Keeping up with XHML tools and utilities
One of the most interesting aspects involved in keeping up with an aggressively evolving and emerging technology like XML is keeping up with the tools and utilities that are so necessary to practicing the crafts related to using this outstanding technology. In today's tip, I share my top 5 favorite tool repositories for your edification, along with strong urging that you make regular visits to these repositories. That way you can find out not only what's new and interesting, but you can also grab and use those tools that fit your day-to-day development needs.
In alphabetical order, here are my top 5 sites with some indication of what's available where:
Although the whole world doesn't revolve around Microsoft, the company has made a major commitment to XML and offers lots of tools and information relevant to those who seek to access XML through the company's Internet Explorer Web browser. Since IE is the world's most popular Web browser, you'll probably find more goodies here than you might expect. Worth a visit!
This is a site created and operated by a gonzo bunch of XML and markup language enthusiasts in the Czech Republic. Although the vast majority of what this cadre has to offer by way of XML tools, tutorials, and technologies is of their own making, this does not mean that their offerings are overly narrow, parochial, or otherwise limited in interest or utility. If for no other reason that to grab their tour de force XSLT demonstration tool and tutorial, this site is well worth visiting. But because they keep coming out with more cool stuff all the time, the site is also worth earmarking and regular visits as well.
Lars Maria Garshol got involved in finding and earmarking XML tools when he was contracted to provide as comprehensive a list as possible of such resources for the Goldfarb and Prescod book The XML Handbook. Here, you'll find products listed by category, name, platform, vendor, and standard, as well as a peachy search tool, a version tracking tool for software, and a topic map to the entire site. Nearly always up to date, and way cool in its coverage of XML tools and utilities!
Robin Cover's SGML/XML pages are well-known for their encyclopedic coverage of all things XML related. His "Publicly Available Software for SGML/XML/DSSSL" pages are no exception to this rule. Although he doesn't update as often as some of the other sites mentioned here, what is covered is not only well organized but equally well documented, too.
DevX.com is a well-known developer's resource for all kinds of topics, including XML. They operate a great Product guide, with over 100 XML products listed under the XML category at the aforementioned URL (you'll find similarly useful coverage at other general XML sites including www.xml.com, www.ibiblio.org/xml/ (an especially great and comprehensive listing of tools by category appears in the right-hand menu on this page), and so forth.
Regular visits to one or more of these sites will help you keep with the latest and greatest widgetry and products related to XML development. I'm sure you'll find more worthwhile widgets than you can reasonably digest, so don't overdo it. Happy hunting!
Ed Tittel is a principal at LANWrights, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of LeapIt.com. LANWrights offers training, writing, and consulting services on Internet, networking, and Web topics (including XML and XHTML), plus various IT certifications (Microsoft, Sun/Java, and Prosoft/CIW). Send e-mail to Ed at email@example.com if you have questions on this or other XML topics.
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Author : Chelsea Valentine and Chris Minnick
Publisher : New Riders
Published : Jan 2001
If you're a Web developer who has worked with HTML, you will find much of XHTML instantly familiar and readily usable. However, there are parts of XHTML that are derived from XML, which may be unfamiliar and perhaps a bit harder to understand. In XHTML, Chelsea Valentine and Chris Minnick provide the explanations and explorations that will help you become familiar and comfortable with the "X" in XHTML. XHTML addresses the need of working Web professionals to learn what XHTML is and how best to use it, and helps those who are contemplating making the switch from HTML to XHTML decide if and when to take the plunge. Both the authors not only write about and teach XHTML, but also consult and implement this technology as part of their workday routines. They've learned from their audiences and students what people most need to know, and what examples and illustrations best illuminate that information. That collective wisdom drives this book throughout.
This was first published in June 2001