What an excellent little book!
In a scant 96 pages, Eckstein and Casabianca have managed to present
everything you need to know to get up and running with XML. After the
obligatory review of what XML is and why it's needed, as well as definitions
of some of the key concepts of XML technology, the authors launch into a
concise, though comprehensive, discussion of DTD (Document Type Definition)
design and construction. A DTD specifies the overall structure and content of
a valid XML document; it specifies the elements a document can contain as
well as the allowed attributes of those elements. Element declarations,
entities, and attribute declarations are well covered here, and the examples
are clear and unambiguous.
The authors then embark on a discussion of XSL (Extensible Stylesheet
Language). The two XML technologies that fall under this rubric are XSLT
You're familiar with the rudiments of ColdFusion development. You know how to
set and read local, session and client variables. You have input, updated and
deleted data from a database. You've created drill-down "Master/Detail"
templates by passing values in a URL string and you've created dynamic,
data-driven SELECT boxes. Your forms look spiffy and everything is working
fine, just like it did with Microsoft Access...well, almost.
Your Access application included an input form that contained a "subform" and
allowed you to update two tables simultaneously. They were linked by a
In the June issue of ColdFusion Developer's Journal (Vol. 1, issue 3), I
hinted there might be a way to create subforms using inline frames. This
and, of course, CF.
Right now, inline frames are supported only by Internet Explorer, but because
they're part of the official HTML specification it's hoped that the other
main browser platforms will soon support them. Essentially, inline frames
allow a developer to create a space on the screen that acts like a content
island - a separate frame surrounded on all... (more)
I have a confession to make: I wasn't a computer science major in college - I
was a philosophy major. While the two disciplines have much in common
(conceptual acrobatics, a high degree of abstraction, logical and analytical
rigor, obtuse and convoluted texts), I'm finding now that, as a Web
applications developer, a study of the basic tenets of computer science can
help me create more sophisticated applications.
Case in point: the study of data structures and algorithms.
I recently had a programming problem to solve, one that lent itself perfectly
to a solution offered in any dat... (more)
As the author points out in the introduction: "[Y]ou'll find this book loaded
with strategies, hints, tips, and tricks that you can apply to your own
projects. I've tried to include all the useful ColdFusion tidbits that I've
discovered over the years so that you can benefit from my experience." And
Brooks-Bilson, one of the ColdFusion community's most senior developers and a
frequent contributor to the Allaire Forums, comes through.
For instance, on page 135 we find a short example of how to include a small