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XML For All

HTML: We hardly knew ye.

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This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just as we're all getting used to HyperText Markup Language (HTML) terminology, along comes Extensible Markup Language (XML). And just as CD drives are replacing floppy drives, XML is the leading contender to replace HTML. XML doesn't just describe pages for delivery over the Web; it delivers content that can be formatted in different ways by different devices.

Recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3), an Internet standards organization, XML is not a fixed-format language, but rather one that allows Web sites to build their own document types for direct communication with other sites. Whereas HTML lets you only download exact replicas of Web pages, XML lets business servers communicate directly with one another over the Web, adjusting accordingly.

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