The XML and SGML Cookbook :
Recipes for Structured Information

by Rick Jelliffe

 

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Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours. Paperback - 450 pages Bk&Cd Rom edition (May 1998); Prentice Hall Press; ISBN: 0136142230 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.75 x 9.21 x 7.02; Amazon.com Sales Rank: 25,508; Avg. Customer Review:**** ; Number of Reviews: 1
 

Review

      Synopsis
      SGML experts are in short supply and in high demand. This book will help jump start SGML users by providing "cookbook recipes" for the most common SGML document type definitions (DTDs). The CD-ROM contains hundreds of sample DTDs that users can cut and paste from to create their  own DTD.

      Card catalog description
      DTDs made easier! The "cookbook" guide to building SGML documents. Quickly learn the skills and sensitivities it's taken SGML experts years to develop. Discover how to manage critical tradeoffs between simplicity and richness, and between immediate and future applications. Learn to build DTDs that serve the needs of different users and different media - using techniques that are equally applicable in both SGML and XML environments. The CD-ROM contains all the book's DTDs, plus an extensive library of great SGML tools, including EditTime SGML Editor sampler and OmniMark Light sampler.

      The author, Rick Jelliffe (ricko@allette.com.au) , July 5, 1998
      "Now I know the syntax, how do I use it?" is a question that most people say after reading introductory books on XML and SGML. There are good primers on syntax--instead I have tried to extract hard-to-find expertise from gurus and major projects over the last 10 years. In fact, I have deliberately avoided material that is well-covered in other books, or that is freely available over the Web.

      I started off this book as an attempt to do for markup languages what the "pattern movement" has done for object-oriented programming languages. This is part 2 of the book. The reader can prefabricate a prototype DTD from the patterns (recipes) quickly, and then test and refine it.

      But I soon discovered that in order to use the patterns well, the new reader would benefit from a good summary of many practical issues: which kinds of documents are suitable for XML and which are not, the applicability of software engineering concepts, how DTDs grow and develop. This formed part 1.

      Part 3 is about an area which has received almost no treatment elsewhere: low-level formatting, segmentation and collation (sorting), and character issues. This part acts as a framework for understanding XSL and DSSSL. Some of the internationalization and pattern material has been translated from Japanese and Chinese for this book and cannot be found in elsewhere in English!

      The book was largely written at the same time as XML was developed: as a member of the XML Special Interest Group I had a ringside seat on the development and reasons behind XML, and I made some contribution to XML's naming, character and internationalization features. Tracking the  discussions was really useful: it showed up many of the common questions of intelligent people coming in new from the HTML world.

      I spent a good deal of effort on the formatting: for example, the fonts have been redrawn to display XML markup clearly. I hope readers will find it useful for creating their own markup languages.
       

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