978-0-201-70914-8 / 0201709147

Essential XML: Beyond MarkUp

by Box, Don

Publisher:Addison-Wesley Professional



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About the book:

XML is often treated as the next pop standard in markup, but seldom in depth as a set of software development specifications. Essential XML digs deep into XML, examining its capabilities as an underlying data-exchange format. This book is for serious software developers who are comfortable with technical terminology.

Right from the start, the book addresses XML as a data format and not a presentation mechanism. It is the belief of the authors that XML handcoding by humans will fade away as XML becomes increasingly a low-level standard for providing communication between applications. The entire book revolves around the XML Information Set (InfoSet), an XML specification that the authors feel is underexamined by most XML aficionados. The InfoSet defines XML documents in terms that are independent of syntax.

The opening section provides an overview to the InfoSet, albeit a very technical examination. There's little ramping up in this book--readers must be prepared to dig into the nitty-gritty right from the start. The text moves on to discuss programming XML via the DOM and SAX, as well as such key topics as transformations and navigation.

One of the book's strongest points is its examination of XML as a messaging technology for the software development market of the future. In a discussion of XML as an improvement over standard component models, the authors proclaim that, "as the software industry looks to XML as a solution to all problems short of world hunger, there is a tendency to reinvent the entire automobile and highway system in the process of reinventing the wheel."

Developers who are fluent in component programming and distributed object models will glean the most from this book. Casual XML implementers should look for a more introductory guide, but tool developers will find this title quite insightful in charting their XML course. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered:

  • XML Information Set (InfoSet)
  • Simple API for XML Version 2 (SAX2)
  • Document Object Model Level 2 (DOML2)
  • Apache Xerces
  • Microsoft XML
  • Xpath
  • Xpointer
  • Xinclude
  • Xbase
  • XML Schemas
  • XSLT
  • XML as a software-integration technology

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