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Goals of XML

Goals of XML

When XML was developed, the inventors had some goals, and knowing those will help you understand why XML is what it is. These goals were, and still are, as follows:

  1. XML shall be straightforwardly usable over the Internet.

  2. XML shall support a wide variety of applications.

  3. XML shall be compatible with SGML. SGML, complicated as it is, is extremely important, and XML cannot afford to totally throw it out the window.

  4. It shall be easy to write programs that process XML documents. In this case, “easy” means a graduate student in computer science could write a program in two weeks that can process an XML document.

  5. The number of optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum, ideally zero.

  6. XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear.

  7. The XML design should be prepared quickly.

  8. The design of XML shall be formal and concise.

  9. XML documents shall be easy to create. This certainly was achieved, since any simple text editor, including SimpleText and NotePad, can create XML documents.

  10. Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance. This is related to number 6, making documents human-readable. Generally, the more terse computer-related data is, the harder it is for people to read it.


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