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Beginning XML with DOM and Ajax
by Sas Jacobs

1 edition
June 2006
456 pages

Reviewed by Pauline McNamara, July 2006
  (6 of 10)

This book promises a lot: XML for beginners, plus DOM, some Ajax, everything from novice to professional. Inside, the contents expand to using CSS or Flash to display XML, plus server-side XML processing with 2 case studies.

The first four chapters start out feeling a little heavy on description and a little light on examples. The chapter on CSS finally explains using more code; but as it lists all the caveats involved you wonder why it was included at all. The XSLT introduction is short, not offering many expanded explanations on how templates actually work, probably making the advanced XSLT in the following chapter harder for an XML beginner. The rest of the book touches on the various ways that a web developer might encounter XML, dealing either with the DOM or XML data.

This book is intended for "web developers at all levels", both newcomers to XML and more experienced developers. As is often the case with a book that tries to offer something for everyone, that something ends up not being a whole lot. A beginner who wants to learn XML from scratch would probably need to pick up a book that focuses more on XML and XSLT. An experienced developer would probably look for (or have) more dense references for each of the technologies mentioned. This book would probably work best for someone who is looking for a more lightweight overview of the different ways that XML comes in contact with other web technologies.

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