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Introduction to XML For Web Developers
Advantages of XML: Breaking the Tag Monopoly  

The first benefit of XML is that because you are writing your own markup language, you are not restricted to a limited set of tags defined by proprietary vendors.

Rather than waiting for standards bodies to adopt tag set enhancements (a process which can take quite some time), or for browser companies to adopt each other's standards (yeah right!), with XML, you can create your own set of tags at your own pace.

Of course, not only are you free to develop at your own pace, but you are free to develop tools that meet your needs exactly.

By defining your own tags, you create the markup language in terms of your specific problem set! Rather than relying on a generic set of tags which suits everyone's needs adequately, XML allows every person/organization to build their own tag library which suits their needs perfectly.

"From the earliest days of the Web, we've been using essentially the same set of tags in our documents....There's a significant benefit to a fixed tag set with fixed semantics: portability. However, HTML is very confining. Web designers want more control over presentation. Enter XML" - Norman Walsh

That is, though the majority of web designers do not need tags to format musical notation, medical formula, or architectural specifications, musicians, doctors and architects might.

XML allows each specific industry to develop its own tag sets to meet its unique needs without forcing everyone's browser to incorporate the functionality of zillions of tag sets, and without forcing the developers to settle for a generic tag set that is too generic to be useful.

Check out these customized XML-based languages:

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