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   Re: [xml-dev] The "what is XML" permathread revisited -- was Re:[xml-dev

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All things are fuzzy to some extent, but XML is far less fuzzy than 
most. There is a reasonably well-written specification that defines 
precisely what is and is not XML. In fact, the very first sentence of 
the specification is:

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a subset of SGML that is 
completely described in this document.

A little later we have:

Extensible Markup Language, abbreviated XML, describes a class of 
data objects called XML documents and partially describes the 
behavior of computer programs which process them. XML is an 
application profile or restricted form of SGML, the Standard 
Generalized Markup Language [ISO 8879]. By construction, XML 
documents are conforming SGML documents.

There's not much wiggle room here. Certainly there are things in the 
universe that are not XML, and many of them are useful. But that 
doesn't make them XML.
Read the first sentence again. It says "completely described". This 
isn't a beginning. This isn't one part of the XML trinity. It is XML, 
and nothing else is XML. XML is often processed with various tools, 
and perhaps some of these tools can be made to process other non-XML 
formats, but that doesn't make those formats XML.


   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)


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