XML in a Nutshell
A Desktop Quick Reference
By Elliotte Rusty Harold, W. Scott Means
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2001
Pages: 498

XML, the Extensible Markup Language, is a W3C endorsed standard for document markup. Because of its ability to deliver portable data, XML is positioned to be a key web application technology.Given the complexity and incredible potential of this powerful markup language, it is clear that every serious developer using XML for data or text formatting and transformation will need a comprehensive, easy-to- access desktop reference in order to take advantage of XML's full potential. XML in a Nutshell will assist developers in formatting files and data structures correctly for use in XML documents.XML defines a basic syntax used to mark up data with simple, human-readable tags, and provides a standard format for computer documents. This format is flexible enough to be customized for transforming data between applications as diverse as web sites, electronic data inter-change, voice mail systems, and wireless devices, to name a few.Developers can either write their own programs that interact with, massage, and manipulate the data in XML documents, or they can use off-the-shelf software like web browsers and text editors to work with XML documents. Either choice gives them access to a wide range of free libraries in a variety of languages that can read and write XML.The XML specification defines the exact syntax this markup must follow: how elements are delimited by tags, what a tag looks like, what names are acceptable for elements, where attributes are placed, and so forth. XML doesn't have a fixed set of tags and elements that are supposed to work for everybody in all areas of interest for all time. It allows developers and writers to define the elements they need as they need them.Although XML is quite flexible in the elements it allows to be defined, it is quite strict in many other respects. XML in a Nutshell covers the fundamental rules that all XML documents and authors must adhere to, detailing the grammar that specifies where tags may be placed, what they must look like, which element names are legal, how attributes attach to elements, and much more.

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O'Reilly MediaXML in a Nutshell
 
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(based on 9 reviews)

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1.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Umesh

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

This book is not atall useful for begineers. It is very confusing and moreover the examples used in the first chapter are referenced from some other later chapters in the book and from outside of the book which makes it really difficult to understand.

Surely this is not the book I would recommend to anyone.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Luis

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

This book has all of the following bad attributes: arcane prose and sentences, crass semantic errors, funny orthographic errors, and inncompleteness (XML schema is missing).

I have had to buy another book to learn about XML.

 
2.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Dave Doolin

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

Some of the typos are egregious. This should not have happened given ORAs other entries with XML information (such as webmaster in a nutshell etc). I have been buying ora books for years because it is much faster to open a dead tree than to web search over and over for reference material. However, problems such as found on page 35 of my printing (jan 2001) with the operators ?,+,* render this book useless to me for commercial development. And yes, I just printed out all the errata. And, yes, I will likely try and return this book to Cody's for a refund (I still have the receipt). And, since I have ended up running stuff out of the laser printer anyway, I might as well just print the spec directly from w3. It's a pita to carry around, but I suspect it will be more reliable, and the price is right. Again, this book is useless to me for commercial development. I can't trust it and will have to cross check the information with other sources. Furthermore, I could not in good faith recommend it to anyone. Whats more, I can no longer assume that the ORA offering in any field will be "best-of-breed", and I will be reading reviews at amazon and elsewhere before I purchase another ORA book.

Dave Doolin

 
4.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Kwon

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

After reading a variety of XML books, I've found this one to be the most useful. For the price and size, you can't beat it.

As some people have pointed out, there are some ommissions, but given the developmental state of several XML standards, what can you expect?

BTW, my copy does include information about XML Schemas, although it doesn't have any dedicated chapters on it... check your index (pg 10,40,228) The information on XML Schemas is vague, but leaves the impression that they are more precise than DTDs.

 
2.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By ben

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

The more I use this book, the more I notice its errors and ommisions. Its really very difficult to do commercial work using this book as a guide. The XPath and XSL sections have brief, patchy and inaccurate coverage.

Suggests the authors were learing XML as they wrote the book.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Thomas Broyer

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

I was very impressed by chapters 6 and 7 (although HTML stuff isn't really accurate - for example, A&B isn't the same as A&B in SGML since an SGML parser will look for a B entity in the first case) but very disappointed by chapters 8, 9, 19 and 20 (at least ; chapters 10 to 13 aren't error-prone).

The author doesn't distinguish XPath expressions, used to select nodes, and XSLT patterns, used to match already selected nodes. Although both have a very similar syntax, they have completely different semantics. He also seems convinced that location paths are either totally abbreviated or unabbreviated whereas abbreviated syntax applies to location steps, so you may have abbreviated and unabbreviated location steps in the same location path. For all that he doesn't use unabbreviated steps in unabbreviated paths' predicates.

I'm the French translator for the second part of the book (and related reference chapters) and need to fix and tidy all th!

at mess, spending out a huge amount of time. At least French customers will have an accurate book.

I posted several serious errata and haven't received any acknowledgement or else, and all these errata have falled in the "unconfirmed" list whereas they're all confirmed by official documents. What are the authors doing?

For years, O'Reilly's books were synonymous of quality and technical accuracy. This feeling has changed during last month and I'll never buy an O'Reilly's book with my eyes shut any more.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Ben

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

Overall, I found XML In a Nutshell a little dissapointing, although it does contain some very good XML reference material.

My principal complaint was that they had no coverage of XML Schema, despite the books publication date Jan 2001. The book conveyed the impression that the ageing and inadequate DTD was the one and only validation mechanism. IMO, this is a serious and misleading omission that detracts from the quality of the book.

My other concern was the seeming overlap between the reference and tutorial material for each topic, which are separately packaged in different ends of the book, but seem somewhat similar and not particularly complimentary. More annotated examples in the tutorial sections would have helped.

 
4.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By thomas brennan-marquez

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

This book shows, again, what O'Reilly has been doing so well for years: it is concise, correct, and complete. Very easy to read and the best presentation of the XML concepts I have seen so far. If you want a desk reference, this book will suit you fine. If you are new to the whole idea of XML/XSLT/XPaths/etc. this book will walk you through the maze.

 
4.0

XML in a Nutshell Review

By Ryan J. Parker

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media XML in a Nutshell:

XML in a Nutshell is a very good book for the beginner wanting to learn about XML. I picked up this book, read it in two days, and now feel very confident about my knowledge of XML. It is very concise and has "to the point" examples. It doesn't contain all the jabber that isn't needed.

It is also a very handy reference. With "XML in a Nutshell" and "Java and XML" by your side you can be using XML in no time!

The only downside to the book is the text errors. However, the errata picks them up nicely.

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