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What Is XML?

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a standardized way of representing structured data as text files. Many readers will be familiar with HTML, which uses markup tags such as <H1> and </H1> to denote a block of text that is a heading of level 1. XML is similar in that it uses tags to mark up the file, but it is very different in that it lets one define new tags and new document types for new purposes. Consider the following XML fragment.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Address>
  <Name>Larry Stewart</Name>
  <Street>11 Serissa Circle</Street>
  <City>Wayland</City>
  <State>MA</State>
  <ZIP>01778</ZIP>
</Address>


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