Karthik Jayaraman

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since May 06, 2003
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Recent posts by Karthik Jayaraman

Cleared 667 on 21st. Just crossed the line with 69%.

Some of the learnings.
- It is different and more difficult than test 665
- Should read through the new initiatives like SIMM etc.
There are no requirements for an SCEA. You dont even have to be a SCJP
How much do I need to know about design patterns for the test.
Is there a book that helps?
A small help for all test takers.
The test is not difficult but very tricky. ;-) My main problem was that i was not patient. I finished the test in 40-45 mts. Tried reviewing some 5-10 questions that I marked. Couldn't wait for the result, and pressed the "End" button. So, don't be hasty like me and try giving it with a bit of patience.
Here is something that might help you.
My Total Score: 81% on 24 May 2003.

Sectional Scores:
Section % of test% Score
1. Architecture 1860
2. Inforrocessing2793
3. XML Processing3394
4. XML Rendering1150
5. Testing and Tuning1183
Reference Books/Materials:
Book / MaterialSourceGrade(1 to 5)
1. Essential XML Quick Reference, Skonnardhttp://develop.com/devresources/dmseries.aspx
Grade: 4
2. Professional XML, Second Edition
Grade: 3
3. XML Biblehttp://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/chapters/ch18.html
Grade: <Not rated>
4. XSLT, Doug Tidwell, O�Reilly
Grade: 4
5. W3C Recommendationshttp://www.w3.org/
Grade: 4
6. Schema Presentations, Roger L. Costello (XML Technologies Course)http://www.xfront.com/
Grade: 5
7. Web Services Presentation
Grade: 3
My comments on the above materials:
1. Essential XML Quick Reference, Skonnard:
This is pretty good book with almost all the concepts. This can be used as a startup before you jump into the XML sea. You need to read through each line carefully to note the certain characteristics of each of the XML specifications.
Must read chapters: 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10
2. Professional XML, Second Edition:
I have put it out here because this is recommended by IBM and used by most of the ones who aspire for the test. I do not think that it did me any good. You can read the book casually. The book basically covers a lot of programming aspects rather than more specific to the exam. I found SAX and DOM in the book the worst and SOAP, UDDI, B2B integration chapters useful.
Must read chapters: 2,3,5,6,24
3. XML Bible:
I did not get to read all the chapters in the book. I downloaded the free chapter on XSL-FO. It is pretty good. I think any XML aspirant should run over the chapter atleast once.
4. XSLT, Doug Tidwell, O�Reilly:
This is the best book one can get for XSLT. I really loved the book and couldn�t keep the book down until I finished the seven chapters in the book. I had completed the book in 2 days. It is pretty simple to understand and lists all the XSLT features.
Must read chapters: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
5. W3C Recommendations:
The W3C recommendations are the best book on XML one can get. I first thought that the recommendations would be precise, but, I was wrong. The recommendations are exhaustive and do explain each functionality in the specification in detail. This is a must read if you are giving the test.
Must read: XML 1.0 Second Version, DOM Level 2, Xpath, Xlink
6. Schema Presentations, Roger L. Costello (XML Technologies Course):
I got these presentation from my colleague. This is the best Schema tutorial you can have. It consists of three files. Two of them are a must read. These presentations extensively describe the XML Schema specification. You can mail me at KarthikJayaraman@in.ibm.com if you need the material. {I have been getting a lot of requests for the schema files. Basically, these have been downloaded from xfront and can be found at the url - http://www.xfront.com/xml-schema.html. Go and download it, rather than wait for me to reply u guys.}
7. Web Services Presentation:
This gives a brief description of the Web services, SOAP, UDDI and WSDL. The presentation also describes a brief WSDL and tries to explain the construct of a WSDL document. You can answer any SOAP questions in the test just by walking through this presentation.
How can you prepare for the test:
1)Go to the IBM�s site www.ibm.com/certify and read the objectives of the test.
2)Select a target date and enroll for the test. You would better get serious once you pay for the test.
3)Enrol for the training program from IBM near you. This basically lets you know how much you need to read. I must admit, I never knew there were so many XML technologies and recommendations. The training sets your mind and helps you understand the depth of XML and paves way for further concentrated reading.
4)Take the sample test from the IBM�s site. This helps you understand your weak and strong areas. Do not try to remember any of the questions in the sample test. Do not read any answers given in the internet for the sample test.
5)Start with the Skonnard�s book. Now you would be ready for the W3C recommendations. You can read those that interest you. You can also read the books/materials listed in this document.
6)Once you are done take the sample test again. You can also try the demo test at whizlabs and witscale test centers. They really help to understand where you are in certifying.
7)Enjoy the day before the test, take a good sleep and crack the exam.
How much days does it take:
Even if you don�t know what XML is, you can complete the test in 3 weeks time. If you are in a hurry and do not expect a good score, or you have a good understanding of XML and the other related technologies, you can complete it in a week�s time. Do not give yourself more than 1 month, its useless.
At the test:
1.Start with a cool mind.
2.Do not look at the clock and take your time to answer the questions. I completed the test in 45 to 50 mts and did not know what to do with the rest of the time.
3.Mark all questions which you feel might be wrong or do not have the mind to answer at the moment. Try to answer all the easy questions and shorter ones at the beginning. Once you get the feel of the exam, review your marked questions and answer them. Go through the marked questions two to three times if necessary.
4.Do not panic at very long exhibit questions. Take your time to read it carefully. It is probable that the long exhibit might be used for more than one question in the test.
5.Do not leave any answer blank and take a try on all the 55 questions. There are no negative marking in the test.
6.Be sure before you click the end button. You cannot go back once you end the test.
7.And �Happy test taking!�.
[ December 21, 2003: Message edited by: Karthik Jayaraman ]
[ December 24, 2003: Message edited by: Karthik Jayaraman ]
I dont think you can have multiple encoded charaters in a single xml document. If you need the japanese characters, they must be included as an external entity with an encoding attribute for the xml declaration in the external file.
Thanks everyone out here.
I passed the exam with 81 %
I prepared for about 2 weeks with the skonnard's book and w3c recommendations. The XSL-FO free chapter (XML Bible) was helpful.
Thanks again all of you here in the forum.
DTDs can either be internal or external. I think the advantages comes with an internal dtd.
1) Lesser roundtrips to the server:
If the DTD is included in the instance document, the parser need not send a request back to the server to fetch the DTD or schema for validating the instance document. (Not considering public identified DTDs or those that are cached.)
2) Validation can be changed at runtime.
Since the internal DTD subset overrides the external DTD, it can be used for changing the validation rules at runtime in the instance document (This can also be looked at as a disadvantage.)
I am sure this is not convincing, but, I hope these might be some reasons why we may want to have DTDs.
Any suggestions??
You can create a third file by combining the contents of file 1 and file 2 using XSL. (Note XSL is used only for formatting and cannot be used for updating the documents.)
If you need to update document 2, you should use the DOM api.
Is there a book I can start with?
How much days do you need to prepare for the tests? (Lets look at test1 now.)
There is no hard and fast rule to select a DTD. If you are typing your DTD/ Schema, you would know how painful it is to type a simple schema document. Anyway, schemas are preferred for various advantages but DTDs can still be used if you find it easier to use (like me.)
I think DTDs are strong on entities. I dont think we can use entities/ entitity references/ parameter entities in Schemas.
<ano:ancestor xmlns:ano="....">
<pre:child> <!--This is invalid-->
<pre:name xmlns: pre="....">
<ano:child2/> <!-- This is valid-->
In the above eg. the second line is an error as pre is only defined for "name" element and its descendant and cannot be used in a sibling element "child".
[ May 13, 2003: Message edited by: karthik jayaraman ]
[ May 13, 2003: Message edited by: karthik jayaraman ]
The namespace "declaration" is for all the elements below it. That means you can use pre as a qualifier for all the elements below name element. The same cannot be done for parent of name (if it is not declared in any ancestor of it)
The scope of the declared namespace and its "use" is limited to the element(where the namespace is defined.) and all descendant's of it.
<restriction base="string">
<length value="2"/>
<length value="5"/>

Would the above mean that the simple content can have a length of either 2 or 5?
I have been blowing my mind on this for a while now. Let me try to explain the best I can.
XML Schemas have this advantage that multiple elements with the same name and different content can be present.
Lets look at it at a different aspect. In DTDs, element names, attribute names should be unique throughout the document. But in schemas, the element names are in the element symbol space, attributes in the attribute symbol space and types in the type symbol space. So, we can have an element, attribute and a type with the same name
OK. thats pretty clear.
Now look at this schema snippet
<element name="title" type="string" />
<element name="title" type="string" />
This is a legal schema where we define two elements in a sequence with a same name and they can have different content in the instance document
[Question 1: Why would anyone want to do this? Can anyone help me out with a practical example for this.]
Secondly if the types were different, the schema is illegal. Ok. Lets look at another way of it. I have two types booktype and magazine type. both have title elements within them.
In the namespace, isnt there a name conflict for the two title elements. No, because we can have the elementFormDefault to be "unqualified". This way we can say that only the root elements need to be in the namespace and the local elements would indirectly be associated with the namespace through the parent element.
Fine, pretty understandable.
[Qustion 2: what if the elementFormDefault was "qualified" would it be illegal?
Question 3: If elementFormDefault was "unqualified" and the type of the elements were different, would it be illegal?]
Please help. Thx in advance.