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Should I take this workshop?

How it works


Agenda for the in-person workshop

Agenda for the online workshops

Your instructor

Schedule and locations

Attention, corporate managers!

XML for the rest of us

As we move from creating documents to managing the flow of content, the Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides

  • A standard way to describe that content
  • Grab information from databases
  • Enable business-to-business commerce
  • Personalize the information provided customers at online stores.

This workshop gives non-programmers an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of XML, then shows you how to create a model describing your standard content, and mark up documents with the tags in your model.

Should I take this workshop?


  • If you want to know how to read and write XML
  • If you are going to work in an XML environment
  • If you want to understand how XML fits into content management, relates to HTML, benefits the organization
  • If you have been a bit intimidated by all the talk about XML, and yearn for a simple approach, covering everything you need to learn, to read and write XML, and the Document Type Definitions


  • If your organization is not likely to adopt XML.
  • If you intend to write applications using XML documents-- you'll find this course too elementary.
  • If you want to get into the tricks of advanced designers of Document Type Definitions--you won't find that kind of inside dope here.

How it works

In-class exercises help you try out what you are learning. An extensive handout provides full details of the material we are studying, with diagrams, examples, and background, providing a useful reference when you return to work.

You do not need to know HTML, but some familiarity with Web publishing will help you understand the context in which XML becomes important. This course does not give nuts-and-bolts instruction on any particular tool.

You are learning to tag an XML document, and to create the model for a series of XML documents, the Document Type Definition (DTD).


After this workshop, you will be able to

  • Identify reasons your organization may need to switch to XML
  • Create models of standard content
  • Translate the model into a description of the standard documents in XML terms (DTD)
  • Mark up documents with XML tags
  • Understand the role of a stylesheet for XML documents (XSL)
  • Identify current tools for creating and publishing in XML

Agenda for the in-person workshop

Day One: Creating a Well-Formed XML Document

  • The Prolog
  • The XML declaration
  • The DOCTYPE declaration
  • The stylesheet reference
  • The Body
  • Elements
  • Attributes of elements
  • Entity references
  • CDATA sections
  • Comments
  • Processing instructions
  • Epilog
  • Considering tools

Day Two: Creating a Valid XML Document

  • Making a valid XML document
  • Creating a Document Type Definition
  • Declaring elements
  • Declaring the attributes of an element
  • Declaring entities
  • Declaring a notation
  • Adding comments
  • Analyzing documents to create DTDs
  • Understanding the role of stylesheets
  • Leading your team in developing and using DTDs

Agenda for the online workshops

Ready, Set, XML (6 weeks)

Week 1: Why XML

Week 2: The prolog of a well-formed XML document

Week 3: The DOCTYPE declaration

Week 4: Elements

Week 5: Attributes

Week 6: Entities, notations, comments

Creating an XML DTD (6 weeks)

Week 1: Overview of the Document Type Definition

Week 2: Declaring elements

Week 3: Declaring attributes

Week 4: Declaring entities, notations, and comments

Week 5: Analyzing documents to create DTDs

Week 6: Leading your team in developing and using DTDs

Comments from students at UCSC (anonymous course evaluations)
  • The challenges helped solidify the information.
  • The examples and the exercises are clear.
  • Content and delivery! Excellent…Great!
  • Lots of interaction between students and teacher-patient with questions.
  • Great explanations from the teacher.
  • Covered the material in the depth that I needed. It gave me a good basic knowledge of XML.
  • The challenges were good. Hands-on learning makes it easier to remember and understand the material.
  • The instructor's willing to entertain students' questions.
  • Course material (book) is very complete and thorough. Exercises were effective.
  • The instructor was excellent in explaining concepts and giving examples.
  • Jonathan was very clear and easy to follow. I liked the short exercises interspersed with the lecture.
  • You were sensitive about keeping the right pace to cover the relevant content.
  • Excellent instructor. Hands-on approach-regular, short, in-class exercises to reinforce knowledge.
  • Instructor was very knowledgeable and brought the topic material down to an understandable level. Concepts built upon each other seamlessly.
  • The best handout I have seen among UCSC courses.
  • I liked the orderly presentation of a complicated language.
  • The book has good step-by-step procedures for writing XML.
  • Very well taught. Entertaining as well.

Your instructor

Dr. Jonathan Price teaches web writing, information architecture, content management, and XML at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of New Mexico, the Society for Technical Communication, and many major corporations. Jonathan and his wife Lisa are writers and editors for sites such as AOL, Disney, Hewlett Packard, Intuit, and KBKids. Lisa and Jonathan have written The Best of Online Shopping, and Hot Text: Web Writing that Works.

Schedule and locations

Online: JER Online Workshops, open registration

Attention, Corporate Managers!

If you have a group of people who are all writing the same kind of materials, we can customize the course, so that it reflects common problems that your people face. Examples seem familiar; exercises resemble their day-to-day work. Result: they can see, immediately, how the course can help them do their jobs.

Related classes

The Architecture of Content

Content Management




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