Using XML: A How‐to‐do‐it Manual and CD‐ROM for Librarians

Toby Burrows (University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




Burrows, T. (2008), "Using XML: A How‐to‐do‐it Manual and CD‐ROM for Librarians", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 317-318.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

XML – eXtensible Markup Language – is widely used for encoding, structuring and delivering data and documents and is now the foundation of most of the digital resources and databases on the web. Its adoption as a standard has been very rapid; in fact, 2008 marks only the 10th anniversary of the first version of XML becoming a recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium. Before that, HTML was almost ubiquitous on the web, while advanced text encoders had to struggle with the intricacies of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). Now, an understanding of XML is essential for any information professional involved in designing, building and managing digital services and resources.

Kwong Bor Ng offers an intensely practical, step‐by‐step introduction to XML techniques, accompanied by a CD‐ROM with an extensive set of exercises to work through. He covers a wide range of topics, from creating and viewing documents, to using Document Type Definitions (DTDs) and schemas, to transforming documents with eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). Several specific XML markup languages relevant to the library and information world are examined in passing – particularly the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set and the MARC DTD. No specialized software tools are required or discussed.

This is not the book for anyone wanting a high‐level analysis of the use of XML in system design. But for those interested in a clear, practical account of the basic technicalities of XML, this book is an ideal introduction.

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