Friday, January 15, 2010 Zulu
Ham Radio Technician Test in XML and XForms, redux
Chris Wallace saw my Ham Radio Technician Test in XML and XForms post and pointed out a few simplifications that could be done:

I've taken Chris's data and fixed one more typo (question T7C09 wasn't RNC valid), and re-indented it back to two spaces. I have updated the RNC schema and Ham radio technician tests to use the new data. Thanks, Chris!

Adding the images would be a good next step. Probably I will split them out into individual files and add relative URI references to them within the document; the XForms display can use the XForms output element with a mediatype of "image/*" to display.

Chris also has on his page an XQuery presentation of the test, plus some starts at interactive versions. I believe XForms is more suitable for the interactive version, and XQuery and XSLT for a static presentation; so in some sense, Chris and I are doing things backwards, as I started from a static version and he's started from an interactive version. But I'm sure we'll all learn something fun.

A bit of background: Dan McCreary and Kurt Cagle are strong promoters of the XRX approach, combining XML, XForms, XQuery, and XSLT with REST. I do this in my Day Job, which is coincidentally at Xerox, but there's no connection between the name XRX and Xerox, nor is Xerox interested in my ham radio work!

I'm going to continue to use this test pool as a use case for XForms 1.2 Future Features for making the interactive part of the testing easier to author. XForms 1.1 has some features (such as the ability to add nodes) that will make it possible to update the test instance with spaces for answers, even without the cooperation of the original test author, but ideally XForms 1.2 would capture this use case and make it easier to describe declaratively.

- posted by Leigh @ 17:29 z
Hi Leigh

I agree about the XSLT/XForms role reversal here. I've been a bit slow on the uptake with XForms but I will give it another go with Alain's XLST implementation. I'm all in favour in principle, and have included some examples in the XQuery wikibook that Dan and I work on, but often I find its easier to roll my own interactions using AJAX - habit I guess. I'll be interested to see the XForms quiz when you make it.
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