RELAX NG
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2003
Pages: 512

As developers know, the beauty of XML is that it is extensible, even to the point that you can invent new elements and attributes as you write XML documents. Then, however, you need to define your changes so that applications will be able to make sense of them and this is where XML schema languages come into play. RELAX NG (pronounced relaxing), the Regular Language Description for XML Core--New Generation is quickly gaining momentum as an alternative to other schema languages. Designed to solve a variety of common problems raised in the creation and sharing of XML vocabularies, RELAX NG is less complex than The W3C's XML Schema Recommendation and much more powerful and flexible than DTDs.

RELAX NG is a grammar-based schema language that's both easy to learn for schema creators and easy to implement for software developers In RELAX NG, developers are introduced to this unique language and will learn a no-nonsense method for creating XML schemas. This book offers a clear-cut explanation of RELAX NG that enables intermediate and advanced XML developers to focus on XML document structures and content rather than battle the intricacies of yet another convoluted standard.

RELAX NG covers the following topics in depth:

  • Introduction to RELAX NG
  • Building RELAX NG schemas using XML syntax
  • Building RELAX NG schemas using compact syntax, an alternative non-XML syntax
  • Flattening schemas to limit depth and provide reusability
  • Using external datatype libraries with RELAX NG
  • W3C XML Schema regular expressions
  • Writing extensible schemas
  • Annotating schemas
  • Generating schemas form different sources
  • Determinism and datatype assignment
and much more.

If you're looking for a schema language that's easy to use and won't leave you in a labyrinth of obscure limitations, RELAX NG is the language you should be using. And only O'Reilly's RELAX NG gives you the straightforward information and everything else you'll need to take advantage of this powerful and intelligible language.

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5.0

Excellent reference for XML validation

By Tom Browder

from Niceville, FL

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Pros

  • Accurate
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about O'Reilly Media RELAX NG:

    I bought this book in Dec 2004 when I was assigned a project to develop XML schemas for a complex set of XML files, and I knew little about XML at the time. This book saved my job: I used its guidance to write complex RELAX NG schemas (using its compact format), that I couldn't have done in the time allotted using the W3C schema format. The author also pointed me to freely available tools to transform my new schemas into other formats where needed. The only disappointment for me was the exciting notice in chapter 14 about a tool to generate RELAX NG schemas from an OpenOffice spreadsheet which was to be available on O'Reilly's site on this page, but I haven't yet found it! Even so, I highly recommend the book, and I have recently turned to it again for help with another project.

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