January 26, 2001
Invisibility in a Nutshell
Sebastopol, CA--Mainframes on Wall Street trade stocks with one another
by using it. Children playing games on their home PCs save their
documents in it. Sports fans receive real-time game scores on their
cell phones with it. "XML is so important that very soon it will become
invisible," says W. Scott Means, coauthor of the new O'Reilly book
XML in a
Nutshell (US $29.95). "What I mean is, that its applications are
so broad and diverse, that it will be taken for granted. Within the
next five years, products will no more tout XML support as a feature,
as they tout Windows support today."
XML, the Extensible Markup Language, is a W3C endorsed standard for
document markup. It provides a standard format for computer documents.
This format is so flexible that it can be customized for areas as
diverse as web sites, electronic data interchange, vector graphics,
genealogy, real estate listings, object serialization, wireless
devices, and voice mail systems. Because of that, XML is positioned to
be the key web application technology of the future.
"In most new projects the question is no longer 'Whether XML' or 'Why
XML?' it's 'Why not XML?'," explains Elliotte Rusty Harold, coauthor of
XML in a Nutshell. "XML has become as important to developers as
Java, Perl, or C. Actually it's probably more important. You can always
choose a different programming language, but there isn't any good
alternative to XML for standard data formats."
XML in a
Nutshell is a comprehensive guide to the rapidly growing
world of XML. It covers all aspects of XML, from the most basic syntax
rules, to the details of DTD creation, to the APIs you can use to read
and write XML documents in a variety of programming languages.
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.
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.
Harold adds: "XML in
a Nutshell is a complete introduction to the
state of the art in XML. Very few XML books even attempt to cover this
much material. This book is the most concentrated, cost-effective way
to educate yourself about XML."
XML in a Nutshell,
A Desktop Quick Reference
XPath, is available free online.
about the book, including Table of Contents,
index, author bio, and samples.
graphic in jpeg format.
For an in-depth and real-life look at XML, catch Elliotte Rusty
Harold's tutorials at the
on Enterprise Java, March
26-29, 2001 at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, California.
By Elliotte Rusty Harold & W. Scott Means
ISBN 0-596-00058-8, 480 pages, $29.95 (US)
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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