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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on June 4, 2002
The author has done a great job. This book covers a wide range of XML topics with a very consise writing style. Also, it is a nice balance that the author spends more pages on XML parsing than other topics, since parsing is indeed by far the most useful technology.
However, the book could have been more careful about I18N, especially in the sample codes. As XML is no doubt a hot topic globally, numerous XML documents are processed every day. Although Java is based on Unicode, software almost always need to be retrofitted when expanding into the global market. Therefore, instead of new FileInputStream(new File(xmlURI)), or new FileWriter(file), it is much better, in a sense of education, to write codes like new FileInputStream(new File(xmlURI), "UTF-8") and new OutputStreamWriter(new FileOutputStream(file), "UTF-8"). The reason is that a program relying on default encoding behaves differently on different platforms. Changing your habit right from the beginning saves a lot of your time when you begin to globalize your software later.
I think the author does mention this issue somewhere in the book (in a foot note I guess), but it is the sample codes that really influence the readers.
To be fair, life could have been easier had the API designer insisted that an encoding parameter is mandatory.
One more comment: It will be nice if the author discusses XPath API in the book. For simple applications, the XPath API is far more easier to use than parsing APIs.
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on January 16, 2002
The first edition of this book was considered one of the best on the subject of Java and XML. This new edition has expanded to include the developments in Java and XML over the last year. The author gives a little less handholding on the basics of XML reducing a three chapter introduction in the first edition to a one chapter summary. SAX, DOM, and JDOM all are covered in detail with each topic getting an introduction and an advanced chapter. JAXP 1.1 is covered in sufficient detail. After the introduction to the basic Java/XML APIs, the author moves on to some other interesting topics.
The chapters on web publishing frameworks and XML-RPC haven't changed much since the first edition. New chapters on SOAP, Web Services, and content syndication are welcome additions. The book ends with a look at data binding and JAXB.
The examples in the book are extremely clear and concise, explaining each topic well without being overly simplistic. As with the first edition, the author assumes that you are familiar with Java but unlike the first edition he assumes you have a basic understanding of XML.
If you are a Java developer and you are going to be working with XML then this book is required reading. The coverage of the Java/XML APIs is excellent. As for the other topics, it is a good introduction but for anyone working with SOAP or Web Services, other books will probably be required.
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on December 12, 2001
This book covers JDOM and XML-RPC very well, with links for downloading the neccessary material and documentation for developing in JDOM or XML-RPC right away.
It's JDOM coverage is very well laid out, as the author is one of the developers of JDOM. JDOM, if you don't know, is a Java implementation of an XML-Document that is completely self contained, and can use any XML parser. The drawback in using JDOM is that it may be slower in loading becuase it must load the entire xml document in memory. XML-RPC is faater, using SAX.
As for its XML-RPC, (Remote Procedure Calling) coverage, this book provides the necessary instruction to make an application using RPC, which sends data to and fro via XML documents that the programmer does not have to deal with. Simpler than RMI, and easy to install and change, unlike RMI, and running on HTTP, RCP can be accomplished with a single servlet, or even a single JSP page, for all your handler classes.
Although this is not covered in the book, if you convert the downloaded servlet to a JSP page, you must arrange the tags so that no return characters are sent back from the JSP page. This is done by deleting all blank lines between tags and putting all the closing tags to the next line just before the next open tag.
The book also covers XML for new people, although the first edition has more chapters on introduction to XML than this second edition. So, if you want to learn the basics of XML, you may want to get both books, although the technology is advancing so rapidly that the first edition is mostly obsolete now.
I am working for a company using Sun's Java WebStart to download an application via a browser that runs on the JVM. Originally I was going to make the application communicate to the server by sending URL-Encoded Name=Value pairs by a Post method, however, now that I have read this book, I changed my strategy to use XML-RPC, by which I can send Hashtable, Vector, String, Integer, Boolean, Double, and byte[] objects to simple classes that receive Hashtable, Vector, String, int, boolean, double, and byte[] as parameters. Everything has gotten a lot easier and more efficient.
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on October 21, 2001
The buzz is all around. XML and all derivatives are attracting everyone. There are many XML books in the market but few are satisfactory. I like the books which can offer more than tutorials on the web. This is one of those. First of all, the book is well organized and easy to follow. Learn the idea behind SAX, DOM and then JDOM. Having a good understanding of these basics, go on with three main application areas of XML:"web publishing","interoperatibility", and "data binding". This is what XML developers should do, and author follows this order very well. In fact, I remember Brett's one article where he suggested developers not to forget basics of parsing while working with higher level APIs and protocols.
If we look at the details of book... After covering the basics of parsing, Brett introduces some -very good- real world examples: Cocoon(for publishing frameworks), soap, xml-rpc, and web services for communication or interoperatibility and Castor etc. for data binding.
What is missing or not intended in this book is XML data structure design and XSLT. This is understandable since both are very detailed topics that wouldn't fit in a single book. For XSLT there are the O'reilly Java & XSLT or Wrox XSLT books and for XML-Schema... I'm just waiting for a good one.
Especially for those intermediate level XML programmers with Java knowledge.
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on October 2, 2001
XML and Java, true to the title, provides detailed and broad coverage of XML programming in Java.
The chapters on SAX, DOM and JDOM provide a strong foundation for selecting and leverage these libraries at a practical level. The coverage of rapidly emerging XML topics including XML-RPC, SOAP and Web Services is timely and reasonably detailed, providing adequate information to allow these to be practically applied.
The author's writing style is easy to read and has a code-centric focus. The numerous examples were intelligently explained without providing detail that someone already familiar with the Java programming language would find verbose and boring.
This title is best suited to for those with some background in Java and a general understanding of XML. Assuming this background, this book can help bridge the gap from being a Java/XML programming novice to being a Java/XML programming expert.
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on June 9, 2002
Java and XML probably deserves 5 stars, but I can't understand the explanations enough to run the examples.
This book assumes a lot of knowledge, even stating that you need a few extra books on xml and reccommends Java and XSLT, by Eric Burke (which I also own).
I wanted to get going on some examples, but I can't get xalan configured properly.
Java and XML needs a better outline. The author should make a clear outline that explains how to achieve a task and then explain how to accoplish the smaller tasks that make up the main task on hand.
Java and XML is written from the "windows world" perspective. What about Mac and Linux?
There is a lot covered here. Little introduction, almost no follow-up explanations; a barrage complicated examples. Kind of like a Slayer song...
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on March 13, 2004
Compared with .NET and XML this book tends to wander and rat hole a little. The book covers the basics. The SAX and DOM approaches. It also covers XSLT and serving XML. It also covers advanced topics like Castor, JDOM, and web services. But most of the subjects are covered at a cursory level and do not serve as a complete introduction.
There is a small reference at the end of the book which is not as easy to read as the APIs described in the Nutshell style.
I gave this book four stars because, while it does lack focus, it is a good introduction to the XML APIs for Java. In the third release they should concentrate a little harder editing in some focus and a better reference section at the end.
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on January 1, 2003
If you looking for a book with good grammer and easy to understand setences, this is not a book for you. Simply reading the first chapter would frustrate me; the author would should some complex example and then would mislead the reader that he would be explaining the example thorough. Instead, he would mention a small portion of the example and claimed that it would take too long to explain the example. For goodness sake, if the example is too complex to explain, then please use a simpler example - don;t try to impress the reader with a complex example only to refer to some other Oreilly books. Do you notice that he does not refer books other than those published by Oreilly?
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on November 16, 2001
Don't expect this book give you good, or even enough introduction to XML. It only gives you one chapter on that, you cannot expect much. On the other hand, this book really gives you insight to the XML community, those relating to Java. It provides basic programming in SAX, DOM, JAXP, Cocoon, SOAP, although they are elementary, they are enough for basic use.
It is an excellent book for "introduction" on java programming with XML, they cover too much, you must have further reading for in-depth understanding of each topics they cover. I think you won't expect you can learn everything of SOAP in a chapter while other people are spending a whole book on it.
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on December 29, 2001
This book contains an enormous wealth of information about Java's tying with the essentials of XML. I'd still recommend obtaining another book exclusively on the intricacies of XML, since only the basics are covered in this book. XML contains a lot more than the few pages that this book talks of it.
But XML is nothing without the software that interprets, handles and otherwise processes the format, and this book details this tying in with the Java language very well. Java parsers, APIs (SAX, DOM and JDOM), web services, everything is covered.
One book that your Java programming bookcase should not be without!!
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