June 28, 2004
"XML Publishing with AxKit": Managing Web Content with Perl and XML
Sebastopol, CA--Publishing XML to the Web shouldn't be hard, but
many web developers find that if the myths and fallacies surrounding
the use of XML don't deter them, then the shortage of available,
accessible tools for transforming and delivering content will.
AxKit--short for Apache XML toolkit--uses the mod_perl extension
to the Apache HTTP server to turn Apache into a cost-effective,
easy-to-use XML publishing and application server. AxKit allows
developers to quickly design modules to create faster web sites,
and deliver them in a wide variety of media formats. It also takes
care of caching so the developer doesn't have to worry about it.
AxKit meets the demands of the web developer nicely, but, as with
any new toolkit, there is a learning curve.
Web developers who want to flatten that learning curve and get right
to work will find a step-by-step introduction to the technology in
XML Publishing with AxKit (O'Reilly, US $29.95) by Kip Hampton.
The book walks readers through the initial setup and configuration,
and then addresses coding, testing, and final delivery of an
extensible system. It explains how to set up AxKit on both Windows-
and Linux-based systems, and how to build a simple but functional
site using AxKit.
XML Publishing with AxKit will be useful to any web developer or
designer who is interested in learning about XML publishing in
general, and the practical aspects of XML publishing, specifically
with Apache. According to Hampton, readers are not required to
know Perl at all, or be Apache HTTP server gurus, or possess more
than a basic familiarity with XML. "If you don't know XML and dread
the thought of consuming a pile of esoteric specifications to
understand what is being presented, don't worry," says Hampton.
"This book takes a fiercely pragmatic approach that will teach you
only what you need to know to be productive with AxKit. A quick
scan of XML's basic syntax is probably all the XML knowledge you
need to get started."
After covering the basics of getting started with AxKit, XML
Publishing with AxKit moves on to more complex possibilities,
including:Configuring style processing
Using AxKit as an XSLT pipeline processor
Transforming XML with AxKit's own XpathScript
Using extensible Server Pages (XSP) with AxKit
Building on the AxKit architecture
Extending AxKit with custom plug-ins, data providers, and language modules
Joining the AxKit community
The AxKit framework can bring XML publishing to life (on a budget),
providing support for online publishing tasks ranging from yesterday's
HTML-only sites to today's multi-client web interfaces, and even
into tomorrow's RDF/XML-based Semantic Web. With XML Publishing
with AxKit, web developers have all the tools they need to deliver
complex XML-based systems quickly, the power to develop their own
systems for style sheet negotiation, and the flexibility to design
completely new style sheet languages.
XML Publishing with AxKit
ISBN 0-596-00216-5, 243 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA
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