Introduction to XML

Original Author(s): Markus Gylling

What is XML?

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a meta-language, used to create new languages.

The languages created are used for electronic text and data storage.

XML can be seen as a set of basic rules that describe requirements for the syntax of the new languages.

XML is an open, cross-platform, cross-language specification.

XML is a simplification of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).

XML languages: XHTML, and more

The SGML-based HTML language is being recast as XML - this is called XHTML.

XML is not a replacement of HTML, but a new building layer on top of which HTML is being placed.

XHTML includes modularization to adress the needs of various communities (mobile users, Web TV, etc).

W3C and other standards organisations are designing other XML languages (for use on the web and in other applications), such as:

  • MathML (for representing mathematical formula)
  • SMIL (for synchronizing multimedia)
  • SVG (for scalable graphics)

XML and the Web


  • Widely adopted by industry
  • Today, all non-proprietary, working and emerging, Web standards relate to XML
  • ... and implementations reach far further than this.

Content migration?

  • A smooth transition path exists for moving from HTML to XHTML, and further...

XML and Accessibility: the future

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect."

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Emerging XML-based languages with a promise of enhanced accessibility, such as:

  • SVG
  • XHTML 2

XML and Accessibility: multimodal interaction

Multimodal Content

Full access to Multimodal Content using a user selected combination of:

  • Text
  • Graphics
  • In-Line Video
  • Sound

XML and Accessibility: requirements

For XML to enhance information accessibility, the following is required:

  • Content and Information that is well structured
  • Content Structures that are semantically meaningful
  • Multimodal interaction with the content

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This page was last edited by PVerma on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 18:57
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