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Why XML?

HTML is a fairly simple language—simple enough to have made Web publishing accessible to many people. Its rules are also straightforward enough that scores of programmers have written HTML editing tools that enable content publishers to prepare a document without knowing any HTML. This has opened up the Web to even more people. Indeed, HTML's ease of use is probably one of the biggest reasons for the explosive growth of the Web.

HTML, however, is not without its problems. For one thing, it is too restrictive. You probably know that HTML is an application of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), restricted to a certain set of rules. After you start using SGML in a specific way, you sacrifice much of the flexibility you get by using "less constrained" SGML. This means that you are less likely to be able to describe more complex documents with HTML or with any restricted form of SGML.


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