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XML Terms
Jargon terms in XML and what they mean

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By Jennifer Kyrnin

XML often sounds more confusing than it really is because there are a lot of jargon terms. Once you understand the following terms, you'll be able to read most basic XML tutorials and have a much better chance of understanding what they mean.

What You Need To Know
In order to best understand these terms, you should have a clear understanding of HTML. If you want to learn HTML, or just brush up, try the HTML Tutorial.

attribute
A part of an element that provides additional information about that element.
Attributes and XML
attribute glossary entry


child
An XML element that is contained within another element.
child glossary entry


DTD
Document Type Definition. A DTD provides a list of the elements, attributes, comments, notes, and entities contained in the document, as well as their relationships to one another.
DTDs and Markup Languages
DTD glossary entry


element
An XML element is the central building block of any XML document.
Elements in XML
element glossary entry


markup
The characters and codes that change a text document into an XML or other Markup Language document. This includes the < and > characters as well as the elements and attributes of a document.
What is a Markup Language
markup glossary entry


nesting
Placing one element inside another. When two tags are opened, they must be closed in the reverse order.
nesting glossary entry


parent
An XML element that contains another element.
parent glossary entry


tag
The markup characters that indicate the start or end of an element - but not the element content itself.
HTML Tags
tag glossary entry


valid
An XML document that is verified correct against a DTD or schema.
Create a Valid XML Document
valid glossary entry


well-formed
An XML document that follows the rules set forth by the XML specification, including having an XML declaration, correct comments, all tags are closed, all attributes are quoted, every document has one "container" element.
Create a Well-Formed Document
well-formed glossary entry


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