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A. The XML You Need for RSS > A.1. What Is XML?

What Is XML?

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is an Internet-friendly format for data and documents, invented by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Markup denotes a way of expressing the structure of a document within the document itself. XML has its roots in a markup language called SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), which is used in publishing and shares this heritage with HTML. XML was created to do for machine-readable documents on the Web what HTML did for human-readable documents—that is, provide a commonly agreed-upon syntax, so that processing the underlying format becomes a commodity and documents are made accessible to all users.

Unlike HTML, though, XML comes with very little predefined. HTML developers are accustomed to both the notion of using angle brackets (


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