I found some stuff on a website that i want to download for school. But they are XML documents and i have no idea what that is...
I'm pretty sure they're web pages... Like HTML...
Extensible Markup Language (XML) its another web programing language like HTML or java.
storm3000 is correct in that XML is similar to HTML. It is eXtensible Markup Language, and is a subset of SGML. Both HTML and XML are markup languages, as can be gathered from their names (HTML is HyperText Markup Language), and are to be distinguished from most types of programming languages.
Markup languages are used to describe. HTML is a special case in which its tags are used to describe data for presentation. For instance, the data enclosed within the tags are bolded in the web browser. The browser reads the page, sees the tags, and displays the text as bold. It is important to understand that the HTML does not do anything itself. It is the browser that interprets the HTML correctly following. Usually, standards are followed, but some browsers interpret tags differently from other browsers (just think of the Netscape <blink> tag).
Now what does this have to do with XML? With HTML, data is described purely for presentation. In XML, data is just described. You can create your own tag names (rather than
blue</p>, you can have <favorite type="color">blue</favorite>) instead.
As XML is used to describe data in a structured way, it may be used for all kinds of data storage. It may even be transformed into HTML with a stylesheet. Many other programs can parse XML and do various functions with it. There is the SAX API for most languages as well as the DOM.
The future of XML is particularly bright; new innovative technologies like XPath have come out recently. Only more can come. But XML is also a difficult technology to master and use efficiently, with great power comes great responsibility. It's the programmers job to use it right.
Yes, just think of XML as the next-gen HTML.
It's much more flexible and bigger HTML.
Note that unlike HTML, XML has a large potential and is becoming a standard for document deployment.
In other words, Download the file, startup your favorite web-browser, and use file->open to see what it is you just downloaded.
thanks to Silverwmoon!