XML-Based Course Websites
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XML-Based Course Websites Michael Wollowski Computer Science and Software Engineering Department Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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XML-Based Course Websites Michael Wollowski Computer Science and Software Engineering Department Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Introduction: Background. My interest is in search engines XML promises the development of powerful search engines Placed CSSE course descriptions into XML

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XML-Based Course Websites Michael Wollowski Computer Science and Software Engineering Department Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Xml based course websites michael wollowski computer science and software engineering department rose hulman institute of technology

XML-Based Course WebsitesMichael Wollowski Computer Science and Software Engineering Department Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Introduction background

Introduction: Background

  • My interest is in search engines

  • XML promises the development of powerful search engines

  • Placed CSSE course descriptions into XML

  • Wrote a search engine for them

  • Realized that editors are easy

  • Have to rely on other people to provide contents


Introduction benefits of xml

Introduction: Benefits of XML

  • Separation of form and contents

  • Common information can be placed into separate files

  • Webpages of the same kind are rendered in the same way


Introduction xml in comparison

Introduction: XML in comparison

  • Benefits of courseware products:

    • Ease of use

    • Integration with other systems

  • Drawbacks of courseware products:

    • Formatting and functionality are as provided


Introduction xml in comparison1

Introduction: XML in comparison

  • Benefits of direct editing:

    • Complete control over appearance and contents

  • Drawbacks of direct editing:

    • A lot of work formatting contents


Introduction xml in comparison2

Introduction: XML in comparison

  • XML promises to share some of the benefits of both:

    • Complete control over appearance and contents

    • Ease of contents creation and maintenance

  • Additional benefit of XML:

    • Powerful search engines


Xml the technology

XML: The Technology

  • Three technologies in one:

    • DTD

    • XML document

    • XSL stylesheet


Xml xml documents

XML: XML Documents

  • XML documents contain elements

  • An element consists of an opening and closing tag

  • Elements are nested

  • Element names describe contents

  • Elements are not used to format documents


Xml xml documents1

XML: XML Documents

  • Example:

    <course_description>

    <id>CSSE 100</id>

    <title>Introduction to Programming

    and Problem Solving

    </title>

    </course_description>


Xml xml documents2

XML: XML Documents

  • Design your own element structure by defining a DTD

  • Use someone else’s DTD


Xml dtds

XML: DTDs

  • A DTD defines a class of documents

  • A DTD specifies:

    • Elements of the document

    • Attributes of elements

    • Order and nesting of elements

    • Whether elements are necessary


Xml xsl stylesheets

XML: XSL Stylesheets

  • Used to transform an XML document into an HTML document

  • XML documents specify which XSL stylesheet is to be used.

  • Web-browser receives XML document and then requests XSL stylesheet


Xml xsl stylesheets1

XML: XSL Stylesheets


Xml xsl stylesheets2

XML: XSL Stylesheets

  • Uniform appearance of classes of documents: use same stylesheet

  • Stylesheet has to be edited just once

  • Separation of form and contents

  • Content providers focus on providing contents


Xml xsl stylesheets3

XML: XSL Stylesheets

  • They are complex

  • Determine order of presentation

  • Leave out information

  • Limited amount of processing, e.g. fill in missing information


Xml xsl stylesheets4

XML: XSL Stylesheets

  • Combine information from several documents

  • Minimize repetition of information, by placing common information into separate documents

  • Ensures consistency of information

  • Reduces amount of nuisance editing


Editing

Editing

  • Separation of form and contents greatly aids in editing

  • Contents providers do not have to be concerned about formatting

  • Three ways to edit an XML document:

    • Edit a template (good)

    • Copy and edit another document (better)

    • Use a forms-based editor (best)


Forms based editor

Forms-Based Editor

  • A web-page with text-fields for XML elements

  • Customized to DTD

  • Straight-forward to provide

  • Possible to auto-generate


Forms based editor1

Forms-Based Editor


Pinpoint searching

Pinpoint Searching

  • Special-purpose search engine tailored to DTD

  • Information processing engine


Pinpoint searching1

Pinpoint Searching


Experience with the technology

Experience with the Technology

  • Course description editor is easy

  • Tested syllabus editor on 20 students

  • Editor works well for structured XML documents

  • HTML can be added and is properly rendered

  • Preview of documents is being added


Experience with the technology1

Experience with the Technology

  • Tested course descriptions search engine on 30 students

  • One side of classroom used our XML search engine, other side used Google, restricted to RHIT

  • Asked a variety of questions, some favored ours, some favored Google, and some were neutral


Experience with the technology2

Experience with the Technology

  • “Which courses can I take if I passed CSSE230?” favored XML search

  • “What are the required CS courses for a CS major?” favored Google

  • “What programming languages are used in the CS curriculum?” favored neither

  • XML searchers turned in their results before Google searchers


Future work

Future Work

  • General purpose search engine

  • DTDs for course materials


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