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XML: An Introduction

Interested in learning more about XML? Pawan's latest article gives us a brief introduction into XML and its roots.

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By: Pawan Bangar
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September 17, 2003
  1. · XML: An Introduction
  2. · Brief History
  3. · XML Usage
  4. · Conclusion

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XML: An Introduction - Brief History
(Page 2 of 4 )

SGML (Standardized Generalized Markup Language) is the mother of all markup languages and has been in existence since the late 1960s. In 1986 it 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, when a team led by Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems began work on a project for remoulding and cutting the inessential parts of SGML. They took the best of SGML, guided by the experience with HTML, and produced something that was 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.

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