Charles F. Goldfarb's XML Handbook™, Fifth Edition

Over 100,000 copies in print!

Translated into five languages: Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish

Revised and enlarged 1250 page fifth edition—includes 550+ pages of tutorials and introductory discussions

Two CD-ROMs with 200 genuinely free, no-time-limit, XML software packages

XML Handbook cover

(Imprint: Prentice Hall PTR)
Series: The Charles F. Goldfarb Definitive XML Series
Paperback (Fifth Edition) - 1268 pages
Publication Date: December 15, 2003
Author: Charles F. Goldfarb and Paul Prescod
ISBN: 0-13-049765-7

The XML Handbook is the definitive entry point to XML for Web professionals—content developers, managers, and programmers—but you needn't be a programmer to read it. Although XML, like HTML, is derived from SGML (which was invented by one of the authors), XML has so many more uses than HTML that an XML book must be much more than a markup tutorial or programming text.

There are three major divisions:

  1. Part One is a 150-page non-technical introduction to XML that makes the body of the Handbook accessible. The introduction establishes hype-free, standards-based concepts and terminology that are used consistently throughout the book. Like the earlier editions, which were translated into five foreign languages, this edition is written to communicate to managers, content developers and technical readers alike. Just enough of the language is taught in this section for the reader to understand the next section.
  2. Parts Two through Seventeen contain detailed descriptions of the full range of XML applications: Web services, three-tier Web applications, data interchange, portals, content management, e-commerce, Web publishing, Enterprise Application Integration, Semantic Web, etc. ... including discussions of implementation tools and case studies. All of these are illustrated extensively with screen shots and examples. These parts include some 115 pages of introductory discussions and tutorials on subjects like EDI, schema development, RDF, and topic maps.
  3. Parts Eighteen through Twenty-three contain in-depth tutorials. There are 190 pages of tutorials on recently revised and newly finalized W3C specs like XSL, XSLT, XLink, XPath, schemas, and namespaces—plus 135 pages of tutorials on the XML language itself. The tutorials are fun and friendly, but also comprehensive, precise, and technically accurate.

The book includes two CD-ROMs with 200 no-time-limit XML freeware programs, trial versions of major XML products, and the searchable full text of XML-related specifications.

Industry experts from leading XML users and providers participated, including household names like Adobe, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. However, the final writing was done by the authors so that a consistent standards-based vocabulary and style are used throughout.

About the Authors

CHARLES F. GOLDFARB is the father of XML technology. He is the inventor of SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language on which both XML and HTML are based. He is an independent consultant and speaker, and since 2006 has also been an advisor to ObjectBuilders.

PAUL PRESCOD is a leading XML software developer, trainer, and consultant. He was a member of the W3C group that developed XML.

Publisher's Description (From the Covers)

Front cover:

Back cover:

"This book is an excellent starting point where you can learn and experiment with XML. As the inventor of SGML, Dr. Charles F. Goldfarb is one of the most respected authorities on structured information."

—From the Foreword by Jean Paoli, Microsoft XML architect and co-editor of the W3C XML specification

The proven resource for the world of XML and Web services—over 100,000 copies in six languages!

Developers, architects, managers, and consultants rely on its technical accuracy, accessible writing style, and broad and deep coverage.

Learn XML...154 pp. Use XML...564 pp. Master XML...406 pp.
Start by learning what XML is, why it came to be, how it differs from HTML, and the handful of vital concepts that you mustunderstand to apply XML quickly and successfully—in your business and in your code. Learn when to use data or documents, how to decipher misleading industry jargon, and the key ideas of XML programming. Experience XML through illustrated explanations of technologies, tools, and applications: Web services (SOAP, REST, rich clients), security, integration, content management, databases, conversion, syndication, telephony, wireless, customization, portals, office suites, graphics, e-commerce (B2B, B2C, EDI, exchanges), publication (WYSIWYG, XSL, DSSSL), Semantic Web, and over 300 industry applications! Master the details from friendly, in-depth tutorials: XML (the full language: 1.0/1.1, namespaces, entities, DTDs), XML Schema (XSDL, datatypes), XPath 1.0/2.0/XQuery, XSLT 1.0/2.0, XSL-FO, InfoSet, VoiceXML, Web services (WSDL, UDDI), compression, XLink, XPointer (framework and schemes), and Semantic Web (topic maps, RDF). Plus: Over 250 acronyms defined!

Table of Contents

Prefaceby Charles F. Goldfarbxxxix
Forewordby Jean Paoli, co-editor of W3C XML Recommendationxlviii
Prologby Jon Bosak, chair of W3C XML Working Grouplii
Part 1The Who, What, and Why of XML2
Chapter 1Why XML?4
Chapter 2Just enough XML32
Chapter 3The XML usage spectrum54
Chapter 4XML for people66
Chapter 5XML for machines102
Chapter 6Secrets of the XML programmers126
Chapter 7XML Jargon Demystifier™142
Part 2Three-tier Applications158
Chapter 8Personalized frequent-flyer website160
Chapter 9Building an online auction website172
Chapter 10Enabling data sources for XML190
Part 3E-commerce200
Chapter 11From EDI to IEC: The new Web commerce202
Chapter 12XML and EDI: Working together224
Part 4Integration236
Chapter 13Application integration with Web and email238
Chapter 14Business integration250
Part 5Content Management266
Chapter 15“World” class content management268
Chapter 16Content systems278
Chapter 17Components: Key to content management300
Chapter 18Components for graphic content312
Part 6Portals326
Chapter 19Portal servers for e-business328
Chapter 20RxML: Your prescription for healthcare340
Part 7Publishing350
Chapter 21Personalized financial publishing352
Chapter 22WYSIWYG XML editing and formatting374
Chapter 23Using XSL-FO formatting objects384
Chapter 24Beyond XSL: The real DSSSL at work394
Part 8Desktop XML412
Chapter 25XML in office applications414
Chapter 26Flexible data capture with adaptive forms428
Part 9Databases444
Chapter 27XML and databases446
Chapter 28XPath-based XML DBMS460
Chapter 29Storing XML in a relational DBMS474
Chapter 30XML, SQL, and XPath: Getting it all together488
Part 10Content Acquisition500
Chapter 31Syndicating content with Web services502
Chapter 32Acquiring reusable renditions514
Chapter 33Managing change in XML content526
Part 11Semantic Web544
Chapter 34Extended linking546
Chapter 35Topic maps: Knowledge navigation aids560
Chapter 36RDF: Metadata description for Web resources580
Part 12Topic Map Applications590
Chapter 37Improving intelligence for Intelligence592
Chapter 38Application integration using topic maps604
Part 13Web Services616
Chapter 39The Web services vision618
Chapter 40Web services technologies626
Chapter 41Deploying a Web service640
Part 14Rich Clients654
Chapter 42Converting to rich client Web services656
Chapter 43Portable rich client applications668
Part 15Schemas680
Chapter 44Building a schema for a product catalog682
Chapter 45Building your e-commerce vocabulary696
Part 16Voice704
Chapter 46VoiceXML in a mobile environment706
Chapter 47Adding telephony to your website716
Part 17Infrastructure728
Chapter 48Compression techniques for XML730
Chapter 49XML security740
Chapter 50New directions for XML applications750
Part 18XML Core Tutorials762
Chapter 51XML basics764
Chapter 52Creating a document type definition792
Chapter 53Namespaces826
Part 19Additional XML Tutorials840
Chapter 54Entities: Breaking up is easy to do842
Chapter 55Advanced features of XML876
Chapter 56XML version 1.1896
Chapter 57Reading the XML specification904
Part 20XPath Tutorials914
Chapter 58XPath Primer916
Chapter 59XML Path Language (XPath)924
Part 21Transform Tutorials960
Chapter 60XSL Transformations (XSLT)962
Chapter 61XSL formatting objects (XSL-FO)990
Part 22Schema Tutorials998
Chapter 62Datatypes1000
Chapter 63XML Schema (XSDL)1030
Part 23Navigation Tutorials1050
Chapter 64XML Pointer Language (XPointer)1052
Chapter 65XML Linking Language (XLink)1068
Part 24Resources1088
Chapter 66Public XML vocabularies1090
Chapter 67The XML Handbook Acronym Guide1116
Chapter 68Other books on XML1134
Chapter 69Free resources on the CD-ROM1142

Sample Chapters

You can't tell a book by its cover—or even by its website—so we've included two chapters that you can read.

Learn about "document-centric" and "data-centric" and why there isn't really a difference. It's all explained in Chapter 3, which you can download here for your personal use.

Chapter 5, which you can download here for personal use, introduces XML applications that don't involve human interaction (those that do are introduced in Chapter 4).


We don't report slips of the keyboard that aren't likely to confuse a reader (although we fix them in later printings). However, we do report known substantive errors. At the moment, there is one.

In Example 60-17 on page 977, the fourth from the last line should be changed from:
<xsl:apply-templates select="title"/>
<h2><xsl:value-of select="title"/></h2>

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