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XML Tutorial >> XML Syntax Guide.


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If you have an idea about the HTML then the XML syntax shouldn't be that much of a hurdle to grip. While there are a couple new items in XML, it is still just a markup language that relies on some tags to get the mission done.
It is very important to understand that XML was basically designed to work with data like data sending, receiving, processing etc. XML is not design to display what it contains.

XML Document Structure.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>
<globalGuideLine>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Austin</FirstName>
        <gender>m</gender>
    </employee>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Angela</FirstName>
        <gender>f</gender>
    </employee>
</globalGuideLine>

If we spend a few moments reading the above XML example we can see it has two employees: Austin and Angela record. This simple XML document readily displays the benefits of XML. The data seems to almost describe itself, which is one of the main reasons for XML being created.

Let's take a look at XML syntax by looking at the different parts of this document. Note: This is just an overview of XML's syntax and there are links to more information provided in this section of XML Tutorial.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>

The above line of code will declare that this is an XML document. This line simply states what version of XML we are using and the type of encoding we are using. Don't worry too much about this line, just always include it exactly as we have above. Because it the acknowledgment of a document as an XML document.  If you are snooping, feel free to learn more about ISO 8859 on W3C.

Now step up and look at the XML Syntax, the first <globalGuideLine> tag is the root tag for the entire XML document.  Remember that an XML document always be in single root element and that's why we define this <globalGuideLine> tag as the root of the entire XML document.  All the other elements will be appended in it and the term child element will be use for other tags. 

A new convention in XML Syntax will be this that all the element must be nested properly.  If you have learned the HTML then you know that there is no strict rule to close HTML tags as they opened or suppose we do not close a tag in HTML then it may not be found as an error.  But in XML Syntax we must close all elements properly as thy opened.  Look at the above example we opened the first employee element then we close it before opening the next one's.

Closing Convention of XML Elements.

Invalid XML Tags Closing Order.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>
<globalGuideLine>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Austin</FirstName>
        <gender>m
    </employee>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Angela<gender>f</FirstName>
         </gender>
    </employee>
</GlobalGuideLine>

Valid XML Tags Closing Order.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>
<globalGuideLine>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Austin</FirstName>
        <gender>m</gender>
    </employee>
    <employee>
        <FirstName>Angela</FirstName>
        <gender>f</gender>
    </employee>
</globalGuideLine>

Explanation of XML Tags Closing Order:

On above examples as we see on first XML Syntax the root element of <globalGuideLine> when started it is not ended with the same prefix or syntax mean in XML syntax <globalGuideLine> and </GlobalGuideLine> are not equal and in second exaple the root is proper closed as its opening element is <globalGuideLine> and closing </globalGuideLine> are same.  Second error on first example is that the <gender> element is not close in HTML it may not be treated as error but in XML we must close all tags proper. The third error in the first example is that the <gender> element is nested in  <FirstName> but its closing is not proper.  If we open <gender> as child of  <FirstName> then we must close it also in the tag of <FirstName> like <FirstName>Angela<gender>f</gender></FirstName>.

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