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XML in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference Paperback – Jun 27 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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XML in a Nutshell
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (June 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596002920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002923
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 757 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,150,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
About a year ago I bought an xml book title "Mastering XML" by Sybex to be exact, and it was a disappointment. It was so boring to read, and not only that, it got me confused on the fundumentals of what I can do with XML. Starting out on a new subject on the wrong foot was a huge let down and set back. As a result, it got me to put aside XML for months.
Months past and seeing my peers raving on with how easy it was to work with XML was more than I can beared. I wanted to get back in the game and quick. What I want was just one solid book, no boring theory, just XML to core. I want an XML book that focuses on the fundumentals, and leave all the theory and advance mumble-jumble stuffs to the programmers to sort it out in his/her own terms. With help from other reviews, I found that book!
And this is that book. It is well organized with XML internal structures and layouts. It explains how to use XML in plain simple steps, in plain english, and in plain diagrams. In just days, XML was starting to unraveled itself, and I know exactly how to use it, where to use it, and when to use it. FINALLY, xml redemption!
BTW, I agreed with the other reviewer, "If stranded on an island and allow just one XML book, this is the one."
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Format: Paperback
What I was looking for: I have some familiarity with DTDs from using them
as an occasional reference when working with HTML documents, but I have
not had to be worry about the precise and subtle details. I am considering
using XML in some (database) applications, and would need to write and
modify some limited DTDs and use various of the capabilities covered in this
book. I have substantial experience developing and using formal grammars.
Hence, I was looking for a book that would explain the "why"'s of the
language - the intuitions behind the constructs (for example, how they
were intended to be used) and what was behind the inevitable tradeoffs
in a language design.
A quick sampling of this book suggested that it might be a good fit.
However, it turned out to be what I would consider to be an early draft.
Linearization and pacing of the information is very poor:
- multiple times I could not tell whether an explanation applied
to the example above it or the one below it.
- new information would be introduced during the explanation of an
example without delineating that it was not part of the example.
- terms would be introduced in an offhanded manner and then not used until
many pages later as a key part of the definition of an important concept.
I found myself having to repeatedly searching for these items that had
not made an impression when I first read them.
- a couple of times I found the information critical to an explanation
was not presented until several paragraphs after it was used (needed).
- adding to the memory load on the reader, there were comments that
"came out of nowhere" and then went nowhere that I could tell.
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Format: Paperback
This book's an authoritative document: covering XML basics like DTD authoring and detailed discussion of attribute types - through to the more esoteric issues of character sets and the tricky XML namespace standards.
At every step, I found it easy to follow. It's not a book for the non-computer literate though; more aimed at people with an existing basis of technical knowledge. A techie web-designer would find it a good start. About a third of the book is filled with references. I don't know why, but my heart usually sinks when I see page-filling content like this - that said, ultimately it's the reference books like this that end up covered with scribbles and post-it notes, so while they might not make good reading, they're very useful.
It touchs on all the necessary bases - XSLT, XPath, XHTML, XLink, XPointers, CSS - I could go on. This book does. Heck of a basis for future reading: after two and a half years in XML, there's stuff in here that I haven't come across before!
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