XML is not a complicated language, but anything worth learning comes with terminology you must know. Understanding the elements and syntax required to build an XML file is not enough. You must also follow the mechanisms involved in taking that code and getting it onto a web page. Reviewing definitions of some relevant aspects of XML processing will take you one step closer to creating well-formed websites that utilize XML.
1. XML Document
This is a file written in the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Although XML is a markup language, it works as a way to present structured information. XML documents focus on data and rely on supporting files to display it. The author creates the XML document with self-descriptive code and uses it to deliver data. Essentially, XML is a container to hold information that is organized and designed per file. XML has a number of subsets that allow for proper formatting, such as a schema. The formatting files may have similar syntax, but different goals. An XML document, on its own, does nothing. It is the collaboration of the data transport file and the formatting document that create a viable web page.
2. XML Editor
An XML editor is a software application that facilitates coding in the XML markup language. There are many levels of XML editors. Some programmers prefer a basic text editor, such as Notepad, to write XML documents. When creating a platform that utilizes XML for web design, a savvy author will look to more advanced XML editors, such as Oxygen XML Editor. This package provides not only text files to create a core data file, but also XSL formatting and an HTML output stream. With the right editor, a designer can organize the data and create the page all in one place.
XML is easy to create, but unwavering in the rules. Syntax must be followed in order to provide pages on the internet. A validator will examine an XML document and certify that all tags are closed and properly nested. XML makes demands on the designer. It requires structure and proper format. Unlike HTML, elements without closing tags or misplaced in the hierarchical stage will generate an error. A validator will look closely at the file and help develop well-formed XML. It is a valuable tool for both novices and veterans alike.
4. XML DOM
Document Object Model (DOM) is the interface that defines how data is accessed. This is the place that allows programmers to create dynamic content that will display the same basic way on any browser. The DOM is a standard interface that enable all languages to work cohesively. It is not a language on its own, but a mechanism that allows programming languages to exist. All structured documents work within a DOM system. Without the DOM, parsers would not be able to identify and processes any part of a file. It works to locate and move the information. The DOM supplies a method for the ever growing list of browsers to read and process code.
5. XML Parser
An XML parser is a module that reads the code and converts it into the XML DOM. From this point, the file can be manipulated into presentable form. Without a parser, computers would not understand the meaning of the files. A parser reads the code within the XML file, determines it is well-formed, and then assigns meaning it. You can not display information on a web page without a parser to read it.