Today I had to turn in my first assignment for my metadata class. This is a brand new class that has not been taught before in our department by a second semester faculty member (he’s got years of experience elsewhere, but he’s new here). I was wary to take it for these reasons, but was excited to finally get a chance to learn about XML.
Unfortunately, XML continues to elude me. I have a book sitting on my desk (Using XML: a how-to-do manual for librarians) which is very clear and precise, but it was of no help for this assignment. For instance, I needed to write a XML document using Dublin Core. I spent a few hours hacking away at it, trying to get it to validate. I used that book, the XML tutorial my professor produced, Googled help, and looked at the tutorial from last semester’s Digital Libraries class. I finally got it to pass successfully but I have zero idea why it’s working or what I did to produce that result.
Right now I’m feeling pretty dispirited about my chances of learning XML successfully. I understand the following points:
- Great for interoperability
- No one (at least librarians) writes in straight up XML. You have software that does it for you
How does this relate to anything else? I have no idea.