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How XML Works

XML provides a very general method for expressing data structure and content. To maintain portability, it consists solely of a stream of text that avoids any assumptions about the systems exchanging information. It is so general and so adaptable that the first thing it declares is which alphabet it is using and how that alphabet is encoded.

XML itself can structure data, but it says nothing about the meaning of the data. XML merely provides a notation in which the meaning can be unambiguously expressed. XML cares solely about syntax; the semantics are up to us.


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