August 19, 2002
Locating Content in XML Documents Just Became Easier: O'Reilly Releases "XPath and XPointer"
Sebastopol, CA--Without pausing to wonder why anyone would ever want or
need to find a needle in a haystack, we can assume that it would be a
fairly tedious task, almost as difficult as referring to specific
information inside an XML document. The challenge in either case is how
to differentiate what you're looking for from everything that surrounds
it. Although there are as yet few helpful tools for finding needles in
haystacks, XML developers can turn to XPath and XPointer, two closely
related languages that play a key role in XML processing by allowing
developers to manipulate embedded information. XPath is used for
locating XML content within an XML document; XPointer is the standard
for addressing such content, once located. Developers will find all the
information they need to begin using these two technologies in
O'Reilly's latest release, XPath and XPointer by John Simpson (US
This concise book fills an essential need for XML developers by dealing
with a topic that has been addressed inadequately until now. John
Simpson, author of XML.com's monthly XML Q&A column, offers practical
knowledge of the two languages that underpin XML, XSLT, and XLink.
"XPath and XPointer" cuts through basic theory and provides real-world
examples that developers can use right away.
"Understanding XPath is absolutely critical to using XSLT effectively,
as well numerous other XML-related standards and applications such as
XQuery, the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3, MSXML applications,
XForms, and even XML Schema," says Simpson. "The importance of XPointer
will grow enormously once the spec attains full W3C Recommendation
status and XLink and XPointer-aware applications become commonplace and
a little less 'bleeding edge' and theoretical."
Written for XML developers, document authors, and others with a need to
address specific portions of XML documents, "XPath and XPointer"
assumes a working knowledge of XML and XSLT. It begins with an
introduction to XPath basics. Readers will learn about location steps
and paths, XPath functions and numeric operators. After covering XPath
in depth, the book moves on to XPointer--its background, syntax, and
forms of addressing. By the time they have finished the book, readers
will know how to construct a full XPointer (one that uses an XPath
location path to address document content) and completely understand
both the XPath and XPointer features it uses.
"XPath and XPointer" contains material on the forthcoming XPath 2.0
spec, as well as versions 1.0 of both XPath and XPointer. A succinct
but thorough hands-on guide, no other book on the market provides
comprehensive information on these two key XML technologies in one
XPath and XPointer
By John E. Simpson
ISBN 0-596-00291-2, 196 pages, $24.95 (US), $38.95 (CAN)
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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