XML - Managing Data Exchange/Preface
|Introduction to XML →|
The goal of this book is to provide a comprehensive coverage of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) in a textbook format. This book is written and edited by students for students. Each student who uses the book should improve its quality by correcting errors, adding exercises, adding examples, starting new chapters and so forth.
Chapters 2 through 6 take the perspective that an XML schema is a representation of a data model, and thus these chapters deal with mapping the complete range of relationships that occur between entities. As you learn how to convert each type of relationship into a schema, other aspects of XML are introduced. For example, stylesheets are initially introduced in Chapter 2 and progressively more stylesheet features are added in Chapters 3 through 6.
Consolidation chapters (e.g., Chapter 7 "Data schemas") bring together the material covered across previous chapters; in this case, Chapters 2 through 6. This means students see key skills twice: once in the context of gradually developing their broad understanding of XML and then again in the specific context of one dimension of XML.
Application chapters cover particular uses of XML (e.g., SVG for scalable vector graphics) to give the reader examples of the use of XML to solve particular types of problems. This part of the book is expected to grow as the use of XML extends.
Professors typically throw away their students’ projects at the end of the term. This is a massive waste of intellectual resources that can be harnessed for the betterment of many by creating an appropriate infrastructure. In our case, we use wiki technology as the infrastructure to create a free open content textbook.
University students are an immense untapped global resource. They can be engaged in creating open textbooks if the right infrastructure is in place to sustain renewable student projects. This book is an example of how waste can be avoided.
- Graduate students at the University of Georgia started writing this book in January 2004. They were students in an Advanced Data Management class, and most were studying for a Masters in Internet Technology.
- Students at two German Universities, the University of Passau and the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, added material to the first few chapters in May, 2004.
- A Chinese translation was started in mid 2004 by Dr. Xu Zhengchuan of Fudan University in Shanghai.
- An Italian translation was started in late 2004 by Jubjub68.
- Students in Data Management classes at the University of Georgia use the book each semester and continue to improve it.
- In the first semester of 2006, the Advanced Data Management class at the University of Georgia undertook a complete review of the book to improve quality and consistency.
- 2006-Aug-31: "Global Text Project aims to create free, Wiki-based textbooks for developing nations": press release links directly to http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/XML .
- http://globaltext.org/ links directly to http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/XML .
To complete the exercises in the book and view the slides, you will need access to the following software (or a suitable alternative):