Chapter 1. XML Syntax

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is now in widespread use. Many applications on the Internet or residing on individual computers use some form of XML to run or manage the processes of an application. Earlier books about XML commented that XML was to be the "next big thing."; Now, it is "the big thing."; In fact, there really isn't anything bigger.

For this reason, you want to understand XML and its various applications. This book focuses on some of the more common ways to apply XML to the work you are doing today. Whether you need Web services, searching, or application configuration, you can find immediate uses for XML. This book shows you how to apply this markup language to your work.

This first chapter looks at the basics of XML, why it exists, and what makes it so powerful. Finally, this chapter deals with XML namespaces and how to properly apply them to XML instance documents. If you are already pretty familiar with the basics of XML, feel free to skim this chapter before proceeding.

The Purpose of XML

Before you actually get into the basics of XML, you should understand why this markup language is one of the most talked about things in computing today. To do this, look back in time a bit.

During the days of mainframes, information technology might have seemed complicated, but it actually got a heck of a lot more complicated when we moved from the mainframes and started working in a client-server model. Now the users were accessing information remotely instead ...

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