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#1 Dankwansere  Icon User is offline

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I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

Hey guys, how's everyone doing?

Okay so I started of a new semester and i'm learning XML. I've always heard of XML but never really used it although I frequently do a lot of web programming. I have a few questions about XML that I hope I can get answered.

1. What is the point of XML? I know its to organize data but what makes it so special and different from HTML?

2. Let's say i've written an XML code(which I don't really know how to do yet) how would I display it? do I add the code in an HTML file, or can I display the code stand alone in a browser?

3. What are the benefits of using XML?

Thanks in advance

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Replies To: I need a brief explanation of XML

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

Moved to Web Development.

XML is a markup language. It's primary purpose is to store data in a small and easy to transfer format. It's easier to send an XML file and more secure than allowing a third party to connect to one's database. It's different from HTML in the sense that it is data-relevant (and you design your own tags), whereas HTML is more of a design tool.

You can parse XML in a number of ways. CSS and XSL are used for display purposes. A lot of languages have XML parsing tools like SAX and DOM, where you can extract the data.
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#3 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

My two cents:

1. XML is similar to HTML - both are mark-up languages; but XML is highly extensible, meaning that we can create our own node-names (called tags in HTML) and attributes. This means that we can use it to store any kind of (structured) data.

2. You can view XML directly in a browser, Notepad, Notepad++, or any number of (generally free) XML-readers or editors. XML Notepad is one of many.

3. This page is fairly succinct.

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 17 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

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#4 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

BTW This is not specifically a web-technology: it's used all over the shop!
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#5 Dankwansere  Icon User is offline

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Re: I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

Thnx guys, I think i'm starting to get the hang of it now.
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#6 robertwm  Icon User is offline

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Re: I need a brief explanation of XML

Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:59 PM

XML is not a replacement for HTML.

XML and HTML were designed with different goals:

XML was designed to transport and store data, with focus on what data is
HTML was designed to display data, with focus on how data looks
HTML is about displaying information, while XML is about carrying information.
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