At several points while reading this I found myself wishing that the author would give more examples- I had forgotten what follows "XML" in the title, so I really didn't appreciate the irony of that until I started writing this review.
Nonetheless, this isn't a terrible book. I did find myself confused at several points, and had to go elsewhere to get ideas cleared up, but it was only a few times, and you can probably put at least part of the blame on my aging mind. I did learn a bit from this book; my previous comprehension at even the "what the heck is it good for" level was fuzzy at best, and now I at least understand that, and in fact have started actively suggesting it in places where it seems obvious (at least to me) that this is what should be done. For example, I asked a sales rep just this week if his company could get me regularly updated price lists. He offered to mail, of all things, a pdf format document! I told him that XML was more like what I had in mind, though an Ascii CSV file would do for now.
I also understand why XML is important to the future web- I had always understood what the problems are, but I never really did grok the multiple ways XML answers them. Nor did I comprehend how (relatively) easy it is for me to start preparing my own pages toward that end. So while the book really doesn't live up to its title, and certainly not to the gushing blurbs on the back cover, I do feel I got my money's worth out of it.
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