When you quantify how much leverage has been given to vendor politics over common sense, XHTML is the epitome of where the marriage of validity and well-formedness did much more harm than good. To this day, I do not understand why even well-informed people believe there is no value in XML without validation. For me, the sad story that is (or was?) XHTML says it all, even much more loudly than evidence of the same dowry being paid by the next generation of XML standards and WS-*
Subtitle: Learn how real-world developers and users gain value from a classic Web 2.0 site
Synopsis: In this article, you'll learn how to work with del.icio.us, one of the classic Web 2.0 sites, using Web XML feeds and JSON, in Python and ECMAScript. When you think of Web 2.0 technology, you might think of the latest Ajax tricks, but that is just a small part of the picture. More fundamental concerns are open data, simple APIs, and features that encourage users to form social networks. These are also what make Web 2.0 a compelling problem for Web architects. This column will look more than skin deep at important real-world Web 2.0 sites and demonstrate how Web architects can incorporate the best from the Web into their own Web sites.
This is the first installment of a new column, Real Web 2.0. Of course "Web 2.0" is a hype term, and as has been argued to sheer tedium, it doesn't offer anything but the most incremental advances, but in keeping with my tendency of mildness towards buzzwords I think that anything that helps focus Web developers on collaborative features of Web sites is a good thing. And that's what this column is about. It's not about the Miss AJAX pageant, but rather about open data for users and developers. From the article:
The substance of an effective Web 2.0 site, and the points of interest for Web architects (as opposed to, say, Web designers), lie in how readily real developers and users can take advantage of open data features. From widgets that users can use to customize their bits of territory on a social site to mashups that developers can use to create offspring from Web 2.0 parents, there are ways to understand what leads to success for such sites, and how you can emulate such success in your own work. This column, Real Web 2.0, will cut through the hype to focus on the most valuable features of actual sites from the perspective of the Web architect. In this first installment, I'll begin with one of the ancestors of the genre, del.icio.us.
And I still don't want that that monkey-ass Web 1.0. Anyway, as usual, there's lots of code here. Python, Amara, ECMAScript, JSON, and more. That will be the recipe (mixing up the ingredients a bit each time) as I journey along the poster child sites for open data.
Subtitle: Learn about the Python standard for building Web applications with maximum flexibility
Synopsis: Learn to create and reuse components in your Web server using Python. The Python community created the Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI), a standard for creating Python Web components that work across servers and frameworks. It provides a way to develop Web applications that take advantage of the many strengths of different Web tools. This article introduces WSGI and shows how to develop components that contribute to well-designed Web applications.
Despite the ripples in the Python community over Guido's endorsement of Django (more on this in a later posting), I'm not the least bit interested in any one Python Web framework any more. WSGI has set me free. WSGI is brilliant. It's certainly flawed, largely because of legacy requirements, but the fact that it's so good despite those flaws is amazing.
I wrote this article because I think too many introductions to WSGI, and especially middleware, are either too simple or too complicated. In line with my usual article writing philosophy of what could I have read when I started out to make me understand this topic more clearly, I've tried to provide sharp illustration of the WSGI model, and a few clear and practical examples. The articles I read that were too simple glossed over nuances that I think should really be grasped from the beginning (and are not that intimidating). In the too-complicated corner is primarily PEP 333 itself, which is fairly well written, but too rigorous for an intro. In addition, I think the example of WSGI middleware in the PEP is very poor. I'm quite proud of the example I crafted for this article, and I hope it helps encourage more people to create middleware.
I do want to put in a good word for Ian Bicking and Paste. He has put in tireless effort to evangelize WSGI (it was his patient discussion that won me over to WSGI). In his Paste toolkit, he's turned WSGI's theoretical strengths into readily-available code. On the first project I undertook using a Paste-based framework (Pylons), I was amazed at my productivity, even considering that I'm used to productive programming in Python. The experience certainly left me wondering why, BDFL or no BDFL, I would choose a huge mega-framework over a loosely-coupled system of rich components.
Subtitle: Build on SVG basics to create attractive, dynamic effects in your Web projects
Synopsis: Learn how to use dynamic features of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to provide useful and attractive effects in your Web applications. SVG 1.1, an XML language for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, provides a practical and flexible graphics format in XML. Many SVG features provide for dynamic effects, including features for integration into a Web browser. Build on basic SVG techniques introduced in a previous tutorial.
Lead-in: SVG is a technology positioned for many uses in the Web space. You can use it to present simple graphics (as with JPEG) or complex applications (as with Macromedia Flash). An earlier tutorial from June 2006 introduced the basic features of the format. This tutorial continues to focus on SVG for Web development, as it demonstrates dynamic effects that open up new means of enhancing Web pages. The lessons are built around examples that you can view and experiment with in your favorite browser.
Developed by the W3C, SVG has the remarkable ambition of providing a practical and flexible graphics format in XML, despite the notorious verbosity of XML. It can be developed, processed, and deployed in many different environments -- from mobile systems such as phones and PDAs to print environments. SVG's feature set includes nested transformations, clipping paths, alpha masks, raster filter effects, template objects, and, of course, extensibility. SVG also supports animation, zooming and panning views, a wide variety of graphic primitives, grouping, scripting, hyperlinks, structured metadata, CSS, a specialized DOM superset, and easy embedding in other XML documents. Many of these features allow for dynamic effects in images. Overall, SVG is one of the most widely and warmly embraced XML applications.
Dynamic SVG is a hot topic, and several tutorials and articles are available that include fairly complicated examples of dynamic SVG techniques. This tutorial is different because it focuses on a breadth of very simple examples. You will be able to put together the many techniques you learn in this tutorial to create effects of whatever sophistication you like, but each example in this tutorial is simple, clear, and reasonably self-contained. The tutorial rarely deals with any SVG objects more complex than the circle shape, and it keeps embellishments in scripting and XML to a minimum. The combination of simple, step-by-step development and a focus on real-world browser environment makes this tutorial unique.
Pay attention to that last paragraph. There are many SVG script/animation tutorials out there, including several by IBM developerWorks, but I found most of them don't really suit my learning style, and i set out to write a tutorial that would have been ideal for me when I was first learning dynamic SVG techniques. The tutorial covers CSS animation, other scripting techniques and SMIL declarative animations. It builds on the earlier tutorial “Create vector graphics in the browser with SVG”.
- Copia announcement of the first SVG tutorial
- Copia announcement of “XML in Firefox 1.5, Part 2: Basic XML processing”
Subtitle: Spice up your Web site with a variety of free resources from fellow designers
Synopsis: Web developers can find many free resources, although some are freer than others. If you design a Web site or Web application, whether static or with all the dynamic Ajax goodness you can conjure up, you might find resources to lighten your load and spice up your content. From free icons to Web layouts and templates to on-line Web page tools, this article demonstrates that a Web architect can also get help these days at little or no cost.
This was a particularly fun article to write. I'm no Web designer (as you can tell by looking at any of my Web sites), but as an architect specializing in Web-fronted systems I often have to throw a Web template together, and I've slowly put together a set of handy resources for free Web raw materials. I discuss most of those in this article. On Copia Chimezie recently mentioned OpenClipart.org, which I've been using for a while, and is mentioned in the article. I was surprised it was news to as savvy a reader as Sam Ruby. That makes me think many other references in the article will be useful.
Subtitle: Add two-dimensional vector graphics to your Web pages with the flexible, XML graphics format of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1.
Synopsis: Learn step-by-step how to incorporate Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) into Web pages using real browser examples. SVG 1.1, an XML language for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, provides a practical and flexible graphics format in XML, despite the language's verbosity. Several browsers recently completed or announced built-in SVG support.
I was early to SVG, exploring it in this 2001 article, but in recent years I haven't had as much time as I'd have liked to work with this fun technology. I was able to put it to use in projects last year, and I think it's good timing, considering recent inroads SVG has been making in browser and mobile spaces. I've been lucky to have much fewer problems than Eric has. Most of what I've tried just works, and does so in Firefox, Opera 9 and MSIE/Adobe SVG Viewer.
Learn XSLT techniques for processing Atom documents. In this tutorial, author Uche Ogbuji shows how with real-world use cases. (free registration required)
Atom 1.0 is [the] Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard for Web feeds -- information updates on Web site contents. Since Atom is an XML format, XSLT is a powerful tool for processing it. In this tutorial, Uche Ogbuji looks at XSLT techniques for processing Atom documents, addressing real-life use cases.
This tutorial shows you how to:
- Navigate the basic structure of Atom 1.0 documents using XPath expressions
- Use these expressions to drive XSLT transformations of Atom source files
- Deal with the complications of text and markup embedded in Atom files You will also learn how to use XSLT templates to generate valid Atom files, and how to check the validity of the results.
A companion piece to my recent XML.com article "Handling Atom Text and Content Constructs", this is a task-driven tutorial, taking a more deliberate pace and focusing on XSLT.
developerWorks has had a lot to say about Atom lately, courtesy James Snell (who is also writing a lot of useful Atom extension drafts).
- "An overview of the Atom 1.0 Syndication Format"
- "Atom 1.0 extensions, Part 1: Feed history, ordering entries, and expiration timestamps"
- "Atom 1.0 Extensions, Part 2: Copyright licenses, automated processing of links, and syndicating threads"
I guess how do you celebrate Atom's promotion to RFC 4287? Why by cooking up even more reading material.
Start working with Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. In this tutorial, author Uche Ogbuji shows you how to use XHTML in practical Web sites.
Get started working with Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. XHTML is a language based on HTML, but expressed in well-formed XML. But XHTML is much more than just regularizing tags and characters -- XHTML can alter the way you approach Web design. This tutorial gives step-by-step instruction for developers familiar with HTML who want to learn how to use XHTML in practical Web sites.
In this tutorial
- Tutorial introduction
- Anatomy of an XHTML Web page
- Understand the ground rules
- Replace common HTML idioms
- Some practical considerations
- Wrap up