Appendix: Database Software, Scripting Languages, and XML


hapter 2 outlined some of the basics of creating a website, but those contemplating more complex sites need to think about more involved technical infrastructures, especially the possibility of organizing expansive resources through databases or XML. If you plan on having more than a hundred digital objects in a historical archive, collecting more than a hundred historical artifacts or documents through your website, or are responsible for the membership roll of a historical society, you should consider attaching a web-enabled database to your site. If you are digitizing a similarly large number of historical documents that are mostly or completely text, you should consider the possibility of marking up those documents with XML. Using either a database or XML generally adds a few layers of technology to more basic website elements: additional software to encode or store materials, a way to deposit information into a database or mark up texts with XML, and a way to extract information from the database or XML archive to be displayed on a web page.