XML Tree

XML documents form a tree structure that starts at “the root” and branches to “the leaves”.

An Example XML Document

XML documents use a self-describing and simple syntax:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″?>
<note>
<to>Tove</to>
<from>Jani</from>
<heading>Reminder</heading>
<body>Don’t forget me this weekend!</body>
</note>

The first line is the XML declaration. It defines the XML version (1.0) and the encoding used (ISO-8859-1 = Latin-1/West European character set).

The next line describes the root element of the document (like saying: “this document is a note”):

<note>

The next 4 lines describe 4 child elements of the root (to, from, heading, and body):

<to>Tove</to>
<from>Jani</from>
<heading>Reminder</heading>
<body>Don’t forget me this weekend!</body>

And finally the last line defines the end of the root element:

</note>

You can assume, from this example, that the XML document contains a note to Tove from Jani.

Don’t you agree that XML is pretty self-descriptive?

XML Documents Form a Tree Structure

XML documents must contain a root element. This element is “the parent” of all other elements.

The elements in an XML document form a document tree. The tree starts at the root and branches to the lowest level of the tree.

All elements can have sub elements (child elements):

<root>
<child>
<subchild>…..</subchild>
</child>
</root>

The terms parent, child, and sibling are used to describe the relationships between elements. Parent elements have children. Children on the same level are called siblings (brothers or sisters).

All elements can have text content and attributes (just like in HTML).


Example:

DOM node tree

The image above represents one book in the XML below:

<bookstore>
<book category=”COOKING”>
<title lang=”en”>Everyday Italian</title>
<author>Giada De Laurentiis</author>
<year>2005</year>
<price>30.00</price>
</book>
<book category=”CHILDREN”>
<title lang=”en”>Harry Potter</title>
<author>J K. Rowling</author>
<year>2005</year>
<price>29.99</price>
</book>
<book category=”WEB”>
<title lang=”en”>Learning XML</title>
<author>Erik T. Ray</author>
<year>2003</year>
<price>39.95</price>
</book>
</bookstore>

The root element in the example is <bookstore>. All <book> elements in the document are contained within <bookstore>.

The <book> element has 4 children: <title>,< author>, <year>, <price>.

Iklan

Fungsi XML

XML is used in many aspects of web development, often to simplify data storage and sharing.

XML Separates Data from HTML

If you need to display dynamic data in your HTML document it will take a lot of work to edit the HTML each time the data changes.

With XML, data can be stored in separate XML files. This way you can concentrate on using HTML for layout and display, and be sure that changes in the underlying data will not require any changes to the HTML.

With a few lines of JavaScript, you can read an external XML file and update the data content of your HTML.

XML Simplifies Data Sharing

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.

This makes it much easier to create data that different applications can share.

XML Simplifies Data Transport

With XML, data can easily be exchanged between incompatible systems.

One of the most time-consuming challenges for developers is to exchange data between incompatible systems over the Internet.

Exchanging data as XML greatly reduces this complexity, since the data can be read by different incompatible applications.

XML Simplifies Platform Changes

Upgrading to new systems (hardware or software platforms), is always very time consuming. Large amounts of data must be converted and incompatible data is often lost.

XML data is stored in text format. This makes it easier to expand or upgrade to new operating systems, new applications, or new browsers, without losing data.

XML Makes Your Data More Available

Since XML is independent of hardware, software and application, XML can make your data more available and useful.

Different applications can access your data, not only in HTML pages, but also from XML data sources.

With XML, your data can be available to all kinds of “reading machines” (Handheld computers, voice machines, news feeds, etc), and make it more available for blind people, or people with other disabilities.

XML is Used to Create New Internet Languages

A lot of new Internet languages are created with XML.

Here are some examples:

  • XHTML the latest version of HTML
  • WSDL for describing available web services
  • WAP and WML as markup languages for handheld devices
  • RSS languages for news feeds
  • RDF and OWL for describing resources and ontology
  • SMIL for describing multimedia for the web

If Developers Have Sense

If they DO have sense, future applications will exchange their data in XML.

The future might give us word processors, spreadsheet applications and databases that can read each other’s data in a pure text format, without any conversion utilities in between.

We can only pray that all the software vendors will agree.