Sunday, January 20, 2008

XML Master or XML Certification?!

Over 2 weeks self-study for the XML Master (basic) certification. The basic syllabus contents were reviewed.

When I trying to search a test kit, I found some comments about this XML Master certification and comparison with IBM 142 XML and related technology examination in an XML certification discussion forum.

And, I have these considerations for me to take the IBM one.
1. from a laymen point of view, IBM is more famous than XML Technology Certification Committee
2. I need to only take one exam to get the IBM XML certification, but 2 in XML Master certification, seems time and cost effective
3. there has more exam kit about IBM XML cert 142 exam can be search from internet

Although, the syllabus of IBM XML certification covered more than XML Master (basic) + XML Master (prof) certs. This implied that the exam can be assumed be more difficult to pass?! And, I need longer time to prepare.

I'm changing my mind to take the IBM XML and Related technology exam 142 now. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

XML Master cert study notes on the morning of 16 Jan 08

New founding on this morning. I found the reading of Tech Yourself XML in 21 Days 3rd Edition for the XML Master (basic) Certification examination should already ended. As, I can't found any contents about XPath in the Day 14 chapter. So, the Day 14 chapter will be ignore for the exam too.

Next,I should going to clarify the areas that still mess for me tonight. ^^

XML Master cert study notes on the morning of 15 Jan 08

Day 14 should be the last chapter that in syllabus for the exam. And, this chapter seems not necessary to be read completely.

According to the syllabus from XML Master certification official site, it is only the part about XLink is required in the XML Master Basic certification exam. As exam oriented, I'll going to skip other contents in this chapter.

After finished this chapter, I'm planning to clarify several area understanding. e.g.,

1. Using Axes
- definition of ancestor
- definition of descendant
- following and following-sibling
- preceding and preceding-sibling

2. the ID define and uses in an XML Schema with XSL Transform

And, thinking ...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

XML Master cert study notes on 13 Jan 08

Started the Day 9 contents this morning, and read once the chapter contents before fall into sleep...

To be truly understanding the contents in this chapter, you may need to have an XML transforming program for helping you to practice the XSL Transform element usage. e.g.,


The chapter recommended an open source tool called, saxon [URL]. It is easy to uses, but I prefer to uses the Xalan from Apache XML [URL]. It because the Xalan is high frequency used XML transforming library for me.

I prepared a sample that with an XML file with internal DTD and a XSL file to test the ID selection in template. It seems work fine as expected.

However, the ID selection became work abnormal after I changed to uses external Schema with XML file.

Other the other hands, I seems missing out part of meaning of ancestor, descendant, following, preceding ... etc. when I reading the part about using axes. Specially about the different between following and following -sibling; and preceding and preceding-sibling. Need to clarify it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

XML Master Cert study notes at night on 12 Jan 08

Before starting the Day 9 contents study. I read this web tutorial [URL] from W3Schools.

The web contents give me the very basic understanding the usage of XSLT.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="" >.

<?xml versino="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xsl-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="yourstylesheet.xsl"?>

And then, I check the XML Master Basic Examination Guide from the XML Master official site again. I would suggest to skip the Day 10 contents, if you are exam oriented. And, my scope and reference mapping excel was updated too. [reference URL]

For the moment, I have different questions inside my head now @_@! e.g.,
- what's the different between <xsl:stylesheet ... /> and <xsl:transform ... />
- which element is the frequency used xsl element
- seems I can't clearly depicts the transformation processing.

Anyway, let's leave it on tomorrow! Good night!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

XML Master cert study notes on 12 Jan 08

Reviewed my studying on the last 3 days; and finished the Day 8 contents.

In the Day 8 contents, I had a feeling that it's completely a CSS tutorial. But, I still read it all. And, I got truly understanding the CSS syntax.

CSS is not some kind of XML syntax, and come with it's special kind of syntax to define it style class and style selector id that define inside a '{' and '}' with separator ':' and ';'.

I don't know how much will be including in exam. With refer to the XML Master cert scope, it should be out of syllabus. Anyway, it is not a bad idea to learn more and clear of anything in our life. ^_^

If you just want to focus on the XML Master (Basic) exam syllabus. I would suggest you to skip this Day 8 and jump to Day 9.

With the same concept of focus on the XML Master (Basic) exam syllabus, I'll only read Day 9, Day 10 and Day 14 in the coming days.

p.s.: if you are interested to download my XML Master (Basic) exam scope and reference mapping in excel file format, please feel free to visit the study group that i created for people whom are willing to take the XML Master exam. [URL]

XML Master cert study notes during 9 - 11 Jan 08

Finished Day 7 studying and the Part I is completed.

Day 7 contents included more details on the XML Schema syntax.

It is including,

- using different facets with the restrictions
- define anonymous type
- create comments with <xsd:annotation .../>, <xsd:documentation .../> and <xsd:appInfo ... />
- declaring empty element and mixed-content elements
- declaring element group, attribute group and all group
- declaring choices that with the same usage as the element define in DTD <!ELEMENT document (chinesename | englishname) >
- using namespaces in schemas

As the end of this chapter reminded, contents in Day 7 only part of the complete XML Schema and more about the XML Schema inherits is not included. This caused me to thinking about what is the exactly scope of the XML Master (Basic) schema. And, I check the scope from XML Master official web site to prepare this excel.

XML Master (Basic) Cert scope and reference information mapping

In this chapter, I feel better understand the using namespaces in schemas. Specially clarified the meaning and different between qualified / unqalified local element and attributes. e.g.,

Case I:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<xsd:schema xmlns:xsd="" targetNamesapce="http://chanapps"
attributeFormDefault="qualified" elementFormDefault="qualified">

Case II:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<xsd:schema targetNamespace="http://chanapps" xmlns:xsd=""
attributeFormDefault="unqulified" elementFormDefault="unqualified">

Case III:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<xsd:schema targetNamespace="http://chanapps" xmlns:xsd=""
attributeFormDefault="unqualified" elementFormDefault="qualified">

Case IV:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<xsd:schema targetNamespace="http://chanapps" xmlns:xsd=""
attributeFormDefault="qualified" elementFormDefault="unqualified">

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

XML Master exam study notes on 8 Jan 08

Finished Day 6 contents.

This chapter depicts the basic of XML Schema (.xsd file).

To define an XML Schema, we need to have the basic declaration as this,

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsd:schema xmlns:xsd="">

The contents of <xsd:schema/> is the actual xml document definition.

The most basically, we can

- using <xsd:element name="document" ... /> to define an element.
- using <xsd:attribute name="publishing" ... /> to define an attribute.

Every element can be further define as a complex type, simple type like this.

Define element with simple type:
<xsd:element name="name" type="xsd:string" />

Define element with customised complex type:
<xsd:element name="document" type="documentType />
<xsd:complexType name="documentType">
<xsd:element name="title" type="xsd:string" />
<xsd:element name="author" type="xsd:string" />
<xsd:element name="publishing" type="xsd:date" />

Monday, January 07, 2008

XML Master exam study notes on 7 Jan 08

This is the declaration of an xml document

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

An optional attribute "standalone" can be uses to identify whether an xml document need to reference an external reference.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>

DTD standard for Document Type Definition, it is a kind of define to verify whether an xml document is a valid xml document.

We can use a <!DOCTYPE> element to create DTD, like this

<!DOCTYPE demo [
<!ELEMENT demo (date, location)>
<!ELEMENT location (#PCDATA)>
<!ENTITY kt "Kown Tong">
<!ENTITY klncity "Kowloon City">

Inside the Day 5 study, it seems not much related to the namespace handling in DTD. And, the NTATION, NTOKEN, MNTOKEN ... etc. need to have more explainations.

Friday, January 04, 2008

XML Master exam study notes on 4 Jan 08

4 Jan 2008

For the moment, I read the Day 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Tech Yourself XML in 21 Days 3rd Edition.

It is not difficult for a developer to understanding, but only about the handling Namespace in DTDs.

I'll start the Day 5 studying tonight. It is about handling attributes and entities.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

XML Master Certification group created

Since, the extremely busy work... I'm being forced to hold my studying path over 3 months.

At the end of 2007, I resumed my study again in my 9 days vacation. ^^

I think there should a lots of people whom like as me, but want to share our own study materials with someone need it. Therefore i created a group in Google group for everyone whom are interesting to take the XML Master Certification examination, can share their experience and study information together.

Google Groups
Subscribe to XML Master Certification
Visit this group

XML Master Cert Group

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XML Master Certification
Visit this group