XML is todays most popular way to store and send information. In this course, you will master the essentials of XML through easy-to-follow, real-world examples. Even if you've never tried computer programming, you will discover how quickly you can learn to produce powerful code.And the biggest surprise is how much fun programming can be
From the very first lesson, you will dive in, creating your first XML document. you will use one of the greatest bargains in computer programmingâMicrosofts free yet powerful Visual Studio (VS) Express. Then you will go on to learn the elements of programming: variables, loops, and branching. Using VSs full-featured design editor, you will see how to build efficient, professional-looking user interfaces.
XML stores and transmits information for applications, but is also widely used with Internet browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer. you will learn methods for formatting XML so it looks great on Web pages using cascading style sheets and XSL. And you will explore all the main XML techniquesâXPath, XSL, schemas, namespaces, DOM, and SAX. you will practice using XML to search, manipulate, validate, and merge XML files. we will also work with SVG, XMLs drawing language for displaying graphics like charts, drawings, and diagrams.
Finally, you will deepen your understanding of XML and programming by transforming the cookbook program into two equally useful programs. First is an all-purpose quiz that will help anyone practice for any kind of testâgeography, drivers test, whatever. And the second program is a coin-collection scrapbook with over a dozen fields of information (and optional photographs) for each coin. This program, too, can be easily modified to manage any kind of collectionâstamps, rocks, baseball cards, anything.
When you've finished this course, you will also understand how XML simplifies computer programming, and you will have built a surprisingly sophisticated cookbook program that displays, modifies, searches, imports, and deletes recipes stored in XML format. its your first step toward writing custom programs or furthering your career
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you are encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Creating Your First XML Document
In this first lesson, you will install and personalize one of the greatest bargains in computer programmingâMicrosoft's free, yet powerful, Visual Studio (VS) Express. After decades of fine-tuning, the VS programming suite is widely considered one of the most efficient ways to communicate with computers. you will use the VS XML editor to create your first XML document. (The editor shows you any mistakes and even writes half the code for you!) And by the end of the lesson, you will discover that programming can be both easy and fun. you will be on your way to using XML in your personal projects or in your career.
Lesson 02 - Mastering the Basics of XML Documents
Let's explore the rest of the fundamentals of XML. we will compare XML and HTML and examine the main similarities and differences between the two languages. And we will look at adding comments and attributes in XML. When we've finished with those fundamentals, we will begin to create our cookbook project, using the Visual Studio (VS) we discussed in our first lesson together.
Lesson 03 - Understanding Computer Programming
Today's lesson is all about programming. we will explore the most common programming techniques, including creating variables, setting up loops, and telling the program how to make decisions by branching to alternative sections of code. you will also learn how to use the editors Design window to align and resize controls. The goal is to make your program's user interface look clean and professional. And finally, you will write your first serious XML programmingâgoing through your cookbook document one recipe at a time (looping) and copying each recipe's title into a listbox so your users can select whatever recipes they want to see. During this lesson, you will discover just how much fun programming can be
Lesson 04 - Formatting XML With Cascading Style Sheets
its time to take control of your XML formatting. In this lesson, we will focus on ways to make XML look good when people view it in browsers. you will specify exactly how you want your XML data displayed. you will create style rules about color, position, size, and typeface (font) to make your content look great on a Web page. And finally, you will add code to the cookbook program that displays a recipe's instructions when the user clicks its title.
Lesson 05 - Formatting With XSLThis lesson introduces an important XML feature: XSL, or Extensible Style Sheet Language. Today you will learn to present raw data attractively and efficiently in browsers using XSL style sheets. you will explore transforming your XML data by sorting its elements alphabetically and then displaying them in a table as a numbered list. And you will also learn how to add a search feature to your cookbook project.
Lesson 06 - Searching With XPath
Today we will discuss the fundamentals of XPath, XMLs query language. you will see how to search through the data in an XML document to locate a particular element, copy the element into a listbox, and then delete it from the XML document. you will also practice using two invaluable learning and debugging tools: breakpoints and single-stepping.
Lesson 07 - Transforming XML With XSLT
If you have been wanting to know more about XSLT, today's your chance to learn how to use it. you will find out how to use XSLT to transform XML structures and how to change an XML file into CSVâcomma separated values, a format used to store tables like spreadsheets. you will practice other transformations such as adding, deleting, and renaming elements in an XML document. And you will also see how to use the Visual Studio editor's XSLT features. Finally, you will add a needed feature to the cookbook project: refreshing the list of titles.
Lesson 08 - Validating With Schemas
This lesson shows you how to make sure that an XML document is valid. In other words, you will compare an XML file to a schema file that describes the XMLs correct structure and the types of data it must contain. Validation goes beyond the simple concept of a "well-formed" document, which only examines simple errors like missing end tags. But because creating validation files by hand can be complicated and tedious, you will use the automatic schema generator built into VS. Then, you will write a custom VB validator program of your own. And finally, you will make the cookbook project even easier to use by writing code that adds new recipes with one click of an Import button.
Lesson 09 - Exploring XML Graphics
In this lesson, you will learn to store and display XML graphics. First, we will work with SVG, an XML format that specializes in creating lines, shapes, color, special text effects, and geometric drawings. SVG is especially useful when you want to display charts, drawings, or diagrams. Then, we will explore how to display bitmaps, which are photographic images stored on the hard drive already completely rendered. Last but not least, you will learn some techniques that radically improve the cookbook program's UI.
Lesson 10 - Managing Namespaces
Today we will focus on namespacesâthe XML technique that avoids ambiguity when two element tag names are identical but refer to different things. This happens when you try to merge two or more XML documents: A grocery store means one thing by the tag apple, but a computer store means something else. you will learn how to attach a unique Web page address (a URL) to a set of tags to avoid this name collision problem. you will also see how programmers use namespaces in other areas of computing, such as separating commands into individual code libraries. Then you will add a feature to the cookbook program that allows the user to modify a recipe and automatically save the changes to the XML file/p>
Lesson 11 - Creating a Homework Quiz Project/p>
We're going to look at two related programs todayâone that translates user input into XML, and another that displays the XML data in the form of a quiz. you will learn how to use both programs in this lesson, creating practice quizzes for students or anyone facing a test.
Lesson 12 - Creating a Coin Collection Program
In our final lesson, we will explore the two main ways to manage XML dataâDOM and SAX. DOM loads the whole XML document into the computer's memory all at once, permitting random-access to the data. SAX, the alternative approach, streams data, leaving only a little in memory at a time. SAX is most useful when you're dealing with immense XML files, but SAX's sequential access (it moves forward-only) makes modifying the XML structure more difficult. you will also transform the cookbook program into a coin collection programâa searchable notebook that can even display photos of each coin. you will see how to reuse basic code to create any kind of XML data management programâa stamp collection, family scrapbook, you name it
Subject Matter Expert
Richard Mansfield is a best-selling author and widely recognized expert on computer programming. He graduated from The University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Master's degree in English. He has written numerous articles and columns on computer topics, and was the editor of Compute! Magazine. In addition, he has authored or co-authored 44 books, including the best sellers Machine Language for Beginners (Compute!) and The Visual Guide to Visual Basic (Ventana). His more recent titles include XML for Dummies: All-in-One Desktop Reference (co-authored, Wiley), Mastering VBA for Office 2013 (Sybex), and Programming: A Beginner's Guide (McGraw-Hill). Richards books have sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 12 languages.
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