Your support for our advertisers helps cover the cost of hosting, research, and maintenance of this FAQ
The XML FAQ — Frequently-Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language
Section 1: Basics
Q 1.11: Why is XML such an important development?
It overcomes the inflexibility of HTML and the complexity of SGML
It removes two constraints which were holding back Web developments:
dependence on a single, inflexible document type (HTML) which was being much abused for tasks it was never designed for;
the complexity of full SGML, whose syntax allows many powerful but hard-to-program options.
XML allows the flexible development of user-defined document types. It provides a robust, non-proprietary, persistent, and verifiable file format for the storage and transmission of text and data both on and off the Web; and it removes the more complex options of SGML, making it easier to program for.