- Hardcover: 1368 pages
- Publisher: Wrox; 4 edition (May 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470192747
- ISBN-13: 978-0470192740
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference 4th Edition
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From the Back Cover
Combining coverage of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 into one book, this authoritative reference provides equal weight to the powerful new features of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 and the established capabilities of the 1.0 versions. Author Michael Kay has created his own implementation of XSLT 2.0 (Saxon), and he puts his unique knowledge to work in this detailed reference to the elements of the XSLT 2.0 language and the fundamentals of XPath, complete with syntax, practical usage advice, and examples.
The book begins by teaching the essential concepts behind the language, knowledge you need if you are going to write good code rather than just working code. You will discover how XSLT and XPath differ from other languages, and how you use them to create effective web-based applications. The central chapters provide meticulous coverage of the language features of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0. You will return to this reference whenever you encounter new programming challenges. You finish with detailed case studies highlighting real applications to give you insights you would otherwise gain only from months of practical experience.
What you will learn from this book
All the XSLT elements you can use in a stylesheet and the detailed rules for the syntax and semantics of each
How Path expressions enable you to navigate around the structure of an XML document
How you can improve your stylesheets by taking advantage of the XML Schema definitions of input and output documents
How to take advantage of vendor extensions without losing portability
Techniques for taking advantage of XSLT to write real applications
Who this book is for
This book is for experienced programmers who are looking to become proficient with XSLT 2.0. Previous experience with XSLT or XPath is not necessary. However, a working knowledge of XML, HTML, and web architecture is beneficial.
Wrox Programmer's References are designed to give the experienced developer straight facts on a new technology, without hype or unnecessary explanations. They deliver hard information with plenty of practical examples to help you apply new tools to your development projects today.
About the Author
Michael Kay has been working in the XML field since 1997; he became a member of the XSL Working Group soon after the publication of XSLT 1.0, and took over as editor of the XSLT 2.0 specification in early 2001. He is also a member of the XQuery and XML Schema Working Groups, and is a joint editor of the XPath 2.0 specification. He is well known not only through previous editions of this book but also as the developer of the open source Saxon product, a pioneering implementation of XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0.
In 2004 the author formed his own company, Saxonica, to provide commercial software and services building on the success of the Saxon technology. Previously, he spent three years with Software AG, working with the developers of the Tamino XML server, an early XQuery implementation. His background is in database technology: after leaving the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D., he worked for many years with the (then) computer manufacturer ICL, developing network, relational, and objectoriented database software products as well as a text search engine, and held the position of ICL Fellow.
Top customer reviews
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This book has no fluff or cutesy humor. The writing is precise, to the point, and anticipated my questions. There is some repetition (for example, on the topic of namespaces), making the book in my mind very useful as a reference. The author's obvious familiarity with the standard itself and its various implementations reveals itself in the many clarifying annotations.
Some of the examples are very elaborate and thorough and serve to clarify the complexities of the technology where needed-- for example, regarding the subtleties of the 'for' and 'number' family of instructions.
If there are any deficiencies in the book at all, they are minor. One irritation is the author's prejudice towards Java (granted that XSLT and XPath themselves seem more comfortable in that domain); for example, calling C++ "procedural" or claiming that Java popularized IEEE 754 (neglecting phenomenal implementations such as SANE that predated Java by a decade). This didn't really distract from the value of the book, other than that an entire appendix is devoted to JAXP while there is not a single mention of libxslt2-- making me wonder for a while whether the technologies described in this book were applicable to the problem I was trying to solve (they were).
There are mentions of efficiencies that can be obtained with "a good optimizer," but with only my personal suspicion that only the author's own implementation supports them I'd still have some work to do if I wanted to evaluate the differences between them.
In using the book I did often find myself confused over which parts applied to the 2.0 versions of XSLT/XPath-- and while the book does define that specifically, a clearer typographical separation would have been helpful. This problem obviously will become less relevant as the later versions become more widely supported.
On the topic of the technologies themselves, I've become even more convinced of the absurdity of any kind of executable XML. Also, the melding together of two intentionally separate languages (XSLT vs XPath) with different type systems and other complex relationships appears to have no obvious practical advantage. Finally, if the object of one-based counting was to make the technology more accessible, the actual effect to me was to make it that much less so.
In a nutshell, I have no qualms whatsoever recommending this book to a wide audience. It's extremely thorough, well-written and organized, and authoritative.
The third edition was in two separate books, one on XSLT 2.0 (XSLT 2.0 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)) and one on XPath 2.0 (XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer)). If you are serious about XSLT 2.0, you also need the information on XPath 2.0, as it is a sub language of XSLT 2.0. So you would need both books at hand. The current book contains all of the material available in the two predecessors, and more.
I could have survived on the two books, but tired of taking them from my office to my home and vice versa, I ordered the new edition and I am enjoying it very much. After using the new edition for a week or so I have come upon quite a few improvements, for instance the chapter on regular expressions contains more information and is better structured. Examples have been updated and as have been the appendices covering the processors. There is a new appendix on the Altova processor.
I should also mention the quality of the paper, the binding and the price, they are much better than the two previous books together.
As a reference, the book is complete. It contains a clear description of all the elements of the standards and lots of (tested) examples. There is also much material about the design backgrounds of both standards (and of others like XML Schema and XQuery).
The book is extremely well written and a joy to read.
The book is aimed at developers and should not be used as a first introduction to XML transformation technology (unless you are an experienced programmer). If you need an introduction to XSLT (in its context) check out one of the other Wrox books like Beginning XML, 4th Edition (Programmer to Programmer) or Professional XML (Programmer to Programmer). One could also try Beginning XSLT 2.0: From Novice to Professional (Beginning: from Novice to Professional), it has good reviews. In any case if you are seriously interested (even as a newbie) don't buy anything from before 2004, it will not include the 2.0 functionalities. If you buy something published after 2004 check that they really updated the book and not only the title.
Recently O'Reilly has issued an update of tidwell's XSLT, 2nd Edition. I could be worthwhile to consider this book also.
5 stars for the content
-4 stars for the kindle edition.
I just wasted 35 bucks