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Examining XML structure

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Examining XML structure

In this chapter, we will focus on working with XML and XSL in Dreamweaver. XML or Extensible Markup Language was designed to describe data and to focus on what that data is. When we contrast that with HTML, which is designed to display data and to focus on how the data looks, we can begin to see the difficulty in displaying XML on our web pages. Using XHTML helps since it features a focus on element structure instead of presentation. Regardless, XHTML works with a predefined set of tags that describes elements on the page, whereas XML tags are not predefined. Users or systems define their own tags to convey a meaning. While several industries and services have standardized their XML structure, moving information from XML documents and displaying it on the web can be daunting.

Examining XML structure

In this chapter, we will focus on working with XML and XSL in Dreamweaver. XML or Extensible Markup Language was designed to describe data and to focus on what that data is. When we contrast that with HTML, which is designed to display data and to focus on how the data looks, we can begin to see the difficulty in displaying XML on our web pages. Using XHTML helps since it features a focus on element structure instead of presentation. Regardless, XHTML works with a predefined set of tags that describes elements on the page, whereas XML tags are not predefined. Users or systems define their own tags to convey a meaning. While several industries and services have standardized their XML structure, moving information from XML documents and displaying it on the web can be daunting.

Here I have opened a simple XML file and this could help us understand the structure of our XML documents that we are going to transform in this chapter using XSL. Just like an HTML document, there is an opening and a closing tag, but that tag can be anything we want it to be, in this case, simple XML. Inside this we have two items. Note the use of attributes just like HTML tags, XML tags can have attributes and those attributes can be anything you want them to be. Our first item name is First, the second item name is Second. Inside in the Item tag, we have a description and inside the Description tag, we have content. So the markup structure of XML is very similar to XHTML, and can be confusing to those the first time they see it. The thing to remember about XML is this. It stands for Extensible Markup Language, meaning these tags can have any name and any attributes necessary to describe the data that you are working with.

To ease the process of using XML in your web pages, XSL was created to help define the meaning of XML objects. So, XSL can define meaning to XML objects so they can be transformed into XHTML. This transformation can occur either in the client working to be applied as a server-side transformation. In our slide, the XML document passes information into the XSL file. XSL is actually made up of three parts: XSLT, which is language that describes the transformation of the XML file, XPath, which is designed to help us navigate through our XML document files, XSL/FO, objects that are designed to format XML objects. Although XSLT and XPath will always be used, formatting objects are optional. These XSL transformations can be applied either client-side or server-side.

Client-side transformations will occur within the browser, whereas server-side transformations will occur on the server, and Dreamweaver provides methods for creating both client and server-side XSLT pages. In our next movie, we will focus on creating an XML file that we will later transform using XSL.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38638 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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