Xml Separating Content From Presentation Data
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Xml Separating Content From Presentation Data

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XML is a relatively new technology that was developed to reduce the limitations of HTML. This ...

XML is a relatively new technology that was developed to reduce the limitations of HTML. This
technology is known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language). This document looks at XML, a self-describing language that enables different computer systems to alter data very quickly and easily.

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Xml Separating Content From Presentation Data Document Transcript

  • 1. © Olivia Moran – XML: Separating Content From Presentation Data XML: Separating Content From Presentation Data By Olivia Moran www.oliviamoran.me
  • 2. © Olivia Moran – XML: Separating Content From Presentation Data About The Author Olivia MoranOlivia Moran is a leading training specialist who specialises in E-Learning instructional design and is a certified Moodle expert. She hasbeen working as a trainer and course developer for 3 years developingand delivery training courses for traditional classroom, blendedlearning and E-learning.Courses Olivia Moran Has Delivered:● MOS● ECDL● Internet Marketing● Social Media● Google [Getting Irish Businesses Online]● Web Design [FETAC Level 5]● Adobe Dreamweaver● Adobe Flash● MoodleSpecialties:★Moodle [MCCC Moodle Certified Expert]★ E Learning Tools/ Technologies [Commercial & Open Source]★ Microsoft Office Specialist★ Web Design & Online Content Writer★ Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop
  • 3. © Olivia Moran – XML: Separating Content From Presentation DataThe Web is an enormous place. It is filled with an endless amount of both useful anduseless information. As one can imagine it is often very difficult to find exactly what youare looking for. Users nowadays are always rushing and they have little time to spendbrowsing the Internet. Their most important asset is their time. As outlined byMcGovern & Norton (2002) “Your readers are in a hurry. The most precious commodityto them is their time. When they come to your website looking for content, they want tofind it as quickly as possible”. When people eventually locate what they have beenseeking it may be in a format that does not suit them.Often information is only useful if it is presented in a particular way. The framing ofinformation and the way in which it is presented can impact greatly on the conclusions,implications or assumptions that a person draws from reading this information. This inturn can have serious repercussions when it comes to making good quality decisions. Ifinformation is presented in a certain way it may manipulate a person to pick a solutionthat they would not normally choose.In order to overcome such a serious problem a user is often required to change and alterthe information in such a way to suit their purposes and individual needs. Undertakingthis activity can be a difficult task. Take for example, information found on the Web,most Web sites are constructed using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). This is amarkup language that combines both the content and the data needed to represent thiscontent in one place. This leads to problems for those wishing to alter the data. The userbecomes bombarded with lots of useless information that they simply do not need toknow. This can lead to information overload, anxiety and time wasting for the user.Consequently, a new technology was developed to reduce the limitations of HTML. Thistechnology is known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language).XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a relatively new technology. It was created justover 10 years ago. Morrison (2002) emphasises the importance of this technology interms of the Web and displaying content. He highlights that “XML provides a basicstructure and set of rules to which any markup language must adhere”. In basic terms itcan be viewed as a self-describing language that enables different computer systems toalter data very quickly and easily.
  • 4. © Olivia Moran – XML: Separating Content From Presentation DataAccording to Harold & Means (2004) “XML is a metamarkup language for textdocuments. Data are included in XML documents as strings of text. The data surroundedby text markup that describes the data. XML’s basic unit of data and markup is called anelement”. An element is basically an explanation or a description of a set of data. It hasa simple structure that makes it easy to read.XML adheres to Web standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) lay these down.The W3C are a body, which constantly govern the Web. For those who follow thestandards it ensures that their sites are implemented using XML in a satisfactory way. Asnoted by McGovern & Norton (2002) “A common standard empowers rather than restrictsthe writer, editor and reader. A common standard for the publication of the Web siteallows them to focus on what’s really important – the content”. These standards canchange from time to time as XML is still in its infancy and thus is continually developingand evolving.XML is used in conjunction with HTML. “One of the main goals of XML is to separate thecontent of information from the presentation of it” Morrison (2002). Therefore XMLconcentrates only on the content itself and HTML on the presentation of this content tothe users. This separating of content and presentation data is particularly of importanceas it enables computer programs to take information from multiple databases acrossvarious platforms in different locations and merge it and present it in a useful andmeaningful way. XML acts as the common ground needed to achieve this.