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What the hell is XML?

P: n/a
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XML
is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?

Jul 17 '05 #1
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9 Replies


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Nick Mudge wrote:
I am sorry to be a little off topic here,
Convention requires you say if your article is off-topic. This is
usually done by prefixing the Subject line with "[OT] " or "OT: ". A
certain incompetent newsreader, however, deems it helpful to remove
prefixes such as "OT: " from follow-ups.
but can someone describe what XML is?


Certainly.

"Extensible Markup Language (XML)",
http://www.w3.org/XML/

--
Jock
Jul 17 '05 #2

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Nick Mudge wrote:
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what
XML
is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?

It is not a programming language. It doesn't *do* anything by itself. Its
about organizing data, and describing that data. I'm guessing you haven't
tried this yet, but search Google for "XML Introduction". You will find
everything you need to know.
Jul 17 '05 #3

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"Nick Mudge" <ma******@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:2Caic.8312$0u6.1574738@attbi_s03...
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XML is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?


It stands for Xtra Manly Ladies, a secret society of beefy, bearded women.
Jul 17 '05 #4

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Nick Mudge <ma******@hotmail.com> wrote:
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XML
is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?


Ok, I'll tell you the real truth, the government doesn't want you to
know this but, XML = "Xtraterrestrial Martians are Landing". This whole
angle-bracket stuff is just a government coverup. :-)

Actually, it's not a programming language. You *might* be thinking of
XSLT or DSSL (which aren't really programming languages either, more
like highly complex reporting tools.)

The big hoopla about XML is:

\. Discern content from presentation.

\. Transmit & store complex data structures in a portable manner.

\. Be transformed from one "vocabulary" of XML to another.

\. Give managers and other big-shots zillions of acronyms to use.

It's history is from the SGML world, (it is a subset of SGML) so the
<>'s look familiar. It's kind of cool, and I wonder if PHP was actually
designed with this in mind, but...

<?php ... ?>

Is actually a processing instruction to an XML parser.

There is no "XML Language" really, this is where buzzword galore enters
the picture.

XML is all about angle brackets, namespaces etc.. Imagine HTML.. but...
you get to invent your own tags. Since XML can be transformed, assuming
all the required data is there you can apply XSLT against 1 XML document
to convert it to another XML document where someone else has invented
*their* own tags.

Back in the good ol'e dot.com days when XML was still fairly new, I
worked on an XML search engine (and other XML products) we used to
market XML by saying it "lends context to data" <B>John Henry</B> is
meaningless, but <Name>John Henry</Name> would allow a search tool to
find "Documents with "John Henry" as a name".

In the real world, this won't happen on a large scale any time soon
because everyone has their own idea's about what a <FooBar> should be,
and frankly, going from XML to HTML is kind of a drag when you are
working with multiple <FORM> tags and/or javascript. (XML -> HTML is
wonderful for information *content* though)

Jamie

--
http://www.geniegate.com Custom web programming
User Management Solutions Perl / PHP / Java / UNIX

Jul 17 '05 #5

P: n/a
Chung Leong wrote:
It stands for Xtra Manly Ladies, a secret society of beefy, bearded women.


Do you have contact info. for them?

Thanks,

- Dan
http://blog.dantripp.com
Jul 17 '05 #6

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"Dan Tripp" <th*******@MyEMailAddress.com> wrote in message
news:bT*******************@newssvr29.news.prodigy. com...
Chung Leong wrote:
It stands for Xtra Manly Ladies, a secret society of beefy, bearded
women.
Do you have contact info. for them?

Thanks,

- Dan
http://blog.dantripp.com


You just missed them. They were marching in DC on Sunday.
Jul 17 '05 #7

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> I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XML
is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?


It's a syntax, not a programming language.
For example, if you store data as text files, instead of writing for
example:

[section 1]
param1=My great value
param2=My even greater value

or

section 1
->My great value
->My even greater value
You write:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<section1>
<param1>My great value</param1>
<param2>My even greater value</param2>
</section1>
So you get a "html"-type of tags-made data file.
Not even counting the "fun" of writing the dtd files.
Or when you send data from one application to another, isntead of
sending something like "myVar=5", you send "<?xml version="1.0"
encoding="UTF-8"?><myVar>5</myVar></xml>" or "<?xml version="1.0"
encoding="UTF-8"?><myVar value="5" /></xml>" depending of your parser.
The *only* point to xml that i see so far is that you don't have to
bother with a parser as there are many already written for it, which
is nice. Beside that, i really don't know, sounds more like hype than
anything, XML by itself won't make you have an application, it's html
written another way when used for webpages, and just another syntax
when used as data communication. Oh well, i guess it's cute to have
your own <iamgod>Me !<iamgod/> tags...
Jul 17 '05 #8

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On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 15:27:58 GMT, "Nick Mudge" <ma******@hotmail.com>
wrote:
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XML
is? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?


XML is the new CSV.

--
David ( @priz.co.uk )
Jul 17 '05 #9

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That stands for "comma separated values" for those who don't know and are
too lazy to google it. And yes, hopefully it will someday take over from
CSV.
~Eric

My PGP public key: http://www.parabolagames.com/chem/pgppubkey.txt

"David Mackenzie" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:0q********************************@4ax.com...
On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 15:27:58 GMT, "Nick Mudge" <ma******@hotmail.com>
wrote:
I am sorry to be a little off topic here, but can someone describe what XMLis? I know it is programming languague, but what is the deal with it?


XML is the new CSV.

--
David ( @priz.co.uk )

Jul 17 '05 #10

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