Web Programming and Markup Languages

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Markup Languages and
Web Programming
Objectives
• to learn basic HTML
– and how to do web pages in our dept server (because
it is useful)
– to understand the layout algorithm behind browsers
• to learn basic XML
– as an example of markup languages for structured
data representation
• to use XSL to translate from XML to HTML
– to learn the value of separating data from code or
view
• to talk about types of scripting
HTML
• HyperText Markup Language
• this is what is behind what you see on a
web page (type Crtl-U to ‘view source’)
• early design principle for the web: describe
the content, let the browser figure out how
to display it
– examples: line breaks/wrapping, fonts
– “device-independent”, e.g. terminals that don’t
support graphics...
• Tags:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
HTML
<TITLE>This is my web page</TITLE>
</HEAD>
BODY
<BODY>
HEAD
<H1>heading</H1>
Here is some text.
TITLE
H1
Here is
</BODY>
some text.
</HTML>
• Why tags?
This is my
web page
heading
– advantages for parsing
– can match-up open-tags with close-tags
– represents a hierarchical structure to the data
• More Tags:
<B>boldface</B>, <I>italics</I>
<BR> line break, <P> page break, <HR> horizontal rule
<!-- comments -->
• Lists:
– <UL> for unordered lists (bullets)
– <OL> for ordered lists (numbered)
<UL>
<LI>list item
</UL>
• Note:
– browsers are actually designed to be flexible and
accept loose syntax without properly closed tags
– a shorthand to close a tag is: <BR/> = <BR></BR>
• Tables
<TABLE border=1>
<TR><TD>A<TD>B</TR>
<TR><TD>C<TD>D</TR>
</TABLE>
A B
C D
• Hyperlinks
– <A HREF=“http://www.tamu.edu”>TAMU</A>
• Images
– <IMG SRC=“https://www.google.com/images/srpr/logo4w.png”></IMG>
• of course, you can do many other things, like
changing fonts and colors, specifying background
colors/images, etc...
– see this for HTML documentation
– http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
• It is important to see what is behind web
pages, and to know how to write it by hand.
– what you see visually is described in file
– think about lists and tables
• we don’t say “put a bullet with a certain indent here...”
• we say “here is the next item in the list”
– the browser uses a layout algorithm to determine
where to place things and what size, etc.
• example: how to determine column widths in tables
based on content?
<TABLE border=1>
<TR><TD>A<TD>narrower</TR>
<TR><TD>a very wide wide column<TD>D</TR>
</TABLE>
Markup Languages
• different systems of tags
• There are many markup languages
– SGML: book contents, for publishers
• <chapter>, <abstract>, <subsection>...
– VRML: virtual reality, with tags for describing
geometric objects and their positions in 3D
– MathML: tags for describing formulas
• <sqrt>2</sqrt>
• ax2: <mrow>a <msup>x 2</msup></mrow>
– XML: eXtensible Markup Language
• XML: make up your own tags for
representing arbitrary data
– example: <author>H.G. Wells</author>
– partly, this was a response to the “semistructured” TABLEs in HTML
– people didn’t know what the <TD> values
meant semantically
– tags “markup” or describe the data items
• also known as metadata
• data about the data, such as field name, source,
units, etc.
• can also use attributes
• <price date=“9/29/2013” units=“euros”>2.50</price>
in HTML
<H1>Nobel Prizes</H1>
<TABLE border=1>
<TR><TD>Robert G. Edwards<TD>Medicine <TD>2010</TR>
<TR><TD>Dan Shechtman
<TD>Chemistry<TD>2011</TR>
</TABLE>
<NobelPrizes>
<winner>
<name>Robert G. Edwards</name>
<area>Medicine</area>
<year>2010</year>
in XML
</winner>
<winner>
<name>Dan Shechtman</name>
<area>Chemistry</area>
<year>2011</year>
</winner>
</NobelPrizes>
• there are good parsers available for reading
XML files in different languages
– xerces for Java and C++
– minidom for Python
– these APIs provide a parsing function:
• input a filename
• outputs the data in a tree-based data structure
• note: XML requires strict syntax – every
open tag must be properly closed (and not
interleaved)
• comparing XML to flat files or .CSV format
Courses.csv:
course
title
CSCE 411
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
CSCE 121
Introduction to Computing in C++
CSCE 314
”Programming Languages
”course”,”title”
CSCE 206
Programming in C
”CSCE 411”,”Design and Analysis of Algorithms”
”CSCE 121”,”Introduction to Computing in C++”
”CSCE 314”,”Programming Languages”
”CSCE 206”,”Programming in C”
• tab-separated or
comma-separated
• data laid out in rows
and columns, like a
spreadsheet
Courses.xml:
<courses>
<course>
<name>CSCE 411</name>
<title>Design and Analysis of Algorithms</title>
</course>
<course>
<name>CSCE 121</name>
<title> Introduction to Computing in C++</title>
</course>
</courses>
• XML is less
compact (more
verbose)
• each item is
explicitly labeled
• more flexible: can
have 0 or >1 titles,
fields in any order
•
Now we need a way to display data in XML
– browsers show XML in raw form by default
– use XSLT to “translate” XML data into HTML
•
eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation
•
http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_languages.asp
1. make up a stylesheet (.xsl) file
2. add a reference to the stylesheet from your
.xml file
– this tells the browser how to display the data
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="books.xsl" ?>
<BOOKS>
<book>
<title>Moby Dick</title>
<author>Herman Melville</author>
</book>
<book>
<title>Crime and Punishment</title>
<author>Fyodor Dostoevsky</author>
</book>
<owner>Tom</owner>
</BOOKS>
• XSL files can have HTML code in them, “wrapped” around
the data
• Data items in the XML file can be referenced by XPATHs
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl=
"http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" version="1.0">
<xsl:output method="html" indent="yes"/>
<xsl:template match="/">
<HTML>
<BODY>
<H1>Library of <xsl:value-of select="BOOKS/owner"/></H1>
...
</BODY>
</HTML>
XPATHs are a way to name and
access data items hierarchically
by descending a sequence of tags
in the XML file
<H1>Library of <xsl:for-each select="BOOKS/owner"><H1>
<TABLE border="1">
<TR><TH>Title</TH><TH>Author</TH></TR>
<xsl:for-each select="BOOKS/book">
<TR>
<TD><xsl:value-of select="author"/></TD>
<TD><xsl:value-of select="title"/></TD>
</TR>
</xsl:for-each>
<TR>
<TD>Herman Melville</TD>
</TABLE>
<TD>Moby Dick</TD>
</TR>
<TR>
<TD>Fyodor Dostoevsky</TD>
<TD>Crime and Punishment</TD>
</TR>
<MEDIA>
<book>
<title>Moby Dick</title>
XPATHs
<xsl:value-of select=“MEDIA/movie/studio"/> <author>Herman Melville</author>
</book>
Dreamworks
<book>
<title>Crime and Punishment</title>
<author>Fyodor Dostoevsky</author>
</book>
<movie>
<title>AI</title>
<director>S. Spielberg</director>
<studio>Warner Bros,</studio>
<distr>Dreamworks</distr>
MEDIA
</movie>
</MEDIA>
book
title
book
title
author
movie
title
author
studio
director
distributor
Moby Dick
Crime&Punish.
AI
Dreamworks
H. Melville
F. Dostoevsky
S. Spielberg
Warner Bros.
<MEDIA>
<book>
<title>Moby Dick</title>
XPATHs
<xsl:value-of select=“MEDIA/movie/studio"/> <author>Herman Melville</author>
</book>
Dreamworks
<book>
<title>Crime and Punishment</title>
<author>Fyodor Dostoevsky</author>
</book>
<movie>
<title>AI</title>
<director>S. Spielberg</director>
<studio>Warner Bros,</studio>
<distr>Dreamworks</distr>
MEDIA
</movie>
</MEDIA>
book
title
book
title
author
movie
title
author
studio
director
distributor
Moby Dick
Crime&Punish.
AI
Dreamworks
H. Melville
F. Dostoevsky
S. Spielberg
Warner Bros.
<MEDIA>
<book>
<title>Moby Dick</title>
XPATHs
<xsl:value-of select=“MEDIA/movie/studio"/> <author>Herman Melville</author>
</book>
= Dreamworks
<book>
<title>Crime and Punishment</title>
<author>Fyodor Dostoevsky</author>
</book>
<movie>
<title>AI</title>
<director>S. Spielberg</director>
<studio>Warner Bros,</studio>
<distr>Dreamworks</distr>
MEDIA
</movie>
</MEDIA>
book
title
book
title
author
movie
title
author
studio
director
distributor
Moby Dick
Crime&Punish.
AI
Dreamworks
H. Melville
F. Dostoevsky
S. Spielberg
Warner Bros.
Separating Data from View/Code
• general principle used in software engineering
• can change the view without touching the data
– e.g. swap the columns in the books table via XSL
• can change the data without touching the code
– e.g. internationalization: different sets of text strings in
different languages
• MVC (Model-View-Controller) paradigm
advocated for programming in Smalltalk
– M: methods defining how objects work
– V: methods defining how they are displayed
– C: methods defining how users interact with them
• “resource forks” in Mac apps
• Making your own web pages in our CSCE
department
– follow these instructions...
– https://wiki.cse.tamu.edu/index.php/CSE_Web_Pages
– make a web_home/ directory in your home
directory
– can access from PCs in labs via “H:” drive
– note: make sure you make .html pages
readable by setting permissions
Web Programming
• scripting can make web pages interactive
• client-side vs. server-side processing
– client-side: Javascript
– server-side: CGI, PERL, Python, PHP
Client-side:
Javascript
embedded in
.html changes
appearance
dynamically
Server-side:
CGI request
when press
Submit on form
Response in
the form of a
new .html page
e.g. receipt
server image borrowed from
http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/06/weather-x.html
amazon.com page
for C++ book
Client-side: Javascript
• examples:
– popups when you mouse-over something
– dynamically expand a table or section
– validate data entered into a field
• how it works
– associate events like onmouseover() or
onclick() to components of page (like buttons)
– add a <script> section in the <head> of your
.html
– define functions to call on these events
Example from http://www.w3schools.com/js/js_popup.asp:
<html>
<head>
<script>
function myFunction()
{
alert("I am an alert box!");
}
</script>
</head>
Javascript can do all sorts of
things here:
• define variables
• do calculations
• change look of page
• update text values
• popup a dialog box
• trigger a sound
<body>
<input type="button" onclick="myFunction()"
value="Show alert box">
</body>
</html>
Server-side: CGI
CGI = Common Gateway Interface
• FORMs
– web-page elements like buttons, text-entry
fields, drop-downs, etc.
– these refer to a script on the server which
processes the input
– data gets passed to server as pairs of
variables and values
– script generates a response .html page as
output
.html file
<FORM name="form1“ method="post"
action="http://saclab.tamu.edu/cgibin/tom/add.py">
<H3>Enter 2 numbers to add:</H3>
A: <input type=“text” name="A"></input>
<BR>
B: <input type=“text” name="B"></input>
<BR>
<input type="submit" value="Submit“>
</FORM>
.cgi file (executes on the server)
#!/usr/bin/python
import cgi
if __name__=="__main__":
form = cgi.FieldStorage()
a = int(form['A'].value)
b = int(form['B'].value)
c = a+b
print "Content-type: text/html"
print
print "<HTML><BODY>"
print "A+B = %s+%s = %s" % (a,b,c)
print “</BODY></HTML>"
what is sent back to the browser on
the client to display in response:
<HTML><BODY>
A+B = 5+10 = 15
</BODY></HTML>
• other examples: checkboxes, radio buttons,
drop-downs...
<BR>text field: <input type=“text” name="state">
<BR>button: <INPUT type="submit" value="Press Me!">
<BR>radio buttons:
VISA
<INPUT TYPE="radio" NAME="payment" value="V">
Mastercard <INPUT TYPE="radio" NAME="payment" value="M">
AMEX
<INPUT TYPE="radio" NAME="payment" value="A">
<BR>checkboxes:
<input type="checkbox" name=“vote“ value=yes> Yes
<input type="checkbox" name=“vote“ value=yes> No
<BR>drop-down:
<select name="shipping">
<option>land</option>
<option>sea</option>
<option>air</option>
</select>
CGI script sees:
state = Texas
payment = M
vote = yes
shipping = land
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