Web Development > XML
The Extensible Markup Language, also known as XML, is a text format used to store and communicate information. The data format of a XML document makes it possible to store multiple pieces of information and the relationships between that information. Many modern technologies and programing languages rely on XML as a foundation for maintaining and sharing information.
XML For Web Design
There are three primary applications of XML technology for web design. The first, and most commonly known technology is XHTML which is a XML document which can be directly displayed in a web browser as a normal web page without needing to be altered. The second primary application of XML in web design is using XML data as a data source for displaying data in a data table. The third primary application of XML technology in web design, and the most powerful, is using XSLT stylesheets to display the data in a XML document in a web browser as a normal web page.
Learning The Basics
As the saying goes, you must learn to walk before you can run. Before you can begin to take advantage of the full potential of XML you must learn the basics. There is no point in duplicating the efforts of others, so links will be provided for further research and learning. Below are the basic XML technologies which you should become familiar with. They make up the foundation of many modern applications of XML technology.
- XML - Learning the XML document format itself is very important, all XML technologies rely on this.
- XML Namespaces - XML Namespaces expand on the XML format making it possible to combine different types of information in a single XML document.
- XML Schema - XML Schema is a XML document which defines data types and structure rules for other XML documents. There is even a XML Schema document which defines the data types and structure rules used in a XML Schema document
1. W3Schools XML Schema Tutorial 2. Official XML Schema 1.0 Specification 3. Official XML Schema 1.1 Specification
- Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) - This XML document defines instructions for transforming a XML file into another format, including into another XML document.
Advanced XML Technologies
Here is a brief list of some advanced XML Technologies which are commonly used in web development.
- Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) - A XML message based communication protocol which facilitates communication between two or more devices
- Web Service Description Language (WSDL) - This is a XML document which is used to publish the details of a web based API also known as a web service.
- XFORMS - This XML document type contains data items which are meant to be provided by the user and sent to a desired location, similar to filling out a paper form and submitting it to the proper place.
There are many more XML technologies which are worth learning, and new XML technologies are still being designed.
Note: XML 1.1 Is not widely used and may not be supported by all devices