Is XML format still relevant?


XML Format

A file with an XML extension means that it is an Extensible Markup Language file. Files like these are based on the simple plain text, coded in the Extensible markup language that can be viewed in any XML viewer. It’s a widely used format employed by a wide range of programs to provide a means to store, transport, structure, organize and handle their data. The most common example of an XML-based file is an RSS feed.

How to open an XML file?

XML files are very easy to open and view, you can use a simple text editor or view it using some online tools. No doubt a ‘Tree View’ option of such tools represents your XML Data in a convenient way.

XML files can also be opened directly in some web browsers while notable programs like these are used to edit them:

  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Notepad++
  • XML Notepad 2007
  • Editix

A lot of programs use the XML format as a default way to save their data but that does not mean that you can make it do anything just because it can be edited easily. To really use an XML file you have to know what that specific file is designed for in particular. For instance, XML used in web publishing formats the data intuitively and uses a different approach than a word processor that uses it as a standard file saver.

Uses of an XML

As the name suggests XML is a very extensible and vast language. You can use it to create your own markup language. You have to first define this language in DTD or XML Schema file to standardize the way to describe your information. Using XML means you no longer require writing focus programs on proprietary data software. Here are a few of vast range of applications of the XML:

Web task automation

XML enhances the information contained in a document optimizing the search engine results making it easier for the engines to return useful results, restricting it to be in the correct context.

e-Business applications

XML increases the accessibility of electronic data interchange (EDI) for different business transactions involving clients and consumers.

Wireless computing

XML based WML and VoiceXML are the current standards being evolved as portable and structured information types for ubiquitous computing to drive visual and vocal interfaces.

More about XML files

XMLs are markup language files and it’s easier to understand if we compare it to another markup language. The first one that comes to mind is definitely the HTML, the building block of the internet’s face. XML and HTML are derived from the same source, SGML. While HTML is for machine human interaction, XML deals with the machine to machine interaction and describes the sent information and what it’s meant for. The best thing about it is that unlike HTML, it allows its users to create and define their own markup symbols to enhance their content and their descriptions with a greater deal of readability and ease of conveyance as meaningful data. The extensibility and openness of XML makes it exceedingly compatible and a beneficial tool for describing data effectively.


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