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Effective XML: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321150400
ISBN-10: 0321150406
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for Effective XML

“This is an excellent collection of XML best practices: essential reading for any developer using XML. This book will help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure your XML applications remain practical and interoperable for as long as possible.”

     —Edd Dumbill, Managing Editor, XML.com and Program Chair, XML Europe

“A collection of useful advice about XML and related technologies. Well worth reading both before, during, and after XML application development.”

     —Sean McGrath, CTO, Propylon

“A book on many best practices for XML that we have been eagerly waiting for.”

     —Akmal B. Chaudhri, Editor, IBM developerWorks

“The fifty easy-to-read items cover many aspects of XML, ranging from how to use markup effectively to what schema language is best for what task. Sometimes controversial, but always relevant, Elliotte Rusty Harold’s book provides best practices for working with XML that every user and implementer of XML should be aware of.”

     —Michael Rys, Ph.D., Program Manager, SQL Server XML Technologies, Microsoft Corporation

Effective XML is an excellent book with perfect timing. Finally, an XML book everyone needs to read! Effective XML is a fount of XML best practices and solid advice. Whether you read Effective XML cover to cover or randomly one section at a time, its clear writing and insightful recommendations enlighten, entertain, educate, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of even the most expert XML developer. I’ll tell you what I tell all my coworkers and customers: You need this book.”

     —Michael Brundage, Technical Lead, XML Query Processing, Microsoft WebData XML Team

“This book provides great insight for all developers who write XML software, regardless of whether the software is a trivial application-specific XML processor or a fullblown W3C XML Schema Language validator. Mr. Harold covers everything from a very important high-level terminology discussion to details about parsed XML nodes. The well-researched comparisons of currently available XML-related software products, as well as the key criteria for selecting between XML technologies, exemplify the thoroughness of this book.”

     —Cliff Binstock, Author, The XML Schema Complete Reference

If you want to become a more effective XML developer, you need this book. You will learn which tools to use when in order to write legible, extensible, maintainable and robust XML code.

Page 36: How do you write DTDs that are independent of namespace prefixes? Page 82: What do parsers reliably report and what don't they? Page 130: Which schema language is the right one for your job? Page 178: Which API should you choose for maximum speed and minimum size? Page 257: What can you do to ensure fast, reliable access to DTDs and schemas without making your document less portable? Page 283: Is XML too verbose for your application?

Elliotte Rusty Harold provides you with 50 practical rules of thumb based on real-world examples and best practices. His engaging writing style is easy to understand and illustrates how you can save development time while improving your XML code. Learn to write XML that is easy to edit, simple to process, and is fully interoperable with other applications and code. Understand how to design and document XML vocabularies so they are both descriptive and extensible. After reading this book, you'll be ready to choose the best tools and APIs for both large-scale and small-scale processing jobs. Elliotte provides you with essential information on building services such as verification, compression, authentication, caching, and content management.

If you want to design, deploy, or build better systems that utilize XML—then buy this book and get going!

About the Author

Elliotte Rusty Harold is an internationally respected writer, programmer, and educator. He is an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, where he lectures on Java and object-oriented programming. His Cafe con Leche Web site has become one of the most popular sites for information on XML. In addition, he is the author and coauthor of numerous books, the most recent of which are The XML Bible (John Wiley & Sons, 2001) and XML in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, 2002).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321150406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321150400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W Boudville HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
... Harold has put together an advanced overview of ALL
A significant part of the value of this book is in Harold's assessment of the various proposed extensions to XML, like the XML Schema language, or the abovementioned XLink and XQuery. XML is still growing rapidly, and there is a real need for various extensions. But there is also a consequent need for
independent comparative assessments of those extensions. For example, if you have a book devoted to XML Schema, it might not even tell you that there are other competing schema languages.
En passant, he gives an unusually clear explanation of the difference between a character set and a character encoding. The former is a mapping of some characters to numbers. The latter is an instantiation of those numbers as an actual numerical storage. Often in other books, you can see the two phrases used interchangeably and imprecisely. By contrast,
throughout this book Harold emphasises a precision of terminology. A priori, if you are into XML, then you need to be precise.
I have one minor quibble. He says that multiple XML documents "can be stored in a single file, though this is unusual in practice." He might have added that one of these instances is instructive. If you have a continuously running program that periodically writes to a log file in XML, then during the writing, for efficiency, you would append XML documents to the file. So notice that at all times, the entire file is not an XML document, because there are no enclosing tags.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Effective XML is a collection of about 50 tips for working with XML. Although XML seems is simple and easy to use, it's also easy to get wrong. I've often scratched your head and wondered why things like XML Schema, for example, just doesn't feel right. But it wasn't until I read Effective XML that I understood what was really awkward with it.

Because the book is so diverse (an amazing feat considering the small page count), it is hard to single out any specific part as being a reason to read the book. The book doesn't just talk about schemas, the infoset, etc..., it digs down and really explains what is good and bad about the technologies and what the best ways to apply them are. All I can say is that I use XML day in and day out and have learned everything I know by trial an error. I've made many mistakes along the way. I've tried my best to learn from them, but Effective XML was the book that made everything click for me. The best part is that the book went well beyond just helping me see my errors. I've already applied some of the ideas to new work I've done recently and have been able to head off some of the problems I would have encountered.

Effective XML is by far the best XML book I've ever read, and quite possibly the best tech book I've read all year. I might even have to add it to my favorite tech books list. If you work with XML to any significant degree, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a book explaining XML. This is not a book that goes into any depth on XML APIs. It is not a book explaining any one XML format like XSLT, RSS, or XSD.

Instead it is a book on how to work with XML. How to design an XML application to take full advantage of the facilties of XML: schemas, processing instructions, XSL transforms, namespaces. It is all structured to slowly introduce you into the complexities, and deserves to sit up on the bookshelf with Effective C++, Java and Enterprise Java.

If you already know the basics of XML, it is actually quite a good way to learn about some of the more esoteric concepts -from the pragmatic perspective. Too many XML books rant about how wonderful some feature like XML schema's extension stuff is, why XML is the most universal format ever, SOAP and WS-* the best protocol for distributed systems ever, and XQuery everything you need for an XML database.

This book bursts the bubble of hype with rational analysis of what makes sense, and what doesn't. Item 28: Use only what you need, is my favourite: A review of the main XML specs and analysis of what really matters, which comes down to #35, navigate with XPath.

If you are designing an XML schema/system/application, you need this book. If you have to put up with architects telling you about WS-MetadataExchange, WS-Transfer and RDF, you need a copy to roll up and hit them over the head. And, if like me, you are involved in standards bodies that produce XML related things, you need to buy a copy for all the other participants, so that what you produce will actually work.

Remember that XML is a language designed for use by people and machines. The machines have the upper hand. But with this book, and some thinking, you can design XML applications that people can use.
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Format: Paperback
There are plenty of generic XML books out there, plus a bunch of titles that focus on specific XML applications or XML related topics (SOAP, XSLT, XML Schema etc); what Mr Harold delivered this time is something different, that really stands out from everything else available at the time of this writing. This book is about best practices, patterns and anti-patterns, and about how to use XML correctly and efficiently. As with other titles from the same author, this book is a pleasure to read, clean, informative and well structured. In my opinion a must have for the serious XML practitioner. Be advised this is not a book for beginners, the author takes for granted you already mastered the fundamentals of XML and many related technologies like DTD, Schema or Namespace. In order to really get the best out of it you better have some experience using XML under your belt.
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