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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Beginning XML
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 31 December 2012
It's almost impossible nowadays to be in the IT industry without having to deal with XML files.

Whatever you do, be it DBA, software developer, system, web designer, or even a heavy Office user - sooner or later you'll have to acquire some knowledge of the subject.

XML is fast becoming a major underlying standard when dealing with interconnecting platforms, databases, programming languages, applications - you name it. It looks like it's here to stay for a long time, so if you're making a living from any of the above mentioned fields - you'd better add it to your list of skills.

While this book is certainly not one to be read cover to cover, and probably not all implementations are relevant to everyone, I felt that the subjects which interested me were presented in a very clear and methodical manner.

A short look at the Index and Table of Contents available with the "Look Inside" feature reveals the scope of this more than 800 pages book.

Published in July 2012 - it's covering up-to-date technologies and products that coincide with XML, and as it's a 5th edition the errata section on the publishers site was reduced to 0. Mentioning the publishers site - it contains 20 download files for each of the chapters on the book, to be used both in the "Try it Out" sections and the exercises at the end of it.

I feel that this book will stay relevant for a long time and won't become obsolete as quickly as so many other computer related books nowadays.

Added July 13 2014 from my reply to TREX's comment:
From the many computer books that I own, it's one of the few that rarely returns to the shelf, and the amount of bookmarks that pop out of it make it look like a hedgehog.
It's well constructed, and the subjects are clearly explained, with every "Try it Out" section followed by a clear "How it Works", and over the almost two years I own it I still haven't come across any errata, poor grammar or bad writing that the book is supposed to be riddled with according to your post.

I think the book does a very good job of presenting the covered topics and referring when needed to other sources, which is exactly what should be expected from a book , in contrast with web searches.

One example I can give is with SQL interaction:
If you look for a way to export a SQL query to XML, and look for information on the web or MS-SQL BOL, you'll probably end up with many not so simple examples and explanations. Reading on this subject in the book will guide you from the extremely simple option of simply adding "FOR XML RAW" to your query to the more complex EXPLICIT option, and then refer the reader for more details on BOL.

I'll remind again that I refer to the the fifth printed edition from 2012, and not the kindle edition,although I believe there's not much difference.

I also can't compare this book with other books on the subject, as I haven't had the chance to read any of the available ones, mainly because I found this one covered well the scope from simple to advanced.
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on 25 October 2014
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on 23 September 2015
Good reference
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on 30 November 2016
V. Good
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on 25 February 2017
I borrowed a copy of this book - glad I did not waste my own money on buying a copy!

Each of the chapters appears to have been contributed by one of the many authors. Maybe the later chapters are good but I gave up long before then. The basic problem with (the key introductory chapters of) this book is that they are just badly written. The writing approach is to provide a dense description of every conceivable facet of the topic rather than introduce concepts and then expand. I kept finding myself overwhelmed by the umpteen possible ways of writing the same thing. Thus there is a focus on syntax rather than semantics. Even at this level, the writing quality is poor. I repeatedly found myself reaching the end of chapters and having loads of questions and a long list points about which I was unclear. Going back and reviewing the section I had just read did not really help. The book is also poorly structured - for example, one of the early chapters includes an example of a DTD with no word of explanation. It's only when you get to a later chapter do you learn that that was a DTD.

There must be better books about XML.
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