Professional XML Schemas (Programmer to Programmer) Paperback – 1 Jul 2001
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Professional XML Schemas is a detailed guide to the XML Schema language. Schemas define the allowable content of a class of XML documents. They form an alternative to the DTD (Document Type Definition), and provide more powerful features including the ability to define data types and structures. This book covers the official W3C Schema Recommendation, released in May 2001. It is a valuable title for developers, particularly since many XML books give only sketchy coverage of this key topic.
Starting with an overview of what Schemas are for, the authors go on to cover the built-in Schema datatypes and then show how to define complex types and content models. A chapter of example datatypes helps to bring this material into focus. Next comes a close look at how XML Namespaces are used in the Schema language, including three design models with intriguing names: Russian Doll, Salami Slice and Venetian Blind. There is a chapter on using Schemas defined in multiple documents, followed by a guide to Identity Constraints and Normalisation, which are important for database work. Further chapters tackle XSLT, system modelling, creating Schema for an existing database, and document management. A fascinating chapter looks at Schema-based programming, which implements an entire application in XML. The authors also take a quick look at non-W3C schemas, particularly one called Schematron, and there is an appendix of reference material.
Professional XML developers need to know about Schemas, and this is a thorough and informative tutorial. It is a complex subject, but the book is sensibly organised so that readers can easily master the basics before going on to the more demanding aspects. --Tim Anderson
Top Customer Reviews
Having been brought up with paradigms that model business processes as abstract data types, I prefer to think of the language as being of this ilk. The book really comes into its own in the 2nd half where it considers when XML schema may be useful in developing real world systems . Its expose of the process of employing modern OOA&D techniques and in particular the UML to produce a system model manifested in XML schema is excellent.
The book then continues to gather strength. It describes how to model database schema using XML Schema, an activity likely to be increasingly common. It has a chapter on using XML schema to model documents as opposed to data structures, something very close to my heart and in parallel with work I have been doing since 1998.
It then, in a grown up way, looks at other schema technologies that may compete as well as complement the XML Schema technology. Centre stage are Schematron and hats off to the authors for being bang up to date, I only recognised RELAX out of the 3 other schema technologies, what ever happened to XDR, SOX and DCD!!!
The final two chapters yield yet more valuable content. We are given an eCommerce case study, again something close to my heart and a chance yet again to see the all pervasive SOAP in action. Finally we are introduced to SBP, yet another acronym which stands proud for Schema Based Programming.
A good practical part reference book well deserved of its 5 stars.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
a) Wrox seems to be speeding the print process by getting several authors to write different sections of a book. The result is a book with a complete lack of unity, and a lot of repeated themes throughout the book. The bad writers end up tainting the good ones work.
b) It abounds in typos and revision errors. I have never before seen a so badly revised book in my life. Some words like "however", for example, are capitalized everywhere they appear!
c) It is also full of real misleading errors. The section on patterns and regular expressions is a complete disaster, with lots of incorrect examples, incomprehensible sentences and ill-designed tables.
The only reason for my two stars are the last chapters, which have good tips for schema design and explain how it relates to other XML stuff, like XSLT and Schematron. These are indeed valuable, and are the product of the good writers in (a). If you want a reliable tutorial/reference to XML Schema, however, get yourself another book.
Most of the books I read in Stacys gave at the most couple of pages to discuss the Namespaces topic. However this book spent more than two chapters discussing this issue. The book also covers Design issues and best practices being discussed in XML-Dev.
An earlier review of this book talked about incorrect examples. Well, as a career programmer I just take the examples as examples. There might be some syntactic errors, which are easy to resolve. I guess the publisher provides a download link for the corrected examples. I know it's a drag to get these; nevertheless it's a solution.
Although there are some typos they do not glare the fine material in this book nor hinder learning.