The Human-Centered Interfaces Research Group logo in a collage showing a learning group, a handheld device, a remote control for Interactive Digital Television and a Braille reader

Internet Programming

(Master's Degree Program Multimedia Management - 1st quarter)


  1. Content Management Systems
  2. Formal Languages / Chomsky Grammars
  3. XML documents and their transformation using XSLT
  4. Semantic Mark-Up (RDF, Topic Maps)


Content Management Systems

A Content Management System (CMS) is not really a product or a technology. It is a catch-all term that covers a wide set of processes that will underpin the ‘Next Generation’ large-scale web site. The pervasive nature of the Web means that it has become the preferred vehicle for content delivery. ‘CMS’ should therefore be read as ‘Web Content Management System’. Institutions have no shortage of ‘content’ - be it data, information or knowledge. When the creation and publication of content is well managed then the organisation functions more cost-effectively; it is also likely to lead to better decision making.

Formal Languages / Chomsky Grammars

HTML, as an example, is a language to describe documents. The meaning of parts of documents is described. If tags were omitted only little useful information would remain. The terms syntax and semantics are essential to understand basic principles underlying all formal languages. Chomsky Grammars build a mathematical and logical approach to define principles underlying all language types.

eXtensible Mark-Up Language (XML)

XML is a mark-up language created so that richly structured documents can be described, exposed, shared, and modified over the web.
A mark-up language is a grammar to identify structures in a document through tags. The XML specification defines a standard way to add mark-up to documents. Unlike HTML, which has a fixed set of tags, XML allows content-owners to apply human-readable "vocabularies" to their documents - essentially allowing the content to describe itself.
Since XML describes the underlying information and its structure, content can be separated from look-and-feel. This overcomes a severe limitation of HTML, which merely describes content presentation for a particular set of HTML-compliant applications (like Web browsers).

Semantic Mark-Up

In this part of the lecture, we present several technologies to create the semantic web. Intelligent use of web resources relies on such mark-up. As an example, Topic Maps are presented together with case studies.


Credits: 1+1 ECTS.

Exercises include the development of a PHP script, the application of a formal grammar, the development of XML documents, and their transformation for print and screen output.

Software packages used: Internet Explorer, Textpad, Peter's XML editor, XSL viewer, Apache Tomcat.

Examination: written exam.

Recommended Readings

  • Fensel; D.: Ontologies , Springer, Heidelberg, 2002.
  • Hall, M.: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP) , Prentice Hall PTR, 2001.
  • Harold, E. R.; Means, W.S.: XML in a Nutshell , O‘Reilly, 2001.
  • Kay, M.: XSLT Programmer's Reference , Wrox, 2nd ed., 2001.
  • McLaughlin, B.: Java & XML , O‘Reilly, 2001.
  • Park, J.; Hunting, S.: XML Topic Maps , Addison Wesley, 2003.
  • Ray, E. T.: Learning XML , O‘Reilly, 2001.
  • Widhalm, R.; Mück, Th.: Topic Maps , Springer, 2002.

copyright 2005 Human-Centered Interfaces Research Group. All rights reserved.
Last published: 2005-06-08 14:37:05