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Beginning XML Paperback – Jul 10 2012
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From the Back Cover
Dive into the key aspects of XML to deliver data on the web
From simple data transfers to providing multi-channeled content, there's so much you can do with XML and this guide will get you started. It walks you through everything you need to know about this powerful language, including what it is, how it works, what technologies accompany it, and how you can apply it. You'll quickly discover how to manipulate XML documents, store XML in databases, extract data, utilize web services, and even use it for web page and image display. With the help of a case study, you'll even learn how to apply this information to give your programming a boost.
Beginning XML, 5th Edition
- Covers the goals of XML and the rules for constructing it
- Explores different techniques that help you verify that the XML is in the correct format
- Shows how to work with XQuery to create new XML documents and query existing data
- Explains how to retrieve data using DOM, XPath, and LINQ to XML
- Examines programming techniques specifically designed to cope with large documents
- Details how to present data for use by different systems
- Demonstrates a realistic XML pipeline used in a publishing business
Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that guides you through all the techniques involved.
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About the Author
Joe Fawcett is the head of software at Kaplan Financial and was one of the first Microsoft MVPs for XML.
Liam R. E. Quin is the W3C XML Activity Lead and Staff Contact for the XML Query Working Group, and the XSL-FO subgroup of the XSL Working Group.
Danny Ayers works for Talis on applications for their hosted semantic web platform.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I confirm the review by C. Wilson : the book is full of errors and typos. I've wasted quite a few hours. I've decided to give up trying to learn from this book since I can't trust the content anymore.
I've been an Amazon customer since 1999 and I've never felt the need to write a review. But this 4.5 stars out of 5 stars, as of April 20th 2013, clearly upsets me because it's totally unfair to give such a high rating to a book with so many mistakes. And it's a 5th edition on top of that! Unbelievable!
That's why it's my first review on Amazon after 14 years as a loyal customer.
I wrote to the author, Joe Fawcett, on March 19th 2013 and here was his answer :
First email :
"Thanks for reading the book. I will try to answer your two queries but won't be able to do so until I am home tomorrow.
In future I suggest you submit them to the official forum at [...]
The main reason for this is to get the correct person responding, for instance I don't think I wrote the chapter referred to in your second email."
Second email :
"I have checked and indeed I didn't write this chapter. If you post your questions to the forum I mentioned earlier I will make sure the relevant author tries to help.
I've spent some time to write to him and it should be up to me to spend even more time to create an account and post on a forum? I mean it's his book. He is the author or at least one of them. He should be self-conscious and take the matter seriously even though he didn't write this particular chapter.
Later, I've found many more mistakes and I finally understood that it was not me who wasn't understanding but the book which had too many errors, typos, and missing explanations.
Did anyone at least proofread the book? They will say yes but how do you then explain so many issues?
I give 1 star because once you can not trust the book anymore (for me it was at the end of chapter 5, chapter about XML Schema), there is no point to keep reading anymore.
I really wish I could have my time and money back. I am not a student, I needed to understand XML Schema for work. My estimate is that this book costed us from $200 to $1000 USD.
Time is money. Don't waste yours. Follow my advice : don't buy this book.
I would steer clear of this book if you can and hopefully the authors will come out with a sixth edition sooner rather than later with corrected material.
"They begin with and end with a semicolon, but instead of an abbreviation as the middle part they have a number representing the character's Unicode code point. The number can be in hexadecimal or decimal. For example, if you wanted to represent the Greek letter omega (Ω) as a reference it would be Ω in hexadecimal or &937#; in decimal."
One starts with "" and ends with ";" while the second example starts with "&" and ends with "#;".
The book also provides examples of XML with things like DOCTYPE and ENTITY without explaining what they are, yet mentioning these coding functions as options for the example. It also says things like "and then you do it just like if you were working with HTML". I'm not learning HTML, I'm learning XML. Its like teaching someone how to drive a manual transmission by saying "and then, just like riding a motorcycle, you feather the clutch and gas, only with your feet instead of your hands." It also mentions how XML could have been designed a different way, which would allow you to do "this", but it isn't so you have to do it a different way. That will be covered three chapters from now.
So, if you already know how to code (especially HTML, apparently) this book is probably a good way to learn the syntax of XML. But, without a background or experience in coding its confusing. I wouldn't recommend this for learning XML, although it may work as a reference for experienced programmers just looking for basic XML concepts. But then you could just go to the W3 website.
If you know a little HTML, that's all you really need to get started here. The authors step us through with a very nice pace, building on each section without assuming we're already HTML or CSS experts. Remember, XML is a document storage, transmission and management STANDARD, NOT a "display" language where you can add some tags and "go bold." In fact, XML has to depend on other languages to do everything else around it's standard-- and doesn't even have "native" tags. If you're turning your website into a database or search driven document behemoth, you'll likely be investing in LINQ, SQL and PDF conversions from and to XML to make your system work.
There are a couple other books out there on XML, but they are outdated. This 5th Edition has ALL the latest "plug ins" surrounding XML, and without them you'd really be out of date! SEO folks will love this, because it takes the usual "Google secret Numerical Analysis" formulas and raises them a step up to sleek compliance details that will optimize how the spiders see your pages. Like the donkey, if you don't whack the spider on the head with compliance and best info practices first, who cares how great the metas are if it doesn't look at them?
Who else? ANYONE whose life is data management intensive. I'm CTO at a worldwide Body of Knowledge DBMS firm (iabok dot org) and our daily routine includes HUGE documents, and is all about Taxonomy and data management, storage and retrieval. So, here's a list: Publishers, Lawyers, Educators, SEO folk, Web Designers, Archivists, Librarians, ISPs, Internet semantics folk, Search folk, Router and Network folk, Global CFO's required to report in XBRL/XML to SEC by 2013... etc.
Ontology in philosophy is about whether things are real or not, in DBMS it's about filters-- what we accept and reject, and why. XML was created assuming that someday information would become so massive, we'd need a special language just to direct traffic. Someday is here. People creating the best data driven web services don't use XML because they "have to" to comply with standards that the spiders like, they do so because it is a ROCKING language that handles huge chunks of info very efficiently when you surround it with it's favorite tools. XML also is the "heart" of many other X languages (like the aforementioned XBRL), which use it's attributes to populate their namespace ISO's, schemas and even rule details.
This book will meet your needs even if you only "have" to use XML due to a standard, but will also be really helpful and enjoyable if you also are trying to get or stay up to date on best practices not only for the "right" way to do things, but also the most enjoyable, efficient and effective. Out in IT land those two rarely go together, but in XML land, with texts like this to show us the links, they do.
Written clearly enough for self study, but would also make a great text for a course. Would you skim, read, study or refer to this? With a lot of HTML knowledge-- skim and refer, as a beginner, read and study, then skim and refer as you grow. Yep, definitely works for more than one narrow audience.