the assignment specification XMLwriter2 is the required validation tool so I will have to do some testing on there when I get the chance. The tutorials are open with little or no pontificating and plenty of one on one time with the tutor.