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February 5, 2001

XML is Like Digital Tupperware Says Learning XML Author

Sebastopol, CA--"XML is quickly becoming the container of choice for electronic information, already with a huge base of support from open source developers to international banking institutions," says Erik T. Ray, author of the just-released Learning XML (O'Reilly, US $34.95). "Like digital Tupperware, it is configurable to fit your data perfectly, while remaining a universal and flexible format that can be shared by many applications. Following the explosive popularity of HTML, XML will go further to break down barriers to global communication and data sharing."

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a flexible way to create "self-describing data"--and to share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets, and elsewhere. "XML is an unprecedented effort by a consortium of organizations and companies to create an information framework for the 21st century that HTML can only hint at," says Ray. "If you are at all involved in web development or information management, you'll need to know about XML."

The arrival of support for XML in browsers and authoring tools has followed a long period of intense hype. Major databases, authoring tools (including Microsoft's Office 2000), and browsers are now committed to XML support.

In Learning XML, Eric T. Ray explains XML and its capabilities succinctly and professionally, with references to real-life projects and other cogent examples. The book shows the purpose of XML markup itself, the CSS and XSL styling languages, and the XLink and XPointer specifications for creating rich link structures.

For writers producing XML documents, this book demystifies files and the process of creating them with the appropriate structure and format. Designers will learn what parts of XML are most helpful to their team and will get started on creating Document Type Descriptions. For programmers, the book makes syntax and structures clear. It also discusses the stylesheets needed for viewing documents in the next generation of browsers, databases, and other devices.

"In just a few years, XML has captured the imagination of technology pundits and industry mavens alike," says Ray. "The world is ready to move to a new level of connectedness. The volume of information within our reach is staggering, but the limitations of existing technology can make it difficult to access. XML may be the answer. It is destined to be the grease on the wheels of the information infrastructure."

Online Resources: Learning XML, Creating Self-Describing Data
Erik T. Ray
February 2001
ISBN 0-596-00046-4, 350 pages, $34.95 (US)
order@oreilly.com
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