LIBR 246-01
LIBR 246-10
Information Technology Tools and Applications - Advanced Topic: XML
Fall 2010 Greensheet

Ron Gilmour

Office Hours: By Appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

I will be using ANGEL for this course. The course site will be available by August 16, 2010.

Course Description

This course will examine Extensible Markup Language (XML). We will look at the structuring of XML documents and the control of this structuring through DTDs and XML Schemas. We will also explore methods of displaying and querying XML data, including XPath, XSLT, XQuery, and the XML DOM. Examples will focus on the use of XML within information organizations.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202
A basic familiarity with HTML is strongly recommended for this course, as is a general competency with basic computing.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the components of an XML document and be able to determine if such a document is well-formed and/or valid.
  • Describe the architecture of an XML document using Document Type Definitions (DTDs), W3C XML Schemas, and RelaxNG schemas.
  • Be able to isolate and extract information from an XML document by using tools such as XPath, XSLT, and XQuery.
  • Use XSLT to transform XML into other formats.
  • Manipulate XML data through the Document Object Model (DOM) using JavaScript.

LIBR 246-XML supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems
  • Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities.

Course Requirements

Course Structure
The course is divided into 10 units. A unit may last one, two, or three weeks. The materials for each unit are assembled in a folder under Lessons in Angel. A typical unit folder will contain some or all of:

  • Ron’s Notes – general notes on that week’s topic to supplement the readings
  • Screencast Videos – I sometimes make these to provide instruction in using software or to elucidate difficult points
  • Discussion Boards – post your questions on the material here
  • Quizzes and/or Assignments
  • Files Needed for Quizzes or Assignments
  • Language Folder – each unit (except the first) will feature an XML-based language for your edification. You do not need to learn these languages: they are provided to demonstrate how XML is being used in libraries and other information organizations.
  • Supplementary Readings

To keep things simple, the assignment for a unit will be due (or, in the case of a quiz, will be given) on Friday, usually the Friday at the end of a unit.


Course Calendar
Subject to change with fair notice

Dates Topic Reading Assignment Value Date of Quiz or
Due Date of Assignment
8/25-8/27 Introduction to XML Chap. 1 Quiz 25 pts


8/30-9/3 Well-formedness Chap. 2 Assignment: Writing XML 50 pts. 9/3
9/7-9/10 XML Namespaces Chap. 3 Quiz 50 pts 9/10
(2 weeks)
Document Type Definitions Chap. 4 2 assignments 100 pts (50 each) 9/24 (both)
(2 weeks)
W3C XML Schemas Chap. 5 2 assignments 125 pts total 10/1 and 10/8
10/11-10/15 RelaxNG Chap. 6 Assignment 50 pts 10/15
10/18-10/22 XPath Chap. 7 Quiz 25 pts 10/22
(3 weeks)
XSLT Chap. 8 2 assignments 125 pts total 10/29 and 11/12
11/15-11/19 XQuery Chap. 9 Quiz 100 pts 11/19

11/22-12/3 (2 weeks)

XML DOM Chap. 11 Quiz Assignment 100 pts total 11/24 (quiz), 12/3 (assignment)
        750 grand total  

Textbooks and Readings

Required Software:

  • The Oxygen XML editor ( If you would like to use another XML editor, contact the instructor. This is $64 and is available as a direct download.

Required Textbook:

  • Hunter, D., Rafter, J., Fawcett, J., van der Vlist, E. Ayers, D., Duckett, J., & et al. (2007). Beginning XML, 4th Edition. Wrox. Available through Amazon: 0470114878. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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