The authors set out to systematically--and rapidly--cover the basics of XML first, namely the history of the markup language and the various languages and technologies that compose the standard. In this first section, they discuss the basics of XML markup, Document Type Definitions (DTDs), namespaces, and Unicode. From there, the authors move into "narrative-centric documents" in a section that appropriately focuses on the application of XML to books, articles, Web pages and other readable content.
This book definitely presupposes in the reader an aptitude for picking up concepts quickly and for rapidly building cumulative knowledge. Code examples are used--only to illustrate the particular point in question--but not in excess. The book gets into "data-centric" XML, exploring the difference between the object-driven Document Object Model (DOM) and the event-driven Simple API for XML (SAX). However, these areas are a little underpowered and offer a bit less detail about this key area than the reader will expect.
At the core of any Nutshell book is the reference section, and the installment found inside this text is no exception. Here, the XML 1.0 standard, XPath, XSLT, DOM, SAX, and character sets are covered. Some material that is covered earlier in the book--such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)--is not re-articulated, however. XML in a Nutshell is not the only book on XML you should have, but it is definitely one that no XML coder should be without. --Stephen W. Plain
- XML history
- Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
- XML-based data formats
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Document Object Model (DOM)
- Simple API for XML (SAX)