Posted on 2007-10-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-06
Hi Experts,
Is comparing HTML with XML a fair comparizon? I don't think even we are allowed to do that!
I had an aurgument with our instructor yesterday about that XML is different than HTML and it does not make any sense to compare them. HTML is made to generate graphical output, and  XML is more of a database that you may structure such as any database tool, except that it is a simple datafile!

He was against that i called it "more of a database" and said it is same as HTML but more advanced that could be used as a database but is not supposed to go under that category!

What do you experts think? And are there articles that i can show him to prove my opinion?

Thanks in advance,
Question by:feesu
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    I must agree with your instructor, XML is way closer to HTML tha it is to a database, it's a markup language as html is the X stand for extensible so you can make up your own tags something you cannot do with HTML.

    Extract from Wikipedia

    "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose markup language.[1] It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own tags. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet.[2] It is used both to encode documents and serialize data. In the latter context, it is comparable with other text-based serialization languages such as JSON and YAML.[3]

    It started as a simplified subset of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), and is designed to be relatively human-legible. By adding semantic constraints, application languages can be implemented in XML. These include XHTML,[4] RSS, MathML, GraphML, Scalable Vector Graphics, MusicXML, and thousands of others. Moreover, XML is sometimes used as the specification language for such application languages."

    Author Comment

    But you cannot use xml to generate a graphical output such as html! ie you cannot create tables, format fonts, generate styles for text you write, or include graphical objects such as buttons, inputs etc... In addition, in xml you may create a typical database, add/edit/delete records in it! Therefore, how may you compare xml with html and they serve different purpose?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution


    XML is a meta-markup language developed by the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) to deal with a number of the shortcomings of HTML.

    Although the original purpose of XML was as a way to mark up content, it became clear that XML also provided a way to describe structured data thus making it important as a data storage and interchange format.

    If you need a good analogy to describe XML to other people, don't mention HTML. Although XML looks a lot like HTML, creating a good XML file is more like designing a database than creating a web page.

    Databases and XML documents are both used as a means to organize data. As a result, they share a lot of similarities.

    This won't help but I agree with it somewhat:

    <i>XML was designed to transmit data between systems, not to replace a relational database.</i>

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