Simon St. Laurent's foray into XML is best described by an adjective not often used with computer books: charming. From its portable size to its playful code examples, XML: A Primer is an interesting and well-crafted read. Stylistic considerations aside, it is also a useful introduction for anyone who does considerable work in HTML or SGML.
St. Laurent explains the nuanced differences between XML and HTML, stating, "Using XML requires a different focus, demanding that designers examine the way that their documents are built rather than the way they are formatted." He later comments, "XML doesn't go nearly as far as SGML in requiring conformance to standards, but it may still come as a shock to HTML developers. XML standards refer to processors (parsers), not to browsers, because much XML development will be intended for machine-readable data applications rather than graphically exciting web pages."
If you are curious about the hype surrounding XML, ready for an XML book you can read cover to cover, and comfortable with lengthy code examples, XML: A Primer will offer you the knowledge you need to understand this emerging technology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
XML looks to be a big advancement over HTML. As St. Laurent writes, "Using XML requires a different focus, demanding that designers examine the way that their documents are built rather than the way they are formatted." Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 already offers some support for XML, and Netscape 5.0 will support XML. This book is geared to the HTML developer who wants to move to the next level of web design and not wait for Microsoft or Netscape to develop the tags and style support they need. A primer rather than a complete guide to XML, this is a great starting point.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.