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Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Knowledge Base / Glossary: "XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a markup language that is used to encode and structure data. It is similar to HTML in that it uses tags to mark up data, but it is more flexible and can be used to encode any type of data."

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a markup language that is used to encode and structure data. It is similar to HTML in that it uses tags to mark up data, but it is more flexible and can be used to encode any type of data.

One of the main purposes of XML is to facilitate the exchange of data between different systems. It allows data to be transmitted in a standardized format that can be easily read and understood by any system that is designed to process it. This makes it a useful tool for a wide range of applications, including data storage, data communication, and data manipulation.

XML is also used to create and define the structure of documents. It is often used to create documents that contain complex data, such as financial reports or scientific papers. This is because XML allows the structure of the document to be explicitly defined, making it easy to process and manipulate the data contained within it.

Here is an example of an XML document that describes a book:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<book>
  <title>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer</title>
  <author>Mark Twain</author>
  <publisher>Penguin Books</publisher>
  <releasedate>1876</releasedate>
  <genre>Adventure</genre>
  <description>The story of a young boy growing up in the Mississippi River valley in the mid-19th century.</description>
</book>

In this example, the XML tags define the structure of the document and the data contained within it. The <book> tag indicates the start of a book element, and the </book> tag indicates the end of the element. The other tags, such as <title> and <author>, define the different parts of the book. This XML document could be used to represent the data for a particular book in a library database, for example.

In addition to its use in encoding and structuring data, XML is also used to define the rules for the creation of new markup languages. This means that XML can be used to create custom languages that are tailored to specific needs and purposes.

Overall, XML is a powerful and flexible tool that is used in a wide range of applications and industries. It is an important part of the modern computing landscape and is likely to continue to be a vital technology in the future.