HighEdWeb2008 Conference: Infinite Solutions

Session Details

Information Interoperability on the Web - An Introduction to XML and XSLT

WRK3 Workshops Track

Plaster Student Union 315


You've probably heard of Web 2.0. You may have heard of Semantic Web, Microformats, RDF, OWL and, broadly, APIs. Exchanging information, in a machine readable format, is one of the foundations of the modern Web infrastructure. RSS and Atom feeds allow your reader to periodically deliver you new stories from your favorite blogs. Google Maps API allows you to "mashup" your information with information provided by Google. A virtual storefront can be created with data retrieved using the Amazon Associates Web Service. All these examples use XML as a semi-structured information exchange format.

This workshop will provide an introduction to XML, the concept of validity and its relation to XML Schemas, namespaces and the two major manipulation interfaces: SAX and DOM. The workshop will also provide an introduction to XSLT: a Turing-complete language used to transform XML documents into other (possibly not XML) documents.

The workshop will consist of lecture and exercise components. The exercise components will consist of creating new XHTML documents from existing, public web services (such as Google News API). No previous experience with XML is required, but some background in programming (even simple Javascript) is useful for the XSLT portion. Participants should bring their own laptop, if possible, in order to immerse themselves in the exercises.


Jason Woodward
Assistant Director of IT, Administrative Computing, Cornell University

Jason Woodward has been a software engineer since 1996 and building Web applications since 1998. He built the software running the world's first downloadable music subscription service, EMusic.com. He has written Web content management and administrative Web applications for Cornell University and, more recently, has moved into managing a team of software engineers building those applications. His interests lie in the areas of human cooperation, information interoperability and where those topics meet: communication of information and knowledge. Jason holds a BS and M.Eng in Computer Science from Cornell University.