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XML Background

Let's begin with a historical perspective.

SGML

Today's World Wide Web is built, of course, on HTML. This method of formatting pages shares ancestry with XML: They both derive from the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). SGML was established around 1969 to unify the Babel of languages then in place to format documents for publication. These “markup languages” evolved out of handwritten typesetting instructions used in the printing industry. And they initially served the same function: to convey formatting decisions from designer to compositor.


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