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XML Matters: Putting XML in context with hierarchical, relational, and object-oriented models
On the way to making a point about how XML is best suited to work with databases, David Mertz discusses how XML fits with hierarchical, relational, and object-oriented data modeling paradigms.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 01 Apr 2001
XML Matters: Getting comfortable with the DocBook XML dialect
This column continues the discussion of the benefits of using DocBook to convert documents in heterogeneous formats to a single, standard XML format. It also looks at some DocBook tags in greater detail and discusses how to compose a basic DocBook document.
Articles 01 Oct 2000
XML Matters: Transcending the limits of DOM, SAX, and XSLT
Consider Haskell in lieu of DOM, SAX, or XSLT for processing XML data. The library HaXml creates representations of XML documents as native recursive data structures in the functional language Haskell. HaXml brings with it a set of powerful higher order functions for operating on these "datafied" XML documents. Many of the HaXml techniques are far more elegant, compact, and powerful than the ones found in familiar techniques like DOM, SAX, or XSLT. Code samples demonstrate the techniques.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 01 Oct 2001
XML Matters: Comparing W3C XML Schemas and Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
This installment of the XML Matters column steps up to the challenge of comparing schemas and DTDs and clarifying just what is going on in the XML schema world.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 01 Mar 2001
XML Matters: TEI -- the Text Encoding Initiative
Nowadays, XML is usually thought of as a markup technique utilized by programmers to encode computer-oriented data. Even DocBook and similar document-oriented DTDs focus on preparation of technical documentation. However, the real roots of XML are in the SGML community, which is largely composed of publishers, archivists, librarians, and scholars. In this installment, David looks at Text Encoding Initiative, an XML schema devoted to the markup of literary and linguistic texts. TEI allows useful abstractions of typographic features of source documents, but in a manner that enables effective searching, indexing, comparison, and print publication -- something not possible with publications archived as mere photographic images.
Articles 04 Sep 2003
XML Matters: Kicking back with RELAX NG, Part 3
The RELAX NG compact syntax provides a much less verbose, and easier to read, format for describing the same semantic constraints as RELAX NG XML syntax. This installment looks at tools for working with and transforming between the two syntax forms.
Articles 14 May 2003
XML Matters: Kicking back with RELAX NG, Part 2
RELAX NG schemas provide a more powerful, concise, and semantically straightforward means of describing classes of valid XML instances than do W3C XML Schemas. In this installment, David continues the discussion of RELAX NG begun in part 1 of this series by addressing a few additional semantic issues and looking at tools for working with RELAX NG.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 26 Mar 2003
XML Matters: The REXML library
David introduces Ruby Electric XML (REXML), a library that takes the strengths of Ruby, and builds XML processing around them.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 01 Mar 2002
XML Matters: Intro to PYX
XML is a fairly simple format. It uses plain Unicode text rather than binary encoding, and all the structures are declared with predictable-looking tags. Nonetheless, there are still enough rules in the XML grammar that a carefully debugged parser is needed to process XML documents -- and every parser imposes its own particular programming style. An alternative is to make XML even simpler. The open-source PYX format is a purely line-oriented format for representing XML documents that allows for much easier processing of XML document contents with common text tools like grep,sed, awk, wc, and the usual UNIX collection.
Articles 01 Feb 2002
XML Matters: reStructuredText
The document format called reStructuredText has been adopted as one of the official source formats for Python documentation, but is also useful for other types of documentation. reStructuredText is an interesting hybrid of technologies -- in syntax and appearance it is similar to other "almost-plaintext" formats, but in semantics and API it is very close to XML. David takes a look at this format and shows you how existing tools can transform reStructuredText into several XML dialects (docutils, DocBook, OpenOffice), along with other useful formats like LaTeX, HTML, and PDF.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 01 Feb 2003
XML Matters: Process XML in Python with ElementTree
Fredrik Lundh's ElementTree module is an increasingly popular API for light-weight and fast manipulation of XML documents within Python. In this installment, David contrasts ElementTree with several other libraries devoted to processing XML instances as object trees, especially with his own gnosis.xml.objectify module.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 24 Jun 2003
XML Matters: The XOM Java XML API
In this installment, David looks at Elliotte Rusty Harold's XOM. Broadly speaking, this is yet another object-oriented XML API, somewhat in the style of DOM, however a number of features set XOM apart, and Harold argues that they are important design elements. Chief among these is a rigorous insistence on maintaining invariants in in-memory objects so that an XOM instance can always be serialized to correct XML. In addition, XOM aims at greater simplicity and regularity than other Java XML APIs.
Also available in: Japanese  
Articles 17 Dec 2003
XML Matters: Using Python modules xml2sql and dtd2sql
David Mertz shows that the reverse direction of translating an XML document and DTD back into an RDBMS storage format is equally possible, but with its own set of constraints and complications.
Articles 01 Jun 2001
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