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XML in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference [Paperback]

Elliotte Rusty Harold , W. Scott Means
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Paperback, June 27 2002 --  
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Book Description

June 27 2002 0596002920 978-0596002923 Second Edition

This powerful new edition provides developers with a comprehensive guide to the rapidly evolving XML space. Serious users of XML will find topics on just about everything they need, from fundamental syntax rules, to details of DTD and XML Schema creation, to XSLT transformations, to APIs used for processing XML documents. Simply put, this is the only reference of its kind among XML books.

Whether you're a Web designer using SVG to add vector graphics to web pages, or a C++ programmer using SOAP to serialize objects into a remote database, XML in a Nutshell thoroughly explains the basic rules that all XML documents -- and all XML document creators -- must adhere to, including:

  • Essentials of the core XML standards: With this book, you can develop an understanding of well-formed XML, DTDs, namespaces, Unicode, and W3C XML Schema quickly.
  • Key technologies used mainly for narrative XML documents such as web pages, books, and articles: You'll gain a working knowledge of XSLT, Xpath, Xlink, Xpointer, CSS, and XSL-FO.
  • Technologies for building data-intensive XML applications, and for processing XML documents of any kind: One of the most unexpected developments in XML has been its enthusiastic adoption for structured documents used for storing, and exchanging used by a wide variety of programs. This book will help you understand the tools and APIs needed to write software that processes XML, including the event-based Simple API for XML (SAX2) and the tree-oriented Document Object Model (DOM).
Quick-reference chapters also detail syntax rules and usage examples for the core XML technologies, including XML, DTDs, Xpath, XSLT, SAX, and DOM. If you need explanation of how a technology works, or just need to quickly find the precise syntax for a particular piece, this up-to-date edition is ready with the information.

XML in a Nutshell is an essential guide for developers who need to create XML-based file formats and data structures for use in XML documents. This is one book you'll want to close at hand as you delve into XML.


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Concise, accurate and sharply focused, XML in a Nutshell is a complete introduction to the essentials of the XML standard. It aims to give software developers a full understanding of how XML works, and also provides a handy reference to the version 1.0 recommendation from the W3C (Word Wide Web Consortium).

In four parts, the first part introduces XML and covers the fundamentals, including chapters on Document Type Definitions, Namespaces, and Internationalisation. The next part focuses on XML as a document format, with coverage of XHTML, XSL transformations, XPath, XLinks and XPointer, and using CSS (Cascading Stylesheets) or XSL-FO (XSL Formatting Objects). Data transmission and programming are the focus of the third part, which explains the Document Object Model and introduces SAX (the Simple API for XML). The final part is the reference section, and covers XML 1.0, XPath, XSLT, DOM, SAX and character sets.

XML is a slippery subject. It is really a family of many related specifications, most of which are still evolving, and in addition most developers need to know about several XML applications alongside the core technology. This handbook sticks mostly to the core of XML, so you should not expect more than a mention of SOAP, SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics), or MathML, to take three examples. It is disappointing to find hardly any coverage of the XML Schema language.

For what it does cover though, XML in a Nutshell is a masterpiece of compression, laying the foundations for an excellent understanding of XML and finding space for example code and apt comments along the way. --Tim Anderson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

If your interested in this technology take a look around at the existent books and don't leave this book behind! -- Calgary Oracle Users Group, March 6, 2002. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Specialized reference book for XML with JAVA June 24 2004
Format:Paperback
This books starts out with a quick explanation and walkthrough or XML 1.0 specification that is pretty good. It is lacking a XML Schema (XSD) section as well covers very briefly the XSLT (XML Stylesheets) anyone wishing to anything with sytlesheets after reading this book will be disappointed. XPath coverage is pretty good as well as SAX, & DTD. XLink, XPointer, are talking about but nothing in depth. All example code is in JAVA. Anyone wanting specialized knowledge of ASP.NET / .NET / MS SQL usage of XML should look elsewhere (this is somewhat understandable due to the publish date.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the only XML book I have - I skimmed through several and this one was far and away the best. You will have to know what you are trying to do and sort of figure out which parts of the book to pay attention to as there is so much there. I spent some time with DTDs only to realize they were unnecessary for what I was doing. But the book allowed me to build an application from scratch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful when taking a course in XML. Aug. 19 2003
Format:Paperback
I found this book useful for learning XML. Because XML offers a large variety of uses, this book is not well suited for beginners. pvr-consulting
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than good value for money May 3 2003
Format:Paperback
The authors managed to compress an amazing amount of information in a very small amount of space, without affecting readability. Including coverage of XML, DTD, Namespaces, XSL, Xpath, Xlinks, DOM and much more, including Schemas (missing from previous edition). As a bonus we get reference for XML, Schemas, Xpath, XSLT, DOM and SAX. Much more than good value for money, it's a real bargain. Just not recommended to absolute newbies
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2.0 out of 5 stars bad organization with some typo erros. Nov. 30 2002
Format:Paperback
I have read part of the book and tried to use it as a reference, but always confused with the bad organization, not to mention some typo errors.
personally, I don't recommend it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Worst explanation of XML itself, bad presentation Oct. 17 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The first 3 chapters are explained so wage that you really do not get any introduction to XML. No direct benifits of XML are explained. You feel to stop reading this book.
I forcibly continued to the next chapters....
DTD chapter is OK but not practical.
Namespaces chapter is so badly explained that I just can not explain in words. One should read that chapter and decide themselves of how to express that bad explanation. I am not finding words to explain.
THE IMPORTANT POINT IS "THEY USE UNKNOWN WORDS SUCH AS XSLT, XLink, XPath BEFORE EXPLAINING WHAT THEY ARE". In the very first chapter they explained all these in 2 lines without any meaning. I really did not understand what they are trying to explain. They use XLink, XPath etc in previous chapters and explain what they are in the next chapters. So, really you dont understand what they are using in previous chapters.
Simply, very badly written. It is complete waste of money purchasing this book. Moreover, one of the authors might have written some classical suspense novels. His explanation of subject was always comparing with something imaginatory and put you in lot of trouble. Especially first few chapters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-organized information in a compact format Oct. 10 2002
Format:Paperback
This book continues the Nutshell tradition of putting a lot of information into a well-written, well organized format. The first 330 pages give a useful summary of each of the core XML standards along with short but illustrative examples. The writer's did an excellent job of covering the technical details of each technology and explaining where that technology could be applied. The final 220 pages are a good reference of the different tags and attributes of each standard. The reference also includes one of the best breakdowns of Unicode character sets I have found in a printed book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have For ALL Developers Oct. 1 2002
Format:Paperback
I can't stress to you enough that this is the XML book of all XML books. I am NOT an expert in XML, but with this book, I can fumble my way through an XML application. This book will NOT teach you everything there is to know about XML. This book IS a wonderful reference to thumb through for each XML question that arises. If I had to buy one XML book to do my job, XML in a Nutshell would be the one. I own many books in the "Nutshell" series and absolutely LOVE and use them all. So if you've got a project in XML to complete, go get this book and watch how much time it saves you.
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