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In this chapter, we’ll cover the basics of XML – essentially, most of the information you’ll need to know to get a handle on this exciting technology.
After we’re done exploring some terminology and examples, we’ll jump right in and start working with XML documents.
HTML’s sole purpose is to allow anyone to quickly create Web documents that can be shared with other people.
XML, on the other hand, isn’t just suited to the Web – it can be used in a variety of different contexts, some of which may not have anything to do with humans interacting with content (for example, Web Services use XML to send requests and responses back and forth).
However, it’s important to realize that XML is not just a language.
The first thing we want to do is to create an XML document.
For our purposes, any XML document will do, but for the sake of continuity, let’s use the product listing document we saw earlier in the chapter.
HTML rarely (if ever) provides information about how the document is structured or what it means.
In layman’s terms, HTML is a presentation language, whereas XML is a data-description language.
And all the code used in the book is available to customers in a downloadalbe archive.