Beginning XML provides a complete course in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) with an unusually gradual learning curve. In fact, the introduction states that the book is "for people who know that it would be a pretty good idea to learn the language, but aren't 100 percent sure why." Despite its recognition of the fuzziness of readers' understanding of the technology, the book delivers a rather comprehensive study of XML.
Very little space is wasted detailing the history of XML and its relation to SGML, as is the case in many other titles. The argument for the importance of XML is made quickly, and the basics of well-formed syntax are tackled right off. One notable distinction of this book is its excellent coverage of related technologies, such as cascading style sheets (CSS) and relational databases.
In addition to discussing the crucial companion standards to the core XML language (DTDs, XSL, and XSLT), the book adds a nice perspective to the broad range of applications in which XML can play a role. One section, "Other Uses for XML," illustrates how XML can be used to serialize object models, creating stateless objects and utilizing the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Case studies on--among other things--how XML can be used to build discussion groups, and provide B2B data transfer, round out the text. This book is perfect for Web programmers who are turning their attention to XML for the first time. It imparts a solid understanding of the XML forest and XML trees. --Stephen W. Plain
- Well-formed XML
- Cascading style sheets (CSS)
- XSLT and Xpath
- Document Object Model (DOM)
- Simple API for XML (SAX)
- XML/database integration schemas
- Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
- B2B data-transfer applications
- Discussion group applications