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Re: XML Career

 
 
Christopher Browne
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      07-24-2003
The world rejoiced as beerdrinker <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> What other skills in your opintion should I be looking into to
>> compliment the XML direction?

>
> Hindu seems to be essential now adays.


Hindi might be even more essential, as that's a language, as opposed
to a religion...
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ideas die in our stead."
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Tristan Gutsche
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      07-24-2003


I think perhaps I should clarify a little |-} Hindi is interesting
though Iím currently working on Italian.

I have a background in networking working with Linux and Cisco systems.
I have spent the last 1.5yrs training in interface design to expand my
horizons and it does interest me. Iím currently training in Multimedia
design which generally comprises a mixture of JavaScript, Flash, XML,
and some Cold fusion is involved which I already had experience in.

I am working on a personal project at home which is just an intranet DB
system to keep a track of my Web clients.

What I enjoyed about XML is the possibilities that I see for deeply
integrating the Graphic Concepts with the information within a system.

Going though some basic Design theory on text, having text presented as
just basic typed format it generally considered dull and harder for
people to learn from then if it is presented as an image stylized due to
various ways we learn and observe. The problem with this is that to a
computer if you present a graphic that has the topic "Mr. ed is a horse
of course" it doesnít know what the text in the graphic is. With XML
this can be overcome with the customized elements etc. fairly obvious I
guess. Now this is what interests me I can present an animated feature
in such a way that I can integrate it into a Knowledge base. So that you
can Search on the topic and get the results of even Frames 3070-45600=
"Mr. Ed is a horse".


So if you can see where I am going with this and why I see XML as an
important direction I wish to go.

Now back to my original questions is parallel to learning XML what
programming languages or scripting languages are recommended to
compliment i.e.:

Java
C++
C#
JS
VB
VbS
Etc etc

Any guides or opinions that people have on the direction that industry
might be taking would be of immense help.

Regards
Tristan


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beerdrinker
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      07-26-2003
Tristan Gutsche wrote:
>
> I think perhaps I should clarify a little |-} Hindi is interesting
> though Iím currently working on Italian.


Unfortunately for me the only Indian language I know is Ojibwe.

>
> I have a background in networking working with Linux and Cisco systems.
> I have spent the last 1.5yrs training in interface design to expand my
> horizons and it does interest me. Iím currently training in Multimedia
> design which generally comprises a mixture of JavaScript, Flash, XML,
> and some Cold fusion is involved which I already had experience in.
>
> I am working on a personal project at home which is just an intranet DB
> system to keep a track of my Web clients.


Ok, I see now, you wish to learn techniques to integrate an application
with XML. Although the granularity you are proposing seems a little too
fine to me, the best way to learn that is to try it and see. It sounds
like this is web accessible so you have to partition the work into three
layers, the client, application server, and the server. Conventional
wisdom is that clients are good at rendering, the application server
layer is good good for remembering transient information and the server
is good for providing what to render. The reason you aren't getting many
ng responses to this query is that people can't provide a good answer
until they know how this work will be partitioned, and what is being
used in the three layers.

Right now there are two major camps on this. MS and everybody else. The
risk with going with MS is that their technology often undergoes
gratuitous change, and as they continue to kill off competition their
prices will continue to increase. Although their Win32 APIs have not
been ridiculously volatile, their application server, and client layer
has. The security issues with their framework although well known will
probably get better over time, even though they are still foolishly
attempting to practice security through obscurity. In case you can't
tell, I wouldn't trust my career to the folks in Redmond unless you are
writing device drivers.

The risk with going with everybody else is that if/when MS succeeds in
killing them off, your applications will not perform as well as if you
had bought into the entire MS platform. They may also seem clunky to an
end user. The technology is volatile here also, but you do a bit more
control as to when to respond to the volatility. (For example if you
don't want to use XSD until after you learn it, your DTD based
applications will still keep working just like they always have until
you are ready to move). With MS, they could just stop working, forcing
you to do a re-implementation during the next OS upgrade. So you have a
little more control over the technical fate of your system by going with
everybody else. I figure it is safest route because you can always move
to MS when you are forced to. Due to the volatility of their application
server and client layers you will never fall very behind someone who is
working with it all the time, since they have to get back up to speed
after every major OS/Tools release anyway.

Personally I use Apache + Tomcat for my experimental work. This works
for me because over the last 20 years I have done a lot of work in
Smalltalk, C++, CLOS, Lisp/Scheme, and a bit of work with Eiffel. So
using Java, and jsp is not a very big jump for me, and as an OO bigot,
it is relatively natural for me. If you mostly do scripting, you might
consider either Apache + mod_perl or PHP. I have played with these
things, but I cannot offer a road map for what type of elements to


>
>
> Now back to my original questions is parallel to learning XML what
> programming languages or scripting languages are recommended to
> compliment i.e.:
>
> Java
> C++
> C#
> JS
> VB
> VbS
> Etc etc
>
> Any guides or opinions that people have on the direction that industry
> might be taking would be of immense help.


Well one of the nice things about using XML based technologies is that
you can leverage it by using what you already know. So your task is
reduced to choosing a parser in the language of your choice to
read/write the XML files.

For my skill development I use the following.
1. Java. (It is close enough to C# so that it is transferable).
2. Parser, Xerces
3. XSLT Xalan

The XSLT programmers reference by Michael Kay is a good source of ideas
for further exploration. The Wrox cast of thousands XML phone book was
actually decent. Most of their phone books are pretty uneven and lack
cohesion, making them not worth the paper they are printed on. But in
their XML book, this actually turned out to be an advantage.

Things I think are good to learn is how to use your language of choice
to feed the rendering engine. Given this things to research include.

1. Using XML as a transport medium about business objects.(This would
involve practicing developing an XSD schema, and mapping it to a storage
schema. I find it usefull to serialize the XML to business objects that
know how to serialize themselves to a relational database). Choose a
language that is close to what you already know for this.

2. If you have a way to get application data from some repository, then
developing an XML Schema that drives the generation of clients is alot
of fun.

3. Practice developing an XSLT that wires into the rendering engine.
(Perhaps you can develop item 2 so that it generates this XSLT).

This is probably not what you wanted, but your query was pretty open
ended but I think that if you are serious about leveraging XML the 3
areas of investigation I have suggested will help you determine for
yourself what you need to learn.

-Beer Drinker

 
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Tristan Gutsche
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      07-27-2003
That was great thankyou.

I guess what it seems to be is a situation of learning a Family of
languages. Choose one from each family and make sure i am farmiliar with
it so that i can apply the principals to other languages within that
family.

I ted to look at XML as the cement between the bricks. The bricks being
the major applications/databases/interfaces etc and XML being a method
to bring them all together as a usefull Team. The main area i am
looking at is Web/Intranets for Businesses. I dont know wether XML is
being applied in these areas just as a trend or as a long term solution.

What you have described has given me some areas to look into so thankyou
for that ill have a look around and see what i find, Thankyou.

Regards
Tristan





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beerdrinker
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      07-27-2003
Tristan Gutsche wrote:
> That was great thankyou.
>
> I ted to look at XML as the cement between the bricks. The bricks being
> the major applications/databases/interfaces etc and XML being a method
> to bring them all together as a usefull Team.


I think that this is the right way to evaluate how to use XML within a
system architecture.

XML lets me take a very flexible view of things, because it can be used
as a glue technology for virtually any architecture.

The main area i am
> looking at is Web/Intranets for Businesses. I dont know wether XML is
> being applied in these areas just as a trend or as a long term solution.


I am working with a company right now that has a product in this area.
To prevent getting sued by some no-name company for the approach being
used, a patent has been applied for, so I can't sketch exactly how it is
being used. (I think the ideal outcome will be the patent being rejected
as not original enough, because that will keep us from getting sued, and
it will mean we never be tempted to sue others who are infringing.) But
it is being used in a lot of ways. There will be more of this in the
industry.

Any software company in the Web/ERP business should be using it where
ever they can to minimize how many B programmers are needed. Any self
respecting software company has an A-Team. An A-Team programmer is an
order of magnitude more productive than a B-Team programmer. The larger
the percentage of code that the A-Team does, the better the bottom line
will be due to quality, lower support costs, and lower R&D costs. XML
allows the A-Team to do a larger percentage of the codebase. A properly
written XML framework also allows the customizers to tweak a system in
powerfull ways. Meaning that activities that the B-Team used to do, can
now be done by the customer/installation team implementing the
ERP/Web/Intranet system. From a societal perspect this is a bad thing,
less jobs, but my client is not society, it is a corporation.

Incidentally this reasoning also shows the folly of a software company
out-sourcing too much of their R&D to less developed nations with a low
standard of living. Companies have been actively seeking A-Team level
programmers by test driving them on H-1Bs or the poetic equivalent for
their locale. The great ones get green cards, (or the green card
equivalent), for the others when the H-1B runs out they get sent home.
So a large percentage of the A-Team players are actually already in
countries with a mature software industry. Not all A-Team programmers
are in first world host countries but a large percentage of them are.


 
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Tristan Gutsche
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      07-27-2003
>XML lets me take a very flexible view of things, because >it can be
used as a glue technology for virtually any >architecture.

Excelent, thats what i wanted to hear. Its good to know im on track.

>I am working with a company right now that has a product >in this area.

To prevent getting sued by some no-name >company for the approach being
used, a patent has been >applied for, so I can't sketch exactly how it
is
>being used.


Ahh thats right i forgot the other skill that IT people need these days
is a LAW degree |-}


>Any software company in the Web/ERP business should be >using it where

ever they can to minimize how many B >programmers are needed. Any self
respecting software >company has an A-Team. An A-Team programmer is an
>order of magnitude more productive than a B-Team >programmer. The

larger the percentage of code that the A->Team does, the better the
bottom line will be due to >quality, lower support costs, and lower R&D
costs. XML
>allows the A-Team to do a larger percentage of the >codebase. A

properly written XML framework also allows the >customizers to tweak a
system in powerfull ways. Meaning >that activities that the B-Team used
to do, can now be >done by the customer/installation team implementing
the >ERP/Web/Intranet system. From a societal perspect this is >a bad
thing, less jobs, but my client is not society, it >is a corporation.

What do you see as the negatives of XML? Where does it begin to Cost
more, has limitations with various technologies etc?


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