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Beginning XML, 2nd Edition [Paperback]

David Hunter , Kurt Cagle , Chris Dix
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2001
What is this book about?

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a rapidly maturing technology with powerful real-world applications, particularly for the management, display, and organization of data. Together with its many related technologies it is an essential technology for anyone using markup languages on the web or internally.

This book teaches you all you need to know about XML — what it is, how it works, what technologies surround it, and how it can best be used in a variety of situations, from simple data transfer to using XML in your web pages. It builds on the strengths of the first edition, and provides new material to reflect the changes in the XML landscape — notably SOAP and Web Services, and the publication of the XML Schemas Recommendation by the W3C.

What does this book cover?

Here are just a few of the things this book covers:

  • XML syntax and writing well-formed XML
  • Using XML Namespaces
  • Transforming XML into other formats with XSLT
  • XPath and XPointer for locating specific XML data
  • XML Validation using DTDs and XML Schemas
  • Manipulating XML documents with the DOM and SAX 2.0
  • SOAP and Web Services
  • Displaying XML using CSS and XSL
  • Incorporating XML into tradition databases and n-tier architectures
  • XLink and XPointer for linking XML and non-XML resources

Who is this book for?

Beginning XML, 2nd Edition is for any developer who is interested in learning to use XML in web, e-commerce or data-storage applications. Some knowledge of mark up, scripting, and/or object oriented programming languages is advantageous, but not essential, as the basis of these techniques are explained as required.


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Product Description

From the Publisher

Beginning XML 2nd Edition is for any developer who is interested in learning to use XML in web, e-commerce or data-storage applications. Some knowledge of mark up, scripting, and/or object oriented programming languages is advantageous, but not essential, as the basis of these techniques are explained as required. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a rapidly maturing technology with powerful real-world applications, particularly for the management, display, and transport of data. Together with its many related technologies, it has become the standard for data and document delivery on the Web. This book teaches you all you need to know about XML - what it is, how it works, what technologies surround it, and how it can best be used in a variety of situations, from simple data transfer to using XML in your web pages. It builds on the strengths of the first edition, and provides new material to reflect the changes in the XML landscape - notably SOAP and Web Services, and the publication of the XML Schemas Recommendation by the W3C. Who is this book for? Beginning XML, 2nd Edition is for any developer who is interested in learning to use XML in web, e-commerce, or data storage applications. Some knowledge of mark up, scripting, and/or object oriented programming languages is advantageous, but not essential, as the basis of these techniques is explained as required. What does this book cover? XML syntax and writing well-formed XML Using XML Namespaces Transforming XML into other formats with XSLT XPath and XPointer for locating specific XML data XML validation using DTDs and XML Schemas Manipulating XML documents with the DOM and SAX 2. 0 SOAP and Web Services Displaying XML using CSS and XSL Incorporating XML into traditional databases and n-tier architectures XLink for linking XML and non-XML resources

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Welcome to Beginning XML, 2nd Edition, the book I wish I'd had when I was first learning the language! Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best XML Introduction March 3 2003
Format:Paperback
I've read several 'Introduction to XML' books, and this one is by far the best for users with at little more than a basic understanding of HTML beyond a WYSIWYG environment. Unlike other shorter titles, this book spends a great deal of time covering the basics of XML (without spending many a dry page in theory) and a host of accompanying technologies which make up the family XML belongs to.
There is no shortage of information, examples, screenshots, or explanations. Shortly into Chapter 2 you begin a hands-on approach to learning, using freely available editors and parsers to create XML data files and documents; all in a graduated learning fashion, each example building on the skills gained from the last. Don't want to type it? The code is readily available for download and the book shows the results within screenshots.
Beyond the main body of the book itself are appendices which can provide greater context for you as to how to implement XML in different environments, such as application and web development. These appendices can be skipped without hindering the over-all learning environment.
As described, the title is quite lengthy. However, XML is typically not a stand-alone language, and to truly harness XML you need to understand the other technologies XML uses - and this title gives you that knowledge in a very reader-friendly fashion. What you will gain from reading this title is well worth the time invested.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the very beginner, but quite technical May 30 2003
By Lon Dee
Format:Paperback
(This is a review of the 1st edition of this book.) My title to this review may be contradictory, but what I mean is, this is a good book for someone with absolutely no background in XML, as long as that person has some technical background in a related field, like HTML, Javascript, Java, etc. If this is the first book or experience you've had with any web-related technology, then you'll be hard-pressed to keep up.
Hunter does a good job explaining each item and I really like the way he branches into many related technologies, instead of just plain XML. Those related technologies include XSLT and XPath, DOM, SAX, DTDs and schemas. Some of these things, such as schemas and DTDs are essential for learning XML, so I'm glad they are covered.
At the beginning of the book, I thought that Hunter was another Microsoft lemming, just following the Microsoft trends and technologies. But it soon became apparent that he uses MS products where they make sense, but is quick to point out their drawbacks. It irks me to no end how the entire world chooses an internationally-accepted standard, then MS decides to come up with their own. Hunter does a good job of pointing that out.
One complaint is that this book doesn't do much in helping the Macintosh user that's starting into the XML field. That may have been remedied in the 2nd edition, and to be fair, there weren't a lot of tools available for the Mac user when this was written. I did find some Mac tools and found it humorous how the Windows, Java and Unix tools require extensive use of the command line, altering class paths, etc, while the Mac version was "drag the file onto the icon" to accomplish the exact same thing. But that's how the Mac world works.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dull but effective April 15 2003
Format:Paperback
Overall, this book is worth the money...but it's a mixed blessing.
Ye GODS is this book dull. XML is a dry, dull topic to begin with. Declarative programming is a dry, dull topic. (Or perhaps I've just reached my limit with new programming concepts, and they're not fun any more.) This book does little to liven up that native dryness. But I suppose I don't read programming books for excitement and adventure. Still...I've read nerd books that had less of the "propped-up eyelids" effect. There have even been moments when bold propositions on the revolutionary nature of OOP had me feeling the rush of wind in my (now non-existent) hair, the smell of salty sea air in my nostrils, and the the thrill of the chase in my veins.
This book is more like an all-day visit with your prim Baptist grandmother. It might save your soul, but you won't be telling your friends about it later.
Some of the material is covered very well. The opening chapters are clear and concise, and the material on XML namespaces was very helpful to me. Other material is not covered so well. Some of the examples in XSLT, especially XPath, are tossed out, and are hideously confusing. It is only two or three paragraphs later that the confusing aspects are cleared up (if at all). I find this maddening, because I tend to hover on the example, and the paragraph immediately following it, until I figure it out. (I hate leaving unresolved questions in my mind when I'm reading programming books. Too often, they stay unresolved, and then I find myself lost when I'm attempting to code.) When I would finally give up in despair, I'd find the answer a bit further down the page, and realize I'd been wasting my time.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor Indeed March 18 2003
Format:Paperback
Firstly, before you wish to study XML you're going to need to know a host of other languages. Below is a list of languages you'll need to have an understanding of if you want to use this book, as these languages are used in the chapters given:
Chapter 8 DOM - Javascript
Chapter 9 SAX - Java or Visual Basic, you'll also need their respective expensive development studios.
Chapter 10 SOAP - ASP, VBScript, Javascript. Also note SOAP encoding rules aren't covered.
Chapter 11 Displaying XML - CSS
Chapter 12 XML & Databases - VBScript, ASP, ADO. You'll also require Microsoft Access.
You'll also need many of the languages listed above in order to follow the two case studies, and with case study one it will help if you know a bit about Java Servlets.
Even if you do have all this knowledge the book isn't very good anyway, as a matter of fact it's quite terrible. The chapter on XSLT is incomplete by far. XSL-FO isn't covered at all. XML Schemas are covered over two chapters but this is still far from complete. Web Services are mentioned but not covered. To be honest nothing is covered properly, you're given a taste and then told to buy another one of their books if you want to learn properly. Plugs for their other books occur over and over again, I lost count of the number of publications of theirs they wanted me to buy in order to teach me what this book was suppose to teach me. Note also that there aren't any questions at the end of each chapter, so you can't test what you have or haven't learnt, as the case may be. Basically they are talking at you and hoping you'll become an expert without getting you to attempt to apply what you are trying to learn. Also the books age is really starting to show.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant introduction, yet many shenanigans
This book introduces XML concepts at an easy to understand level. The chapter I enjoyed the least was the SAX chapter, mostly because the writer had such an outrageously different... Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Kawika
1.0 out of 5 stars This book Stinks
I can understand why WROX went out of business.
This is just about the worst programming book I have ever read. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars bad book
hard to read.
too much large.
imposible to finish the book, and to learn nothing with this book.
Published on June 27 2002 by Juan Sebastian Alarcon
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks spoil the food !
.
I gave it 3 stars because it floods you with lot of Information.
In reality this book can easily be reduced (from current 750+ pages) to 400 pages. Read more
Published on May 29 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars THE intro for (MS) Developers
See my full comment on XML Bible Gold Edition. Basically, these two books are complementary - one for Coders and the other for Writers/Designers. Read more
Published on March 22 2002 by Chia-heng Yao
4.0 out of 5 stars Good coverage of XML and related standards
Definitely a good book for beginners; also a nice reference guide. Covers XML, Namespaces, DOM, SAX, XSLT, SOAP, Schemas, etc. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2002 by Darshan Singh
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great
I found this book confusing. I am pretty good with HTML and have some experience programming Visual Basic.
I would not recommend this for beginners. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Rafter is XML's Zeus
Editor Jeff Rafter contributes more information to this field than any other person on Earth. I think they should have named this book "XML Perfected, By: Jeff Rafter and... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2002 by Andrew Solt Prod.
1.0 out of 5 stars A book of frustrations
If you are beginning XML this is not the book for you. The book contains a high number of errors in the examples. Keep away from this books second edition.
Published on Jan. 8 2002 by Sid Cintron
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