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XML

Discussion in 'Web Development & Web Hosting' started by philbenson, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

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    As someone who is currently "drumming up" on networking, web design and programming, I have come to recognise that XML is pretty important in this day and age.

    I understand that XML looks very much like HTML for reasons that I don't need to spell out here.. However as well as being a method of creating and setting out data - XML is also the technology behind the Windows XP and Vista graphics engines. The "Category View" of control panel in XP and Vista for example is built on XML code. Also, anyone out there who has looked at Office 12 will have come across IGX Graphics which look superb. These are also XML based.

    How then do you produce these sort of graphics from XML?
     
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  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You don't. XML is not a super version of HTML - it is something completely different!

    It is a sort of metalanguage - and is a description and methodology of how to make a markup language.

    For example XHTML is the result of using XML rules on HTML to produce a cleaner result with less idiosyncrasies than HTML traditionaly had.

    Not too shabby overview here

    Harry.
     
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  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    In many ways XML is the 'opposite' of HTML.
    HTML deals purely with the presentation side of things, how elements are laid out on a page etc.
    XML describes data elements and contains no presentation information at all, hence cannot be used for graphics and layout.

    Its main advantage is in data storage. Because you can describe the 'content' of each tag it makes searching for data much more efficient. For example, if you store information on all your books in an XML format you can specify elements for 'title', 'author' and 'publisher'. Then you can search for books with 'Bill Gates' in the tile without getting results for books written by 'Bill Gates'.

    Sorry if I'm dumbing it down a bit, but it's the only way I can maintain my sanity. :dunce
     
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  4. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

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    OK, at the moment then I'm in the process of converting some Access (2003) tables into XML. I've set up a simple form in VB.net (using VS 2005) with a datagridview object. On loading, the form reads in the data from the XML file which works fine. So how do I create queries for this data?

    Say for example I have a list of 250 who are members of a club and I want to list all those with the surname "Smith"
     
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  5. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I know nothing about VB.net, but surely what you need to do is issue the query via a VB method then use the datagridview object to view the result?

    It sounds to me that what you *really* need is someone familiar with .net - which I'm not! :(

    Harry.
     
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  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Of course you can do this perfectly easily with any halfway decent RDBMS without using XML! :biggrin

    Harry (running away to avoid the incoming missiles)
     
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  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    There are a few things you can try.
    You can use an XmlTextReader to read through the nodes in the XML document and use use something like 'If xtr.HasValue Then...' function to test conformity to your criteria (where xtr is your reader).
    Or use SQL server. You can manipulate databases with XML although you may need to install the SQLXML upgrade to do this.

    That's the problem with development. sometimes the hardest bit is standing back at the beginning and deciding on what approach to use to tackle a particular problem.
     
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  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Duh!
    So YESTERDAY man... :rolleyes:


    :biggrin :biggrin :biggrin
     
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  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Sometimes the tried and trusted ways are the most reliable....
    :p

    Harry.
     
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  10. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

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    Yes I know there are numerous ways to do most things - some obviously better than others (or at least in Microsoft terminology, that would be "with least administrative effort" or something like that)

    But I'm just experimenting with different technologies. It's called filling time until I get a job basically. Sitting in front of computers all day every day certainly does not feel like the best use of ones life - but I'm trying to convince myself that when that job does come along, my efforts will be worth it. Interview on Friday though so fingers are x'ed.
     
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  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Um, then there's TOMORROW...

    http://www.xaml.net/

    Which may be what prompted the original question!
     
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  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you as well!

    Harry.
     
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  13. philbenson

    philbenson Byte Poster

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    Well thank you... I'd like to think two MCSEs are worth something - that's the impression that all these IT training providers would have us believe. At least when it comes to trying to persuade people to sign up for their courses anyway.

    As always though I think who you know rather than what you know is what unlocks the doors.
     
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Well, this is off topic, but here goes anyway.

    I think this is true to a great extent with the job market the way it is. Competition for jobs is intense. However, I have run across a couple of guys, who after I talked to them a few times, and answered technical questions for them, really fought to get me a job where they worked. Unfortunately the companies they worked for ended up not hiring me because of things that happened with the company itself, but those doors are not fully closed even yet.

    One of these opportunities came about because I simply went to talk to a company that was looking for a programmer that knew some Linux programming. I went there, explained that I was not a programmer but wondered if they knew anyone looking for someone with some Linux administration skills. They said no, but that they could possibly be looking later on. I've interviewed there 3 times now with the one yesterday for a contract position. I should know in a day or two what's going to happen as they need someone pretty badly, and people with Linux skills don't seem grow on trees as people with MS skills seem to do.

    My Linux skills will probably get me a job before my MS skills will. While there are not as many companies using Linux, the competition for jobs using Linux isn't nearly as intense as most MS guys completely ignore Linux.
     
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  15. Muir

    Muir Bit Poster

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    Hi, to go back to your post about listing records by a certain criteria have you tried using the XML to populate a dataset and then using a dataview to sort/ filter the information as you require, which is then bound to the datagrid.

    I think XML is a great little tool, it's excellent for creating applications, which require offline database information. I'm also currently trying knew things out whilst job hunting and my main project is an application for a PDA, which utilises XML as its data store
     
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