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5. XML

XML, the "eXtendable Markup Language," may be best described as a "simplified" version of SGML. It's a somewhat less "generalized" system for describing document tagging systems. It's less powerful than SGML, but by being simplified, is far easier to parse, which is likely to make it more widely used, particularly out on the Web.

If XML is powerful enough to do useful things, and is easier to use to build HTML-like languages, that may seriously diminish the role of SGML.

On the other hand, if XML makes "good tagged descriptive mark-up" more accessible to "the masses," this may have the converse effect of promoting SGML.

In either case, it can provide a simplified route to the use of structural markup, which is certainly a Good Thing, particularly if it can discourage the use of proprietary binary data formats.

Initial reports suggest that Microsoft's support of XML comes in the form of replacing the RTF format used to (often fairly poorly) move documents between MS-Word and other tools with some XML instance, which appears potentially rather subversive, which comes as no great surprise...

5.1. General Info on XML, Advocacy

5.2. XML Tools

5.3. XML DTDs

5.4. Schemely XML Stuff

Several Scheme implementations provide XML processors...

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Contact me at cbbrowne@acm.org