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Processing XML with Java: A Guide to SAX, DOM, JDOM, JAXP, and TrAX
Processing XML with Java: A Guide to SAX, DOM, JDOM, JAXP, and TrAX (Paperback)
by Elliotte Rusty Harold (Author)
(11 customer reviews)                                                                                                                                                 

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Editorial Reviews
Book Info
A complete guide to writing Java programs that read and write XML documents. Shows developers how to save XML documents, read XML documents, communicate with network servers that send and receive XML data, and integrate XSLT into their programs. Softcover.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Elliotte Rusty Harold’s Processing XML with Java

“The sophistication and language are very appropriate for Java and XML application developers. You can tell by the way the author writes that he too is a developer. He delves very deeply into the topics and has really taken things apart and investigated how they work. I especially like his coverage of ‘gotchas,’ pitfalls, and limitations of the technologies.”

        —John Wegis, Web Engineer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

“Elliotte has written an excellent book on XML that covers a lot of ground and introduces current and emerging technologies. He helps the novice programmer understand the concepts and principles of XML and related technologies, while covering the material at a level that’s deep enough for the advanced developer. With a broad coverage of XML technologies, lots of little hints, and information I haven’t seen in any other book on the topic, this work has become a valuable addition to my technical library.”

        —Robert W. Husted, Member, Technical Staff, Requisite Technology, Inc.

“The code examples are well structured and easy to follow. They provide real value for someone writing industrial-strength Java and XML applications. The time saved will repay the cost of this book a hundred times over.

“The book also contains more of the pearls of wisdom we’ve come to expect from Elliotte Rusty Harold—the kind of pointers that will save developers weeks, if not months, of time.”

        —Ron Weber, Independent Software Consultant

Written for Java programmers who want to integrate XML into their systems, this practical, comprehensive guide and reference shows how to process XML documents with the Java programming language. It leads experienced Java developers beyond the basics of XML, allowing them to design sophisticated XML applications and parse complicated documents.

Processing XML with Java" provides a brief review of XML fundamentals, including XML syntax; DTDs, schemas, and validity; stylesheets; and the XML protocols XML-RPC, SOAP, and RSS. The core of the book comprises in-depth discussions on the key XML APIs Java programmers must use to create and manipulate XML files with Java. These include the Simple API for XML (SAX), the Document Object Model (DOM), and JDOM (a Java native API). In addition, the book covers many useful supplements to these core APIs, including XPath, XSLT, TrAX, and JAXP.

Practical in focus, Processing XML with Java"is filled with over two hundred examples that demonstrate how to accomplish various important tasks related to file formats, data exchange, document transformation, and database integration. You will learn how to read and write XML documents with Java code, convert legacy flat files into XML documents, communicate with network servers that send and receive XML data, and much more. Readers will find detailed coverage of the following:

  • How to choose the right API for the job
  • Reading documents with SAX
  • SAX filters
  • Validation in several schema languages
  • DOM implementations for Java
  • The DOM Traversal Module
  • Output from DOM
  • Reading and writing XML documents with JDOM
  • Searching XML documents with XPath
  • Combining XSLT transforms with Java code
  • TrAX, the Transformations API for XML
  • JAXP, the Java API for XML Processing

In addition, the book includes a convenient quick reference that summarizes the major elements of all the XML APIs discussed. A related Web site, located at, contains the entire book in electronic format, as well as updates and links referenced in the book.

With thorough coverage of the key XML APIs and a practical, task-oriented approach, Processing XML with Java" is a valuable resource for all Java programmers who need to work with XML.

See all Editorial Reviews

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      Refactoring HTML

      7:48 AM PDT, April 10, 2007
      I have just this morning completed the first draft of my next book:

      Refactoring HTML

      With a little luck, the book should be on store shelves sometime this summer from Addison-Wesley.

      I was inspired to write this book by a lucky confluence of two events. On the one hand, I was working on updating and upgrading some old web sites. On the other, Addison-Wesley had sent me a copy of Scott Ambler's Refactoring Databases and I was perusing it. That's when I realized that refactoring wasn't just about programming languages, and that the project I was then involved in was really about refactoring HTML. I also suspected that I wasn't the only one doing this, and that there might well be a book in it. It turns out I was right.

      As more and more sites transition from simple content to full-blown, two-way applications the legacy cruft of the past ten years is becoming apparent. There are millions of sites and billions of pages that have been around since the 1990s. Many of these pages were designed for browsers like Netscape 3, Internet Explorer 2, or even Mosaic. They may have been redesigned several times, but the underlying structure and markup remains the same; and this is becoming a problem. These pages dont work well with modern technologies and tools like AJAX, DOM, E4X, JavaScript, and more.

      Consequently, many web developers and designers find themselves faced with legacy code for the first time. Until recently most sites and pages just werent old enough for legacy issues to be a major concern. While legacy issues and the tools and techniques for managing them are well known to programmers, web folks are just now learning about these problems. As web designers begin to grapple with the legacy issues that have hampered programmers for so long, theyll need to learn the same refactoring techniques programmers have used to manage these problems.

      In this book I hope to help web designers, web authors, web programmers, and webmasters develop the tools and skills they need to clean up their sites so they can take them to the next level. The specific focus is going to be on converting sites to web standards: XHTML, CSS, and REST. Specific goals will include improving accessibility and usability, optimizing search engine placement, and reducing the overall cost of development for web sites.

      Look for it here at Amazon and at other fine bookstores this summer.

      Happy HTML!

      Starting the Next Book

      11:25 AM PST, November 29, 2006

      Today is an auspicious day. For the first time in several years I am putting fingers to keyboard to commence a completely new book, my first one since Effective XML. This is always an exciting and anxious time.

      For the last few years I have written several second and third editions, and generated a copious amount of articles and conference presentations. However the book work has really slacked off. Quite a few good ideas never found a publisher; but the contract for the next book is now signed. Its still a computer book, but its branching out into a new area I havent previously written about. Look for it in early summer 2007.

      Comments (1)    

      Fibonacci Servers Back Up

      6:05 AM PST, November 14, 2006, updated at 11:22 AM PST, November 29, 2006
      I've finally gotten around to restoring the Fibonacci servers on described in Processing XML with Java, after last spring's migration from Linux to Mac OS X. This involved rewriting the services in PHP instead of Java. Tomcat felt largely responsible for the constant failure of the servers over the last few years, and it seemed way too heavyweight to install and maintain just for these few simple programs.

      If you've been trying to run the sample programs and they failed with FileNotFoundException's please try again now. One minor change: please make sure you're using URLs like

      with a trailing slash, not

      as published in the book. This appears to be necessary to work around a bug in HttpURLConnection in some Java VMs including 1.4.2 and 1.5.0_06. I've reported it, and will try to install a server-side workaround in the near future. In the meantime, if you try the old forms, you'll get a nice example of an XML-RPC or SOAP error document. :-)

      See all of Elliotte Rusty Harold's posts

      Look Inside This Book
      Browse Sample Pages:
      Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover

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      Processing XML with Java: A Guide to SAX, DOM, JDOM, JAXP, and TrAX by Elliotte Rusty Harold $35.99
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      Customer Reviews
      11 Reviews
      5 star: 100%  (11)
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      Most Helpful Customer Reviews

      51 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
      Attractively lucid and comprehensive, November 22, 2002
      By  W Boudville (US) - See all my reviews
      (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
      It used to be that to get a job as a java programmer, all you typically needed was knowledge of java itself plus some general background in computer science. But today we have a severe high tech slump, and technology has also moved on. The former has caused companies that are still hiring, and those that are picking programmers to retain, to require a broader skill set. One of these has been produced by the latter, XML. It really is shaping up that data serialisation is increasingly in XML format, if that data exists outside a database. So for professional reasons you should learn XML, if you are indeed any type of programmer. For example, Microsoft's .NET revolves around XML, and they don't use java. But it turns out that the coupling between java and XML is tight. The most advanced parsers for XML exist for java. In C++ and C#, the parsers are essentially one step/generation behind.

      Given this, where do you turn to learn XML? An excellent choice is this book. A voluminous and eloquent exposition of the uses of XML. Harold covers the latest versions of the SAX and DOM parsers, explaining the relative merits. As a java programmer, you should find the idea behind SAX simple. It uses a callback, similar to that in GUIs. Simpler, in fact, because you can only have a single callback. SAX's biggest drawback is that it does not build a tree of the document. DOM addresses this. Harold explains the tradeoffs, and how you can decide which to use. Plus, he describes JDOM, which is DOM-like, but written expressly for java. You should find JDOM far more intuitive than DOM.

      There is one place where I must differ with the author. He claims that this book is for the experienced java programmer who has already had some XML. I think he is being too conservative; he doesn't want to oversell this book to someone who will not benefit from it. I claim that if you are experienced, by which I mean you have a year or more in java, then you have the intellectual wherewithal to gain, even if you have never seen a stitch of XML.

      6 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
      A huge amount of topics and API, August 14, 2003
      By  Foti Massimo (Savosa Switzerland) - See all my reviews
      (REAL NAME)   
      This is definitely a valuable resource for anybody dealing with XML and Java, written by one of the best tech writers in town. The author covers in details a huge amount of topics and API, so many that you couldn't ask for more.
      Be advised that some basic understanding of XML and intermediate Java skills are required to get the best out of this book

      10 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
      Excellent!!!, June 26, 2004
      By  Thomas Paul (Plainview, NY USA) - See all my reviews
      (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
      If only every technical book was written this well! Anyone who is working with Java and XML should have a copy of this book. Highly example driven with clear explanations, the author makes using XML in your Java programs a breeze. Even better, the author has a style that makes the book fun to read as you feel like you are learning all sorts of secrets from an XML insider.

      The book starts with a quick introduction to XML and then gets into how to create XML documents in your programs. The first four chapters cover everything you need to know about creating XML whether it is for XML-RPC, SOAP, or simply to store in a file. The next section covers parsing XML documents. SAX and DOM are compared and then the next eight chapters discuss these two methods of parsing documents, explaining how to use them, comparing them, and helping you determine how to decide which technique to use for which situation. The section on DOM explains not just how to parse documents using DOM but also how to create new documents. The final chapters of the book cover JDOM, XPATH, and XSLT.

      Did I mention that this book is full of examples? The author doesn't rely on simply explaining how something works or how to use a technology (even though his explanations are excellent), he has examples to demonstrate everything he discusses. Each example builds upon the previous example and makes learning the techniques easy and enjoyable.

      Share your thoughts with other customers: Write an online review
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      Most Recent Customer Reviews

      An excellent choice
      I really like reading this book. It is easy to read and understand. The author does a good job of describing the XML technologies related to JAVA. Read more
      Published on August 16, 2003 by Michael Pucciarelli

      An excellant choice
      I bought this book when it first came out. I really enjoyed reading it. The book is well written. It has a lot useful code. Read more
      Published on August 6, 2003 by Michael Pucciarelli

      Excellent Value
      This book is an excellent resource for combining these two technologies, XML and Java. The author starts with the assumption that the reader is conversant in XML and at least... Read more
      Published on April 17, 2003 by C. M. Lowry

      XML as high art - THE classic guide on modern XML
      I bought this book with high expectations. I have read Elliott Rusty Harold's XML in a Nutshell book from O'Reilley twice. He is an exceptional technology writer. Read more
      Published on February 6, 2003

      Readability without compromise
      I preordered the book and have enjoyed reading it. I did not expect to just read end to end, but its style and humor have kept me going. Read more
      Published on December 17, 2002 by cnew202

      Recommended especially for newbies & beginners
      Today XML landscape has became quite large. I can't even count XML related specs and protocols. Everyday a new X.. is popping up. Read more
      Published on December 11, 2002 by Ozgur Aksakal

      Excellent piece
      This is a great book. One couldn't ask for more when it comes to XML and Java processing. I was following the pre-releases and was even more satisfied when saw the 'fat' final... Read more
      Published on December 2, 2002 by Ivan S. Georgiev

      Very readable, complete, and up-to-date
      I found everything in this book that is required as a Java XML developer. Very well written and contains good number of examples. Read more
      Published on November 30, 2002 by Darshan Singh

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