Can you recommend a good hands-on beginner's book or web tutorial on XML?
October 16, 2004 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good beginner's book or web tutorial on XML? Most books I've seen have been heavy on exposition and light on hands-on work.
posted by maudlin to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
What do you want to do with it? XML is kind of like assembly language for the web - you can do just about anything with it, but most are fairly complicated.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:28 PM on October 16, 2004

Yeah, XML in and of itself is pretty generic. Most books on just XML just teach how how to create valid schemas and forms, which is fairly simple and you can learn from the web.

It really depends on the application you need to use it for.
posted by falconred at 11:20 PM on October 16, 2004

try w3schools xml section?
posted by juv3nal at 1:16 AM on October 17, 2004

Usually I recommend learning XML with Docbook, then XSLT to convert Docbook to HTML/XSL-FO (PDF). That'll take a month or so.

The XML spec itself is quite simple and so lots of people say they know xml, but mostly when people are talking about xml they mean the surrounding specs. So find someone who knows xpath, xslt, xsl-fo, docbook, and then you'll have someone who knows xml. If they know Apache Cocoon too then pick their brain on xml pipelines.
posted by holloway at 2:37 PM on October 17, 2004

XML didn't click for me until I read the O'Reilly book. But holloway's called it; learning XML by itself won't do you much good and won't make much sense. To be able to do anything worthwhile you need to know at least XSLT and XPath (XSL:FO is more optional, IMHO) and ideally a programming language with an XML parser available.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:25 PM on October 17, 2004

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