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Physical Structure

One of the key concepts in XML is that of the entity. If you are to really understand XML, it is essential that you fully understand what entities are. Various types of entities exist, and it is the entities—far more than the elements—that determine how the XML processor deals with XML code. You will learn about entities in some detail in a later chapter, but for now it is enough to think of an entity as being a physical storage unit—an object; although in fact, most entities will usually be separate computer files.

The main entity that you work with all the time, although you will hardly ever notice it is there, is the document entity. This document (or root) entity, as we have seen, is logically divided into elements (other logical components exist that we will discuss later, but for now it is enough to concentrate on the elements).


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