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The XML FAQ — Frequently-Asked Questions about the Extensible Markup Language

Section 3: Authors

Q 3.8: I'm used to authoring and serving HTML. Can I learn XML easily?


Very easily, but even after nearly 20 years there is still a need for more tutorials, simpler tools, and more open examples of XML documents. ‘Well-formed’ XML documents may look similar to HTML except for some small but very important points of syntax.

The big practical difference is that XML has to stick to the rules. HTML browsers let you serve them even fatally broken or ridiculously corrupt HTML because they don't do a formal parse but just elide all the broken bits instead. With XML your files have to be completely correct or they simply won't work at all. One outstanding problem is that some browsers claiming XML conformance are also broken, and some browsers' support for XSLT processing and CSS styling is still dubious at the best. Try yours on the list of real hotel web sites.