In XML Specification Guide, authors Ian S. Graham and Liam Quin don't attempt to reinvent the wheel by teaching XML in their own words. Instead, they present the actual 1.0 specification from the World Wide Web Consortium and enhance it with useful background information, definitions, and reference tables.
The book begins with a "bootstrap" tutorial that examines basic XML documents and offers an overview of Document Type Definitions (DTD). This section leads the reader through discussions of entities, DTD subsets, tokenized attribute types, CDATA, and string normalization--all of the tongue-twisting terms that make up the heart of XML. Plenty of code snippets illustrate the concepts, but the writing is aimed at a developer-level audience.
The second part of the book is the XML specification itself, buttressed with inserted notes, annotations, and a limited number of examples. Since you're reading from the actual standard, you can rest assured that you're getting the instruction right from the source.
The third section of the book presents a series of additional technical appendices that the authors feel are important. These include style issues, character sets, comparisons between HTML and XML, a discussion of schemas versus DTDs, and a glossary. Augmented by a companion Web site, this is a fine resource for any Web developer's desk. --Stephen W. Plain
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is one of the hottest technologies for Web development. It is based on SGML and while it has the advantage of being less complicated to use than SGML, it is both more complex and flexible than HTML. XML offers users the following advantages: it makes networked information easier to find; categorize; customize; and allows users to create documents that look and function exactly the same way through any browser; it allows Web pages to be updated without re-sending all data, thereby saving on bandwidth (for example, XML allows on-line booksellers to use tags such as "price" and "number of pages" for searching and categorising purposes); and support for XML is being built into products from Microsoft, Netcape, Adobe, DataChannel, and WebMethods. This text is the technical reference for Web and application programmers and developers. After a concise overview of the purpose and scope of XML and its principles, readers find a complete and in-depth annotated specification guide that includes sample applications.
This comprehensive reference guide is designed for experienced Web developers and programmers and goes beyond comprehensive coverage of the XML specification to offer: namespaces, a recent W3C draft critical for large-scale, distributed applications; Tiny SML, a subset of XML used for special applications; databases and object-oriented models, including object inheritance and architectural forms.