XML Terminology
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What is XML?

This page gives a general background on XML, as well as information about the XML language and evolving standards.

XML, eXtensible Markup Language, is a data format for structured document interchange that is more flexible than HTML.  While HTML's tags are predefined and limited, XML allows tags to be defined by the developer of the page.  Thus, XML defined web pages can function like database records.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the electronic communication of business transactions between organizations.  XML complements EDI because it too can be used to exchange e-commerce information and in a browser-displayable format.

 

Definition of Common XML Terms

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - A means of defining certain document elements (paragraphs, headings, fonts, colors, etc.) with style rules instead of additional markup tags.

DOM (Document Object Module) - A platform and language neutral interface that allows scripts and programs to access and update dynamically the content, structure, and style of documents.

DTD (Document Type Definition) - The rules that define the tags that can be used in an XML file and their valid values.

gXML (Guideline XML) - A file structure supported by EDI software company Edifecs Commerce that allows the open exchange of electronic commerce guidelines.

IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) - An organization of working groups that identifies problems and proposes technical solutions for the Internet.  They publish XML-related RFCs and specifications.

Metadata - Data that describes other data.  Metadata about an XML document is described in the DTD or in the XML document itself, enabling other applications to interact with it.

OASIS (Organization for Advancement of Structured Information Systems) - A consortium of companies and individuals that collects and publishes XML specifications, DTDs, and schemas.  By standardizing specifications, OASIS hopes to advance the open interchange of documents and structured information objects. 

OSD (Open Software Description) Format - An XML-based specification designed by Microsoft and Marimba to automate software distribution.  OSD uses unique XML tags to describe software packages.

RDF (Resource Description Framework) - A model for describing and interchanging metadata.  It allows a web site to describe its dynamic (user-created) content without having to store static web pages that contain the content.

RFC (Request For Comments) - A document used by the IETF to describe the specifications for a recommended technology.

Schema - A system of representing a data model that defines the data's elements and attributes, and the relationship among elements.

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) - The World Wide Web Consortium was created in October 1994 to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.  The W3C has more than 500 member organizations from around the world and has earned international recognition for its contributions to the growth of the Web.

 

 
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