December 2nd, 2001, 08:09 PM
Recommended XML books
I'm looking for recommendations for XML books that ppl have read and found useful. There seem to be a good number of books on the subject (over 250) and it's a bit hard choosing one from the list!
Thanks in advance,
December 3rd, 2001, 04:44 AM
I'd say The XML Handbook, Third Edition. That's the only book I have here, and I like it. You can also take a look at http://www.xmlbooks.com
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I'll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems. - Jamie Zawinski, in comp.lang.emacs
December 3rd, 2001, 02:24 PM
Thanks Taradino - heading towards the site now. Any more anyone?
December 9th, 2001, 12:19 PM
Inside XML by Steven Holzner has good coverage of xml, dtd, xslt, xsl, xlinks, xpoints, java and xml.
December 9th, 2001, 06:09 PM
December 13th, 2001, 09:43 AM
Personally I like Professional XML by Micheal Kay, published by wrox.
I also have some links to other books I like a lot published at http://www.flashdeveloper.nl
Regards and good luck,
December 13th, 2001, 07:25 PM
How much do you know about markup in general, munkfish, and what do you already know about XML? What do you hope to learn from the book?
December 14th, 2001, 02:09 AM
technoiz - thanks for the recommendation and the link.
JMM - well, markup - I'm familiar with HTML, but also familiar with it's limitations.
What I already know about XML is that it's a scalable solution to marking up language that provides the developer with more versatile means for describing data. I know that it's primary use is in areas where more than one server or 'processes' are to use data efficiently, but don't necessarily 'speak' the same 'language'.
My main reason for wanting to learn more about XML is for a site I was planning on doing to handle content (specifically articles/tutorials) and I thought it'd be nice to be able to specify my own dtd and mark the articles up with it, and then have the site easily parse the documents with an xml parser (probably in PHP) and display them to the user. I was also considering writing an application to allow users to create/modify their CV's/resumes online and thought it might come in handy there.
I'm aware that at present I wouldn't be making the most of XML in the above scenarios, however the technology does sound so useful I'd like to know more about it.
To be honest JMM I'm more curious than anything, and must admit to being a sucker for all the hype that's been going around about XML for a while now. However reading about XML it's easy to see why the hype is there, it does seem a very powerful way of making the information contained in documents more accessible and 'meaningful' than documents marked up solely in HTML or in M$ Word or excel or whatever.
I've recently bought the book XML Handbook by Charles Goldfarb et al, the father of SGML. I'm reading through it slowly and finding it quite useful, still on the background reading in Part I at the moment, will work through some of the tutorials later. Very substantial book with a lot of good detailed info in it.
December 14th, 2001, 08:49 AM
OK, I would have recommended "XML: A Primer" second edtition, the only XML book I've ever read. It's pretty decent and sets you up well to actually look at the specification and start writing DTDs, etc., but I don't know how it compares to any other books, so yours and the others suggested might very well be better.
Funny you should mention that... I just started really learning XML recently myself, and the first thing I did as a learning exercise was create a DTD and XML document representation of my resume that I currently have online in XHTML.
Good luck with XML.
December 14th, 2001, 01:46 PM
Great minds and all that...
I've always been into writing cv's/resumes - I seem to have done more for other ppl than I have for myself - and I quite enjoy the copywriting bit that's involved with it.
Now I was thinking a PHP application that allows users to build and save their resume online might be profitable(!) - there don't seem to be too many good resume web apps out there, certainly not open source and the commercial versions I've seen are very bland.
Once the user signs up etc, they'd have the opportunity to build/save/format their resumes (perhaps giving option to save various versions of the resume for different target clients/job specs)... mmm but I'm just thinking about this as we speak, so can't really give you details lol... could be very useful and imagine there's a demand for it at the moment, what with job security being a thing of the past and the need for an up to date resume top of the list for many people.
Ah well, we'll see.
Regards you book recommendation, I'll look out for it at the bookshop next time I'm there... the book I bought incidentally seems to be one doorstop of a mishmash of a book that covers a massive amount of ground. Whether this will be a good thing or not is yet to be seen.
The book covers the background, what xml is used for, whom by, on what platforms (about 300 pages of this, loads of other gubbins hehe).
Next it looks at the practical side by 'case-studying' various applications of xml in practical scenarios (taken from real-life - for example how PC World used xml in their business - not sure if this is a good thing to learn from - over here PC World is considered pants in the geek world;\\). Anyway there's about 10 of these real world examples anyway.
I was a bit baffled by all this - I just wanted to know how to create an xml doc already! Anyway this is covered pretty smoothly after the practical examples section, and from what I've read so far seems ok.
blah anyway, upshot is it's quite a good book, long long book - 1000 pages - but mostly good reading and well written/easy to follow with good examples (oh yeah there's a chapter on writing 'a stylesheet driven tutorial generator' which I'm liking the sound of for my personal site for PHP tutorials and such, when I get around to it). Worth the money if you can afford it
print the thing out and perhaps send the thing out etc etc... the point here being that each type of 'view' (ie email view, printout view etc) will be generated from the xml document that's created.
Mmmm anyway a garbled review of the book there... hehe
Thanx for the tip taradino, good book...
December 15th, 2001, 06:10 PM
>perhaps giving option to save various versions of the resume
>for different target clients/job specs
Yeah, I was thinking about doing that with mine, but it would be too much work.
>could be very useful and imagine there's a demand for it at the
>moment, what with job security being a thing of the past and
>the need for an up to date resume top of the list for many people
I like having my resume on the web. Any job that says to contact by e-mail, I can just send a URL instead of dealing with any attachment related issues. And, I am trying to get a job as a web developer after all.
>print the thing out and perhaps send the thing out etc etc... the
>point here being that each type of 'view' (ie email view, printout
>view etc) will be generated from the xml document that's created.
Once again, I also did something sort of like that initially. I use some color on the resume, so at first I also offered a "printer friendly version" in black and white that was actually the same document, but using a different style sheet.
>Regards you book recommendation, I'll look out for it at the
>bookshop next time I'm there... the book I bought incidentally
>seems to be one doorstop of a mishmash of a book that covers
>a massive amount of ground. Whether this will be a good thing
>or not is yet to be seen.
If you already have a book, maybe it's not worth it. Have you actually looked at the spec much? I actually went through the spec first then read the book in a couple of days (it's about 400 pages) and it helped to crystallize some things in my mind, so it's good to get started pretty quickly. Then I just started using it, and wrote that DTD I talked about. Now I'm trying to learn the schema definition language.
December 16th, 2001, 12:48 AM
To be honest I haven't started digging into the book yet - been busy doing a polling system for the site I'm working on and not had much time to get stuck into xml check this thread out!:Opinions/comments on my polling system!
Well what you say about looking at the spec first does sound a good place to start - oddly in that book I got it's not covered until way over half way through (instead covering lots of background/summary info and practical examples first). I think I'll skip a lot of the background stuff and go straight for the spec stuff/useage tutes.
I've slowly begun to appreciate the DTD used in the HTML specification for various elements and now find it very easy to read through them and find help quickly, so hopefully undertsanding xml's specs won't be too hard.
As for the resume application I was speaking of, it's just in the air - I just thought it might me more 'commercially viable' as an application is all We shall see...
Anyway, many thanks for your comments JMM, much appreciated.