XML Visual Quickstart Guide, 2nd Edition (Book Review)

Every once in awhile I enjoy just picking up a book on a topic I’m not so familiar with and discovering something new. The XML Visual QuickStart Guide series (second edition) is one I recently chose to work through. If you’re familiar with the Visual Quickstart Series then you probably know that the layout of the book is very straightforward, easy to read, and has great examples on nearly every page of the book. This title is no exception.

I was the most hands on with the first few chapters, creating XML and XSLT files and also working through the XQUERY examples. This gave me a great overview of XML, but it also left me with the awareness that there is so much more to explore.

The book continues to touch upon XSL-FO, DTDs, Schemas and Namespaces. I wasn’t quite ready to dive into these topics yet, but I noted that the overviews of these chapters were a nice quick reference if I needed it in the future.

The last few chapters go into more depth with XSLT 2.0, XPATH 2.0 and XQUERY 1.0. These are the newest W3C recommendations for these languages, but it’s noted at the beginning of the book that XSLT 1.0 and XPATH 1.0 are still in use, so the beginning examples are in the older versions.

The last chapter gives a flavor of XML in practice with very brief examples of Ajax, RSS, SOAP, and others. It’s just an overview of how powerful XML is and just how much it is used in conjunction with these other technologies. Of course several more volumes can be filled with these topics, so in my case, when I get the desire to learn something new again, at least I have a good list and jumping off point in the last chapter.

This book is recommended if you’re new to XML, or if you just want a basic reference to guide you along.

  • Title: XML: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)
  • Author: Kevin Howard Goldberg
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • ISBN: 0321559673
  • Date: 2008
  • Format: Softcover
  • Pages: 288
  • Cover: Price USD: $34.99