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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Information Architecture with XML
Author:
Peter Brown
ISBN:
0-471-48679-5
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
324pp
Price:
£27-50
Reviewer:
Christopher Hill
Subject:
xml
Appeared in:
17-1
Should you choose to build a house, you might read "Build your own house in one weekend", which would include instruction on using the range of tools that you need. The book would be of little use if every reference to the hammer was expanded to a paragraph or two, and the other tools only get passing references.

When building a corporate Information structure you need to manage Meta data, dictionaries, cross-references, context, versions, formats etc. You will have to choose the tools to use, structure them for ease of use and then motivate staff to use the tools. You will have to consider how knowledge will be retrieved from the data that you have stored in your system.

This book is at management strategy level; there is very little technical content. The above issues are all lightly touched on, but viewed through the XML telescope. It feels like "The answer is XML - now what was the question?"

The author is head of Information Resources Management in the European Parliament, and so speaks from wealth of experience of a very large project. He considers the planning and implementation of Information Management urging wide consultation to build the vocabulary, stressing the importance of naming conventions, datatypes and schemas. He then considers how to move old data into the new format (XML of course!) while maintaining pace. The final flourish covers Web Services, delivery management and navigation strategies.

I am not sure who would want to read this book. If your interest is in Information Architecture then there are many better books on this subject; or if XML again better books are to be found. This book might find use as a general introduction, but it will not become a long-term reference.