Class Notes (9): How can we use Webservices?

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These are the class notes for the “Introduction to XML and editing ancient documents” seminar I am doing this summer semester at LMU, Munich.

The purpose of this class is for the participants to use the Flickr API explorer to find some live XML feeds and then create an XSLT transformation (xsltforflickr.xsl) that will transform this webservice data into a meaningful representation in HTML (flickrhtml.html).

We used the flickr webservice methods flickr.photos.search and flickr.photos.getSizes to output a HTML file with a thumbnail of each image for our search.

We used the flickr.photos.search method to search for text=Vindolanda with the parameter per_page=30. The response was an XML list of 30 <photo> tags each containing some metadata for the photos such as id and title.

We then used an XSLT transformation to go through each <photo> tag and use the @id attribute to call the flickr.photos.getSizes method and get a list of sizes for each photo with URL’s that we can use to display the photos. So all together we were combining 31 different XML files. 1 for the search and 30 to get the size information of each of the 30 photos.

We then had a look at the Vindolanda web service for the method get_word. We transformed this list of words (xsltforvto2.xsl) matching a certain pattern in the Vindolanda Tablets into a CSV file (vto2words.csv) that we could open in a spreadsheet program.

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