5.0 out of 5 stars The 3rd edition is an excellent update for this series...
I've had the opportunity to go through the XML 1.1 Bible by Elliotte Rusty Harold (Wiley), and I must say it's impressive. Any time you get a tech book going into a 3rd edition, you have to think that the author is doing something right. If you fit the criteria for the target audience, you should be pleased.
The chapter breakout:
Published on July 3 2004 by Thomas Duff
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Examples
While I think that for the most part XML Bible is a very comprehensive book that provided me with a good introduction to using XML, I really have to criticize the example programs the author uses.
There are two examples that Harold uses throughout the book. One (the baseball stats one) contains 47 elements, takes up three pages, and is entirely too long to follow...
Published on Oct 18 2001 by RJ Rollmaster
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 3rd edition is an excellent update for this series...,
This review is from: XML 1.1 Bible (Paperback)I've had the opportunity to go through the XML 1.1 Bible by Elliotte Rusty Harold (Wiley), and I must say it's impressive. Any time you get a tech book going into a 3rd edition, you have to think that the author is doing something right. If you fit the criteria for the target audience, you should be pleased.
The chapter breakout:
I mentioned the "target audience" above. As you can tell from the chapter layout (and also in the introduction), the author is targeting XML as used in web page design. You won't find anything in here about how to write a Java program to parse out XML using one of the XML parsers available. If that's your need, don't get this book. You'll be highly disappointed. This should be used as more of a reference tool for working with XML or related technologies like DTD or XSL.
I also appreciated the author's explanation as to what went into the 3rd edition. Rather than just add more stuff to what already existed, he removed XML technology chapters that just never caught momentum, like VML or RDF. So although the book is still 1000 pages, it's made up of content that is usable and applicable to the current state and direction of the technology. It's nice to know you're not getting a rehash of material just so the author can squeeze a few more bucks out of a title. Thanks!
The conversational and informal tone of the writing makes the material very approachable and readable. The examples are clear and concise, and relevant to how the technology would be used in the real world. Overall, a very good selection to add to your XML bookshelf.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good coverage of XML, but why bother?,
As a side note this book is HUGE.
After the first three chapters of this Bible you get into what is basically theory, since that is what XML is - theory (for most people anyway).
Now I'm a web developer, so I'm biased in that regard. If you are a web developer thinking of moving into the XML sphere - I have to ask why? Shouldn't you rather be learning some nice PHP or MySQL - stuff that will, you know, make your web site cool and useful instead of more (unnecessary) work for yourself?
Well I shouldn't say that (I did though didn't i?), you might be able to make an extremely complicated page out of XML if you are really, really bored. Or, you could just zap off some regular HTML that will actually work in most browsers for now and the forseable (?) future.
The best part of the book of course is that ERH (the author again) uses Baseball as his XML specification of choice - this makes it both interesting (as far as that is possible with this technology) and fun.
If you want to learn XML, pick up a copy of this hefty tome. If you aren't sure if you want to learn XML do not pick up a copy of this hefty tome as you will never read it, and even if you do you'll be unlikely to use any of it.
I like the cover - a standing robot. That's how you'll feel after 'reading' this incredibly large book. Actually you'll be sitting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to start,
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read,
I recommend this book to every programmer who wants to pick up XML quickly and does not have lots of time.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is where you start!,
The problem with XML is that you can use it for a lot of different things. (Hence those 1200 pages.) So people who write about it tend to be specialists in some specific area, like building XML web applications, or designing XML document schemas, etc. Or else they're markup standards wonks, good at picking out the tiny nits that make the whole concept work, but terrible at explaining what XML is *for*.
Harold, by contrast, knows his readers, and knows what they need. He makes very few assumptions about what you already know. If you know how to use a text editor (but see below for a warning) and a web browser, you're ready to go. The author leads you step by step through all the basic concepts. There are a *lot* of steps, of course. But only the first 200 pages are absolutely essential for every reader. Not everybody needs to know about Document Type Definitions, Wireless Markup Language, or Scalable Vector Graphics. Not that there's any flab here -- all the different XML applications Harold describes are widely used, and it makes sense to include a good basic intro to all of them.
Harold also avoids a mistake I myself probably would have made -- he carefully avoids dealing XML's historical baggage. XML is a limited version of SGML -- a technology that wasted decades floundering in its own complexity. For once history really is bunk.
I do have some issues, more with the publisher than with the author. The big one is the sample text files on the CD -- all with Macintosh line endings! Judging from the screenshots, the author works mainly with Windows, so we can't blame him. If you're not a Mac person, you need a text editor that can handle these files, or a program for converting them. Notepad doesn't work, Wordpad does -- but complains a lot about "discarding formatting." If you're a vim user, add "mac" to the fileformats option.
Actually, it's pretty silly to even bother with a CD for this kind of material. Attention publishers! Book buyers are not impressed by "bonus cd-roms" that contain freely available software and text files that would be easier to download from the web. Nor are they impressed by silly markteroid terms like "Bible". Who are you, Charleton Heston?
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bible for Writers/Designers,
This review is from: XML Bible, Gold Edition (Hardcover)I am finally getting around to actually checking out XML, and spent a few days checking out the field for that perfect, up-to-date introduction. I found ...
It seems to be pretty much a toss-up between this book and the Wrox Beginning XML, and that seems to reflect the overall position of XML itself. At first, it attracted the Writers (aka web designers, content providers) as a web content description/management system. Then the Coders (enterprise app developers, MS & Co.) got into the act, seeing it as a universal middleware protocol to replace all the old proprietary EDI protocols. Two very different visions for the same technology. This book seems whole-heartedly and unapologetically devoted to the former, going into depth about XML's linguistic prowess in organizing, representing, and transforming CONTENT, but has _nothing_ to say about using it as a vehicle for data exchange (B2B, Web Services, SOAP).
The Wrox book on the other hand, seems to take the completely opposite approach, wallowing in SOAP and ASP code, writing prototype web services and hooking up to database. A book for the enterprise developer thru and thru.
This left-brain/right-brain split means that you need BOTH books to get the complete picture of XML today. I do think this book is better written and more friendly, though. And the thought of getting the Complete Shakespearean Plays in XML as a freebie is downright exciting :-)
I am a C++ guy, but this much seems obvious. I welcome comments from more experienced XML jockeys (and better book recommendations, if any!)
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice choice for beginning XML,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars redundant not-so-related examples,
1.0 out of 5 stars Who said bad things are cheap?,
This review is from: XML Bible, Gold Edition (Hardcover)Its not enough being a very bad reference it is also very
This book should not be allowed to be printed it is simply a hoax. Pages and pages spent with long examples containing long listings of useless data (like the USA baseball league examples) Those lists are spread all over the book, and if put together would consume more than a 100 pages of this book. The subject "XML" and its applications are approached slowly and superficially with POOR examples, the reading becomes uninteresting and fastidious. If one wants to waste money is better to through his bucks in the garbage! This book I wouldn't recommend for an enemy.
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Examples,
There are two examples that Harold uses throughout the book. One (the baseball stats one) contains 47 elements, takes up three pages, and is entirely too long to follow easily, even if you *do* understand baseball. The other (Hello World!) contains only one element and is useless beyond it's appearance as the first program you work with. I found that as a result of having just these two examples (one horribly complicated and one overly simplified) made things hard to follow sometiems. Indeed, the chapter on DTD's, one of the more complicated chapters in the book, was much more difficult to grasp than it should have been.
Some other examples programs show up in the second half of the book, but if you prefer lots of example programs when you are just starting out, or if you like to type them in yourself, look for a book with some middle ground, rather than one that goes to the extreme ends of simplicity and complexity.
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XML 1.1 Bible by Elliotte Rusty Harold (Paperback - Feb 20 2004)
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