XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It was developed at the World Wide Web Consortium, by a group of people who wanted to improve on HTML and SGML. It was defined as a formal specification in February 1998.
XML is not a true markup language, but rather a system for defining other languages. In other words, XML is a language for writing markup languages.
How XML Works
- A markup language like HTML defines the look and feel of your document in a reader or browser. HTML includes elements like FONT, B, and I to define how the document looks.
- However, the browser itself doesn't know or care what the document is. If you write a recipe in HTML, the browser will not know that there is a semantic difference between your recipe and a list of stock quotes.
- If you use XML to markup your document, you tell the user-agent (the Web browser or computer accessing the XML document) that it was looking at a recipe or stock quotes.
- The XML markup would include definitions of the parts of the recipe or the stock information.
- XML doesn't have markup for recipes or stocks. You write the markup yourself and include it in the document.