Introduction to XML for Web Developers

Introduction to XML for Web Developers covers these topics: Understanding XML, XML Syntax and The DTD.


What is a Markup Language?

Surely, if you have decided to learn about XML, you are probably already quite familiar with the concepts behind HTML (HyperText Markup Language). So let’s start from there.
HTML, as its name implies, is a markup language. As such, it is used to markup text. But what exactly does it mean to markup text?
Abstractly, marking up text is a methodology for encoding data with information about itself. Examples of markups (encoded data) are ubiquitous in the real world.

For example, back when you were slogging through high school, you probably used to use a bright yellow highlighter pen to highlight sentences in your schoolbooks (or at last you knew someone who did!). You did so because you thought that the highlighted sentences would be useful to review around exam time and you wanted a quick way to skim through the important points. Just like you, thousands of kids around the world did the exact same thing for the exact same reason.

By highlighting certain bits of text, you were effectively “marking-up” the data. Essentially, you specified that certain sentences (data) were important by marking them in yellow. These sentences became encoded with the fact that they were important.

And what’s more, since everyone followed the same standard of marking up, you could easily pick up a used text book and get a good idea just from reading the highlighted sections what were core points of the book.

Table of Contents

  • What is a Markup Language
  • What is XML
  • Advantages of XML: Breaking the Tag Monopoly
  • Advantages of XML: Moving Beyond Format
  • Disadvantages of XML
  • History of XML
  • The Basics of XML
  • Well Formed XML
  • XML Document Structure
  • Data Versus Markup
  • The XML Declaration
  • Elements
  • Character Data
  • Tags
  • Comments
  • Processing Instructions
  • Entities
  • General Entities
  • Parameter Entities
  • The DOCTYPE Declarations
  • Entity References
  • Introducing the Valid XML Document and the DTD
  • The Prolog and The Body
  • The Basic DTD
  • Element Type Declarations (ETDs)
  • Defining Elements and their Children
  • Ordering Child Elements
  • Repeated Elements
  • Grouping Elements
  • Either/Or
  • Optional Children
  • Mixed Content
  • Empty Elements
  • Defining Valid Element Attributes
  • Attribute Defaults
  • Attribute Types
  • ID and IDREF
  • Entity Declarations
  • Gathering DTDs from Multiple Sources
  • Public DTDs

Book Details

Author(s): eXtropia
Format(s): HTML
Link: Read online.

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