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XML Bible, Gold Edition (With CD-ROM)
by Elliotte Rusty Harold "This chapter introduces you to XML, the Extensible Markup Language..." (more)
SIPs: person dtd, discovers his company, xsd duration, context node list, extended link element (more)
CAPs: Internet Explorer, Scalable Vector Graphics, Duke Orsino, Times New Roman, Oprah Winfrey (more)



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Edition: Hardcover

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Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
The emergence of XML is having an enormous impact on Web development, and scaling the learning curve of this new technology is a priority for many developers. The XML Bible offers a superb introduction to the subject and the groundwork to understand XML's future developments.

Author Elliotte Rusty Harold uses a patient, step-by-step discussion that clearly points out the potential of XML without boring his readership with tons of SGML spec-speak. Harold opens quickly with a "Hello World" example to get the reader coding early, and follows that with a simple but powerful example of XML's data management benefits--presenting baseball statistics. Once you've coded your first XML documents, you'll be hooked on the technology and motivated to learn about the more sophisticated topics.

Style sheet languages are covered comprehensively to illustrate the presentation possibilities and pitfalls. An unusually long list of real-life XML applications also shows how XML is already being used, and there is in-depth coverage of the Resource Description Framework, Channel Definition Format, and Vector Markup Language. The book wraps up with a section that helps you design your own XML application from scratch.

Titling a book a bible is a bold move, but this engaging and informative guide is entitled to make this claim. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: XML background, example XML applications, type definitions (DTDs), style languages, Xlinks, Xpointers, Namespaces, application planning, and XML 1.0 specification.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description
This fast-paced and thorough tutorial/reference contains everything an experienced web developer needs to put XML to work on established or new web sites. XML Bible, Gold Edition covers the fundamentals of the XML language, with emphasis on the creation of XML pages and their publication on the Web; the integration of XML with HTML, databases, and scripting languages to build complex applications. This book also covers Cascading Style Sheets and XSL Transformation; and supplemental technologies such as XLinks and XPointers.

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Product Details
  • Hardcover: 1565 pages
  • Publisher: Hungry Minds; Bk&CD-Rom edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0764548190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 64 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #736,066 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)
  • In-Print Editions: Paperback (3) | e-book (Adobe Reader) | All Editions
  • Shipping: Due to this item's unusual size or weight, it requires special handling and will ship separately from other items in your order. Read More

Inside This Book (learn more)
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First Sentence:
This chapter introduces you to XML, the Extensible Markup Language. Read the first page
Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more)
person dtd, discovers his company, xsd duration, context node list, extended link element, type xsd, song schema, xlink href, relative location step, television listings example, inline areas, basic genealogical data, simple page master, ude element, page sequence master, parameter entity references, xlink title, street cene, default template rules, common content models, table formatting objects, attribute value templates, list item body, alien phantoms, prefix entity
Capitalized Phrases (CAPs): (learn more)
Internet Explorer, Scalable Vector Graphics, Duke Orsino, Times New Roman, Oprah Winfrey, Structuring Data, Hollywood Squares, Silicon Towers, Ron Paul, Arial Narrow, Netscape Navigator, The Amazing Race, Entertainment Tonight, Game Shows, Village People, World Wide Web Consortium, John Salley, Richard Simmons, Martin Mull, Duplicative Artists Mismanagement, Extensible Stylesheet Language, Star Wars, Vicki Lawrence, Agents Row, Final Fantasy
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129 of 135 people found the following review helpful:

The best XML book I've seen so far., February 1, 2000
Reviewer:Alex Strasheim (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This book is terrific, and if you want to learn about using XML in web sites I recommend that you buy it.

XML books are, on the whole, pretty lousy. Everyone keeps talking about how XML will transform the web, but most books are thin on specifics -- exactly how XML will be used, and exactly how to make things happen. I've seen other reviews here from people who feel that this book doesn't do a good enough job of explaining those things. But I think that compared to its competition, it does an excellent job.

XML is new, and it's not in widespread use. As I write this, the only popular browser with solid XML support is IE5, and I guess that most people don't want to write sites that only work with one browser. But if you go to the XML site at msdn.microsoft.com and look at the table of contents, you'll get an idea of what XML can do, and why you'll want to learn it.

The book is well written and its a pleasure to spend time with it. The author knows as much about writing as he does about computers, and he knows a lot about computers. The explanations of XML are clear and conversational in tone. The focus is on using XML in web sites, and the book gives a lot of needed attention to XSL, the style sheet language used to format XML docments for the web. I've read other XML books, and I bought this one primarily to learn more about XSL.

The title of the book might be somewhat misleading. It is not a comprehensive guide to XML, but rather a best of breed tutorial on a very important chunk of XML stuff you'll want to learn. One reviewer pointed out that it's a poor reference book, and that's true, in a sense. There is an XML reference in an appendix, but it's an ultra-geeky BNF reference that probably won't be very helpful to most readers, especially given the book's non-programmer target audience.

A more serious problem is the book's neglect of Microsoft's XML schema technology, which is far superior, in my view, to DTDs. The word "schema" doesn't even appear in the index. And finally, this is not the book you want to buy if you want to learn how to program a java XML parsing engine. This is not a book about programming.

So why do I give this book five stars? It's fun to read and it's great at explaining XML itself, as well as a number of vital, connected technologies: XSL, DTDs, CSS, CSL, XLinks, and XPointers. I was fuzzy on XSL, XLinks, and XPointers, and this book helped me a lot. Those are exactly the things you need to know to get a XML site up and running on the web.

XML is a big, important technology, and I don't think there's a single book that covers everything you'll want to know. This book, despite the "Bible" title, doesn't try to cover everything. But what it does cover, it covers very well.

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful:

Not so much a Bible as a Book of Genesis, August 15, 2000
Reviewer:Terence P Hutt (Running Springs, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I'm going to start out by saying I'm glad I bought this book. It's a good introduction to XML. The early chapters on XML and DTDs are very good. They got me up to speed quickly so I could explain to my managers why our company should pursue XML and what the benefits will be.

The chapters on CSS-1 and CSS-2 were excellent and very useful even for writing regular HTML. Overall, the first 13 chapters were just what I needed.

Coverage of XSL was weaker and, in many respects, inadequate. The book never really discusses XPaths in enough detail. I thought the chapter on namespaces was too late in the book. The book is fleshed out with exceptionally long examples that added little value past the first few lines.

The chapter on reading a DTD (chapter 20) was a good idea, poorly executed. The complexity of the DTD selected by the author was totally inappropriate for the level of this book, even if the DTD was extremely well written.

The author never covers schema construction, and only briefly mentions them at all. Given their superiority over DTDs, this was a glaring error.

I was also disappointed by the lack of instruction on how to move XML across the Internet between applications. XML that never leaves the system it was constructed on is of little value.

Many of these problems are caused by the age of the book. It's over a year old now which, in XML terms, makes it yesterdays news. Now that this book has got me excited about XML, I'm off to find some more.

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Sola Scriptura, June 24, 2005
Reviewer:Thomas Paul (Plainview, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   (REAL NAME)  
Review for XML 1.1 Bible (3rd Edition):

Elliotte Rusty Harold is that rare technical author who can write about anything and make it interesting. In this case, he has written 1,000 pages on XML providing us with an excellent guide book to this technology. Whether you are a beginner or advanced user of XML, there will be something in this book for you.

The book is divided into five parts. The first part discusses the basics of XML giving us an introduction to what XML is, what it is used for, and explaining the basics of creating a well-formed XML document. Part two discusses DTDs and explains how namespaces are used. Part three looks at various style languages including CSS and XSL. The section on CSS will be useful to anyone wishing to use CSS to format their HTML documents. Part four gives us a tour of some supplemental XML technologies including XLinks, XPointers, XInclude, and Schemas. The chapter that most interested me was on Schemas and the explanations were clear and complete, leaving no mystery about how to use this technology. The final part looks at a few XML applications including XHTML, RDDL, and SVG. The book does not cover writing programs to process XML documents using SAX or DOM, for example. The author has another book on that topic if that is of interest to you.

Each part of the book does an exceptional job of explaining the topic. The author gives us plenty of examples to make the text crystal clear. The author writes as a colleague helping out fellow programmers and not as an instructor droning away at a blackboard. You really get the idea that the author enjoys XML and enjoys explaining it. If you are interested in working with XML this book is truly an indispensable guide.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Surprisingly Good, Surprisingly Useful, February 3, 2005
Reviewer:John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   (REAL NAME)  
When I first saw this book I thought that someone must be kidding. There's no question that XML is clearly the language to use when you want to transfer data using the standard web communications protocols. But a book that's more than a thousand pages, get serious.

They I opened it, low and behold, links, style sheets, specialized forms of XML for specialized purposes that have been agreed upon by multiple competing companies. It turns out that there's a lot more to XML than I thought.

Then in conjunction with XML other languages have been developed, some have proved not so useful and have faded away, others have evolved and changed to be more useful.

All in all, this is a very useful book, well written and has given me some ideas about how to solve some problems. That's all you can ask out of a book.


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent fat book on the document side of XML, January 17, 2005
Reviewer:ws__ (Hamburg, Germany) - See all my reviews
This book covers the document side of XML (XML, Schemas, Layout, Transformations, XHTML and more) in a good teaching way. For the data side of XML (Web Services etc. you have to grab a different book, a good one is Newcomer "Understanding Web Services").

The reader level is intended from beginner to advance. The beginner should probably start with a good thin book. If the beginner insists to start with this book, it would probably be easier to start with the third chapter (a concrete example) and read the overview chapters one and two at a later time. They simply require too much knowledge. Humans are not very good at the web browsers task to ignore everything they don't understand.
Important concepts are introduced at great leisure. The reader is watching, how things build up during the process of development. So you do not only see the results, but also the process. A great help for your own development. Still this book does not contain very much fluff and page fillers. Harold supplies plenty of thought food and only drowns the reader seldom in the richness of his knowledge.

With respect to schemas document type definitions are treated considerably more extensive than the XML schema language. Other possibilities are mentioned but not treated.

Also the treatment of layouts favors cascading style sheets over XSL formatting objects, which still have only meager support.

The quality of the bookbinding is horrible. The paper is too heavy for the book cover. My book cover only survived me reading the first couple of hundred pages. Also the book is too heavy for the strength of my hands. It is really a pity to give such an excellent book a so poor hardware.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Outstanding desk reference, December 13, 2004
Reviewer:wiredweird "wiredweird" (USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)  
First, I have to admit that no book can cover the whole of XML technology. It's spread so far (into XSL, Xlink, XPointer and more), it has so many companion technologies (FO, CSS, X/HTML, SAX, DOM, etc), and the standards change so fast that it's hopeless to look for The One book.

That said, this book is an effective guide and introduction for experienced programmers - beginners may find it a bit much, and may not like the lack of cut&paste code. This gives the clearest coverage I know of DTDs. It also covers XLinks, XPointers, XInclude, and the basics of schemas well enough to put those tools to use. You can try, at least: some of the standards (like XPointers) are so new and unstable that very few browsers support them.

The discussion of CSS is a good start, but will work best in conjuction with a book solely about CSS. Most CSS books, however, talk only about HTML, so this helps bridge the gap to CSS/XML. There's a short section on XSL, probably too short for any real application writers - Kay's XSLT book will help a lot. There's also a short, informative section on XSL/FO. Harold may intend this more as a look into the future (FO isn't in browsers yet) and as a comparison to CSS than as a real programmer's guide. He finishes with a brief description of XHTML and SVG.

Although the core of XML syntax has been stable for some years now, the larger sense of XML is a fast-changing and fast-growing family of interlocked standards. It's way too soon for the last word on the topic, and experts haven't settled on usage conventions. Some of us can't wait, though. We need XML help now, and this book does a good job delivering that help.

//wiredweird

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