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Chapter 34. XML > Understanding XML

Understanding XML

XML is a meta-language—a language used to describe languages. An XML language describes data, and XML documents contain data according to the description. XML gives you a way to store and share data in a highly shareable and reusable format, readable and writable by both human and machine.

An XML document actually is less a document than a string of text—a string containing data and tags as delimiters. XML documents may indeed be actual documents, but they may also be stored in databases, transmitted in email messages, transmitted via HTTP, and more.


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