XML is a markup language heavily used in computing. It is an acronym for Extensible Markup Language and defines a group of rules and standards for encoding scripts in human- and machine-readable formats. Most developers prefer XML because it focuses on simplicity, generality, and user-friendliness on the web. You should note that XML was designed for the purpose of storing and transporting data.
If you are an aspiring developer, here are some of the seven essential terms in XML to facilitate your debut into web development.
1. Declaration Statement
This is a statement that gives web browser crucial information to enable it to recognize the syntax and language of a file. It helps the internet processor to compute the code. Usually, it is the opening line of every XML language document which defines the language used, articulates the encoding, and declares the independence status of the record. When writing a declaration statement, you will need only the language definition as well as the version. Other attributes like encoding and independence status of the file are optional.
2. Element Tags
These are tools that you create to bring out a hierarchical syntax to a code. It is imperative that you assign recognizable and easy to manage names to the tags when designing an element in XML data file. Element tags are responsible for the simplicity of XML language. That is because they are different from the static tags that you must memorize to write a valid code.
Nesting involves inserting an XML element inside another element. The new elements are the child elements whereas they are enclosed in the parent element. Nesting can go several levels deep in XML to provide a more objective code or file. Check out this helpful nesting tutorial.
An attribute is a name or value pairing that resides within the element tags separated by an equal sign. You can use attributes to modify features of the element.
An entity is a file or a database record. When developing a web application, you need entities to hold content and not structure, regulations or grammar. You also must assign a unique identification to carry the entity’s information that ranges from a character to a whole file.
A schema is a formal specification of names of elements showing the elements allowed in an XML file as well as the combination in which they work. It is also the framework of the XML file. In this case, it displays where elements are child elements of other files, the total number of child elements and the order in which the child elements cascade. An XML schema helps you determine whether an element is void or whether it can carry text. Besides that, you can use it to define the default values for attributes within the XML document.
A notation is a format of data that isn’t in the XML format. An example of a notation is the BMP.
Those are some of the key XML terms that you will meet in your career as a web developer. They form the framework on which XML language is built.