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Beginning XML, 3rd Edition [Paperback]

David Hunter , Andrew Watt , Jeff Rafter


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Book Description

Sept. 10 2004 Programmer to Programmer
What is this book about? Beginning XML,3rd Edition, like the first two editions, begins with a broad overview of the technology and then focuses on specific facets of the various specifications for the reader. 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 and second editions, and provides new material to reflect the changes in the XML landscape notably RSS and SVG.

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"…a comprehensive text for anyone who is serious about learning XML…" (International Developer, June 2005)

From the Back Cover

Now firmly established as a mature technology with numerous applications, XML has spawned additional functionalities, each with its own specifications. This edition of the highly popular guidebook for beginning XML programmers teaches you not only what XML is and how to use it, but also how it partners with XPath, XSLT, XQuery, XHTML, and others. You'll learn XML basics, then explore an XML-based programming language that enables you to transform XML documents into different formats. You'll discover how to query databases for XML information, publish XML documents on the Web, and create interactive forms and graphics with XML. By the end of this book, you will feel confident applying XML in real-world situations. What you will learn from this book Basic concepts of XML and how to define elements, tags, and attributes Rules for naming and structuring elements to produce well-formed XML How to validate XML using Document Type Definitions (DTDs) Guidelines for structuring documents with DTDs, XML schemas, and RELAX NG How to use XPath and XSLT to process documents Communication techniques using RSS, Web Services, SOAP, and WSDL Ways to manipulate documents for display with XHTML, CSS, SVG, and XForms Who this book is for This book is for any programmer interested in learning to use XML. Some knowledge of Web programming or data exchange techniques is helpful but not necessary. Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a buzzword you will see everywhere on the Internet, but it's also a rapidly maturing technology with powerful real-world applications, particularly for the management, display, and organization of data. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Choppy and poorly written Jan. 8 2007
By R. M. Barge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
(I don't have time for a full review right now,so I will write a few comments and try to add to them.)

I knew very little about XML, so this sounded promising. As of Chapter 8, my general comments are:

1. The teaching structure is often murky. At many spots, the authors don't seem to grasp what a beginner needs to know first in order to go to the next step. This makes the material unnecessarily difficult and confusing.

2. Instead of one example page, for some reason the authors will sometimes create one XML page to illustrate a point, then create another completely different page to illustrate the next point, then go back to the first one for the next point, etc. It's inexplicable. The book would be much easier to follow, and probably easier to write, if they built one XML page from scratch and used/modified it throughout the book.

3. There are too many editorial screw-ups, such as "Figures" that are labeled incorrectly or don't exist -- that is, the text will say "see Figure 7 for the output" and Figure 7 will be the wrong one. I really have no patience with expensive books that don't bother to pay for one thorough copy-editing.

I am currently on Chapter 8 (XSLT), one of the worst-written ones. After a completely unnecessary discussion about "procedural" versus "declarative" programming (I imagine every reader is at least basically familiar with css, and if not, it is hardly difficult to understand "declarative" programming), the book just starts throwing XLST terms at you, with no foundation as to what they are doing or why. I finally gave up and pulled up the online W3C tutorial. This tutorial is free, covers most of the material, and is well-organized and easy to understand. Teaching in logical order isn't that hard.

There is a ton of good information in "Beginning XML", and the information on how to find, install, and use software such as Saxon and Schematron is invaluable. It is a shame that the authors didn't take the time to actually give the book to a few XML novices and then rewrite it as the introductory text it is supposed to be. The poorly organized writing at least doubles, and often triples, the time, energy, and painful confusion needed to learn the material.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4th edition is vastly updated - May 2007 Sept. 20 2004
By J. Minatel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Any review prior to May 2007 has to refer to one of the 3 older editions. The 4th edition adds a new chapter on Ajax, simplifies some of the examples to focus the learning more on the concept and less on the example data itself, and is rearranged for some better flow. There were also fewer working authors on this edition for better cohesion from chapter to chapter.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good, but not practical for non-Microsoft users Feb. 16 2006
By M. Edrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am taking an XML class at the University using this book as the required course text. The authors do a good job at highlighting the key technologies, and the examples and tutorials significantly enhance the material. I enjoy the straight-forward manner with which Hunter and his friends explains what the example code in the book does. My only disappointment is that the book does not explain in enough detail how to use XML technologies on non-Microsoft systems. I believe a greater emphasis on Java and non-VB/ASP/.NET can extend the benefits this book otherwise offers.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In need of some serious editing Oct. 14 2005
By Pen Name - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is for beginning programmers only and also in need of some serious editing.

I have to agree with other comments which describe this as a poorly written book. I have read other Wrox books and have enjoyed them. This book is torturously wordy. Annoying, unfunny jokes and quips abound. (as opposed to "fine ham") I found myself skipping/speed-reading entire paragraphs and pages just to get to the meat of the subject. Fortunately, once you do find the meat, the book seems very helplful.

If you have experience in programming and want a book that quickly brings you up to speed on XML and its associated technologies, this is NOT the book. Try O'Reilly's XML in a Nutshell instead.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on XML and related subjects March 1 2005
By Aramaki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Looking at all of Wrox books that are currently on sale, this is the most well-written and most useful one. And among the XML books out there, this is one of the top three. Better than O'Reiley's XML In A Nutshell 3rd Edition at teaching the beginners how to get started on XML, and explains the concept clearly. Covers DTD and Schema along with other XML related applications. Usually books written by multiple authors are a pain in the neck to read, the difference in writing style would simply confuse you. But not this one. If they tell me that all chapters are written by one single author, I'd belive them.

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