What is a XML File?

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What is a XML File?
XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”. It is a type of markup language similar to HTML or HyperText Markup Language but it serves a different purpose. HTML codes are written for the purpose of displaying data while XML codes are intended for describing, transporting, and/or storing data. XML files are plain text files that contain the codes for describing data or information. Unlike HTML, XML files are independent of the software platform and allows for easy data transfer since they are stored in text format.

A typical XML file is composed of at least four parts or structures. The first part involves processing directives. Some XML streams may only have a single processing directive while other files may contain more than one. Declarative statements like are also part of a basic XML file or stream. XML files also consist of at least one document element and possibly some comment elements.

But despite its composition and various tags, XML doesn’t really do much when compared with HTML that makes sure how a particular webpage is displayed. XML only contains details or descriptions of data and is only involved in storing and or data transfer schemes. When opening an XML file, one will just see tags similar to HTML and all data will just be embedded in them. In case a user wants to do data transfer, a specific software must be written for this purpose.

Because of its function in data storage and possible transfer, XML or XML files are said to provide additional functionality to webpages written in HTML. XML files come in two types. One type is called “standard DTD” or “document type definition” which can automatically be read by browsers. The other type of XML files involves writing your own DTD codes which simplifies the coding process. Because of this functionality, XML is widely used in transferring data between different applications.

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