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XML Introduction

XML History

XML vs HTML

XML Syntax

XML Elements

XML Attributes

XML Validation

XML History


In the 1970's, Charles Goldfarb, Ed Mosher and Ray Lorie invented GML at IBM. GML was used to describe a way of marking up technical documents with structural tags. The initials stood for Goldfarb, Mosher and Lorie. Goldfarb invented the term ?mark-up language? to make better use of the initials and it became the Standard Generalised Markup Language.

In 1986 , SGML was adopted by the ISO.

SGML is just a specification for defining markup languages.

SGML (Standardized Generalized Markup Language) is the mother of all markup languages like HTML, XML, XHTML, WML etc...

In 1986, SGML became an international standard for defining the markup languages. It was used to create other languages, including HTML, which is very popular for its use on the web. HTML was made by Tim Berners Lee in 1991.

While on one hand SGML is very effective but complex, on the other, HTML is very easy, but limited to a fixed set of tags. This situation raised the need for a language that was as effective as SGML and at the same time as simple as HTML. This gap has now been filled by XML.

The development of XML started in 1996 at Sun Microsystems. Jon Bosak with his team began work on a project for remoulding SGML. They took the best of SGML and produced something to be powerful, but much simpler to use.

The World Wide Web Consortium also contributes to the creation and development of the standard for XML. The specifications for XML were laid down in just 26 pages, compared to the 500+ page specification that define SGML.

XML is an application profile of SGML (ISO 8879).

The versatility of SGML for dynamic information display was understood by early digital media publishers in the late 1980s prior to the rise of the Internet. By the mid-1990s some practitioners of SGML had gained experience with the then-new World Wide Web, and believed that SGML offered solutions to some of the problems the Web was likely to face as it grew. Dan Connolly added SGML to the list of W3C's activities when he joined the staff in 1995; work began in mid-1996 when Sun Microsystems engineer Jon Bosak developed a charter and recruited collaborators. Bosak was well connected in the small community of people who had experience both in SGML and the Web.



XML was compiled by a working group of eleven members, supported by an (approximately) 150-member Interest Group. Technical debate took place on the Interest Group mailing list and issues were resolved by consensus or, when that failed, majority vote of the Working Group. A record of design decisions and their rationales was compiled by Michael Sperberg-McQueen on December 4, 1997. James Clark served as Technical Lead of the Working Group, notably contributing the empty-element "" syntax and the name "XML". Other names that had been put forward for consideration included "MAGMA" (Minimal Architecture for Generalized Markup Applications), "SLIM" (Structured Language for Internet Markup) and "MGML" (Minimal Generalized Markup Language). The co-editors of the specification were originally Tim Bray and Michael Sperberg-McQueen. Halfway through the project Bray accepted a consulting engagement with Netscape, provoking vociferous protests from Microsoft. Bray was temporarily asked to resign the editorship. This led to intense dispute in the Working Group, eventually solved by the appointment of Microsoft's Jean Paoli as a third co-editor.

The XML Working Group never met face-to-face; the design was accomplished using a combination of email and weekly teleconferences. The major design decisions were reached in twenty weeks of intense work between July and November 1996, when the first Working Draft of an XML specification was published. Further design work continued through 1997, and XML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation on February 10, 1998.


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