An Overview of XML

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is fast becoming a standard for data
exchange in the next generation’s Internet applications. XML allows user-defined
tags that make XML document handling more flexible than the conventional
language of the Internet, the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).The following
section touches on some of the basic concepts of XML.
The Goals of XML
Ten goals were defined by the creators of XML, which give definite direction as
to how XML is to be used.
■ XML shall be compatible with SGML.
■ It shall be easy to write programs that process XML documents.
■ The number of optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum; ideally, zero.
■ XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear.
■ The XML design should be prepared quickly.
■ The design of XML shall be formal and concise.
■ XML documents shall be easy to create.
■ Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance.
■ XML shall be straightforwardly usable over the Internet.
■ XML shall support a variety of applications.
In other words, XML is for sharing information easily via a nonproprietary
format over the Internet. XML is made for everybody, to be used by everybody,
for almost anything. In becoming the universal standard, XML has faced and met
the challenge of convincing the development community that it is a good idea
prior to another organization developing a different standard.The way in which
XML achieved this was by being easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to
What Does an XML Document Look Like?
The major objective is to organize information in such a way so that human
beings can read and comprehend the data and its context; in addition, the document
itself is technology and platform independent (nonproprietary, remember?).
Consider the following text file:
F10 Shimano Calcutta 47.76
F20 Bantam Lexica 49.99
Obviously, it is difficult to understand exactly what information the preceding
text file contains.
Now consider the following XML document.

This document is XML’s way of representing data contained in
a product catalog. It has many advantages: it is easily readable and comprehendible,
self-documented, and technology-independent.
For information about Creating a XML document click here