on February 11, 2003
If you're a Java developer looking to get up to speed on how XML/Java/XSLT/Web Services, and lots of other topics, then this book is a great place to start.
The book doesn't pretend to (and says so) teach every topic it covers (XSL, for example is presented in context but not really taught -- that would take a MUCH bigger book). Still, with some familarity with the topics, the code presented is great. XML (part of the book's title) is covered quite nicely.
It's assumed that you're somewhat familiar with Java.
In my case, I needed to find some clear explanations of how to create an XML file and then read that XML file along with an XSL stylesheet (I was learning XSL using Java/XSLT by O'Reiley at the same time). Barry's JDOM chapter and the chapter on putting data on the Web solved both these issues.
Don't get put off that this is a "Dummies" book. I have found it useful for at least two projects (the most recent I wrote about above).
Also, when there was a minor problem with the code where IE 6 wouldn't recognize the stylesheet processing instruction when it was at the bottom of the XML file, the author was extremely helpful and responsive to this issue. He helped me research the problem and wrote me back with his findings.
To put my review in perspective: I'm the kind of developer who likes to learn to walk before I learn to run. If you like to just jump into a complex book and wade your way though the material, then this book might not be for you. But, if you like to get a feeling for the technology and get relatively straightforward examples *working* first, then check out this book.
Barry explains topics clearly and simply.
All in all, I found this book to be completely refreshing compared to most of the books out there.
on November 15, 2002
I have 18 years exp. with IBM BAL and I'm also doing some work with modern technologies. I have looked through many JAVA/XML books and this is definitely the best book for both beginners and advanced users. Author presents in good depth a vast array of present technology, samples are working like that!! It has helped me a lot to get a grip of advanced matter such as SAX, DOM, JDOM, schema, SOAP and so on... Some other nice features of this book is a good readable style and more than usual coverage of the main subject.
I am grateful to the author for the enormous scope of what has been accomplished. And, of course, I'll try to follow the recommendation to buy another books by Barry Burd in two copies: one for my home, and another for my office.