XML (Extensible Markup Language) 1.0 standard was published February 10, 1998. XML was born from shortcomings of SGML [Structured Generalized Markup Language] which
was hugely complex, massively flexible and just plain hard to work with for many developers. XML has taken off because it has all best of SGML without many of weakness.
XML took us beyond mere presentation of information and into realm of representation
of information. This content is not just a mass of data to be rendered solely for viewing
on a web browser. Now content could be structured and meaning attached to this
structure could be transmitted as well.
HTML's difficulties: 1- HTML does not reveal anything about information to which HTML tags are applied.
HTML tag names don't describe what content is, they only imply how content appears.
For example html tag "Microsoft" appears on a web browser but HTML can not
tell is it a computer corporation? A Software? A Brand name?
2- Web applications relied too much on scripts at server to process data.
This makes web slow and contributes to internet traffic.
3- You can't add new tags to HTML Language that are meaningful and useful.
4- HTML is a presentation technology only.
XML Success The Java technology, enables browsers to function as generalized application platforms. The result is True platform independence. XML provides information rich in metadata specified
in a standard format, XML and Java technology make it possible for more of an application's
work to be processed at a client side. This contrasts with tendency of HTML pages to rely
on a script back at server. With XML and Java technology, more client-based application
processing could reduce network and internet traffic, making web faster.
XML challenges Converting any information from a display format such as HTML, RTF, MIF, or PostScript to a
structured format like XML will require that you understand what your information really
contains. This requires a document analysis and determination of information semantics on which different parts of your enterprise rely. Many enterprises in different business sectors
have established industry standard information models that can be expressed in XML and, more
importantly, can be shared.
Once relevant information models and their expressions in XML are constructed, effort to convert existing information into XML format can proceed. It may or may not be painful,
depending on condition of existing documents. These efforts can be done in house, or they
can be completed with help of qualified consultants.
XML Resources: Easy XML is a simple XML editor that aids in rapid building of XML applications. Microsoft XML for SQL Web allows you to query database tables and receive results as an XML document.
Microsoft XML Notepad is a simple HTML prototyping application for building and editing small sets of XML-based data.