Web Programming – A Brief Overview Of XML

XML refers to Extensive Markup Language; and is a “standard” for sharing organized information between a variety of data systems. “Extensive” simply means the informational features that are utilized can be identified by the user.  XHTML is used to “mark up” web pages and is one application or usage of XML.

With XHTML, there exists an array of tags such as <p> used for “paragraphs”, <table> used for “tables”, and <a> for “anchors”, etc.  Since XML is versatile, you are allowed to predetermine or create your own tags or identifiers to customize whatever data you wish to express, through code.  Your customized codes or tags could refer to phone numbers or company-specific lingo, for example—whatever you wish!

XML Advantages:

XML offers a number of benefits—

1—XMLs coding is decipherable by virtually anyone; and, essentially, any written language can be integrated with XML.  It can, also, be easily read by a computer program.   The exact and specific language of XML allows a computer to analyze and decode the information, with ease.

2—XML, being very versatile, is fully able to describe any type of data.  One of the most common applications of XML is to encrypt documents.

3—Since XML has a very specific and defined language, it is resilient to technological changes.  Possessing a steady, uniform coding system permits such things as testing, document storage and software construction to be more simplified and effective.

XML Disadvantages:

There are a couple things to keep in mind with XML:

1—XML may not be the most ideal storage format since the amount of required storage space for XML dramatically exceeds storage space one would use in a binary format.  Therefore, XML would not be ideal for a select number of applications.

2—Producing documents with a hierarchal structure is characteristic of XML.  Therefore, non-heirarchal data may not be properly configured in XML format.

In A Nutshell:

XML is used for creating random documents and web pages.  It requires no pre-defined tags.  Instead, the semantics of an XML document are defined by the applications that process them.  The information contained within an XML document is interchangeable between systems that would, otherwise, be unworkable or unsuited with one another.

XML”s primary purpose is to organize data and exchange data between different systems within the same company, by dispatching XML-specific documents.  The language of XML is not standardized but rather, is less objective and more subjective, so to speak, since the authors and clients of the documents, themselves, do the determining as to how the information is to be amassed and systemized.  In other words, the tags in the language are not pre-defined but are created, based on the data contained in the tags.

It might be fairly easy to guess that XML”s biggest area of application is within an intranet system.  That is, companies who, themselves, have set up their own standardization with exchanging their own, specialized information.

My name is Karen and I am a teacher in Iowa.  From web programming to fundraising, I am continually adding trusted resources for those in need of reliable information.