Re: What is XML - and ....
On 07/08/12 01:23, Michael Joel wrote:
> Ok. I am not an expert on and language but I get by decent enough on
> I can do perl if I have to... But I do not have a clear understanding
> of what XML is.
The FAQ is at http://xml.silmaril.ie/
> It appears to be a simple mark up language yet,
It's a misleading name. XML, like its predecessor SGML, is actually a
metalanguage to let you design your own markup. It's just a syntax: the
semantics are up to you.
> from what I see, the mark up looks like it is whatever is wanted. I
> mean it looks like you make up your own tags. Is that basically what
> it is,
> some form of customer "html"?
Not really; XHTML is written in XML, and so are hundreds of other markup
languages, like DocBook or TEI.
> but I imagine that you need something that describes what the tags
"Tags" (actually called "elements") don't "do" anything except sit there
and identify what's in them. I think what you may mean is that you need
a document describing how they should be used. Yes, you do, and if you
invent a new markup language using XML, you need to write that document.
For example, DocBook5 is described in
http://www.docbook.org/tdg5/en/html/docbook.html; the TEI is described
in http://www.tei-c.org/Guidelines/; XHTML is described in
http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/; ODF is described in
https://www.oasis-open.org/standards#opendocumentv1.2, and OOXML is
> How does one implement XML?
By using a markup language written in XML for your application. You then
need companion languages like XSLT2 to transform the XML into specific
targets (eg HTML or PDF), XQuery for specifying searches, and a whole
bunch of other X-things to do assorted other tasks.
> What is it used for?
Pretty much everything these days. Although originally designed for text
markup, it can also be used for rectangular data, so you'll find it used
for config files, data transfer, messaging, e-commerce, medicine, and
lots of other areas.
> Also (not as important)... I have a large XML file (KJV of The Bible)
> it has a lot of data in it.
Do you mean metadata? That is, data OTHER than the actual text? Like
links, explanations, commentary, etc?
> I need to breaking up for use in a mySQL database. My initial idea
> would be to us VB to work on the tags.
Technically possible, but I'd use XSLT2.
> But I thought there might already be something out there that would
> let me define how to handle tags (such as I want some tags gone, I
> have no need for them) and I want the XML split in certain ways. I
> would like some of the tags attributes (I do not know what else to
> call them) shortened to only the needed ones for my purpose)...
> So is it best just to write some VB or is there something like that?
XSLT2 sounds like what you want. It's a programming language actually
written in XML syntax. There are several implementations: probably the
most popular is Saxon.
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