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Python & XML Paperback – December 15, 2001
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About the Author
Drake 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 holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as a Master of Science in computer science.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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
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.