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Dreamweaver CS5.5: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 28. Server-Side XML and XSLT

XML is everywhere. You find it in countless files on your computer, for everything from tracking information in your iTunes music library to providing the structure and options for Dreamweaver’s menus. Webmasters use XML (Extensible Markup Language) to broadcast news feeds and provide product, pricing, and availability information from sites like Amazon.com and eBay using a technology known as web services. As you learned in Chapter 13, Dreamweaver lets you use XML, too, and probably the best use of Dreamweaver’s XML tool is to add news, blog posts, and other information broadcast from other websites to your own.

So what exactly is XML? It’s a tag-based language somewhat like HTML. You tag the various parts of a document—headlines, text, names, dates, and so on—in a clear, easy-to-understand way that different computers, operating systems, and programs can understand. Using this common data language, these machines can quickly and easily exchange information.

As you learned in Chapter 14, Dreamweaver’s Spry XML Data Set tools let you work with XML on the “client side” of things—where the processing takes place on your or your visitor’s computer. Here’s how Dreamweaver’s Spry Data Set works: When someone visits your XML-powered site, his browser downloads a page embedded with some Spry JavaScript programming and an XML file. Thanks to some fancy JavaScript magic, your visitor can interact with that XML data, giving him a richer browsing experience. ...

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