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XML is essentially an agreement among people to store and share textual data using standard methods

Data is stored in XML documents. XSL documents describe how to change XML documents into other kinds of documents (such as HTML, TXT or even XML.) The process of transformation is called XSLT, or sometimes XSL transformations.

XML allows you to create your own self-descriptive tags or language, that suits your application. It allows you to store the data irrespective of how it will be presented. It was developed by an organization called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is available as an open standard.

XML (Extensible Markup language) is similar to HTML, which is commonly used to store and transmitting data. It is widely used in web services and APIs including SOAP and REST. In contrast with HTML, it has no predefined tags and attributes in its semantics. It support unicode characters, however, its default character encoding is UTF-8.

There are nine basic rules for building good XML:

  1. There must be a root element on top level.
  2. Tags must be closed or self-closed.
  3. Every element must have only one parent.
  4. There should be some limitation in tag names.
  5. All tags are case sensitive.
  6. Tag names cannot contain whitespaces and any special characters except underscore (_) and hyphen (-).
  7. The value of all attributes must be enclosed in quotes ("").
  8. It is recommended to avoid using any predefined HTML tags.

Is XML a Programming Language?

A programming language have its own syntax and semantics which is used to solve digital problems. These programs require a compiler to read the instruction-set and perform specific tasks. So, XML does not possesses as a programming language because it has not the capability of performing the computation or the algorithms. It use to store data in a simple text file, transmit over HTTP to share with others and so the receiver of that data (in XML format) process and read it using XML's predefined rules.

The following diagram depicts the syntax rules to write different types of markup and text in an XML document.

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