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10.1. XML 101

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language, a markup language similar to HTML. Unlike HTML, which was designed to describe presentation, XML was designed to describe data. The "Extensible" part of XML means that tags are not predefined in XML. Tags must be defined for each XML page. In other words, XML is self-describing. XML is both a language to store data, as well as a language to describe languages. XML uses a DTD (Document Type Definition) to formally describe the data.

XML is different from HTML in many ways. Each was created to solve different problems. A common misconception is that XML is a replacement for HTML. XML was designed to describe data and to store data. HTML was designed to display data and to focus on how the data should look. In other words, XML is about describing information, while HTML is about displaying information.


  

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