How to Use

XML is used in many aspects of web development, often to
simplify data storage and sharing.


XML Separates Data from HTML

If you need to display dynamic data in your HTML document, it will take a lot
of work to edit the HTML each time the data changes.

With XML, data can be stored in separate XML files. This way
you can concentrate on using HTML/CSS for display and layout, and be sure that changes in the underlying data will not
require any changes to the HTML.

With a few lines of JavaScript code, you can read an external XML file and update
the data content of your web page.


XML Simplifies Data Sharing

In the real world, computer systems and databases contain data in
incompatible formats.

XML data is stored in plain text format. This provides a software- and
hardware-independent way of storing data.

This makes it much easier to create
data that can be shared by different applications.


XML Simplifies Data Transport

One of the
most time-consuming
challenges for developers is to exchange data between incompatible systems over the Internet.

Exchanging data as
XML greatly reduces this complexity, since the data can be read by different
incompatible applications.


XML Simplifies Platform Changes

Upgrading to new systems (hardware or software platforms), is always
time consuming. Large amounts of data must be converted and incompatible data is
often lost.

XML data is stored in text format. This makes it easier to expand or upgrade
to new operating systems, new applications, or new browsers, without losing
data.


XML Makes Your Data More Available

Different
applications can access your data, not only in HTML pages, but also from XML data sources.

With XML, your data can be available to all kinds of "reading
machines" (Handheld computers, voice machines, news feeds, etc.), and make it more available for blind
people, or people with other disabilities.


XML is Used to Create New Internet Languages

A lot of new Internet languages are created with XML.

Here are some examples:

  • XHTML 
  • WSDL for describing available web services
  • WAP and WML as markup languages for handheld devices
  • RSS languages for news feeds
  • RDF and OWL for describing resources and ontology
  • SMIL for describing multimedia for the web 

If Developers Have Sense

If they DO have sense, future applications will exchange their data in
XML.

The future might give us word processors, spreadsheet
applications and databases that can read each other’s data in XML format,
without any conversion utilities in between.

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