This text offers you the information needed to use the Simple API for XML (SAX2), the dominant API for efficient XML processing with Java. With the SAX2 API, developers have access to the information in XML documents as they are read, without imposing major memory constraints or a large code footprint. SAX2 is often used by other APIs "under the covers", and provides a foundation for processing and creating both XML and non-XML information. SAX2 also carries a significant learning curve. Here, author David Brownell explores the many details of managing XML parsers, filtering the information those parsers return, generating your own SAX2 events to convert non-XML information to an XML form, and developing strategies for using event-based parsing in a variety of application scenarios. Created in a public process by the XML-Dev mailing list, SAX2 uses callbacks to report the information in an XML document as the document is read, allowing you to create your own program structures around the content of documents. No intermediary model of an entire XML document is necessary, and the mapping from XML structures to Java structures and back is straightforward.
Both developers learning about SAX2 for the first time and developers returning for reference and advanced material about SAX2 will find useful information in this book. Chapters provide detailed explanations and examples of many different aspects of SAX2 development, while appendices provide a reference to the API and an explanation of the relationships between the SAX2 API and the XML Information Set. While the core of the API is quite approachable, many of its more advanced features are both obscure and powerful. You can use SAX2 to filter, modify, and restructure information in layers of processing which make it easy to reuse generic tools. SAX2 also has some significant limitations that applications need to address in their own ways. This new book offers the detail and examples required to use SAX2 to its full potential, taking advantage of its power while avoiding its limitations.
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Author Biography - David Brownell
David Brownell is a software engineer. He's been involved with SAX since shortly after the XML 1.0 specification went final, and is currently involved in maintaining the SAX APIs and the GNUJAXP implementation. When he worked at Sun, he started the Java XML engineering effort, including SAX support, as a natural follow-on to the servlet based web software infrastructure.