XML is everywhere. You’ll find it used in countless files on your computer—for everything from tracking what’s in your iTunes music library to providing the structure and options in Dreamweaver’s menus. In addition, Microsoft has announced that the document format for the next versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be XML-based. On the Web, XML is used to broadcast news and information, and provide product, pricing, and availability information from Amazon.com and eBay using a technology known as Web Services.
So what exactly is XML? XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a tag-based language, somewhat like HTML, used to organize data in a clear, easy to understand way so that different computers, operating systems, and programs can quickly and easily exchange data.
Dreamweaver 8 introduces new tools that let you work with and format XML files for presentation on the Web. In this way, you can retrieve news supplied by others in an XML format like RSS or Atom and display it on your own home page. Imagine adding headlines from CNN.com or technology news from Wired.com directly to your site. Or building a page that keeps you up to date with your favorite bloggers’ words of wisdom. And if your company uses XML files to store data like calendar events, contact lists, and so on, you can build Web pages that automatically display this information, without having to copy and paste that data from an XML file into a Dreamweaver document.
RSS and Atom are simply ...