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Why is XML getting so popular

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 30
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Hello there,
Can anybody tell me exactly why every single Tom,Dick or Harry is crowing about XML ? What is it that makes it so useful? If anybody can explain in short I will be real grateful.
Cheerio
 
Greenhorn
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XML is content specific markup language. Not clear?
HTML contains content as well as the presentation style(eg font, color, etc) together. This inturn does not allow us to use the same content with other presentations.
XML could overcome this by seperating content from presentation. We can get data into XML and use the same data(XML file) with multiple style sheets.
1. This really helps out in publication industries.
2. If we query data from database once into XML, we can use it with multiple presentations. Avoids multiple requests to database which is going to improve the performance. Right?
and lot more...
 
Sheriff
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Hmm. I'll approach this from a different direction. A lot of the fuss about XML uses generation and styling of HTML as examples. While this is fine, it's not all that XML is. Saying that XML is a smarter way to generate HTML is like saying that Java is just a language for writing scrolling text applets.
I see the main use of XML as a standard, definable, hiuman readable format for data interchange between any software.
If you look at the world before XML you see a whole forest of different data formats. Everything from CSV, TSV and the Properties file format to RTF, Postscript, and a million application-specific formats.
If my program wants to import (say) some stored email messages from another program - how do I do it? I have to write yet another big lump of code which converts one obscure data format to another, and track the other software in case the format changes, and so on. If all these stored data formats were XML, I could just write a quick XSLT stylesheet which would translate their XML format to mine.
If I am creating a program from scratch and want to specify its behaviour in a "config file" How should I do it? Some sort of CSV or name=value system maybe; but if my requirements change I might need to define a new version of the format, and the software will need to load and process multiple versions of the format. It's all a very familiar nightmare.
XML helps to break out of that by providing both a gracefully extendable format and a large set of available tools to process, parse, and generate it.
next time you have to write code to deal with any stored data format, however weird or single-puropose it may be; stop and think how it might be made easier using XML.
 
Amit Zzz Kulkarni
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Guys,
I am sorry that I couldn't reply to this earlier but I was snowed under work. Thanks for the clarifications!
Regards
Amit
 
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