The XML Handbook

Subject:      Re: XML Book Recommendation
From: (Charles F. Goldfarb)
Date:         1998/07/27
Newsgroups:   comp.text.sgml,comp.text.xml 

On Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:33:54 +0100, Peter Flynn <>

>> Also, I saw another book by Prentice Hall
>> called XML Handbook (about 700-800 pages).  Is anyone familiar with that one, as well?  
>That's Charles Goldfarb's: he invented SGML. It's comprehensive and
>reliable, but a bit heavy going in places.

I thank Peter for the kind words, but I think they apply to The SGML Handbook,
which was published by Oxford University Press in 1990.  Amazingly for a
computer book, it is still in print and selling well after eight years
(and at $95 a copy!)

The Prentice-Hall book is The XML Handbook. It is brand new and was written by
Paul Prescod and myself. Amazingly, it has sold more copies in less than
a month than The SGML Handbook has in eight years!

Aside from both books being "comprehensive and reliable", they are quite
different. I've attached a description of the new one.

Charles Goldfarb


Goldfarb & Prescod, "The XML Handbook" (Charles F. Goldfarb Series on
Open Information Management), 684pp, ISBN 0-13-081152-1, $44.95.

The XML Handbook is the definitive entry point to XML for Web
professionals -- content developers, managers, and programmers -- but
you needn't be a programmer to read it.  Although XML, like HTML, is
derived from SGML (which was invented by one of the authors), XML has
so many more uses than HTML that it was vital that the book be much
more than a markup tutorial.

There are three major divisions:

1. A 64-page non-technical introduction to XML. It covers the
reasons for XML, how it is affecting the Web, and how XML is used in
the real world. Just enough of the language is taught so the reader
can understand the next section.

2. 358 pages of detailed descriptions of the full range of XML
applications: three-tier Web applications, data interchange, content
management, e-commerce, Web publishing, extended linking, etc. ...
plus walk-throughs of XML tools, all illustrated extensively with
screen shots and markup examples.

3. 130 pages of tutorials on XML, XLink, and XSL, plus 180
pages of other technical information. The tutorials are fun and
friendly, but comprehensive, precise, and technically accurate.

The book includes a CD-ROM with 55 no-time-limit XML freeware
programs, trial versions of major XML products, and all the
XML-related specs.

Charles F. Goldfarb * Information Management Consulting * +1(408)867-5553
           13075 Paramount Court * Saratoga CA 95070 * USA
  International Standards Editor * ISO 8879 SGML * ISO/IEC 10744 HyTime
Prentice-Hall Series Editor * Definitive XML * Open Information Management