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Computer Science



Study Guide


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XML and JSON and its Uses on the Internet
and in Instructional Technology
For Students

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1 Introduction
Ten years ago, XML was the primary data interchange format. When it came on the scene, it was
a breath of fresh air and a vast improvement over the truly appalling SGML (Standard
Generalized Markup Language). It enabled people to do previously unthinkable things, like
exchange Microsoft Office documents across HTTP connections. With all
the dissatisfaction surrounding XML, it’s easy to forget just how crucial it was in the evolution of
the web in its capacity as a “Swiss Army Knife of the internet.” But it’s no secret that in the last
few years, a bold transformation has been afoot in the world of data interchange. The more
lightweight, bandwidth-non-intensive JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) has emerged not just as
an alternative to XML, but rather as a potential full-blown successor.
2 XML and Its Uses
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. A markup language is used to annotate text or add
additional information. XML is the most common tool for data transmissions between all sorts of
applications. In the real world, computer systems and databases contain data in incompatible
formats. XML data is stored in plain text format. This provides a software- and hardware-
independent way of storing data. XML has a variety of uses for Web, e-business, and portable
applications. XML allows you to create interactive pages, allows the customer to customize those
pages, and makes creating e-commerce applications more intuitive. XML defines the type of
information contained in a document, making it easier to return useful results when searching the
Web. Markup technologies (i.e. XML and related technologies) can play an important role in
simplifying the development of educational applications and in making content reusable.
3 JSON and Its Uses

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