- Series: Bible
- Paperback: 1056 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 31, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764532367
- ISBN-13: 978-0764532368
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,250,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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XML Bible 1st Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
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The emergence of XML is having an enormous impact on Web development, and scaling the learning curve of this new technology is a priority for many developers. The XML Bible offers a superb introduction to the subject and the groundwork to understand XML's future developments.
Author Elliotte Rusty Harold uses a patient, step-by-step discussion that clearly points out the potential of XML without boring his readership with tons of SGML spec-speak. Harold opens quickly with a "Hello World" example to get the reader coding early, and follows that with a simple but powerful example of XML's data management benefits--presenting baseball statistics. Once you've coded your first XML documents, you'll be hooked on the technology and motivated to learn about the more sophisticated topics.
Style sheet languages are covered comprehensively to illustrate the presentation possibilities and pitfalls. An unusually long list of real-life XML applications also shows how XML is already being used, and there is in-depth coverage of the Resource Description Framework, Channel Definition Format, and Vector Markup Language. The book wraps up with a section that helps you design your own XML application from scratch.
Titling a book a bible is a bold move, but this engaging and informative guide is entitled to make this claim. --Stephen W. Plain
Topics covered: XML background, example XML applications, type definitions (DTDs), style languages, Xlinks, Xpointers, Namespaces, application planning, and XML 1.0 specification.
About the Author
About the Author Elliotte Rusty Harold is an internationally respected writer, programmer, and educator both on the Internet and off. He got his start by writing FAQ lists for the Macintosh newsgroups on Usenet, and has since branched out into books, Web sites, and newsletters. He lectures about Java and object-oriented programming at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn. His Cafe con Leche Web site at http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/has become one of the most popular independent XML sites on the Internet. Elliotte is originally from New Orleans where he returns periodically in search of a decent bowl of gumbo. However, he currently resides in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn with his wife Beth and cats Charm (named after the quark) and Marjorie (named after his mother-in-law). When not writing books, he enjoys working on genealogy, mathematics, and quantum mechanics. His previous books include The Java Developer's Resource, Java Network Programming, Java Secrets, JavaBeans, XML: Extensible Markup Language, and Java I/0.
Top customer reviews
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The problem with Wiley's Bible series (I have several of them) is that the goal seems to be to make them as big and heavy as a boat anchor. This results in verbose books, which may be ok for use as a reference but way to hard to read cover to cover for initial learning. The time needed to read these books cover to cover exceeds the value of the book itself. If you buy books by the pound (or kilo), this is a good buy. But if you value your time more than you value impressive size, there are better alternatives.
On a positive note: I have not found a bunch of typo or editing errors and Harold seems to know the subject. I'm just frustrated by the slow pace, although I will continue trying to read it at least a little longer.
Warning: [Some opinions given here appear to be by paid reviewers. ie: Feb 3, 2005, and others. How many others are also raw attempts to sell books without honor? Can you trust anyone who writes hundreds or thousands of 5 star opinions?? Heck no! Hint: Check out the person writing the review before actually reading it. Look for how many opinions he/she writes and how many stars. Distrust all high opinions in the first few months after publication, all high opinions by people who have only written a couple of opinions, and all high opinions from people who only write high opinions. Thanks for the lack of honesty Elliotte &/or Wiley &/or big A. (my opinion, 2 cma).]
The chapter breakout:
Part 1 - Introducing XML - An Eagle's Eye View of XML; XML Applications; Your First XML Document; Structuring Data; Attributes, Empty-Element Tags, and XSL; Well-formedness
Part 2 - Document Type Definitions - Validity; Element Declarations; Attribute Declarations; Entity Declarations; Namespaces
Part 3 - Style Languages - CSS Style Sheets; CSS Layouts; CSS Text Styles; XSL Transformations; XSL Formatting Objects
Part 4 - Supplemental Technologies - XLinks; XPointers; XInclude; Schemas
Part 5 - XML Applications - XHTML; Modular XHTML; The Resource Directory Description Language; Scalable Vector Graphics; Designing a New XML Application; Index
I mentioned the "target audience" above. As you can tell from the chapter layout (and also in the introduction), the author is targeting XML as used in web page design. You won't find anything in here about how to write a Java program to parse out XML using one of the XML parsers available. If that's your need, don't get this book. You'll be highly disappointed. This should be used as more of a reference tool for working with XML or related technologies like DTD or XSL.
I also appreciated the author's explanation as to what went into the 3rd edition. Rather than just add more stuff to what already existed, he removed XML technology chapters that just never caught momentum, like VML or RDF. So although the book is still 1000 pages, it's made up of content that is usable and applicable to the current state and direction of the technology. It's nice to know you're not getting a rehash of material just so the author can squeeze a few more bucks out of a title. Thanks!
The conversational and informal tone of the writing makes the material very approachable and readable. The examples are clear and concise, and relevant to how the technology would be used in the real world. Overall, a very good selection to add to your XML bookshelf.
The problem with XML is that you can use it for a lot of different things. (Hence those 1200 pages.) So people who write about it tend to be specialists in some specific area, like building XML web applications, or designing XML document schemas, etc. Or else they're markup standards wonks, good at picking out the tiny nits that make the whole concept work, but terrible at explaining what XML is *for*.
Harold, by contrast, knows his readers, and knows what they need. He makes very few assumptions about what you already know. If you know how to use a text editor (but see below for a warning) and a web browser, you're ready to go. The author leads you step by step through all the basic concepts. There are a *lot* of steps, of course. But only the first 200 pages are absolutely essential for every reader. Not everybody needs to know about Document Type Definitions, Wireless Markup Language, or Scalable Vector Graphics. Not that there's any flab here -- all the different XML applications Harold describes are widely used, and it makes sense to include a good basic intro to all of them.
Harold also avoids a mistake I myself probably would have made -- he carefully avoids dealing XML's historical baggage. XML is a limited version of SGML -- a technology that wasted decades floundering in its own complexity. For once history really is bunk.
I do have some issues, more with the publisher than with the author. The big one is the sample text files on the CD -- all with Macintosh line endings! Judging from the screenshots, the author works mainly with Windows, so we can't blame him. If you're not a Mac person, you need a text editor that can handle these files, or a program for converting them. Notepad doesn't work, Wordpad does -- but complains a lot about "discarding formatting." If you're a vim user, add "mac" to the fileformats option.
Actually, it's pretty silly to even bother with a CD for this kind of material. Attention publishers! Book buyers are not impressed by "bonus cd-roms" that contain freely available software and text files that would be easier to download from the web. Nor are they impressed by silly markteroid terms like "Bible". Who are you, Charleton Heston?
Most recent customer reviews
Elliotte Rusty Harold is that rare technical author who can write about anything and make it interesting.Read more