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September 7, 2004

"XML Hacks": XML Secrets from the Gurus to You

Sebastopol, CA--By no means a panacea for all the ills of data interchange, XML (Extensible Markup Language) is becoming an increasingly practical option for packaging and moving data. You can find it everywhere, regarded as a semi-magic technology that makes information readily accessible. And, in part, it lives up to that claim, yet at its core it's a simple foundation wrapped in a crush of specifications and APIs.

"By some grace, XML has enjoyed considerable popularity and has been almost universally received as an interoperability solution for heterogeneous computer systems," observes Michael Fitzgerald, author of XML Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95). "Although not without shortcomings, XML is probably the best thing we have going for us to deal with software interoperability issues, mainly because of its wide acceptance and presence." XML has something else going for it, as Fitzgerald points out: it can be fun to use, as many of the hacks in his book demonstrate.

"XML Hacks" is a roll-up-your-sleeves guide that distills years of ingenious XML hacking into a complete set of practical tips, tricks, and tools for web developers, system administrators, and programmers who want to go far beyond basic tutorials to use the full power of XML. "This book's mission is to give you a running start at doing many of the things that are commonly--and sometimes uncommonly--done with XML," says Fitzgerald.

With plenty of useful real-world projects that illustrate how to define, read, create, and manipulate XML documents, "XML Hacks" shows readers how to put XML's power to work on the Internet and within productivity applications. Whether they are creating content for web sites, managing data for electronic interchange, munging legacy files, writing an article or manual, or inventing their own projects, readers will find techniques to help them get the job done. They'll learn how to:

  • Create and edit XML documents using tools that range from Vim to Emacs to Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org Writer
  • Transform application files, like the Apple iTunes collection data, into accessible HTML
  • Convert old comma-separated text files into XML and vice versa
  • Generate PDF files and SVG graphics form XML documents
  • View any XML document with a basic table structure as a table in a web browser
  • Subscribe to and create RSS and Atom feeds
  • Turn HTML files into clean XHTML files
  • Convert Wiki files from SGML to XML
  • With beginning, intermediate, and advanced hacks between the covers of this book, "XML Hacks" offers a wealth of tools for anyone who has ever wanted to explore, experiment, discover clever shortcuts--and maybe even show off a little--with XML.

    Additional Resources:

    XML Hacks
    Michael Fitzgerald
    ISBN 0-596-00711-6, 460 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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