The "MLs"

Subject: The "MLs"
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 05:39:33 -0500

Peter, et al:

While it's true that XML is a subset of SGML, this doesn't quite go far enough.

SGML also includes display specifications, which XML does not. (HTML was also a subset of SGML, as I recall).

XML is totally devoted to the meaning of the material and not at all to its display. Each "dialect" or "instance" of XML is designed to describe the meaning of various kinds of terms that can be understood by both ends of a communication--whether that be two people, two applications, or even within parts of a single application.

I don't know how many different individual languages (or "dialects" or "instances"--see above) there might be. Nearly two years ago there were over 400 either released or being developed. Among other things, development of these individual languages is rapidly doing away with the "traditional" customized electronic data interchange (EDI) industry.

If you don't happen to be familiar with XML, perhaps an example would be helpful. Let's say you are being treated at a hospital and at a doctor's office. If both are using an agreed XML standard for your records, they can trade electronic records of your medications and automatically update your records in both places so the doctors can have a complete list of medications you have been prescribed and thus do a better job of eliminating potential conflict in your medications. Prior to XML, this meant the delay and potential for mistakes involved in manual entry--both of which could be potentially fatal.

XML documents often contain tags that are concerned with layout--either HTML tags or tags conforming to the "eXtended Stylesheet Language" (XSL).

If I am not mistaken, DHTML may include other kinds of scripting in addition to Javascript to provide "dynamic" or interactive activity.

I'm sure most of you already knew all this, and I apologize if I have bored you. In cases where this is all new, though, I have found in working with others that this level of explanation is often required before some clarity begins to replace the acronym confusion for those who are only now being exposed to this stuff. I hope this helps.


At 12:00 AM 5/27/2001 -0700, you wrote:

At 9:17 AM -0700 5/25/2001, Peter Shea (USF) wrote:
>I am trying to keep up with the advance in mark-up languages. One point I
>need clarification on: how does SGML and DHML differ?

SGML is a "meta-language", a language for designing markup languages such
as HTML. XML is a subset of SGML designed to be easier to use.


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