XML Pocket Reference (2nd Edition) Second Edition Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920001331
ISBN-10: 0596001339
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Even hot dog Web coders proficient in XML need a little refresher once and a while. Although some portions of XML are still very fluid, the handy XML Pocket Reference offers quick access to the syntax and usage rules of this next-generation language.

At the front of the book, a crash course in XML quickly spells out the important terminology, along with extremely short examples of XML, Document Type Definition (DTD), and Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) documents. The book also includes a nice bulleted list of cautions and rules to follow if you want to create valid XML documents. A tip section entitled, "Unlearning Bad Habits" offers handy warnings that are especially useful for those of us who occasionally slip into sloppy HTML coding behaviors that XML won't tolerate.

The remainder of the title comprises reference sections devoted to XML, DTDs, XSL, XLink, and XPointer. These sections offer a balanced mix of both straight syntax references and brief general explanations of key topics. Short examples are in abundance to illustrate usage with accompanying explanatory text. The authors are very up-front about the changing nature of the XSL, XLink, and XPointer and point out that even their freshly published material on these subjects may soon be out of date.

You won't find any big-picture look at the importance or implementation of XML in the real world. However, if you're already sold on the technology and working with it, this little guide will be a handy companion. --Stephen W Plain

Topics covered: XML overview, well-formed XML rules, using elements and attributes, syntax and usage reference to XML, DTD, XSL, XLink, XPointer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Eckstein, an editor at O'Reilly, works mostly on Java books (notably Java Swing) and is also responsible for the XML Pocket Reference and Webmaster in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition. In his spare time he has been known to provide online coverage for popular conferences. He also writes articles for JavaWorld magazine. Robert holds bachelor's degrees in computer science and communications from Trinity University. In the past, he has worked for the USAA insurance company and more recently spent four years with Motorola's cellular software division. He is the co-author of Using Samba.

Michel Casabianca is an independent XML and Java developer.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (April 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596001339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596001339
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,013,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Ghawk on December 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought that I would just give the bottom line on this great little XML Pocket Reference by Oreilly. This book is a perfect quick read for getting yourself up and running on XML as well as being a good quick reference. I bought the book expecting it to only be useful when looking up a XML term while programming and was pleasantly surprised to find that it doubled as a (bare minimum) tutorial for XML. This is a great and inexpensive book for the expert needing a reference guide that is easy to carry around as well as for a beginner that just wants to read a quick and uncomplicated guide to XML.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By John van Rij on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
XML Pocket Reference is a true ode to the concept of "Pocket Reference". It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an experienced developer, this book that is just a bit larger than your remote control will satisfy your expectations.
The first 10 pages of this 97 pages booklet will get you quickly up and running with the terminology, good enough to understand the structure and to be able to discuss the concept with colleagues. As in most O'Reilly books, the writer expects you to have some experience in programming as it discusses the concept and syntax quickly and without major examples.
The rest of the booklet is a reference to XML elements and attributes, document type definitions and the extensible stylesheet language. This section is a great reference as everything is easy to find and well indexed. For beginners this part of the "book" is a great but sometimes complex tutorial as every section is supported by quick samples of code.
When I bought this book, I was sceptic with the idea that this book was going to get me developing XML within 1 day. But O'Reilly proved that I was wrong. In less than a day I had my first XML page up and running, and now I use this book to give me the basics for every concept I try to implement.
One reviewer was right when he said on O'Reilly's site that you don't need a 500-page book to learn or develop XML.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Hellified on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great effort from O'Reilly. As a developer I find it discouraging to be handed a 1200 page book on every topic. I now spend lots of time finding a small book with the right stuff and no filler. It pays off in a major way and this book is a great illustration of just that. The author gives the staright facts and suggestions on use without the fluff and pages of what he thinks about it. Buy it. Read it. Develop something useful. Get on with life.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By benito cerino on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
O'reilly books rarely miss the mark for being to the point references, and this is no exception. You'll get a better understanding of XML here than from books 10 times as long, and you get it without the geek humor. Plus it won't break your wallet. Without hesitation.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Noah Green on February 22, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say? In a very short time, this book made me productive with XML applications. It will do the same for you. This is a clear, concise, and thorough text. In a way, the best thing about the book is that its small size projects the (true) psychological feeling that there really isn't all that much to basic XML - this gives you the confidence you need to move forward and start doing work.
Here's what you get: XML syntax, Namespaces, DTDs, XSL, XPointer, XLink. You're not going to get Schemas, SAX, DOM, or the author's favorite emerging XML dialect. What is so funny about this book, as with all other XML books, is that the XSL section is the longest. XSL is truly convoluted and the author does a great job getting you through it.
Far be it for me to aspire to the greatness of this author, but I found one tiny thing missing from the DTD section, and I will share it with you here: External Parameter Entities. These basically allow you to leverage one DTD within another. It's like a C #include or a Java import. You put them at the bottom of your DTD. So let's say you had a DTD called "stuff.dtd":
<!ELEMENT stuff (thing*)>
<!ELEMENT thing (#PCDATA)>
You could use the "stuff" element in another DTD, say "closetcontents.dtd", as follows:
<!ELEMENT closetcontents (clothing,stuff*)>
<!ELEMENT clothing (#PCDATA)>
<!ENTITY % STUFF SYSTEM "stuff.dtd">
%STUFF;
The last two lines are the external parameter entity...they are the equivalent of an #include statement in C or an import in Java. I made STUFF all caps in the entity declaration to differentiate it from the "stuff" element but as far as I know you don't have to do this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Saleh on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
As with all pocket references, you'd expect to have some knowledge of the topic before you can have any use of the book. This book clearly violates this rule. It goes beyond just being a reference. For an experienced programmer who does not have the time, nor does he need, to waiste on hundreds of pages to get to the point to learn XML, this book is the answer. I admired its style from the first 10 pages. I wanted to say a lot more about this book, but thanks to all of the reviewers who preceeded me, I will adhere to the "pocket" spirit and say I agree with all the above praise !
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