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What's New in CNXML 0.7

Module by: Connexions, Jonathan Emmons. E-mail the authors

Summary: This module describes the changes between CNXML 0.6 and 0.7. This upgrade was largely for administrative purposes and did not contain significant language changes.

Connexions Markup Language version 0.7 (CNXML 0.7) was released in September 2009. Unlike the release of CNXML 0.6, which introduced a number of new elements, this release is primarily focused on supporting the new CollXML language. While most of the changes in CNXML 0.7 involve minor changes to the read-only metadata section of the document (visible in the Full Source editor), there are a few features created for authors that allow them greater control over their content.

This module is designed to provide experienced Connexions authors a quick look at the changes introduced with CNXML 0.7. New authors may wish to review the author help area or the Connexions Documentation lens for guides and tutorials to help get started with authoring in Connexions. For those interested in development using CNXML, a full list of technical changes to the CNXML language can be found on Rhaptos, Connexions' development documentation site.

A complete list of CNXML elements can be found at

Upgrading Your Modules to CNXML 0.7

If you have previously published content in the Connexions repository, your content will continue to function normally and be available in its present form without any additional modifications. This includes all content created using CNXML 0.5 and 0.6. You do not need to change anything in your module or collection if it has already been published. Your readers will still be able to build collections with your modules, download PDF copies of your content, and enjoy all of the other features that Connexions offers.

In order to publish updates to an existing module written using CNXML 0.5 or 0.6, you must first upgrade that module to the current version of the language, CNXML 0.7. If your module falls into one of the categories below, you must upgrade your module before publishing any changes:

  • Any published module whose most recent version was published before October, 2009
  • Any new, unpublished modules created before October, 2009
  • Any modules in your workgroups which were "Checked Out" or "Modified" prior to October, 2009
  • Any imported modules written in CNXML 0.6 or earlier

Instructions for upgrading existing modules to CNXML 0.7, including a list of known problems and solutions, are available at

New Features in CNXML 0.7

While the majority of the changes introduced in CNXML 0.7 are related to the read-only metadata portion of the document, there are two content-related changes for authors to be aware of:

Using CNXML in the Module Summary

Beginning with the release of CNXML 0.7, you now have the option of including a limited subset of CNXML elements within your module summary. This feature enables you to include several convenient inline elements as well as simple structural elements.

In most cases, summaries will act as an implicit CNXML paragraph (<para>) element and can contain any of the following elements:

  • Plain text
  • MathML content
  • <emphasis>
  • <term>
  • <foreign>
  • <cite>
  • <sup>
  • <sub>
  • <code>
  • <quote>
  • <preformat>
  • <list>

Example 1: A Module Summary Using CNXML (Inline Mode)

This module provides an <emphasis>introduction<emphasis> 
to Willaim Shakespeare's masterpiece <cite>Romeo and Juliet</cite>.  
Specifically, learners will explore the elements of <term>fate</term> 
and <term>dramatic irony</term>.

Instead of treating the summary as a <para> element, you can also choose to use the following structural elements to create more complex summaries:

  • <para>
  • <quote>
  • <list>
  • <preformat>

Example 2: A Module Summary Using CNXML (Block Mode)

<para id="summary1">
 This module describes describes several common crypozoological
 figures and their possible origins in popular folklore.  Note 
 that this is not an attempt to either prove or debunk reported
 sightings of these creatures, but instead explore the common 
 themes, attitudes, and assumptions surrounding these legends.

<para id="summary2">
 Specifically, this module explores the following figures:

<list id="figures" type="bulleted">
 <item>The Loch Ness Monster</item>
 <item>The Abominable Snowman</item>

Using Alternate Media for Print

The CNXML 0.7 language provides support for explicit assignment of media elements to either online or PDF versions of the content. While previous version of the language allowed for alternate print media through implicit assignments based on the order of the elements in the CNXML markup, the newly created for attribute allows you to assign any media subtype (<image>, <video>, etc.) to the online version, PDF version, or both.

Example 3: Using an Alternate Image for PDFs

<figure id="myfigure">
 <media id="age-vs-time" alt="A chart showing my age as a function of time">
   <image mime-type="image/jpeg" src="agechart_lowres.jpg"/>
   <image mime-type="image/jpeg" src="agechart_highres.jpg" for="pdf"/>

Possible values for the for attribute include:

  • default: (Default) This element is used for both PDF and online versions unless another, version-specific element is present.
  • online: This element is used only for the online version of the content.
  • pdf: This element is used only for the pdf version of the content.
Note that it is not necessary to specify a media element for both online and print versions. For example, in Example 3, the first image ("agechart_lowres.jpg") is the default and will be automatically used for the online version of the content, while the second image ("agechart_highres.jpg") is explicitly assigned to the PDF version of the content. If no default had been specified, then no image would have appeared in the online version of the content.

For more information on using multimedia elements in your content, see the Adding Multimedia to Your Connexions Content module.

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