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XML (eXtensible Markup Language): An Overview

As web developers know all too well, basic HTML (HyperText Markup Language) doesn't provide any structure to Web pages, and the formatting is mixed with the content. To allow Web pages to be structured for automated processing (e.g. electronic commerce), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed an enhancement to HTML. The result were two new languages; one was XSL (eXtensible Style Language), and the other was XML (eXtensible Markup Language), a system for defining, validating, and sharing document formats on the Web.

XML is best known to many bloggers and Netizens as RSS (Rich Site Summary/Really Simple Syndication), which is actually a lightweight XML format used to share headlines and weblog feeds.

History

The W3C, an organization devoted to developing the Web and standardizing protocols, formed an XML Working Group chaired by Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems in 1996. Several key industry players who were also included in the working group were Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Netscape, and Fuji Xerox.

The group published a working draft for XML in November of the same year. Two years later, the W3C announced the release of the XML 1.0 specification.

The year 1999 found the release of two W3C Recommendations on XML. The first was entitled Namespaces on XML, and the other was Associating Stylesheets with XML documents. In January of 2001, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) released a Proposed Standard on XML Media Types.

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XML is an open, human-readable text format derived from the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Originally meant for large-scale electronic publishing, XML is now being used in the exchange of various types of data on the Web and elsewhere. It is also becoming a language of choice for communication between application programs.

The XML Working Group's design goals (taken from the W3C web site) for XML were:

XML shall be straightforwardly usable over the Internet. XML shall support a wide variety of applications. XML shall be compatible with SGML. It shall be easy to write programs that process XML documents. The number of optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum, ideally zero. XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear. The XML design should be prepared quickly. The design of XML shall be formal and concise. XML documents shall be easy to create. Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance.

The markup language describes XML documents, which are a class of data objects. Moreover, XML also describes the behavior of software modules called XML processors. These are used to read XML documents and provide access to their content and structure.

Syntax

Those familiar enough with HTML will find XML syntax a lot similar. However, don't assume that coding in XML is painlessly easy -- XML is stricter than HTML, and sloppy HTML coders will do well to remember that. Several reminders when coding in XML:

All elements must have a closing tag. All elements must be properly nested. All tags are case sensitive. All attribute values must be enclosed in quotation marks.

A good hands-on tutorial on XML can be found at W3Schools.com.

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Phillip Kimpo Jr. is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He keeps a tech weblog at Crimson Crux (http://ccrux.corsarius.net), and is with Isulong SEOPH (http://www.go-ogle.com.ph/isulong-seoph).

Help For Joomla! Users: The XML Setup File Error Message - Upload Failed

The content management system known as Joomla! is a powerful and versatile software system that will not only become increasingly popular, but will become more usable as program developers create more and more extensions. However, not all software additions are always flawlessly easy to install, especially in their first releases. If you are a newcomer to Joomla!, and if you have tried to add on any extensions to the basic Joomla 1.0.10 software, you may have encountered an error message when using the Joomla! installer to try to install new components, modules, or mambots (via a zip file). The error messages that we have seen have included the following kinds of text messages: "Upload mambot - Upload Failed ERROR: Could not find an XML setup file in the package Upload mambot - Failed" or "Upload mambot - Failed XML setup file is not for a mambot." For example, at one of our Joomla web sites, we initially had trouble trying to install these 4 file downloads: com_performs v1, com_pollxt, docmanV13_RC_2, and mod_adsense_joomlaspan_2[1].0_C, which we obtained through browsing the extensions offered at the http://Joomla.org web site. After some web research and our own trial and error process, we discovered some easy installation solutions that solved our problems, but we cannot guarantee these will work for everyone. We worked with the latest version, Joomla 1.0.10.

First, pay attention to the menu options under which you are trying to install these. If the file begins with a "mod", then under the Installer tab click on "modules" (not mambots or components). If it begins with a "com", then try the components option under the Installer tab. If it does not give you a clue in the file name, you can just try all three options to see if one works, or go back to the Joomla extensions page and check to see how it is listed--as a mambot, module, or component.

Second, some of the extensions need to have the initial zip file (exactly as you downloaded it) uploaded via the installer. Others have another zip file inside the initial zip file (that you can see in the folder created when you extract the files), and it is that inner zip file that needs to be uploaded via the installer (and remember, uploaded under the right category--component, module, mambot). By the way, when we say uploaded here, we are referring to the button inside the Installer section that refers to uploading and unpacking. If you need further help with your Joomla software, the information and forum at http://Joomlaya.com might be of help.

For more helpful information and to submit and obtain free articles, visit us often at http://www.TheScoopSite.com.

How to Use NDoc to Generate XML Documentation in .NET

Documentation of your system is one of the important tasks that have to be done for any software system or product. Without that it is not easy to track the code and the features that are incorporated in the system.

With proper documentation of your system it is possible to reduce the repeated work that is done without knowing what is there in your system. Instead of writing your own documentation by seeing the program logic it would be better if there is a tool to generate the documentation based on the comments that is given in the code.

One such tool that is of more help to the developers is the NDoc. If you use NDoc properly you can document your system in a very good manner than documenting manually.

Before you use the NDoc tool you have to ensure that it is installed in your system. Assuming that you are using the Visual Studio .Net for your development, you have to see whether you have the directory C:\Program Files\HTML Help Workshop in your system.

If you do not have that directory in your C drive then download and install the HTML Help Workshop in your system. After you have that directory in place you can download the NDoc tool from the web sites sourceforge.net. You can search for the NDoc project in that site or download NDoc at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndoc/

Use the web installer to install the NDoc tool since it will install the latest and the stable release in your system. Once you have installed the utility you are ready to do the documentation part needed. Refer to the readme.txt file that comes along with the NDoc tool for more information on installation of that tool if you are not having Visual Studio .Net in your system.

For using NDoc properly you have to code properly with the use of proper XML tags that are necessary for the generation of the documentation. There are many XML tags that are available for documentation. Some of them are, <c>, <code>, <example>, <para>, <param>, <remarks>, <returns>, <seealso>, and <summary>.

For using these tags within your code you have to place them in the comments tag. You should know the comments for documentation are placed within the #147;/**" and "*/". You can also use the triple slash "///" for this purpose. The XML tags mentioned above are placed within these proper delimiters.

The <c> tag is used to place some text that are used in the codes. For example, if you have a method called AddMethod and you want to place this within your documentation, you can use as <c>AddMethod</c>.

Sometimes you may be willing to place some code within your documentation in that case you can use the <code> tag. Examples that are given in the documentation can be placed within the <example> tags. A typical example might have the <code> tag nested within the <example> tag.

You can have the comments of your code or system within the <summary> tag. An example of this would be,

/**
<summary>
This program is used to find the page rank of the URL that is given in text box.
<para>
We are using the Google API to determine the page rank of the given url.
</para>
</summary>
*/

The <para> tag can be used within the summary tag is you want to break the comments in the summary tag as paragraphs. For giving any additional information you can use the <remarks> tag. Tags like <returns> are used before the methods for identifying the return type of the methods.

The <param> tags are used to identify the parameters used in the methods. A tag called the <seealso> is used to redirect the user to some other definitions or part of the documentation. This is used as cross reference. For more details on the tags you can refer to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/csref/html/vclrftagsfordocumentationcomments.asp

Once you have used the proper XML tags within your code then during the compilation of the application you can generate an XML file that contains the XML tags written in your code. The compiled assembly (.dll file) and the XML file thus generated are necessary to generate the system documentation properly using the NDoc tool. For example if your source file is UsingNDoc.cs, then you can compile in the command line using the command like:

csc /debug /t:library /out:bin/UsingNDoc.dll UsingNDoc.cs /doc:UsingNDoc.xml

The above command generates the UsingNDoc.dll for the source file UsingNDoc.cs. The xml tags are put in the file UsingNDoc.xml in the root directory of the application. The files UsingNDoc.dll and UsingNDoc.xml are used as inputs to the NDoc utility to generate the system documentation.

Once you start the NDoc tool it will ask for the assembly file and the xml file for generating the system documentation. Give these inputs by browsing to the location of the files. With the NDoc utility you can create documentation of the types MSDN, XML, LaTeX, Linear HTML, and JavaDoc.

You can select your option for generating using the "Select and Configure Documenter" section of the tool. Some other properties are also set in this section. You can set the OutputDirectory to which the output has to be given.

You can also set the OutputTarget which can be HTMLHelp, or Web or both. With the HtmlHelp a .chm file is generated. The supporting html files are also generated. With the Web choice it generates the html files needed and the index.html file which serves as the starting point. Documentation of your system is one of the important tasks that have to be done for any software system or product. Without that it is not easy to track the code and the features that are incorporated in the system.

With proper documentation of your system it is possible to reduce the repeated work that is done without knowing what is there in your system. Instead of writing your own documentation by seeing the program logic it would be better if there is a tool to generate the documentation based on the comments that is given in the code.

One such tool that is of more help to the developers is the NDoc. If you use NDoc properly you can document your system in a very good manner than documenting manually.

Before you use the NDoc tool you have to ensure that it is installed in your system. Assuming that you are using the Visual Studio .Net for your development, you have to see whether you have the directory C:\Program Files\HTML Help Workshop in your system.

If you do not have that directory in your C drive then download and install the HTML Help Workshop in your system. After you have that directory in place you can download the NDoc tool from the web sites sourceforge.net. You can search for the NDoc project in that site or download NDoc at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndoc/

Use the web installer to install the NDoc tool since it will install the latest and the stable release in your system. Once you have installed the utility you are ready to do the documentation part needed. Refer to the readme.txt file that comes along with the NDoc tool for more information on installation of that tool if you are not having Visual Studio .Net in your system.

For using NDoc properly you have to code properly with the use of proper XML tags that are necessary for the generation of the documentation. There are many XML tags that are available for documentation. Some of them are, <c>, <code>, <example>, <para>, <param>, <remarks>, <returns>, <seealso>, and <summary>.

For using these tags within your code you have to place them in the comments tag. You should know the comments for documentation are placed within the #147;/**" and "*/". You can also use the triple slash "///" for this purpose. The XML tags mentioned above are placed within these proper delimiters.

The <c> tag is used to place some text that are used in the codes. For example, if you have a method called AddMethod and you want to place this within your documentation, you can use as <c>AddMethod</c>.

Sometimes you may be willing to place some code within your documentation in that case you can use the <code> tag. Examples that are given in the documentation can be placed within the <example> tags. A typical example might have the <code> tag nested within the <example> tag.

You can have the comments of your code or system within the <summary> tag. An example of this would be,

/**
<summary>
This program is used to find the page rank of the URL that is given in text box.
<para>
We are using the Google API to determine the page rank of the given url.
</para>
</summary>
*/

The <para> tag can be used within the summary tag is you want to break the comments in the summary tag as paragraphs. For giving any additional information you can use the <remarks> tag. Tags like <returns> are used before the methods for identifying the return type of the methods.

The <param> tags are used to identify the parameters used in the methods. A tag called the <seealso> is used to redirect the user to some other definitions or part of the documentation. This is used as cross reference. For more details on the tags you can refer to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/csref/html/vclrftagsfordocumentationcomments.asp

Once you have used the proper XML tags within your code then during the compilation of the application you can generate an XML file that contains the XML tags written in your code. The compiled assembly (.dll file) and the XML file thus generated are necessary to generate the system documentation properly using the NDoc tool. For example if your source file is UsingNDoc.cs, then you can compile in the command line using the command like:

csc /debug /t:library /out:bin/UsingNDoc.dll UsingNDoc.cs /doc:UsingNDoc.xml

The above command generates the UsingNDoc.dll for the source file UsingNDoc.cs. The xml tags are put in the file UsingNDoc.xml in the root directory of the application. The files UsingNDoc.dll and UsingNDoc.xml are used as inputs to the NDoc utility to generate the system documentation.

Once you start the NDoc tool it will ask for the assembly file and the xml file for generating the system documentation. Give these inputs by browsing to the location of the files. With the NDoc utility you can create documentation of the types MSDN, XML, LaTeX, Linear HTML, and JavaDoc.

You can select your option for generating using the "Select and Configure Documenter" section of the tool. Some other properties are also set in this section. You can set the OutputDirectory to which the output has to be given.

You can also set the OutputTarget which can be HTMLHelp, or Web or both. With the HtmlHelp a .chm file is generated. The supporting html files are also generated. With the Web choice it generates the html files needed and the index.html file which serves as the starting point.

Stay current with the latest technology developments related to XML and other related technologies? Visit Understanding XML Access Control Markup Language - XACML to get your FREE subscription now!

Easy way to add RSS XML feed to your site

Let's not talk about the history and definition here but start on the process of adding a RSsS XML feed to our site. If you want history etc. Just do a google search for adding rss to your site and all you will find is the history. How relevant...

Let's begin...
Open a text editor like notepad. You can use notepad found in windows. Although I use the SSS12 html editor which can be found at http://www.web site-design-software-india.com and provides me more functionality than notepad.

You will need three parameters to be mentioned which are:
TITLE,
DESCRIPTION,
LINK.

Title will contain a small one line heading about the subject like:
<title> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing </title>
Description holds the description like:

<description> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing is a study of internet based marketing and is open for all to read .</description>

Link contains the URL of the resulting page where all the information is available like:
<link> http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com </link>

So now we have :
<title> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing </title>
<description> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing is a study of internet based marketing and is open for all to read .</description>
<link> http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com </link>

The whole thing is called an ITEM and must be enclosed within <item> </item> resulting in :
<item>
<title> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing </title>
<description> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing is a study of internet based marketing and is open for all to read .</description>
<link> http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com </link>
</item>

You can have a maximum of 15 items in one XML Feed. In addition to the above you must also specify the XML version you have used in the feed which will be the following code:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<channel>

</channel>

The above ITEM and other ITEMS will go between the <channel> and </channel> tags. Finally we have the following in our notepad file :


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
<item>
<title> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing </title>
<description> V7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing is a study of internet based marketing and is open for all to read .</description>
<link> http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com </link>
</item>

<item>
<title> Blog v7ndotcom elursrebmem </title>
<description> Latest v7ndotcom articles are posted on the weblog </description>
<link> http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com/v7ndotcom-elursrebmem/ </link>
</item>

<item>
<title> Third title</title>
<description> Third description</description>
<link> related URL </link>
</item>

</channel>

If you think that the tags above are not displaying properly then try the html version at http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com/rss.php .

Save this file as a .XML file and upload to your server. Now simply link to this file from any page where you want to make the RSS available. Most people use an Orange XML image to do this while some also use a blue image while many use a simple text link including me. There are no specifications on this. The file name can also be anything until it is a XML file meaning .XML extension. The orange image although is the most popular form of linking to your xml feed.

Congratulations ! there you have a ready to go RSS XML feed for your site. When you publish a rss feed, consider validating it at http://feedvalidator.org/

Don't forget to bookmark the weblog athttp://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com/v7ndotcom-elursrebmem/ for latest information similar to this and v7ndotcom elursrebmem marketing.

A reprint version of this article available at :http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com/rss.php .

Sumit maintains a large collection of useful articles at http://www.v7ndotcomelursrebmemweb.com and at http://www.ad4business.com

How To Display An XML Feed On Your Website

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has taken off in a big way. Just as satellite television beams more channels into your home than you can watch, RSS allows to you display an endless amount of other peoples content. Whilst RSS XML feeds are plenty, there's not as much in the way of clear, simple instruction when it comes to making use of those feeds.

If you're one of the webmasters who uses a content management system that makes using RSS XML feeds as simple as specifying a feed URL then you're fortunate in that respect. For others, the options available tend to be offered by developers of the software and the usage instructions provided can often be riddled with technical jargon. Many cry, "Use my feed", but fewer tell you how.

One of the best and easiest ways I've found to show the content from an RSS XML feed on one of my web sites is to use a ready made PHP parser. Now, don't worry about what that means, just think of it as somthing that someone has already created; a blackbox that makes it easy for you to use content from RSS feeds and display it on your web site.

For this guide, I've used MagpieRSS because it's compact, works well and is distributed under the GPL, which basically means it's free for you to use. Now, MagpieRSS is written in PHP so you'll need a compatible hosting account that allows you to execute PHP scripts.

For the purposes of this guide, I'm assuming you've some level of basic knowledge about web sites e.g. you know how to FTP, change file permissions etc. Covering the basics of running a web site is beyond the scope of this article.

Instead, let's cover what are probably the most difficult steps; displaying the content from an RSS feed on your web site.

1. Download the latest stable release of MagpieRSS. 2. Extract the contents of the ZIP file onto your computer. 3. The core files you need from the ZIP package are rss_cache.inc, rss_fetch.inc, rss_parse.inc, rss_utils.inc. You'll also need the extlib folder together with the Snoopy.class.inc file inside of it. 4. Create a new file to display your RSS feed. I've called mine, index.php. Inside this file, copy and paste the contents of the file referred to below and save it. 5. Upload all of the files and the folder mentioned in steps 3 and 4 to your hosting account. Put them into the desired location, but ensure that the Snoopy.class.inc file is still within the extlib folder. 6. Then visit the file you created in step 4 using your web browser.

That's the basics of it. Once you've got this far, customising the way you present the content of the feed is relatively easy. Just refer back to the MagpieRSS web site for guidance on how to do this.

William Lee is the Internet Marketing Fool. The MagpieRSS web site is http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/. The code to copy in step 4 can be found at http://snipurl.com/example_code.

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