Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
On the other hand, HTML, the primary markup language used on the
Web, is a tagging system that controls the way information is displayed.
Headings, for example, might have an <H1> or <H2> tag to designate the size
of the heading; the <FONT> tag might be used to specify the type family, size,
color, and style of the text. But the HTML tags don’t have any way of describing
the content of the heading, and it’s the content—the actual data itself—that can
be used in other documents (databases, spreadsheets, reports, and so forth).
That’s what XML data does.
Data Here, Format There
XML keeps data stored separately from the format in which it is displayed. What
applies the format to the data is the style sheet you use. Cascading style sheets
(CSS) and XSL (Extensible Style Language) are two common methods of applying
formatting to an XML document. Because the style sheet and the data are
housed separately, you can switch style sheets according to your project
objectives and audience and never have to recode or reformat the data.
A Public, International Standard
XML was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with the
intention of creating an easy-to-use, easy-to-read open standard that
would allow information exchange across platforms all over the world.
The W3C is a public organization with the sole purpose of creating
standards and new technologies for the Internet. You can find out more about
the W3C and its various activities (including in-depth information on the
development and application of XML for businesses and individuals) by
going to www.w3.org .
Note What is an open standard? A technology based on
an open standard is open for use and development by the
public; there are no licensing fees or proprietary standards
owned by a specific company or organization.