XML

Jon Bosak (bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM)
Tue, 3 Dec 1996 23:49:33 -0800


Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 23:49:33 -0800
From: bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM (Jon Bosak)
Message-Id: <199612040749.XAA01012@boethius.eng.sun.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
cc: bosak@atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM
Subject: XML

A new language for advanced Web applications has been proposed by a
working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a standardized text format
specially designed for transmitting structured data to Web
applications.  The new language addresses the needs of Web publishers
who encounter limitations in the ability of HTML to express structured
data.

XML differs from HTML in three basic ways:

1. Information providers can define new tag and attribute names at
   will.

2. Document structures can be nested to any level of complexity.

3. Any XML document can contain an optional description of its grammar
   for use by applications that need to perform structural validation.

XML has been designed for maximum expressive power, maximum ease of
implementation, and maximum teachability.  The XML character set is
Unicode.

XML is not backward-compatible with existing HTML documents, but
documents conforming to the W3C HTML 3.2 specification can easily be
converted to XML, as can documents conforming to ISO 8879 (SGML) and
documents generated from databases.

An initial working draft for XML 1.0 has been released for public
discussion at 

   http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/TR/WD-xml-961114.html

Zipped and gzipped PostScript versions of the draft are available at
two sites:

   http://www.textuality.com/sgml-erb/xml.ps.zip
   http://www.textuality.com/sgml-erb/xml.ps.gz

   ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/sun-info/standards/xml/spec/xml.ps.zip
   ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/sun-info/standards/xml/spec/xml.ps.gz

The current draft only addresses syntax, and consequently XML alone
can at present only be used for interprocess communication and for the
delivery of documents to specialized applications (or plug-ins) that
have been configured to interpret a particular XML grammar.  A
specification that includes methods for associating hypertext linking
and stylesheet mechanisms with XML documents is scheduled for release
at the Sixth World Wide Web Conference in April, 1997.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
 Jon Bosak, Online Information Technology Architect, Sun Microsystems
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 2550 Garcia Ave., MPK17-101,           |  Best is he that inuents,
 Mountain View, California 94043        |  the next he that followes
 Davenport Group::SGML Open::ANSI X3V1  |  forth and eekes out a good
 ::ISO/IEC JTC1/SC18/WG8::W3C SGML ERB  |  inuention.
----------------------------------------------------------------------