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MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML - What It Means To You William J. “Bill” McCalpin EDPP, CDIA, MIT, LIT Principal MHE.

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Presentation on theme: "MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML - What It Means To You William J. “Bill” McCalpin EDPP, CDIA, MIT, LIT Principal MHE."— Presentation transcript:

1 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML - What It Means To You William J. “Bill” McCalpin EDPP, CDIA, MIT, LIT Principal MHE

2 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Introduction The Hegelian Dialectic

3 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis In the philosophy of Hegel, these words show the inevitable transition of thought, by contradiction and reconciliation, from an initial conviction to its opposite and then to a new, higher conception that involves but transcends both of them

4 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Hegelian Dialetic Thesis: Most business have well- established, productive legacy systems Antithesis: XML is springing forth everywhere Synthesis: XML will be integrated with legacy systems - enhancing some processes, changing many others, and eliminating some altogether In short, XML will affect what you do

5 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies How To Relate XML to Everyman You might think that XML is too esoteric for most people to understand But XML is based on the basic human need exchanging information XML couples the communication skills we have used over the last several thousand years to modern, Internet technology So how can you understand it?

6 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Sex And The Single Pixel Or, How To Explain XML Through Human Relationships

7 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus Author John Gray has the best selling book describing the difficulties of communication Why would there be such difficulties?

8 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Communication Difficulty #1 In order for any communication to take place, both parties must share the same fundamental mechanism which carries information For example, in writing, if a boy and girl don’t even share the same writing schemes, they can’t possibly understand...

9 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Chinese Characters vs Latin Alphabet “I Love You”

10 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Underlying Structure of XML Text characters Tags are delimited by “ ”, i.e. Ending tags have “/”, e.g., Parameters are indicated by double quotes, e.g., XML is a series of tags and data, e.g., Texas

11 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Communication Difficulty #2 Once both parties agree to the fundamental syntax, then both parties must next agree to the words to be used In the case of XML, how do both parties know that means a political subdivision and not one of {gas,liquid,solid}?

12 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies A Date Gone Bad One evening in the hotel lobby bar, two young Italian men spend a while talking to an attractive Venezuelan girl...and her aunt They spoke Italian and she spoke Spanish, but they communicated passably

13 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies A Date Still Going Bad However, the aunt wanted to go up to her room with her niece The Italians wanted to take the young lady out dancing... So they asked her:

14 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Oops What the boys said: “Vuoi andare con noi ‘sta sera? What the young lady needed to hear: “Quisieras ir con nosotros esta tarde?”

15 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Miscommunication Even though Italian and Spanish use the same sounds, the same grammar, and have a common ancestry in Latin, some words are different Unfortunately, the most common words in both languages are likely to be the most different

16 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Cost Of Data Differences “NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units for a key spacecraft operation...” CNN 9/30/99

17 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML “Words” HTML has a certain number of fixed tags - everyone knows what they are, but they can’t be augmented In XML, everyone can make up their own tags to suit their needs - but how do we avoid a Tower of CyberBabel?

18 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Communication Difficulty #3 Even when you agree to common tags, you still need to agree to a common understanding In XML, the Schema (now replacing the DTD) defines what tags are allowed to describe a particular collection of data For example, in the field of human relations, what is a “date”?

19 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies One DTD For A “Date” A woman thinks: –Invitation - formal –Dress-up - nicely –Eat out – dinner with wine at nice restaurant –Entertainment – see a movie –Private moment – good night kiss

20 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies A Woman’s View Of A “Date” Telephone call Long dress 4-star restaurant the theatre A passionate, romantic kiss

21 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Another DTD For A “Date” A man thinks: –Eat out – six-pack –Private moment – necking

22 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies A Man’s View Of A “Date” six-pack of beer necking

23 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies When Men And Women Agree Telephone call Long dress 4-star restaurant the theatre A passionate, romantic kiss Honking Not the shirt he changed the oil in food and beer rent a video A passionate, romantic kiss while necking

24 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Presentation In human relationships, it’s normal for someone to present themselves in the best light possible We try to minimize any deficiencies while maximizing our positive attributes Thus, we would like to present ourselves as:

25 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Author’s View

26 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Original Data

27 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XSL XSL - eXtended Style Language XSL is derived from CSS - Cascading Style Sheets XSL can enable the author to create one or many views of XML Since XSL can be separate from the XML object, the reader can apply the presentation information as well as the author

28 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Communication Difficulty #4 When all we had was paper and film, the author alone controlled the presentation of the data One of the great advantages of electronic formats is that the presentation of data can now be put into the hands of the reader How can we describe this in the field of human relationships?

29 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies

30 Three Bachelors To Choose From Our contestant has to choose from 3 bachelors But if the information about the bachelors were on paper, then the information would be presented only one way

31 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies How To Choose? Bachelor List But with XML (and other electronic formats like HTML), our contestant can view the information in different ways, to help her make her decision

32 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Datament tm

33 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The “Datament” Efforts to expand the meaning of “document” to include all manner of electronic formats have been unsuccessful Hence, we have invented the concept of the “datament tm, which is a “organized collection of information in time” which can be viewed by both human and machine

34 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Readers Of Dataments Because the datament is in XML, presentation information can be ignored and the data directly extracted from the appropriate tags Dataments can also carry one or more “views” of the data. –One view should be the original static view –Another view can allow the reader flexibility

35 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Why Multiple Views? Think of a 60,000 page phone bill - it’s impossible to make any sense of it without sorting, hiding, etc. like with a spreadsheet On the other hand, if one reader alters the view, then another reader might miss important information, hence there is a “default” view This default or author-centric view will also help satisfy regulatory authorities

36 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Communication Difficulty #5 Without resorting to bars, how can people easily find compatible partners? Now think about all the classified ads you might have to pore through in order to find someone who interests you Fortunately, personals have a standard indexing method

37 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies A Personal Ad DWF - “divorced white female” SBM - “single black male” WBFP - “wood burning fireplace” - oops This system works because there is a standard method of indexing personals If the authors of the classifieds made up their own indexes, think of the confusion:

38 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Apples And Oranges “nice DWM seeks girl who wants a good time” “cons w trvst in spc prog seeks swng aln to tk to their ldr”

39 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Extending XML XML is not only a useful way to accurately describe people, er, information, but it can be use as the basis of many other standards For example, RDF stands for “Resource Description Framework ”, that is, a framework for describing and interchanging metadata (i.e., information about information).

40 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML XML has a common underlying syntax Industries and groups can create XML tags which suit their needs XML enables both the author and the reader to control the presentation But let’s digress...

41 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies What Is A Document? The American Heritage Dictionary defines a document as “information in writing placed on a medium such as paper, often used as a record.” Documents have been placed on clay tablets, gold leaf, animal skins, all types of paper, microfilm, optical storage, and so on

42 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Information And Presentation In every case, the document represents a fundamental union of information and presentation But “presentation” presumes that the primary audience for the document is a human being With the coming of the Internet, this is no longer the case

43 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Curse Of Presentation Composition products require that you specify a printer, even before you know where the document will print

44 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Why Are Print, Image, And Presentation Formats Incompatible?

45 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Printing And Imaging Formats Many printing formats: AFP, Metacode, DJDE, XES (UDK), PostScript, PCL, etc. All formats use external resources like fonts, forms, graphics, etc., although sometimes inconsistently Most are escape-sequence based, some are formal data architectures, and some are almost programming languages

46 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Printing And Imaging Formats Many imaging formats - while most used CCITT Group 4 for image compression, most also had proprietary data wrappers Later systems adopted text-based formats such as PDF, although storing other print streams is not unknown Systems which store text-based formats must wrestle with resource issues

47 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Different Print Formats Why do printers have different formats? Because of physical constraints imposed by the hardware: –resources reduce the amount of data sent through pipeline to printer –pages must be imaged in less than a fraction of a second –complex graphics can be developed on the printer, but this needs a special language

48 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Different Imaging Formats Why do imaging systems have different formats: because of physical constraints imposed by the hardware: –Mass storage was expensive –Indexing schemes were too close to the application –Text is avoided sometimes because of resource issues –Interoperability with other products an issue

49 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Result In each case, data architecture decisions were made in order to enhance some aspect of legibility of the stored objects. If there were no requirement to present the information (to a human reader), then the requirement for custom data formats for each vendor would probably disappear!

50 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Universal Literacy Who’s reading our documents?

51 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies The Road To Universal Literacy First, only the few could read After the printing press, the many began to read Eventually, educational reforms brought the ability to read to all

52 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Literacy In The Internet Age Can there be a spread of literacy beyond “all”? How many webpages have you ever read? You will never be able to keep up with the Web – alone There are already an estimated 98,685,000 host computers on the Internet (www.mids.org)

53 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Intelligent Agents Just around the corner is software that will read the Web for us – not search, but read So we have to spread literacy to an audience beyond “all” – people, that is Does increased quality in presentation mean better computer literacy?

54 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Noise On The Net Think of the average webpage:  three dimensional spinning objects  marquees scrolling across the bottom  multiple frames bookmarks  audio These items are all designed to attract the eye – your eye This does nothing for the machine reading the webpage

55 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Two Important Truths There are two important truths of the Internet era: –Documents which are read by humans need to be dynamic in their presentation –Documents which are read by computers don’t need any presentation information at all XML totally divorces presentation from information!

56 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies What Have We Learned About XML?

57 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML Summary XML uses tags to describe data – Texas Businesses and non-profits join together to build DTD/Schemas to describe data objects in their spaces – –

58 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML Summary An XML “document” contains information for a particular event or transaction which can be understand by both parties XML ‘documents’ can be intended for two types of readers: human and machine

59 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies XML Summary XML ‘documents’ intended for a machine do not require any presentation information XML ‘dataments’ carry the information which enables both static (author-centric) and dynamic (reader-centric) presentations, using XSL

60 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies What Will You Tell Your Boss? “Well, this dude named Hegel met Drew Carey while speaking Spanish in an Italian bar when they met a transvestite space alien who was looking for a missing NASA satellite who told them that women were not either from Venus and that Mimi and Pierce Brosnan were on a date but each was reading different versions of the same menu because it was a datament in XML.”

61 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies Reference - the official World Wide Web Consortium site (you’ll find links to the XML spec here)

62 MHE - Consultants for Document and Datament Technologies William J. “Bill” McCalpin EDPP, CDIA, MIT, LIT Principal, MHE 1400 Cheyenne Dr. Richardson, Texas (v) (f)


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