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Web Development Terminology - XML

XML is a format for text that defines a structured way to organize data. XML is widely used to transmit data between applications over the internet and between applications that are not programmed in the same language. XML is also used as configuration files for many applications both web and desktop.

You have most certainly seen some xml in your internet adventures. It may appear cryptic to you, but in it's basics, xml is pretty simple. You too can make some XML!

Here is a very simple sample.



<title>title of object</title>
<description>hey this is a great item</description>


<title>another object</title>
<description>some more stuff</description>



As you can see, there are some markers throughout the xml called tags. These tags split up the textual data into different parts. A tag has both a beginning and an end, which simply marks the beginning of an area and the end of an area. In the sample above you see two items, they each have a title and a description. This kind of xml can be used to provide data from your website to a third party so they can display it to their users or perform further operations on the data.

The formatting in xml is important so that a computer can easily find related data. In the sample above it is easy for a computer to spot which title goes with which item, and which description goes with which item because each of the titles/descriptions are contained within their respective item tags.


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