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Xml in Plain English (In Plain English (IDG)) Paperback – October, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0764570063 ISBN-10: 0764570064 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: In Plain English (IDG)
  • Paperback: 559 pages
  • Publisher: Hungry Minds Inc; 1 edition (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764570064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764570063
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,097,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

XML in Plain English is a no-nonsense companion for XML coders who need a handy reference at their fingertips. This pocket-sized paperback is useful for looking up XML instructions in various ways, but also offers a reference to cascading style sheets (CSS), character tables, and more.

The book begins with a brief overview of the history of hypertext from SGML through HTML and on to XML--the focus of this reference. Author Sandra E. Eddy then covers the basic syntax of XML documents and the interaction of HTML and XML, and shows how to make XML documents publicly available on the Web. The excellent following chapter lets you find XML productions or attributes by looking up an English description of the task you want to accomplish.

The next chapters feature a more detailed XML syntax reference and information on the XLink and XPointer languages, other critical aspects of XML coding; CSS; and DSSSL-O. The first appendix contains a comprehensive set of tables for the Unicode characters and the applicable character sets. Other appendices offer a list of XML tools and editors, a glossary, and a "Webliography" full of URLs for XML-related sites. If you're a serious XML coder, XML in Plain English is a must-have. --Stephen W. Plain

From the Back Cover

Two Books in One!
This one of a kind book guide delivers just what you need to make the most of XML, whether you are retrofitting an existing Web site or building a new one from the ground up. The book opens with unique reference sections that let you look things up by task, tag, or term.

Need more answers? The second part delivers concise, example-filled tutorials that show you step by step how to plan, build, and maintain an XML-powered Web site.

Open the Book for Ready-Reference Help...
* Construct XML documents
* Add simple and extended links and pointers to an XML document
* Style XML documents for display or printed output
* Use custom XML elements
* Learn to create DTDs including how to define elements and associated attributes
* Style documents with XSL --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I found the book not very helpful in teaching me XML.
CJ
The author seems to have a terrible grasp of English, uses it sloppily, and makes errors to boot.
A. G. Hasler
Good thing I knew what a DTD was, because this book wasn't going to tell me.
Robert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the worst XML documentation I've run across, online or on paper. I am not a total beginner with XML, I didn't expect this book to be a tutorial, and I picked up this book because it seemed like it would get to the point quickly. At first it seemed promising because of its brevity; then I realized that it was written very sloppily. In the Overview (chapter 1), the first mention of a DTD (with no explanation of what it's an abbreviation of), states "XML supports but does not require DTDs". Great. Good thing I knew what a DTD was, because this book wasn't going to tell me. Four pages later, the book tells me, "As you have already learned, a DTD defines rules for document contents." Well, I sure didn't "already learn" it from this book! Amazing that it references prior material that it doesn't contain! The rest of the book is more of the same. Very poor.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Hasler on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are an XML guru, then a high-density syntax reference may be all you need. You will note that those who have given positive reviews were all reasonably accomplished in XML and happy for the reference material. However, as someone that had never even seen any XML, I found the tutorial incomprehensible. The author seems to have a terrible grasp of English, uses it sloppily, and makes errors to boot. As even those that gave a positive review seem to agree, if you want a book to learn XML give this book a wide berth.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
You would think a book entitled "...in Plain English" would be about explaining a complicated subject in easily understandable terms. However, this book only gives a brief and very lame introduction to XML. Almost the entire book is a reference guide to the XML and XML related syntax. Since this information can be obtained over the Internet for free it is questionable why this book even exists (maybe that's why they didn't name it more appropriately "Another XML Reference Guide").
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Truong on March 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Yikes! I'm surprised to see such poor reviews on this book, which I consider to be one of the best XML reference books I've purchased. The title is misleading, it should be called, "The most comprehensive XML/XSL/XPath/XPointer/XLink/Style-Sheet reference book you'll ever see."
A hold-your-hand tutorial it is not. An information packed grammar (EBNF form no less!) & syntax reference on XML, DTD's, XSL/XSLT, XPath, XPointer, XLink, and Style-sheets it is. The information density of this book is astounding. Tutorial books you use once, reference books you use forever.
My job required me to learn XML, XSLT & XPath. The learning I did online and it made me realize I needed a reference book; I consider this book to be one of the best deals I've gotten on this subject. When I found it I immediately recognized it as a diamond among XML books, which I have confirmed as I use it every time I work with XML.
Poor points: although this book purports to include a tutorial, it is very brief (the last 1/4 of the book). The tutorial section is more of a refresher if you've already learned the concepts in detail elsewhere. The usage examples in the reference section of the book (the first 3/4) are a bit weak and not always enlightening. There is a lot of "related info" cross references that doesn't seem useful to me.
This is the kind of book that will remain on your desk long after the "XML for Dummies" books have been digested and are collecting dust. I would definitely reccomend this reference book for the serious XML/XSL/XPath/XPointer/XLink user as a comprehensive reference guide.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather -- grnidone on December 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Think of this book like you would think of a dictionary -- not great reading material, but good to look stuff up in. Please do not think that this is a book for beginners. Like a dictionary, you need to have some idea of the language in order to get any use of it. If you are a current user of XML, then you will find this book to be a great reference to have for those times when you juuuuust can't remember the syntax (how to write a command so the computer understands it). After the syntax are good examples that put the command in perspective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CJ on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not a teach you XML but more of a this is what XML looks like and this is why each item is there. It takes you step by step in the creation of XML documents but left out enough that after reading it I couldn't start from scratch. I found the book not very helpful in teaching me XML. It may put XML in plain english but doesn't mean you will know or understand it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zarko Berberski on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
First of all, this is a book for people who know their stuff and need to be able to go an extra mile without spending an hour wading through deteriorating Web. Even tutorial part is for people who know and understand a lot and that is how it should be for a book which is already too heavy.
Things that could be better - information on case sensitivity of Xpath functions and patterns, marking up which stylesheet elelments are in CSS1, which in CSS2 and which in neither, more complete table of Unicode character references (to include full ASCII for example including interpunction), 8-bit Character set tables and mapping to Unicode, font, leading, and even margins could be a level smaller to make book thinner, lighter and more dense for everyday use, the "Releted Properties,Objects etc." could go to a small print to both not eat up the space and be faster to spot when needed.
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