What is XML really?

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Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

  • XML stands for extensible Markup Language
  • XML is a markup language like HTML
  • XML is designed to store and transport data
  • XML is designed to be self-descriptive

Personally, I recognize the importance of xml in the XMLHttpRequest object. For example, the XMLHttpRequest object’s open method is used to create a get request for an XML document at a specified URL. The XMLHttpRequest object is a developers dream, because you can:

  • Update a web page without reloading the page
  • Request data from a server — after the page has loaded
  • Receive data from a server — after the page has loaded
  • Send data to a server — in the background