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Preface About the book

Designed for librarians and library staff, this workshop introduces participants to the extensible markup language (XML) through numerous library examples, demonstrations, and structured hands-on exer- cises. Through this process you will be able to evaluate the uses of XML for making your library's data and information more accessible to people as well as computers. Examples include adding value to elec- tronic texts, creating archival finding aids, and implementing standards compliant Web pages. By the end of the manual you will have acquired a thorough introduction to XML and be able to: 1) list seven rules governing the syntax of XML documents, 2) create your very own XML markup language, 3) write XML documents using a plain text editor and validate them using a Web browser, 4) apply page layout and typographical techniques to XML documents using cascading style sheets, 5) create simple XML documents using a number of standard XML vocabularies important to libraries such as XHTML, TEI, and EAD, and finally, 6) articulate why XML is important for libraries.

Hilights of the manual include:

  • Demonstrations of the use of XML in libraries to create, store, and disseminate electronic texts,

archival finding aids, and Web pages

  • Teaching seven simple rules for creating valid XML documents

  • Practicing with the combined use of cascading style sheets and XML documents to display data and

information in a Web browser

  • Practicing with the use of XHTML and learning how it can make your website more accessible to all types of people as well as Internet robots and spiders

  • Demonstrating how Web pages can be programmatically created using XSLT allowing libraries to transform XML documents into other types of documents

  • Enhancing electronic texts with the use of the TEI markup allowing libraries to add value to digit- ized documents

  • Writing archival finding aids using EAD thus enabling libraries to unambiguously share special col- lection information with people and other institutions

  • Using LAMP-esque open source software (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl) to manipulate and provide

access to XML content .

The manual is divided into the following chapters/sections:

  • 1.

    What is XML and why should I care?

  • 2.

    A gentle introduction to XML markup

  • 3.

    Creating your own markup

  • 4.

    Rendering XML with cascading stylesheets

  • 5.

    Transforming XML with XSL

  • 6.

    Validating XML with DTDs

vii

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