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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

XML Related Tools

You could, of course, ignore the XML world altogether and create your own markup language with its own set of reserved characters and rules about how markup is created. As long as all the other programs that you need to exchange data with are programmed using the same markup language, everything will work just fine.

One big advantage of cooperating with the XML world, however, is the toolset that is available. Many tools have been written that attempt to simplify the handling of XML documents in programs. These tools focus on various tasks:

  • Editing—Most integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Forte, Visual Café, and JBuilder contain special editors to help you compose XML documents.

  • Parsing—JAXP defines two ways of parsing XML documents: sequentially (processing the file in a line-by-line fashion) or objectively (using the Document Object Model [DOM]). JAXP contains parsers for both.

  • Transforming—Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) helps you transform documents from one grammar to another.

  • Displaying—Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) allows you to describe how an XML document should be displayed or printed out.

  • Verifying—Document Type Definitions (DTDs) allow you to define the grammar for your XML document. This allows the parser to verify that any document you receive is created in accordance to your instructions. XML Schemas can also be used to verify documents. They provide a more robust set of rules for defining a grammar.

If you chose to "roll your own" markup language, you would have to create an equivalent for each of these activities.

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