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Element Markup

XML is concerned with element markup. This might sound like an obvious point to make, but it is worth repeating because it indicates a deeply rooted conceptual difference between XML as a markup language and as an arbitrary tag language. As you have already seen, HTML often tends toward being a tag language rather than a markup language, which is a direct consequence of Web browsers being so intentionally lenient in accepting bad markup.

Instead of XML's tags being markers that indicate where a style should change or where a new line should begin, most of XML's element markup should be considered as objects composed of three parts: a start tag, the contents, and the end tag, as shown in Table 12.3. The start tag and end tags should be treated like wrappers, and when you think of an element, you should have a mental picture of a piece of text with both tags in place.


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