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REVIEW: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to XML", David Gulbransen

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKCIGXML.RVW 20020212 The Complete Idiot s Guide to XML , David Gulbransen, 2000, 0-7897-2311-3, U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.99 %A David Gulbransen
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002
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      BKCIGXML.RVW 20020212

      "The Complete Idiot's Guide to XML", David Gulbransen, 2000,
      0-7897-2311-3, U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.99
      %A David Gulbransen www.vervet.com press@...
      %C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
      %D 2000
      %G 0-7897-2311-3
      %I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
      %O U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.99 800-858-7674 317-581-3743 pr@...
      %P 332 p. + CD-ROM
      %T "The Complete Idiot's Guide to XML"

      I'm not really fond of "[Topic] for the Brain Damaged" books, but I
      must say that the "Complete Idiot's" books have a rather decent track
      record. This book is a very careful and useful guide to getting
      started with XML (eXtensible Markup Language). It only covers the
      basics, and doesn't get far into the related protocols, but if you are
      willing to stick with XML and DTDs (Document Type Definitions) then
      pretty much anyone could follow the explanation and tutorial here.

      Part one concentrates on getting to know XML. Chapter one provides
      the basics of markup, but doesn't really say what XML is. Even
      starting with SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language, the
      precursor and foundation for XML), in chapter two, doesn't really
      explain it in useful terms, but the beginning of the concepts are
      there. A decent idea of what XML markup can do is given in chapter
      three. Chapter four promotes the use of XML Pro (which the author has
      created). Using the XML Pro program to generate elements is covered
      in chapter five. Fortunately, this is the last chapter dedicated to
      the package, and the rest of the book does concentrate on the base
      technology.

      Part two examines the fundamental building blocks of XML. Chapter six
      explains element syntax. Element attribute examples, in chapter
      seven, might be confusing for the novice, but the explanations are
      sound. Overall XML document structure is dealt with in chapter eight.
      A simple, but not quite complete, XML document is described in chapter
      nine.

      Part three moves from the purely XML structure into the concepts
      surrounding a base document. Chapter ten presents both a document and
      a DTD (Document Type Definition), but since the new material diverges
      from what was done before, the content may not be as helpful as it
      could have been. A variety of XML derived languages are listed in
      chapter eleven. Syntax is reviewed again in discussing "well formed"
      documents and validation, in chapter twelve.

      Validation leads naturally into the total XML system in part four.
      DTDs and Schemas are outlined briefly in chapter thirteen, with more
      on DTDs as well as elements, attributes, and structure in chapters
      fourteen to seventeen.

      Part five deals with slightly more advanced topics. Chapter eighteen
      covers declaring entities as shortcuts and abbreviations. More on
      entities is in chapter nineteen. Miscellaneous extras as in chapter
      twenty. The book finishes off with a sample project in chapter
      twenty.

      There is a lot more to the XML system than is encompassed in this
      work. However, many books try to cover the entire map and end up with
      a confusing mess. Gulbransen has provided enough so that you can
      start actually using the system. If readers want to go further, they
      can find other resources, but they will, at least, know what the
      system is about and how it works.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2001 BKCIGXML.RVW 20020212


      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      Q. What's the difference between Batman and Bill Gates?
      A. When Batman fought the Penguin, he won.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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