Xml Training

Written by Shirley Parker
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XML (Extensible Markup Language) has been quite the buzzword for the past five or six years. It is a specification developed by the W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium. The consortium of companies involved with the Internet want the Web to evolve in only one direction, instead of going any number of ways. The consortium establishes standards to achieve this.

XML might be termed a stripped down version of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). The tags used by XML can specify how a document, a section, a paragraph or a word is formatted, providing many more choices than the fixed format of HTML tags. In other words, you can define your own customized markup language, including tagging items that represent business rules. Data so tagged can then be validated or interpreted or transmitted between one application and another, or even between businesses.

When XML tags are applied, the informational content of a document is differentiated from the data needed to present it on paper or on the computer screen. One result is single sourcing. However, in order for this to occur, some people feel that features of a document may be lost, due to the over-standardization required--a type of "dumbing down" of the document. On the other hand, many feel that XML can get verbose, depending on the document's vocabulary level.

XML Training for the Novice

The history and development of markup languages is usually presented on the first day of a class, along with the applications and uses for data transfer and data storage. Also covered are XML tools, parts of a document, attributes, and software for authoring XML documents. From there, hands-on exercises, schemas, cascading style sheets and other topics continue on up through as many advanced classes as the student wishes to take.

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