This book is intended to provide a solid foundation in XML to a Java programmer. It does this by describing XML and then using the API developed by Sun Microsystems to demonstrate simple examples of the fundamentals of XML document manipulation. You’ve heard of XML, and you have more than likely read something about it, but it all seems a bit mysterious. My hope is that, as you read this book, from time to time you say to yourself, “Oh. I see.”
Every attempt was made to keep the focus of the book on its primary mission of explaining XML to a Java programmer. There are very few side issues mentioned.
There is an overwhelming amount of information about XML being made available in books, magazines, on the Internet, conferences, seminars, and even in mass mailings. It seems that everyone is either using XML or writing software so other people can use it. In the writing of this book, every attempt was made to distill the available information down to its essentials so the reader would be able to get a good basis from which to explore other areas of the subject. The intention of this book is that, after reading it, a person can proceed into any region of XML usage and technology and have a good understanding of the basics of what is taking place.
You will find that certain sections of the book are very tutorial-like, while other places are obviously intended for reference. In particular, Chapter 2 is almost completely reference information on the syntax for XML tags and the DTD used to add restrictions to the syntax. The rest of the reference material is found throughout the book in places where it is relevant.
One chapter discusses what could be considered a side issue. The chapter on Ant is about a utility that can be used to manage software development. But is not far off topic. Ant is an XML application that is written in Java and can be extended by your adding classes that process new instructions, that are defined as XML elements. And Sun provides Ant files with its JAXP distribution. It is the only large XML application discussed in the book.