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The XML Family
of Technologies
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CODE text by default, although any kind of encoding can be applied.They are therefore
vendor-, application- and platform-independent. XML data can be effortlessly exchanged
between different systems and hardware.
Multilingualism
XML is language-independent. Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and
other non-Western character sets are all equally well represented as text, whether ASCII
or UNICODE.
Reusable and Repurposable
XML allows content to be stored in one format and
in one place.This content can then be repurposed across potentially limitless applications
and platforms simply by applying the appropriate stylesheets, namespaces, or transforma-
tions to the raw XML data.
Information Retrieval
XML defines the content of a document separately from
its formatting, making it possible to reuse and repurpose content in other applications or
presentation environments, but also making it possible to retrieve content within particu-
lar structures.
Dual Readability
XML files can be read by humans, and processed and `understood'
by computers.The self-describing structure permits machine parsing of XML documents.
Applications
Dedicated applications of XML now exist for many industry sectors.
Standards for the application of XML are being developed by various independent, non-
corporate-governed organisations, including OASIS and W3C.
Incrementally Enhanced Representations
XML-encoded documents can be
further enriched with additional markup as time and needs require.
Related Specifications
XML is a core standard, with many related specifications
branching off from it, each of which may be applied to a distinct subject area or function.
It is expected that this growth in the XML family will continue for some time.
Disadvantages
The Future
XML is not 100% future-proof, but it is at least as future-proof as any
other technology.
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Skills Demand
The use of XML requires skilled staff.They need skills in text
analysis, markup design, and schema development.
Ubiquity
XML features everywhere, and the range of XML-related specifications
can quickly become bewildering.
Lack of Browsers
Current browser support for XML is limited. Although the latest
versions of all Internet browsers support XML, many computer users use older versions of
browsers.
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In any case, XML's replacement (should one arise) will itself be defined in XML!
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