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Sams Teach Yourself XML in 10 Minutes by Andrew H. Watt

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Well-Formed XML Documents

If XML is to be used as a format for data interchange, it must adhere to a consistent syntax so that programs can reliably produce and parse XML documents. An XML document that adheres to proper XML syntax is said to be well-formed.

If the results of parsing are to be presented by an XML processor (also known as an XML parser) to its associated application, the XML document must be well-formed. If the document is not well-formed, the XML processor should report one or more errors encountered, and normal processing, including the passing of parsed data to the application, should stop. Ensuring that the XML documents that you write are well-formed is crucial to achieving the desired processing of the data that they contain. ...

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