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HTML is an immensely popular markup language. According to some studies there are 800 million Web pages, all based on HTML. HTML is supported by thousands of applications including browsers, editors, email software, databases, contact managers, and more.
Originally, the Web was a solution to publish scientific documents. Today it has grown into a full-fledged medium, equal to print and TV. More importantly, the Web is an interactive medium because it supports applications such as online shops, electronic banking, and trading and forums.
To accommodate this phenomenal popularity, HTML has been extended over the years. Many new tags have been introduced. The first version of HTML had a dozen tags; the latest version (HTML 4.0) is close to 100 tags (not counting browser-specific tags).
However, everything is not rosy with HTML. It has grown into a complex language. At almost 100 tags, it is definitively not a small language. The combinations of tags are almost endless and the result of a particular combination of tags might be different from one browser to another.
Finally, despite all these tags already included in HTML, more are needed. Electronic commerce applications need tags for product references, prices, name, addresses, and more. Streaming needs tags to control the flow of images and sound. Search engines need more precise tags for keywords and description. Security needs tags for signing. The list of applications that need new HTML tags is almost endless.
However, adding even more tags to an overblown language is hardly a satisfactory solution. It appears that HTML is already on the verge of collapsing under its own weight, so why continue adding tags?
Worse, although many applications need more tags, some applications would greatly benefit if there were less, not more, tags in HTML. The W3C expects that by the year 2002, 75% of surfers won't be using a PC. Rather, they will access the Web from a personal digital assistant, such as the popular PalmPilot, or from so-called smart phones.
These machines are not as powerful as PCs. They cannot process a complex language like HTML, much less a version of HTML that would include more tags.
Another, but related, problem is that it takes many tags to format a page. It is not uncommon to see pages that have more markup than content! These pages are slow to download and to display.
In conclusion, even though HTML is a popular and successful markup language, it has some major shortcomings. XML was developed to address these shortcomings. It was not introduced for the sake of novelty.
XML exists because HTML was successful. Therefore, XML incorporates many successful features of HTML. XML also exists because HTML could not live up to new demands. Therefore, XML breaks new ground where it is appropriat.
It is difficult to change a successful technology like HTML so, notsurprisingly, XML has raised some level of controversy.
Let's make it clear: XML is unlikely to replace HTML in the near or medium-term. XML does not threaten the Web but introduces new possibilities. Work is already under way to combine XML and HTML in XHTML, an XML version of HTML. At the time of this writing, XHTML version 1.0 is not finalized yet. However, it is expected that XHTML will soon be adopted by the W3C.
Some of the areas where XML will be useful in the near-term include:
You don't need to know Java to read this book. There is very little Java involved (again, most of the code in the final example is based on techniques that you will learn in this book) and Appendix A, "Crash Course on Java," will teach you just enough Java to understand the examples.
A First Look at XML
The idea behind XML is deceptively simple. It aims at answering the conflicting demands that arrive at the W3C for the future of HTML.
On one hand, people need more tags. And these new tags are increasingly specialized. For example, mathematicians want tags for formulas. Chemists also want tags for formulas but they are not the same.
On the other hand, authors and developers want fewer tags. HTML is already so complex! As handheld devices gain in popularity, the need for a simpler markup language also is apparent because small devices, like the PaImPilot, are not powerful enough to process HMTL pages...
|1||The XML Galaxy||5|
|6||XSL Formatting Objects and Cascading Style Sheets||175|
|7||The Parser and DOM||211|
|8||Alternative API: SAX||253|
|10||Important XML Models||325|
|11||N-Tiered Architecture and XML||365|
|12||Putting It All Together: An e-Commerce Example||391|
|A||Crash Course on Java||443|
|B||DTD and XML Schema Simple Types||471|
Posted August 1, 2001
This book is a great learning tool, especially for programmers just getting started with XML. It is extremely well-written and the examples are thought out very well. The author does a great job of breaking down complex problems and providing a solution, as well as showing the reader what makes XML so powerful. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about XML.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2001
I bought this book thinking that it would give an ellaborate illustration on how to work XML and XSL. It gave little insight to both; plus no syntax or good examples to work with. I couldn't even find CDATA in the index...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2000
I had browsed through many books on XML in the market. This one is a easy to read book with lots of examples(which works)! This book is excellent as it covers from the basics of XML to serious application examples. I really liked the DOM and SAX examples and I could devlop my own examples based on these examples. I would highly recommend this book for casual and also serious XML professionalsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2000
Enjoyable and easily readable book ! I hadn't much heard about XML before, but this book explained all I had to know... It's totally understandable for novices, but also very complete. The examples are well choosen (simple enough but interesting and usable). I recommend it strongly !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 26, 2000
Ben has a great example that goes from a client browser to a server with a database. The example works, it uses Java servlets with an ODBC database. I am glad I have this book. kcWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.