Welcome to Introduction to XML. The purpose of this tutorial is to expose you to some of the basic ideas behind XML, and to show you how you should expect to see XML used in the future.
Before we begin, it's important for you to understand that XML is similar on the HyperText Markup Language – that is, HTML. This tutorial assumes a basic understanding of HTML. If you don't know what HTML is, or if you need a refresher course, check out our “Introduction to HTML” tutorial available from the following URL:
What will this tutorial teach you?
It's also important to understand that this tutorial will not teach you how to “do” anything with XML – that is, you will not learn how to develop XML applications or documents. Instead, you will learn why XML is important, and you will see some examples of existing XML documents and applications on the World Wide Web. If you're interested in actually working with XML, the last section of this tutorial will highlight some tools and resources you can use to get started.
So why should you know about XML?
Simply put, XML is likely to become a much more common tool for sharing data, developing documents and enhancing applications on the World Wide Web. While HTML probably won't disappear from the Internet, newer sites and systems may be XML-based. To effectively analyze and develop Web applications, some basic familiarity with XML will be very helpful.