Beginning XML Paperback – Sep 24 2004
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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.
Youll learn XML basics, then explore an XML-based programming language that enables you to transform XML documents into different formats. Youll 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.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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