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XML Step by Step XML Step by Step

By Michael J. Young

Published by Microsoft Press
Pages: 382, plus a companion CD
ISBN: 0735610207

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XML Step by Step won the top award, "Distinguished Technical Communication," in the 2000-2001 International Technical Publications Competition of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).


A book and CD providing a complete XML learning kit!

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is currently the most promising language for storing and delivering information on the Web. Because XML allows you to create your own elements, attributes, and document structure, you can use it to describe virtually any kind of information—from a simple recipe to a complex business database. And because an XML document so effectively organizes and labels the information it contains, you can easily sort, filter, search, and manipulate that information in highly flexible ways. XML Step by Step clearly explains the basics of XML, and shows both nonprogrammers and Web developers how to create effective XML documents and how to display them on the Web. The book takes a hands-on learning approach, and focuses on the most practical techniques that you can use now, even if you don't have extensive technical knowledge.

For a description of why I wrote this book and the unique features I put into it, please see "Why Another XML Book?" from the book's Introduction.

Topics on this page:

See also: XML Step by Step Second Edition


Using this book you'll learn:

Included on the CD-ROM:



Read an excerpt from the Introduction.

Part I: Getting Started

Chapter 1: Why XML?

The Need for XML

The Official Goals of XML

Standard XML Applications

Real-World Uses for XML

Chapter 2: Creating and Displaying Your First XML Document

Creating an XML Document

Displaying the XML Document

Part II: Creating XML Documents

Chapter 3: Creating Well-Formed XML Documents

The Parts of a Well-Formed XML Document

Adding Elements to the Document

Adding Attributes to Elements

Chapter 4: Adding Comments, Processing Instructions, and CDATA Sections

Inserting Comments

Using Processing Instructions

Including CDATA Sections

Chapter 5: Creating Valid XML Documents

The Basic Criteria for a Valid XML Document

The Advantages of Making an XML Document Valid

Adding the Document Type Declaration

Declaring Element Types

Declaring Attributes

Using an External DTD Subset

Converting a Well-Formed Document to a Valid Document

Chapter 6: Defining and Using Entities

Entity Definitions and Classifications

Declaring General Entities

Declaring Parameter Entities

Inserting Entity References

Inserting Character References

Using Predefined Entities

Adding Entities to a Document

Part III: Displaying XML Documents on the Web

Chapter 7: Displaying XML Documents Using Cascading Style Sheets

The Basic Steps for Using a Cascading Style Sheet

Cascading in Cascading Style Sheets

Setting the display Property

Setting Font Properties

Setting the colorProperty

Setting Background Properties

Setting Text Spacing and Alignment Properties

Setting Box Properties

Inserting HTML Elements into XML Documents and Using Namespaces

Creating and Using a Full-Featured Cascading Style Sheet

Chapter 8: Displaying XML Documents Using Data Binding

The Main Steps

The First Step: Linking the XML Document to the HTML Page

The Second Step: Binding HTML Elements to XML Elements

Using Scripts with the DSO

Chapter 9: Displaying XML Documents Using Document Object Model Scripts

Linking the XML Document to the HTML Page

The Structure of the DOM

Accessing and Displaying XML Document Elements

Accessing and Displaying XML Document Attribute Values

Accessing XML Entities and Notations

Traversing an Entire XML Document

Checking An XML Document for Validity

Chapter 10: Displaying XML Documents Using XSL Style Sheets

Using an XSL Style Sheet—the Basics

Using a Single XSL Template

Using Multiple Templates

Filtering and Sorting XML Data

Accessing XML Attributes

Appendix: Web Addresses for Further Information

Download CD Files!

If you purchased XML Step by Step without a companion CD, you can obtain all of the example source files that are included on the CD by downloading the ZIP file XMLSBSe1.zip.


Note that some or all of these errors might have been corrected in more recent printings of the book.

links to Web sites throughout the book

Unfortunately, since the book is now a few years old, many of the Web links are no longer valid. You should be able to locate many of the referenced pages using Google.

Introduction, page ix, second paragraph, "XML has a highly flexible syntax..."

I shouldn't have used the word "syntax." Compared to HTML, XML actually has a strict syntax (no omission of end-tags, no overlapping elements, and so on). What I meant is that XML, unlike HTML, permits you to create your own elements and document structure, and therefore allows you to describe virtually any kind of information.

Introduction, page xiv, "How to Contact the Author"

Please note my new website URL www.mjyOnline.com. To contact me, see the contact page on this website.

page 76, the heading "Adding the DTD" and page 77, the heading "The Form of the DTD"

Both headings should state "Document Type Declaration" rather than "DTD." "DTD" refers to the document type definition, which is contained or referenced within the document type declaration.

page 117, DTD at top of page

Can you see why the example on this page is actually an invalid XML document? You're right: I forgot to declare the HEADING element that gets added through the entity file. The following markup declaration should be added to the DTD:


page 168, in the table of font-style properties

"font-size keyword" should be "font-style keyword" (in 3 places)

page 170, paragraph in middle of page

"The samples in the right column..." should be "The samples in the above table..."

page 198, table of border-style property settings

The none keyword should be marked as the default.

page 200, table of border-width property settings

The medium keyword should be marked as the default.

page 225, first paragraph

In the text "...an XML document, with its flexible syntax..." I shouldn't have used the word "syntax." See the correction for Introduction, page ix.

page 336, in the Tip at the top of the page, second sentence

"XLS" should be "XSL".

Appendix and the file Appendix.htm on the companion CD

Because Microsoft periodically reorganizes the MSDN site, most of the links to MSDN pages are broken. You'll need to use the site's search and navigate tools to locate the various topics.

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