Beginning with an overview of XML technology, the book goes on to explain XML syntax complete with a list of common errors and misunderstandings. Next comes an explanation of DTDs (Document Type Definitions) and then a guide to transforming XML into readable output with XSL (XML Stylesheet Language) and CSS (cascading style sheets). That accounts for the first half of the book. The second part focuses on the programmer's view of XML, with information on XML parsing, the DOM (Document Object Model), and SAX (Simple API for XML). Finally, there is a walkthrough of a multitier e-commerce application using XML and Java servlets. There is an appendix providing a crash-course introduction to Java.
Although it is aimed at XML newcomers, XML by Example covers a good bit of ground. Its fast pace makes it more demanding than some tutorials, but professionals will welcome its tight focus. A glossary and index round off the excellent handbook.