Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 4

Homework this work was rather tricky – transforming XMLSchema into a tree grammar representation using XQuery. Sounds simple enough, but I now feel a certain revulsion, maybe even extending as far as hatred, towards XQuery. To be honest, I think it’s got a lot to do with the fact that XQuery is a functional language, and I’m new to the whole functional thing. It feels a little like programming by explosion… Towards the deadline, I think I was starting to get the hang of it. You just have to think a little… differently. Unfortunately, it took too long for me to figure this out and get the homework assignment done, so we had to hand in a partially complete assignment. Not liking that much.

On the menu today: More tree grammar stuff, including algorithms to validate an instance document against a grammar, Schematron (a rule-based document validation language)  and XSugar – all of which have more homework assignments set. No time for more blogging, too much work to do!

Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 2

So, after little snow towards the end of the week, it pelted down on Sunday night, leaving the pavements and roads like an ice rink at 6am – I only narrowly avoided sliding down the hill to the tram stop on my backside. It’s at times like this I’m very glad of my thermos mug of tea!

Scheduling around last week’s coursework didn’t go perfectly – we ended up working til late on the Sunday night to finish off the last bits. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet up with my groupmate last week as it was quite late in the day before we actually sorted out the group assignments. It would have been handy to meet up and get a plan of attack together for the week’s coursework, and we were – perhaps – a little uncoordinated. That said, we just about made it, and everything got in on time. 08:55, for a 9am deadline kind of on-time, that is. Continue reading “Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 2″

Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 1

I was greeted by a blanket of picture-postcard pristine white snow when I stepped outside this morning. No footprints, no slush, not another person in sight… fantastic. That’s what you get for being up and out at ten to six in the morning though.

It’s the first day of Semi-Structured Data and the Web, (effectively) my first MSc module. Having learnt from my last experience, I emailed the course directors a couple of months ago with their list of recommended pre-requisite knowledge and my description of my experiences in those areas, asking for advice as to whether I was suitable for the course, and what additional preparation I could take.

As much as I’d like to make a self-deprecating quip here, I have to say that one of the two lecturers for the course responded inside of an hour, with a pretty comprehensive point-by-point rundown of my questions, recommending areas of study to concentrate on. Top marks, and I’ve had chance to learn enough to know what the words mean, at least. Continue reading “Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 1″