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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:
Client/Server Data Access with Java&XML
Author:
D Chang&D Harkey
ISBN:
0 471 24577 1
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
606pp+CD
Price:
£32.50
Reviewer:
Aaron Ridout
Subject:
java; sgml
Appeared in:
11-5
This is an excellent teaching text, the authors know the subject very well.

I have only two very minor criticisms: I was a little put off when the authors present XML as a shiny new toy, which it is, but it is a sub-set of an old tried&trusted technology in SGML. The authors gloss over this simply saying that XML is 20% of SGML's complexity with 80% of the functionality, I could not see much that was missing from SGML, so they are probably trying to be optimistic. Also, because they did not look at what SGML can offer, they failed to mention the rewards of searching within an SGML document. Assuming that because the XML document is structured, rather than just having layout information (like HTML), they fall into the camp of people who trivialise the exercise; but searching an SGML document is an understood aspect of SGML and so long as you observe the rules of the SGML road, it is not too daunting and can be very rewarding in the (increase of) speed and (reduction of) bandwidth if you get it right.

The only other aspect I did not like was their use of Client Server to mean remote database access over a network. This is only one use for Client Server, a major one, but not the only one.

Apart from these minor `omissions' it was a well-presented book with excellent material. There was not too much source code padding, 10 sides maximum, as the source is on the CD, as are some excellent `yesterdays' products free to try, IBM's DB2 for instance.

I would recommend this book as a teaching aid. It is not much use as a reference, but the high quality of the teaching is such that you should not need to look back too often.