XML, XForms, and XQuery courses in June 2012

[5 April 2012]

I’ll be teaching three courses / workshops this June.

XML for digital librarians

Recently the organizers of the ACM / IEEE-CS 2012 Joint Conference on Digital Libraries asked me to teach a pre-conference tutorial on “Making the most of XML in Digital Libraries”; JCDL will be hosted by George Washington University in Washington, DC, this year.

The tutorial description runs something like this:

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) was designed to help make electronic information device- and application-independent and thus give that information a longer useful lifetime. XML is thus a natural tool for constructing digital libraries. But where exactly does XML fit into the conceptual framework of digital libraries? Where can XML and related technologies help achieve DL goals?

This tutorial will provide participants with an introduction to basic concepts of XML and a DL-oriented overview of XML and related technologies (XML, XPath, XSLT, XQuery, the XML information set, XDM, XForms, XProc, and many more). The intent is to show how XML can be used to help digital libraries achieve their goals and to enable participants to know which XML technologies are most relevant for the work they are involved with.

The JCDL site doesn’t have a detailed schedule yet, so I don’t know the exact time and date of this tutorial.

XForms for XML users

I’ve also arranged with Mulberry Technologies of Rockville, Maryland, to use their training facilities to offer two two-day training courses immediately before and after the JCDL conference, so that people traveling to DC for JCDL can extend their trip at one or both ends to attend the courses.

One course provides an Introduction to XForms for XML users, covering a technology with huge (and largely unrecognized) potential for users of XML. XForms is built around the model / view / controller idiom, with a collection of XML documents playing the role of the model, and with the view represented (in most uses of XForms) by an XHTML document. The end result is that a few lines of XHTML, XForms, and CSS can suffice to build user interfaces that would take hundreds of lines of Javascript and thousands or tens of thousands of lines of Java or a similar language. XForms makes it feasible to write project-specific, workflow-specific, even task-specific XML editors; no serious XML project should be without XForms capabilities.

The XForms course will be held just before JCDL, on Friday and Saturday 8 and 9 June.

XQuery for documents

The other course provides an introduction to XQuery for documents. Much of the interest in XQuery has come from database vendors and database users, and not surprisingly much of the public discussion of XQuery has focused on the kinds of problems familiar to users of database management systems. Those who use XML for natural-language documents have, I think, sometimes gotten the impression that XQuery must be aimed primarily at other kinds of XML and other kinds of people. This course is designed to introduce XQuery in a way that underscores its relevance to the human-readable documents that are historically the core use case for XML, with examples that assume an interest in documents rather than an interest in database management systems. This course will be held just following JCDL, on Friday and Saturday 16 and 16 June.

Further information on the two Black Mesa Technologies courses is on the Black Mesa Technologies site at the pages indicated.