REVIEW: "XML in a Nutshell", Elliotte Rusty Harold/W. Scott Means
- BKXMLNSH.RVW 20010715
"XML in a Nutshell", Elliotte Rusty Harold/W. Scott Means, 2001,
%A Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@...
%A W. Scott Means smeans@...
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$29.95/C$43.95 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%P 480 p.
%T "XML in a Nutshell"
As usual, the Nutshell book contains pretty much all you need to know
about XML, the eXtensible Markup Language.
Part one covers XML concepts and basics, with an introduction, the
fundamentals of XML structure and syntax, an outline of document type
definitions (DTDs), a review of the idea of namespaces for definition
sharing, and a look at the provisions for internationalization. The
material is clear: it may be sparse in some places, but anyone with an
intermediate technical background should be able to follow the theory.
Part two explains XML from a narrative document perspective, starting
with a very lucid explanation of the conceptual roots in SGML
(Standard Generalized Markup Language) and then moving to the new
protocols with XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language), XSL
(eXtensible Stylesheet Language) for style sheet creation and XSLT for
document transformations, XPath for compound documents, XLinks for
link definition and creation, XPointer (a kind of search function for
non-indexed documents), and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and XSL for
document output. Non-narrative, or data oriented, documents are
explained in Part three, with reviews of XML as a data format,
programming models, the Document Object Model (DOM), and SAX (the
Simple API [Application Programming Interface] for XML).
All of this material is, in a sense, mere preface. The heart of the
books of the Nutshell series is the reference section. Still, the
foregoing chapters are definitely useful for anyone starting out with
XML, since XML is subject to a great deal of hype, and not very much
hard explanation. Parts two and three, particularly, help to sort out
the various pieces of the XML puzzle.
Part four, though, is up to the usual Nutshell reference standard,
with chapters on XML 1.0, XPath, XSLT, DOM, SAX, and the various
character sets, including Unicode.
For those working with XML a valuable resource, and for those starting
out an invaluable guide.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2001 BKXMLNSH.RVW 20010715
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To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins
to look like a nail. - Abraham H. Maslow
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade