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   Very happy about two books

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: "xml-dev@xml.org" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 14:05:36 -0400

In the last week, the UPS delivery man has evaded my dog to bring me two
excellent books, neither of which I wrote.  Both illuminate aspects of XML
processing with which I'm not especially familiar (and which I'm not
necessarily fond of), and do so in a nicely comfortable way.  They describe
technologies that may prove useful to XML developers in any application
field using any tool kit.

Michael Kay's _XSLT Programmer's Reference_ (WROX) is a a dense block of a
book with more examples than just about anything else I've seen.  The
introduction is clear and friendly, and does a great job of explaining how
XSLT fits in XML development.  Guiding principles get thorough attention
before we leap into the main body of reference material and explanation.
(It also get points from me for covering the W3C spec exclusively, not the
older MSXSL version.)

Tony Graham's _Unicode: A Primer_ (M&T Books/IDG) is an explanation of
Unicode written in much plainer English than the specification, with lots
of attention to implementation detail.  I'm very happy to see that it
includes both discussions of the specification and its complexities and an
overview of support for that specification in various environments -
operating systems, Internet technologies (XML, HTTP, HTML, and SGML),
programming languages, and fonts.  The reference material is useful without
duplicating the specification.

I don't normally write posts like this one - there are too many good (and
bad) XML books out there - but these two books are both first in their
classes, and provide a very strong start in those classes.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth

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