While conceptually simple, XML is tricky to implement well in data structures and XML parsers, not least because it's a moving target. The authors cover a wide range of ways to use and implement XML with real-world examples--including heavy coverage of the SAX XML API implemented in Java--but what comes through most clearly in the 1,150 pages of Professional XML is XML's lack of maturity. This is unsurprising: W3C only nailed down the XML 1.0 specification in February, 1998. There is, though, no doubt about the need for, and importance of, XML in a networked world. Whether you are developing for Web or business-to-business applications, you need to understand XML. Professional XML meets this need. --Steve Patient
From the Author
1. What do you think is the major selling point of this book (or what does this book do that others don't)?
This is the latest XML book on the market. The world of XML has changed considerably over the last couple of years and this book gives insight into how XML technologies are being employed today, as well as a view to the future of XML. The authors come from a diverse set of industries and so you get a rich set of views on how XML is being used in the real world.
2. What area do you think XML isn't currently well represented in, and do you think this book helps to address that?
Although they are emerging technologies, I think the whole e-Business and Web Services integration is going to become rapidly important in the Enterprise. This book gives a good overview and understanding of the technical implementation requirements and issues, as well as some coding on how to achieve this.
3. This book describes the current W3C Recommendation for XML Schema, do you think this technology will have a large effect on XML usefulness?
I am a big fan of XML Schema. Everything should be associated with a schema to simplify issues from development to integration and maintenance. Integration is one of the keys. Even internally integration, or understanding the data, often proves to be difficult. In the Internet it doesn't get any easier. XML Schema will prove to be a big success in simplifying these areas, although I still see way too many standards and vocabulary registries out there, which will hopefully settle down as certain ones are adopted at large by user communities.
4. Which XML technology do you think it is most important for 'programmers' to become familiar with? (eg: Schemas, XSLT, etc)
Schemas are the building blocks for understanding XML as a whole. Without understanding this, you don't really know WHY you would want to use XSLT for example: why would you want to transform something? In essence, schemas define the domain of XML and although there are many directions you can go in, most will involve XML Schema in some manner.
5. In your opinion what is the most exciting XML technology, and why?
For me, Schemas is the most important. Now, the most exciting for me is probably how these become employed worldwide. As it is so easy to create a new Schema, the challenge exists in reusing and incorporating schemas from other vocabularies and applications. Why have 7 million address vocabularies when all we need is one good one? I don't ever expect to see just one, but perhaps one day a few instances of such a schema fragment will be used in millions of applications worldwide !
6. What got you into XML?
I had been fiddling about with XML for content mark-up and thought it was pretty neat. However, I always saw XML doing something more and as I got involved in XML RPC and started looking at many of the emerging XML technologies for ways to improve on what XML RPC offered. That has now expanded into many of the newer areas of XML such as RDF and the Semantic Web stuff coming out of the W3C at the moment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
In the early 90s, Nik designed and developed Health Reference Center, a hypertext database, and advanced versions of InfoTrac (a bibliographic and full-text database). Both of these were multi-disc CD-ROM subscriptions, updated monthly. Given the large text databases involved, some involvement with SGML was unavoidable. His previous work has ranged from library systems on mainframes to embedded microsystems (telecom equipment, industrial robots, toys, arcade games, and videogame cartridges).
Jon Duckett has been using and writing about XML since 1998, when he co-authored and edited Wrox's first XML publication. Having spent the past 3 years working for Wrox in the Birmingham UK offices, Jon is currently working from Sydney, so that he can get a different view out of the window while he is working and supping on a nice cup of tea... ".
Andrew Watt is an independent consultant who enjoys few things more than exploring the technologies others have yet to sample. Since he wrote his first programs in 6502 Assembler and BBC Basic in the mid 1980's he has sampled Pascal, Prolog and C++ among others. More recently he has focused on the power of Web-relevant technologies including Lotus Domino, Java and HTML. His current interest is in the various applications of the Extensible Markup Meta Language, XMML, sometimes imprecisely and misleadingly called XML. The present glimpse he has of the future of SVG, XSL-FO, XSLT, CSS, XLink, XPointer etc when they actually work properly together is an exciting, if daunting, prospect. He has just begun to dabble with XQuery. Such serial dabbling, so he is told, is called "life-long learning".
Stephen Mohr is a software systems architect with Omicron Consulting, Philadelphia, USA. He has more than ten years' experience working with a variety of platforms and component technologies. His research interests include distributed computing and artificial intelligence. Stephen holds BS and MS degrees in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Kevin Williams first experience with computers was at the age of 10 (in 1980) when he took a BASIC class at a local community college on their PDP-9 and by the time he was 12, he stayed up for four days straight hand-assembling 6502 code on his Atari 400. His professional career has been focused on Windows development - first client-server, then onto Internet work. He's done a little bit of everything, from VB to Powerbuilder to Delphi toC/C++ to MASM to ISAPI, CGI, ASP, HTML, XML, and any other acronym you might care to name, but these days, he's focusing on XML work. Kevin is currently working with the Mortgage Bankers' Association of America to help them put together an XML standard for the mortgage industry.
Oli Gauti Gudmunsson works for SALT, acting as one of the two Chief System Architects of the SALT systems, and as Development Director in New York. He is currently working on incorporating XML and XSL into SALT's web authoring and content management systems. He has also acted as an instructor in the Computer Science I Java course at the University of Iceland. As a 'hobby he is finishing his BS degree in Computer Engineering. Oli can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Daniel Marcus has twenty years of experience in software architecture and design. He is co-founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer at Speechwise Technologies, an applications software company at the intersection of speech, wireless, and Internet technologies. Prior to starting Speechwise, he was Director of E-Business Consulting at Xpedior, leading the strategy, architecture, and deployment of e-business applications for Global 2000 and dot-com clients. Dr. Marcus has been a Visiting Scholar at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, a research scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and is the author of over twenty papers in computational science. He is a Sun-Certified Java Technology Architect and holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Pete Kobak built and programmed his first computer from a kit in 1978, which featured 256 bytes of RAM and a single LED output. After a fling as an electrical engineer for IBM, Pete gradually moved into software development to support mainframe manufacturing. He earned geek programmer status in the late '80s when he helped to improve Burroughs' Fortran compiler by introducing vectorization of DO loops. Justified by his desire to continue to pay his mortgage, Pete left Burroughs in 1991 to put lives in jeopardy by developing medical laboratory software in OS/2. In 1997, Pete somehow convinced The Vanguard Group to hire him to do Solaris web development, even though he could barely spell "Unix". He has helped to add new features to their web site since then, specializing in secure web communication.
Pete's current interest is in web application security, trying to find the right techniques to enforce the strong security needed by a serious financial institution while meeting their need to rapidly extend business relationships. Pete is thankful to be able to introduce interesting web technologies in the service of helping millions of people to reach for their financial dreams. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evan Lenz currently works as a software engineer for XYZFind Corp. in Seattle, WA. His primary area of expertise is in XSLT, and he enjoys exploring new ways to utilize this technology for various projects. His work at XYZFind includes everything from XSLT and Java development to writing user's manuals to designing the XML query language used in XYZFind's XML database software.
Mark Birbeck is a Technical Director of Parliamentary Communications Ltd. where he has been responsible for the design and build of their political portal, ePolitix.com. He is also Managing Director of XML Consultancy x-port.net Ltd., responsible for the publishing system behind spiked-online.com. Although involved in XML for a number of years, his special interests lie in Metadata, and in particular the use of RDF. He particularly welcomes Wrox's initiative in trying to move these topics from out of the shadows and into the mainstream.
Zoran Zaev is a Sr. Web Solutions Architect with Hitachi Innovative Solutions, Corp. in the Washington DC area. He has worked in technology since the time when 1 MHz CPUs and 48Kb was considered a 'significant power', in the now distant 1980s. In mid 1990s, Zoran became involved in web applications development. Since then, he has worked helping large and small clients alike to leverage the power of web applications. His more recent emphasis has been web applications and web services with XML, SOAP, and other related technologies. Zoran can be reached at email@example.com.
Steven Livingstone is an IT Architect with IBM Global Services in Winnipeg, Canada. He has contributed to numerous Wrox books and magazine articles, on subjects ranging from XML to E-Commerce. Steven's current interests include E-Commerce, ebXML, .NET and Enterprise Application Architectures.
Jonathan Pinnock started programming in Pal III assembler on his school's PDP 8/e, with a massive 4K of memory, back in the days before Moore's Law reached the statute books. These days he spends most of his time developing and extending the increasingly successful PlatformOne product set that his company, JPA, markets to the financial services community. He seems to spend the rest of his time writing for Wrox.
Keith Visco currently works for Intalio, Inc., the leader in Business Process Management, as a manager and project leader for XML based technologies. Keith is the project leader for the open source data binding framework, Castor. He has been actively working on open source projects since 1998, including the Mozilla project where he is the original author of Mozilla's XSLT processor (donated by his previous employer, The MITRE Corporation) and is the current XSLT module owner. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.