XML Is the Here, the Now, and the Future
XML is short for Extensible Markup Language, which is a specification developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.
Following are three good reasons why you should master XML:
- XML is seen as a universal, open, readable representation for software integration and data exchange. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun have built XML into database authoring.
- .NET and J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) depend heavily on XML.
- All ASP.NET configuration files are based on XML.
- XML provides serialization or deserialization, sending objects across a network in an understandable format.
- XML offers SOAP Web Services communication.
- XML offers temporary data storage.
- MSBuild and the future project files of Visual Studio will be in XML format. ANT is also XML based.
Thus, if you want to learn one language that will cover many tools and technologies no matter what platform you are working on, that language is XML. The main difference in all these build tools is not so much the feature set but the syntax. I get tired of learning all the quirks of new languages, but I’m happy to learn XML because it’s here to stay and it’s fairly easy to learn.
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