New XML Book (Elliotte Rusty Harold)

From Wed Jul 29 10:41:21 1998
Date:     Wed, 29 Jul 1998 11:33:18 -0400
From:     Elliotte Rusty Harold <>
Subject:  New XML book

I'd like to announce the publication of my latest book XML: Extensible Markup Language from IDG Books. ISBN 0-764-53199-9. This book is an introduction to XML for HTML developers. It shows you how to write documents in XML and how to use XSL style sheets to convert those documents into HTML so legacy browsers can read them. You`ll also learn how to use DTDs to describe and validate documents.

This book is the first one to look at XML not from the perspective of a software developer but rather that of a web page author. It doesn`t spend a lot of pages talking about BNF grammars or parsing element trees. Instead it shows you how you can use XML and existing tools today to more efficiently and productively produce powerful web sites. Fortunately XML has a decidedly unsteep learning curve, much like HTML (and unlike SGML). As you learn a little you can do a little. As you learn a little more, you can do a little more.

This book is aimed squarely at web site developers. I assume that you want to use XML to produce web sites that are difficult to impossible to create with raw HTML. You'll be amazed to discover that in conjunction with XSL style sheets and a few free tools, XML lets you do things that previously required either custom software costing hundreds to thousands of dollars per developer or extensive knowledge of programming languages like Perl. None of the software in this book will cost you more than a few minutes of download time. None of the tricks require any programming beyond the most basic cut and paste JavaScript.

Now the down side: the dynamics of dead tree publishing are such that much of this book was written about six months ago. At the time I decided to use XSL rather heavily. In hindsight, that was probably a mistake. Almost all the XSL material will be out of date within the next month if it isn't already. I'll be working on updates to be posted on the Cafe con Leche web site at next month.

This is my fifth computer book, and I've yet to write one that managed to be completely in sync with the technology it described for more than a week after the date of publication, so this may be an unavoidable problem. Nonetheless, I think there's still a lot of useful information in this book, particularly for anyone who's considering using XML as a back end for web sites.

XML: Extensible Markup Language is available now from <> and from Computer Literacy <> and soon from bookstores everywhere. I'll be particularly interested to hear what this audience thinks of it, and how you think it might be improved in future editions.

[Note: See the online description of the book maintained at; also the local archive copy. Other books on XML are listed in the section XML Books and in the general book list, Bibliography: Books on SGML/XML and Related Standards. -rcc]

Table of Contents


	Part 1: XML Basics

	 - Chapter 1 Introducing XML
	 - Chapter 2 Beginning XML
	 - Chapter 3 Formalizing XML
	 - Chapter 4 XSL

	Part II: DTDs

	 - Chapter 5 Using DTDs in XML Documents
	 - Chapter 6 Assembling Documents from Multiple Data Sources
	 - Chapter 7 Describing Elements with Attributes

	Part III: The Bleeding Edge

	 -  Chapter 8 International Text
	 -  Chapter 9 XLL

	Part IV: XML Applications

	 -  Chapter 10 CDF
	 -  Chapter 11 Genealogy


	 -  XML QuickRef
	 -  Appendix A International Character Sets
	 -  Appendix B XML Glossary
	 -  Appendix C About the CD
	 -  Appendix D Additional Resources

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | | Writer/Programmer |
|        XML: Extensible Markup Language (IDG Books 1998)            |
|   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News: |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News:     |

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