Development Exchange "Both a great way of learning about XML and related technologies, and an excellent reference book you'll want to keep handy on your shelf." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bradley's book is a pretty complete guide to XML and related technologies. The main chapters are almost tutorial in style, with plenty of code examples to follow. The end of the book contains a small reference section. The topics covered are XML, XSL, XSLT, DOM, SAX, XPath, Schemas, XLink, XHTML, and CSS. Discussions are for the most part clear and accurate. I have two main complaints about Bradley. First, the prose, while accurate, is often overly verbose. It could be written more concisely and compactly. Second, each chapter is broken into sections, but the sections are not numbered, so it is difficult to locate material in the text. The main advantage is the comprehensive general coverage of XML-related technologies. Buying this one book will arm you with the knowledge to develop XML applications and content, and it will save you money. If you have very specific needs, you may need to supplement Bradley with another more focused text that delves deeper into a particular technology. Also, if you want to see longer applications presented as case studies, you might want a different text. I recommend this book for beginning and intermediate XML users who want broad, general coverage in a single book.
1. Depth and breadth of topics being covered with real application make this a solid reference for XML applications, such as Apache Cocoon 1 & 2 Frameworks. Java is indeed a natural companion to XML.
2. It is not a cookbook of raw XML/XSLT/CSS/XSchema/XLink/XInclude/XPointer, etc... It actually explains the Design behind the implementation leaving one to approach implementation with foresight and focus on planning before one wastes needless hours of frustration during rushed implementations.
4. It describes XML as a means to be both a boon for turning publishing into an Art of Reuse as well as how XML solidifies many failed attempts of standards that were not able to become language agnostic. XML and all her siblings are that meta bridge.
5. With the XSL Companion those who complained about it being either difficult to grasp or tediously complex will be vindicated and appreciate returning to this book to explain all the questions that surface along the way during any project they become involved in helping solve.
6. Neil is very honest that this book is about wrapping your head around the XML paradigm and not about being a Dictionary of answers to all your XML application(s) needs. It should become clear the reason behind so many XML application standards. There are just so many avenues to address how could they all possibly be expressed in just one book?
Not a well written book..., September 11, 2002
Reviewer: A reader ...and not for a beginner. Filled with samples and graphs-which somewhat help the extremely confusing writing style. Bradley's style reminds me of the teacher I had when I was 10 years old who found it very easy to go off on a new tangent--and very difficult to be brief, concise or clear. Fine for a reference, if you already know what you want.
not a starter book, or even a good book, March 22, 2002
Reviewer: A reader don't expect to learn how to use xml from this book. the structure and layout of the material is incomprehensible, doesn't lend itself to self-study and the chapters do not seem to "build on concepts described in previous chapters" (as touted in the preface)--rather, discussing and expounding on specious, irrelevant and unimportant topics. since i obtained this book with the intention of learning xml (and not the incredibly trivial details bradley insists on explicating), i expected to see some (at least one) examples of an actual xml document. no such luck. don't buy this book if you want to know *how* to use xml--total and complete waste of time and money. perhaps it could be of use to some people however. you never know.
If you are in any way technically minded, avoid this book!, March 11, 2002
Reviewer: A reader This is not that great a book, in fact it is fairly poor. The writing is confused in places and the examples badly thought through. Technically minded readers will find it largely pointless, and will offer little of any great use. Over-rated.
This book is clearly not for a beginner, nor should it be. Many reviews give it less than five stars due to the fact that it's a bad tutorial. Well it wasn't designed as one, as you should see in the title XML **Companion**. It's designed as a thorough reference of XML and related technologies. Neil is really up to date with his stuff. I couldn't find another book, (and I've skimmed through all of them), that covers everything. Coverage of technical issues like white space normalization, Relax, Trex, Relax NG, etc... It's wondeful. Please don't buy this book as a tutorial, but rather as a desktop reference. It's a must on all XML programmer's bookshelves.