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3.7 out of 5 stars
Java and XSLT
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This book is definitely showing it's age. It covers XSLT as it was in 2001. It's all about having a flexible front-end and serving XML out as HTML and WML, or using it for internationalization. It's coverage of code generation is very, very minimal. There is also very little in the way of advice about increasing processing efficiency. There are also small mistakes; for example the misstatements about CGI and Servlets, which is a common error in Java articles and books.
That being said, the examples are well annotated and the XML is highlighted for readability. The code is loosely annotated, which is the O'Reilly style, but it still makes some of the larger code fragments had to follow.
As long as you know that this book is a little dated you will find reasonable material in here about XML, XSLT and how to get it into Java. It could use a second edition with more topical material.
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on February 2, 2004
This book chooses to forgoe some of the more standard tools for XSL translation that are on the market. The author instead uses alternate opensourced implementations (JDOM vs DOM). The problem with this is that in the real world, constraints often exist on your project such that you cannot use alternatives (oh no!). So instead of getting a robust book that explains how to implement DOM and translate, you get a book that wallows in the use of alternate methods and focuses on one thing: creating dynamic HTML. Honestly, this is a rahter tired subject in the XML world. I am more interested in how to translate XML to PDF or RTF or XL. I am not asking for a plain answer, but I was at least hoping for a very beginner approach.
I have spent a week trying to get an implementation going and there is so much that I do not understand. I was hoping that this book would remedy that. It, sadly, does not. The example code is too specific to really help with a real world (constrained) application (I am developing for Oracle systems and they include the standard parsers from org.wc3.dom and org.xml.sax, using others requires server updates that are not recommended). I cannot recommend other titles as I have not read many others and the ones I have read are not too helpful.
Good luck, but steer clear of this one, unless you don't mind losing fifteen dollars.
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on May 16, 2003
Author does a nice job introducing XSLT and XPATH.
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on February 18, 2003
This book is not what I hope for. Although it has been out for a couple of years the author has not even aknowledged some of the major typos in the book (see O'Reilly web site).
Although nicely written in a style that can be fairly easily followed, it is missing a substantial amount of needed reference material. For example in the section on conditional statements it refers to boolean expressions. Nowhere does he provide a list of operators or build-in functions available. You either have to build your own incomplete list gleaned from his examples or go find a good reference book.
O'Reilly authors generally do a better job.
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on May 31, 2002
Focused too heavily on dynamically created XML being transformed to HTML.
I am interested in the power of XSL for transforming business data between disparate systems. Simple code examples from the web site often didn't work. No complex examples in the book.
I was very disappointed to find that the "XSLT Quick Reference" in Appendix C consists of syntax requirements straight from the W3C spec and single line references for where to look in the W3C spec for a "Quick Reference".
Example:
For <xsl:apply-imports>
The "Quick Reference" provides the following ...
<xsl:apply-imports>
See XSLT specification section 5.6: "Overriding Template Rules."
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on January 27, 2002
This is a very nice book. After explaining how to use XSL,XML with Java, the author delves into a chapter where a project is presented and a very nice solution is presented. You have to finish this chapter to appreciate the whole book. What is nice is that the author employs design patterns that makes you say -- hey I'll use this technique in my next project. Tomcat, MySQL, and a text editor are all you need to do all the examples here.
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on December 5, 2001
The combination of Servlets and XSLT is a natural fit and a possible alternative to Servlets and JSP.
This book gives excellent coverage to using XSLT to generate dynamic web pages. The first part of the book is an introduction to XSLT. For those unfamiliar with XSLT, this part of the book will be an excellent introduction. For those using XSLT, an additional tutorial or reference will be required. The next part of the book covers how to use a Java program to transform an XML document into HTML. SAX, DOM, JDOM, and JAXP are all covered. This section includes information on how to configure your environment to correctly process XML documents. Anyone who has run into the mysterious "sealing violation" will appreciate this help. The next part of the book is a series of case studies starting with a discussion forum. The case studies demonstrate solutions to real world programming issues and help to uncover some of the issues that programmers will face if they choose to use these technologies. Performance issues are discussed with each solution.
My one complaint with this book is that the author tends to overstate the advantages of XSLT while understating the advantages of JSP. Overall, the author has done an outstanding job of putting the two technologies (Java and XSLT) together in a way that is easy to understand.
Anyone interested in using XSLT in their Java development efforts should start with this book.
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on November 2, 2001
Indeed, this is a great book to get started with XSLT in a Java world, and to see a few specific examples of how Java and XSLT efficiently combine to build real-world applications. I'd call it a cross between a tutorial and a general-purpose book on the subject. It does include some reference information on the most commonly used Java API's for XSLT processing and XML parsing. More useful than the references are the real-life examples that show Java programmers how to effectively code the various DOM, SAX, JAXP, JDOM, and other API's to actually use XSLT stylesheets.
This book is *not* a reference or tutorial for all of XSLT; if you really want to learn XSLT you need another book - perhaps Mike Kay's "XSLT" by Wrox press. This book (Java and XSLT) shows how to write basic XSLT stylesheets and how to integrate them into effective Java programs. It can help you to decide when integrating XSLT will be efficient (easier maintenance of XSLT code than Java code; easier for some content management tasks and staffers) and when you might consider another methodology.
If you don't know what you need to know about XSLT and stylesheets, this is an excellent place to start! (And I'm not just saying that because my name is in the book 8-)
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on October 10, 2001
A year ago when I was struggling with XSL stylesheets and servlets this book would have been a god send. Unfortunately, I stumbled and learned much of what's in this book through reading countless sources and documentation. Some of the outstanding features of this book are its thorough yet concise coverage of XSL syntax. The first three chapters could easily replace most thick XSL books on the market today. It also goes into quite a bit of detail into the use of JAXP, which I've found very useful in a couple of projects. Also, there are some extremely useful techniques for using XSL with Servlets (such as Stylesheet caching). All in all a very worthwhile read.
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