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Part VI: Appendixes > XML Reference

XML Reference

Information is transmitted over the Web in the form of documents containing structured data ranging from plain text to vector graphics, mathematical equations, and so on. Two major concerns exist in handling the information contained in these documents. The most prevalent concern is rendering these documents on heterogeneous computer systems. The second and growing is allowing these heterogeneous computer systems to intelligently interpret and process this information. Although HTML is sufficient to indicate how data must be formatted and displayed on various computer systems, it has no provision for describing this data such that Web applications can interpret and process the data. XML is a solution that describes and identifies structured data. This feature of XML enables the interpretation and exchange of data between applications.

XML is a meta-markup language that offers a set of rules that you can apply to documents containing structured data. Applying this set of rules standardizes the way data is described and allows applications to identify and interpret data easily. XML lets you describe the data in documents by using tags. If you want to highlight an important piece of information in your document that needs to be processed in a particular way, you can describe that information by creating your own customized tags and enclosing that information within the customized tag you create.


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