Some more thoughts on @CodeClub

Title page to Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning...
Title page to Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year’s Code Club teaching is nearly at an end – I cannot do next Friday and the Friday after that is the last of the school year, so it seems like a good time to reflect further on the way it has gone – though I am sure I will have some more thoughts later.

This week was a strange one – as only one of the children attended (the last two weeks were cancelled because of an INSET day and a school residential trip and I think some of the children thought it was already over while others wanted to just get out into the sunshine).

All this term I have thought the children were struggling with the work – HTML seems very different from Scratch (certainly the tagging paradigm feels very different from the children’s perspective) and the resources to put HTML pages up on the web just are not available in the school (one lesson from all this is that primary schools are still shockingly under-resourced for this sort of work – for all the talk of educating a digitally-aware generation nobody seems to have put the deep infrastructure of high bandwidth connections and servers in place).

But the lovely thing was that the child who had turned up plainly had got it and took great pleasure in reversing roles and testing me on whether I knew how to construct a basic web page.


O’Reilly free ebook on HTML 5

HTML5 MMW Desktop

Must be worth a download if you are wondering what HTML 5 is all about – go here.

You have to register but I can assure you it is free – as I have a copy and did not enter any credit card details.

“What is HTML5?” is about 10 pages long – so a read on your next commute?

How can I do this in XSLT?

Diagram of the basic elements and processing f...
Image via Wikipedia

I have a very simple (single relation) database, of news stories that I export to xml, so I get something like this:

<top>This is a story </top>
<summary>Some summary of the story</summary>
<full_text>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed pharetra sagittis risus a ultrices. In a lectus eu nunc scelerisque gravida ac elementum felis. Phasellus. </full_text>

And so on….

What I want to do is use an XSL stylesheet to convert this into some HTML where the top line is printed, then the summary and then a link to the full text, which is at the bottom of the document.

Writing the XSL that will extract the top line and the summary is easy, but how can I get a link to what is, in effect, some appended text at the end of the document? Is it even possible?

I have a huge and authoritative tome on XSLT  – XSLT: Mastering XML Transformations. For Beginners and Advanced Users – which I will now consult, but anyone know before I delve in?

XML: any use?

I stumbled across the site just now when reading a comment on slashdot about the idea that there was an FBI mandated “backdoor” in OpenBSD.

Right now I am working on some coursework with XML and so the site has my sympathy. For sure, XML has its uses – SVG seems like a pretty good idea to me and I have used it recently to generate graphics to represent the processes running on a Linux box.

But freely mixing it with HTML on the web? I am inclined to (mostly) agree with the statement on the site:

XML is bloated. XMLis fugly. XML is only “human-readable” if you’re willing to stretch the definition of “human-readable.” The same goes for the proposed bloatware of HTML5. Anyone looking at the spec must be shaking their heads. Sure, it’s better than the now-abandoned xhtml 2.0, but that’s not saying much. I