Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a simplified version of SGML. It is currently receiving a lot of attention. XML is essentially a markup language, meaning that it uses symbols to describe its own content. It also enables you to identify and organize your information in a more accurate and flexible way. This article is the first in a four-part series that introduces you to using XML with Delphi and the DOM.
As you can see, each tag describes its contents very clearly. For example, the <title> tag describes the title, the description tag shows the description, and so on. Below is an example of an XSL style sheet:
XML has a few disadvantages as well. The biggest disadvantage is that, without a formal description, a document is worth little. If you want to exchange documents with another company, for example, you will have to agree on every single point, starting from what each tag means; you will also have to agree on the semantic meaning of the content.
Another disadvantage is that XML documents are a great deal larger than most text files. On top of that, the repeated opening and closing tags use a lot of space. On the other hand. XML compresses well.
Now you have some idea of what the Extensible Markup Language is all about. Letís take a look at the syntax.