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questions for David Mercer

 
Pauline McNamara
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I went to high school (BLS) with a guy named David Mercer, could you be the same?
Now for a real question regarding your book - how do you define a "beginner", or what else might one need to know to benefit the most from "XML: A Beginner's Guide"?
Thanks,
Pauline
 
Dave Mercer
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Originally posted by Pauline McNamara:
I went to high school (BLS) with a guy named David Mercer, could you be the same?
Now for a real question regarding your book - how do you define a "beginner", or what else might one need to know to benefit the most from "XML: A Beginner's Guide"?
Thanks,
Pauline

Hi Pauline,
I don't think so; I used to think my name was fairly unique but not anymore. Thanks for asking, though .
That's really a tough question, because as we've built the series we've struggled with how to define Beginner. It's a moving target, but I think of a person as a beginner when they can use a computer for the basics but are new to programming anything. However, I would say it takes a logical mind. One thing I find about code is it all becomes more and more familiar the longer you work with it (even new languages all seem to contain similar structures and functions). So if you can make mental associations about code from the patterns, you're probably in the right profession.
I also tend to think of beginners as folks who have taken the time to look behind Web pages at the HTML, and even begin to see the patterns in the HTML that relate to what they're seeing in the browser, even if they're not understanding the code too well. Playing around with HTML/XHTML is very good for going on to learning XML.
Hope this helps a bit, and thanks for the questions.
 
Pauline McNamara
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Thanks, David. Guess there's at least 2 David Mercers around.
XML is on my list of things to learn after (or while) getting through the cattle drive here at javaranch.
Looks like I could fit well into your "beginner" slot. What kind of approach do you use to convey XML? Do you give lots of exercises (with answers and discussions of answers)?
Thanks,
Pauline
 
rani bedi
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David,
Does your book deal with design issues or data models?
 
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