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Archive for November, 2009

The Markup Language

The Markup Language is a way of codifying a document that will give information about the structure of that text or its presentation by means of tags and marks. The so known HTML, base of the World Wide Web,  is the most extended markup language and it has been used for many years not only in the editorial and comunication industry, but also by authors and editors.

Among the different markup languages, we can find HTML, SGML, XML, DocBook (software documentation) and several XML derivatives.  This last one, XML, is standard from W3C, its objective is the modelation of the data from the documents paying attention to semantics  and XML documents must be well formed (respecting grammar) and also valid (all documents have a similar sketch). The basic components of XML are tags, data elements and a certain hierarchy.

There are different types of markup depending on what you want to do; descriptive markup, for example, is used to label a document (it uses tags to describe extracts from documents); presentation markup is the one that indicates the format of the text (we have to bear in mind that this markup is not enough to process information automatically) whilst procedural markup focusses on the presentation of the text, so, if you have a suitable program to represent the document, the code should be interpreted in the order that appears.

But not only is markup language, XML in this case, channeled into documents; there is an increasing usage of it in the presentation of different types of information such as web services, user interfaces or even playlists, and XML is used because a well-defined and extensible language. Building up your own personal web-page is very simple, you don’t have to have previous technological knowledge since being HTML a markup language, web browsers recognise them quickly.

Another thing to be mentioned is that you can easily link up Web style sheets with HTML; in fact, HTML is the “tool” that has the page’s semantic content and structure, but not its style, style sheet is what you need to do so. Style sheets can be linked to HTML documents in different ways since they may be external, they can be imported, inlaied… so you have to decide which one fits best to your needs.

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