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Python & XML Paperback – December 15, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (December 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596001282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596001285
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I'll use the word 'practical' again, because that sums up the tone of this book - it's about getting things done, and shows the processes in easy to understand chunks. There aren't great swathes of waffle, but there are plenty of examples. Appendices cover installation of necessary tools and the APIs for SAX and DOM, as well as a guide to MSXML and other Python tools available. Even the index is more comprehensive that the usual effort. Over 340 pages of real, practical, useful info here, well worth reading." - Nick Veitch, LinuxFormat, May 2002 "...does a great job of sticking to real-world, practical applications of these cutting edge technologies." - Martin Howse, LinuxUser & Developer, issue 31

About the Author

Christopher A. Jones has an extensive background in Internet systems programming and XML. He is the co-founder of Planet 7 Technologies, a Seattle-based commercial software company specializing in XML transport software. He is also the author of: Open Source Linux Web Programming (IDG 1999) and UNIX Shell Objects (IDG 1998). Fred L. Drake, Jr. is a member of the PythonLabs team, and has been contributing to Python since 1995. He took over maintenance of Python's documentation in 1998, changing the face of both the printed and online forms. He has been active in the PyXML project since it started, and helps maintain the Expat XML parser, used in many major applications that use XML, including PyXML, Apache, and Mozilla. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as a Master of Science in computer science.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sunit Joshi on February 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book really dvelves into the using XML with Python. The
chapter are well laid out and easy to read. There are some typos
but nothing that you can't fix. There are some problems using the current XSLT processer that ships with PyXml0.7 but you can
still apply the concepts (I used MSXML's XSLT). The best chapter (last one (:-|) ties all the concepts explained into a Web Service like app. that really shows the real strength of XML
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really liked this book because I was able to quickly start using XML with Python. I tried to use the package docs, but they were often hard to read, and didn't fill me in on the background stuff I needed to know. The examples in this book were easy to understand, and easy to see how to make practical applications from them. I didn't encounter any typos like the other reader did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JennaSys on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the entire book easy to read and understand. I've been programming for a while now, but am new to both Python and XML and this book was at the perfect level for me. The book is very readable and the examples used were both concise and pertinent. The Python code used in the book was easy to follow even though I've only been using Python for a few weeks.

This book is mostly a tutorial on what XML is, how to manipulate XML documents using Python, and how to use XML to move data over the internet via HTTP. It was a very good practical overview of XML in the context of Python. While it wasn't all-encompassing, the book gave you just the right amount of information to get started, without burying you with details that might be better left to more of a reference style book.

I almost gave it just 4 stars only because the chapter on SOAP was quite dated. Since the book was last published when SOAP was in it's infancy, I didn't find that the information provided was quite as useful as it could be. The overview of SOAP was OK, but the sample code seemed to not have the same flow as the rest of the book. That said, if you're looking for information on SOAP specifically, this book may not be your best choice. Interestingly though, the last chapter that ties everything together with a more involved example web application, shows how to do a SOAP-like web service without actually using SOAP - which actually seemed to be a lot simpler in my opinion.

I would have also appreciated a little more coverage of XML Schemas, but after reading the book, I now at least know what to look for. All-in-all though, an excellent book to get you started if you're looking to work with XML documents using Python.
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24 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mario Diana on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm not very far along in the book, but I don't like what I'm seeing.
The preface purports that the book's audience need not "know anything
about XML." There is very little in the way of explaining XML, however.
The chapter on "Fundamentals" is O'Reilly at its most terse. If you already
understand XML very well, you might think this chapter an excellent
itemizing of the specification. Sadly, most people, I imagine, would be able
to retain little from this.
Regarding the code examples, the explanations hardly illuminate the API.
The code stands as is; and the commentary does only a somewhat decent job
of explaining the larger context. You could always check the documentation
given in the back of the book, but that's hardly as helpful as a good overview
and commentary.
Moreover, and in some ways worse, I have found many typos -- and I am only
as far as the first two examples. These mistakes include missing import
statements, errant capitalization, bad indentation, double underscores ('__')
written as one long underscore. This is unacceptable. I can only hope it is just
this one chapter.
I bought this book because of the topics, and because I figured Python would
be the easiest way to learn XML API's. I am only hoping that the book will
get better, and that I will be able to derive benefit from it. As it stands,
I'm skeptical that I will get my money's worth.
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