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Exclusively & Efficiently: O'Reilly's SAX2 Delivers the Know-How for Simple API for XML

January 24, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--With some fanfare, XML is transforming the way electronic information is shared. Less widely touted yet also significant is the role SAX (the Simple API for XML) plays in processing XML data. SAX2 is standard and highly efficient interface that orchestrates event-based XML parsing, reading and processing information from XML documents. With SAX2, developers have access to information in XML documents as they are read, without imposing major memory constraints or a large code footprint.

"Despite being called the Simple API for XML, things are often more complicated than they first appear," notes David Brownell, author of SAX2 (O'Reilly, US $29.95). "SAX has grown to accommodate a lot of the flexibility needed by the tools and applications that process XML, but when you start out with SAX, you should first focus on its underlying simplicity."

Brownell is uniquely qualified to help programmers hone in on both that underlying simplicity and its power. "I've been involved in SAX since the earliest days, both on the design and implementation sides. In fact, I provided the first full implementation of the SAX2 APIs, including extensions." Brownell has created multiple parsers--including Sun's parser--and tools that use SAX. Melding a tutorial style with complete reference features, his book covers SAX thoroughly, including filters, SAX Properties, and SAX Features, and is based on the current version of the Java language support for SAX2. "SAX is the most widely available API for building XML event pipelines, and SAX2 substantially enriched those original APIs," says Brownell.

SAX2 isn't just the most in-depth book available on the subject--it's currently the only book available. SAX2 is a key component of many developers' XML toolkits, but until now, developers have had to rely on inadequate piecemeal documentation of this essential tool for processing XML information. Or they had to be content with the mini-tutorials found in books on XML, which don't cover the most powerful, yet sometimes obscure, features of SAX. Although it's a Java API, the "SAX way" has grown into SAX-based toolkits from Microsoft and many others in non-Java environments.

When asked about the future potential of SAX2, Brownell replies, "When Sun releases JDK 1.4, it will include SAX2 support. That means that SAX2 will be available to a lot of Java developers that haven't previously seen it." No matter if you're just learning SAX2 or seeking explanation of advanced material, SAX2 is an indispensable guide to playing SAX2 to its fullest.

Online Resources:

By David Brownell
January 2002
0-596-00237-8, Order Number: 2378
228 pages, $29.95 (US) $44.95 (Can)

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