Inside XML


The XML explosion hardly needs any introduction-it's everywhere and there just seems to be no end to what can be done with XML. While writing to the W3C standards, and keeping up with the pace for corporate implementation, you, the programmer or web developer, will need a comprehensive guide to get you started and show you what XML and its related technologies can do. A thorough guide is imperative to success because you will need to know and understand the full scope of XML from day one in order to work with it ...

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The XML explosion hardly needs any introduction-it's everywhere and there just seems to be no end to what can be done with XML. While writing to the W3C standards, and keeping up with the pace for corporate implementation, you, the programmer or web developer, will need a comprehensive guide to get you started and show you what XML and its related technologies can do. A thorough guide is imperative to success because you will need to know and understand the full scope of XML from day one in order to work with it successfully. With your time constraints and impossible project schedules, you need a comprehensive guide that fulfills your needs in one complete book. Inside XML is an anchor book that covers both the Microsoft and non-Microsoft approach to XML programming. It covers in detail the hot aspects of XML; such as, DTD's vs. XML Schemas, CSS, XSL, XSLT, Xlinks, Xpointers, XHTML, RDF, CDF, parsing XML in Perl and Java, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735710207
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 11/14/2000
  • Series: Inside Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 1102
  • Product dimensions: 7.29 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Holzner (Cambridge, MA) is a former contributing editor for PC Magazine and has authored 50 books ranging in subject from assembly language to Visual C++. His books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into 15 languages. Holzner was on the faculty of Cornell University for 10 years, where he earned his Ph.D. and has also been on the faculty of his undergraduate school, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Chapter 10: Understanding Java

Chapter 7, "Handling XML Documents with JavaScript," and Chapter 8, "XML and Data Binding," describe how to work with XML and JavaScript in Internet Explorer. However, JavaScript is a relatively lightweight language, and most serious XML programming doesn't take place in browsers such as Internet Explorer. Today, the most common way of handling XML in code is to use Java. Working with XML by using Java has become a central XML topic, and no XML book can ignore this connection.

Java should not be confused with JavaScript; despite their names and similar syntax, they are not truly related. Java is a creation of Sun Microsystems and javaScript of Netscape. Java is far deeper and far more extensive than JavaScript.

On the other hand, now that we have used javaScript, we've got a good leg up on Java because much of the basic syntax is similar (because both are based on the C++ model, not because javaScript and Java are directly related). In the next two chapters, we'll see how to work with the most popular XML package written for Java-the XML for Java package from IBM's A1phaWorks.

In this chapter, we'll come up to speed with Java, building on what we already know of javaScript. We'll get the skills that we need for the next two chapters in this chapter, including creating Java classes and windowed applications.

In general, creating serious applications with Java is more involved than working with JavaScript because Java is so much more extensive. As you can imagine, there's way more Java than we can cover in one chapter, so if you want to learn more, pick up a good book on the subject. Try Special Edition Java 2 Platform by Joseph Weber, published by Que, or Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 24 Hours, 2nd Edition by Roger Candenhead, published by Sams. On the other hand, this chapter introduces all the Java coding skills we'll use in the next two chapters. If you're already comfortable with Java, feel free to skip to the next chapter, where I work with the XML DOM in Java (not JavaScript, as in Chapter 7).

Java Resources

Java is a product of Sun Microsystems. These are some Web sites that contain Java resources online, most of them at Sun:

  • Netscape's "Java Developer Central" site, which contains a good amount of useful information
  • main Java site; it's filled with information
  • documentation available online; this is the reference Web site.
  • The site for the current Java software development kit (this URL is very subject to change).
  • home of JavaVersion 1.3,which is the current version as of this writing (actually called Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, version 1.3), of the Java software development kit
  • A great number of Java resources and discussions

Here's another list that you might want to look into; these are free online tutorials that you can use to develop your Java skills:

  •'s own, very extensive Java tutorial
  • Gamelan's Java tutorial
  • A good online Java tutorial
  • IBM's Java tutorial with some outstanding features

Here's an important note Java programming is not for everyone. Java is a complex language, and to cover it fully would take thousands of pages. We can't ignore it because it has come to play such a big part in the XML world, but if you're not into programming, you can skip the Java chapters (this and the next two chapters) and continue on with the rest of the book. Many people prefer to get their Java XML applications written by someone else, and that's fine. However, these days, to really work with XML, it usually comes down sooner or later to working with Java.

Writing Java Programs

You're probably already familiar with Java, if only because of Java applets. Applets-windowed Java applications designed to work in browsers-took the world by storm when first introduced, and all major browsers support some version of Java these days. You can find millions of applets on the Internet, and you can pick up whole banks of them for free. There are even applets out there that work with XML.

A Java applet takes up a predefined area in a browser and can display graphics, controls (such as buttons and text fields), text, and more. It's interactive because it runs in your browser. As mentioned, applets took the Internet by storm when first introduced. However, they're on the wane now, largely because of other solutions that can be easier to program, such as Dynamic HTML, or more powerful, such as Shockwave.

Don't worry about Java though-as applets have become less popular (although still very popular), Java applications have gathered strength. The main reason that Java applications have become so powerful is that they're nearly as powerful as C++, but they're also cross-platform-you can use the same application in Windows or UNIX, for example. Many large corporations have switched from using C++ internally to using Java for most programming.

A Java application does not run in a browser like an applet-it's a freestanding program. Java applications can themselves create windows, such as applets, and we'll see how to do that here. In fact, Java applications can act as browsers, and we'll see an example of that in the next chapter with a Java application that reads an XML document from the Internet and uses it to display graphics. In that case, the XML document will specify circles to draw, and we'll be creating a graphical, not text-based, browser, which is typical of the kinds of things you can do when you create your own XML applications...

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Table of Contents

1 Essential XML 1
Markup Languages 1
What Does XML Look Like? 4
What Does XML Look like in a Browser? 6
What's So Great About XML? 9
Well-Formed XML Documents 13
Valid XML Documents 13
Parsing XML Yourself 14
XML Resources 18
XML Editors 20
XML Browsers 22
XML Parsers 24
XML Validators 26
CSS and XSL 29
XLinks and XPointers 31
URLs versus URIs 31
ASCII, Unicode, and the Universal Character System 32
XML Applications 34
2 Creating Well-Formed XML Documents 51
The World Wide Web Consortium 52
What Is a Well-Formed XML Document? 53
Markup and Character Data 59
The Prolog 62
The XML Declaration 63
Comments 63
Processing Instructions 65
Tags and Elements 65
The Root Element 67
Attributes 68
Building Well-Formed Document Structure 73
CDATA Sections 82
XML Namespaces 84
Infosets 90
Canonical XML 92
3 Valid XML Documents: Creating Document Type Definitions 97
Creating Document Type Declarations 101
Creating Document Type Definitions 102
A DTD Example 123
External DTDs 127
Using Document Type Definitions with URLs 129
Public Document Type Definitions 130
Using Both Internal and External DTDs 131
Namespaces and DTDs 134
Validating Against a DTD 139
4 DTDs: Entities and Attributes 143
Entities 143
Attributes 147
Creating Internal General Entities 149
Creating External General Entities 151
Building a Document from Pieces 154
Predefined General Entity References 156
Creating Internal Parameter Entities 157
External Parameter Entities 159
Using Include and Ignore 163
All About Attributes 166
Embedding Non-XML Data in a Document 193
Embedding Multiple Unparsed Entities in a Document 196
5 Creating XML Schemas 199
XML Schemas in Internet Explorer 200
W3C XML Schemas 204
Declaring Types and Elements 208
Specifying Attribute Constraints and Defaults 214
Creating Simple Types 215
Creating Empty Elements 223
Creating Mixed-Content Elements 224
Annotating Schemas 227
Creating Choices 229
Creating Sequences 230
Creating Attribute Groups 232
Creating all Groups 233
Schemas and Namespaces 234
6 Understanding JavaScript 241
What Is JavaScript? 242
JavaScript Is Object-Oriented 247
Programming in JavaScript 252
7 Handling XML Documents with JavaScript 297
The W3C DOM 297
Loading XML Documents 316
Getting Elements by Name 326
Getting Attribute Values from XML Elements 328
Parsing XML Documents in Code 332
Handling Events While Loading XML Documents 343
Validating XML Documents with Internet Explorer 345
Scripting XML Elements 348
Editing XML Documents with Internet Explorer 350
8 XML and Data Binding 355
Data Binding in Internet Explorer 355
Using Data Source Objects 356
XML and Hierarchical Data 381
Searching XML Data 391
9 Cascading Style Sheets 399
Attaching Style Sheets to XML Documents 402
Selecting Elements in Style Sheet Rules 403
Creating Style Rules 415
Formal Style Property Specifications 430
10 Understanding Java 453
Java Resources 454
Writing Java Programs 455
Creating Java Files 460
Creating Variables in Java 469
Creating Arrays in Java 472
Creating Strings in Java 476
Java Operators 477
Java Conditional Statements: if, if...else, switch 478
Java Loops: for, while, do...while 482
Declaring and Creating Objects 485
Creating Methods in Java 487
Creating Java Classes 490
11 Java and the XML DOM 501
Getting XML for Java 503
Setting Classpath 504
Creating a Parser 504
Displaying an Entire Document 521
Filtering XML Documents 532
Creating a Windowed Browser 537
Creating a Graphical Browser 543
Navigating in XML Documents 549
Modifying XML Documents 552
12 Java and SAX 561
Working with SAX 563
Displaying an Entire Document 579
Filtering XML Documents 594
Creating a Windowed Browser 600
Creating a Graphical Browser 605
Navigating in XML Documents 610
Modifying XML Documents 614
13 XSL Transformations 619
Using XSLT Style Sheets in XML Documents 620
Creating XSLT Style Sheets 626
Altering Document Structure Based on Input 656
Generating Comments with xsl:comment 661
Generating Text with xsl:text 662
Copying Nodes 664
Sorting Elements 664
Using xsl:if 666
Using xsl:choose 668
Controlling Output Type 670
14 XSL Formatting Objects 673
Formatting an XML Document 674
Creating the XSLT Style Sheet 675
Transforming a Document into a Formatting Object Form 677
Creating a Formatted Document 680
XSL Formatting Objects 682
15 XLinks and XPointers 721
Overview: Linking with XLinks and XPointers 721
All About XLinks 724
All About XPointers 751
16 Essential XHTML 765
XHTML Versions 769
XHTML Checklist 772
XHTML Programming 776
17 XHTML at Work 815
Displaying an Image ([open angle bracket]mg[close angle bracket]) 815
Creating a Hyperlink or Anchor ([open angle bracket]a[close angle bracket]) 818
Setting Link Information ([open angle bracket]link[close angle bracket]) 820
Creating Tables ([open angle bracket]table[close angle bracket]) 823
Creating Documents with Frames ([open angle bracket]frameset[close angle bracket]) 831
Using Style Sheets in XHTML 835
Using Script Programming ([open angle bracket]script[close angle bracket]) 839
Creating XHTML Forms ([open angle bracket]form[close angle bracket]) 843
Extending XHTML 1.0 850
All About XHTML 1.1 Modules 852
18 Resource Description Framework and Channel Definition Format 861
RDF Overview 862
RDF Syntax 866
The Dublin Core 869
Using XML in Property Elements 874
Using Abbreviated RDF Syntax 875
RDF Containers 876
Creating RDF Schemas 881
CDF Overview 882
CDF Syntax 885
Creating a CDF File 887
Setting a Channel Base URI 898
Setting Last Modified Dates 899
Setting Channel Usage 900
19 Vector Markup Language 905
Creating VML Documents 907
The VML Elements 909
The [open angle bracket]shape[close angle bracket] Element 912
Using Predefined Shapes 917
Coloring Shapes 928
Scaling Shapes 929
Positioning Shapes 930
The [open angle bracket]shadow[close angle bracket] Element 943
The [open angle bracket]fill[close angle bracket] Element 942
Using the [open angle bracket]shapetype[close angle bracket] Element 951
More Advanced VML 956
20 WML, ASP, JSP, Servlets, and Perl 959
XML and Active Server Pages 961
XML and Java Servlets 963
Java Server Pages 967
XML and Perl 970
Wireless Markup Language 983
A The XML 1.0 Specification 1005
REC-xml-19980210 1007
Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 1007
Abstract 1007
Status of this document 1007
Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 1008
1. Introduction 1010
2. Documents 1013
3. Logical Structures 1024
4. Physical Structures 1034
5. Conformance 1046
6. Notation 1047
Appendices 1049
Index 1061
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2001

    Best XML Book Overall

    This book is the best introduction to XML in general. By that I mean that whole books are available on the information covered in one chapter. But if you really want to get a basic understanding of all things XML this is the best place to start. There is a lot of code, but the examples are basic - to convey concepts, not deal with complexities. This is a book that helps you know how XML works, not just what it is in theory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2001

    Long Winter Night's Reading

    Inside XML reminds me of War and Peace with over 1000 pages of information. This is a good book for someone with a programming background. The font is smaller but there is a multitude of coding which can be copied and used on a web site. The six-page content section is laid-out very simply making it easy to locate an item. With an index of 40-pages, there should not be any trouble finding any information.

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