Welcome to the latest frontier of Web technology. In XML For Dummies, 4th Edition, we introduce you to the mysteries of eXtensible Markup Language (XML). XML is helping developers capture, manipulate, and exchange all kinds of documents and data, ranging from news feeds to financial transactions. In fact, many experts believe XML represents a kind of “lingua franca” that can represent information in just about any imaginable form, more accessibly than ever before — not only to human readers, but also to all kinds of computer applications and services.
We take a practical and straightforward approach to telling you about XML and what it can do for your data and document capture, management, and exchange efforts. We try to keep the amount of technobabble to a minimum and stick to plain English as much as possible. We also try to keep the focus on practical applications of XML technology, including desktop applications such as Office 2003. We have carefully chosen what we feel are the most relevant XML technologies for developers today. Besides plain talk about XML — and the many special-purpose applications that XML supports for document designers and authors, graphics developers, and many other communities of technical and business interests — we include lots of sample markup to help you put XML to work in your organization, business, or personal life. (No personal life is quite complete without a little XML.)