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XML is an abbreviation for Extensible Markup Language and is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) as early as 1996. Originally designed to meet the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing, XML is also playing an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide variety of data on the Web and elsewhere. The goal with XML was/is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), which remains the most common format used in web page design. For this reason, XML has been designed for ease of implementation, and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML.

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