cover image

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language and file format for storing, transmitting, and reconstructing arbitrary data. It defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The World Wide Web Consortium's XML 1.0 Specification[2] of 1998[3] and several other related specifications[4]—all of them free open standards—define XML.[5]

Quick facts: Abbreviation, Status, Year started, First pub...
XML (standard)
Extensible Markup Language
AbbreviationXML
StatusPublished, W3C recommendation
Year started1996; 26 years ago (1996)
First publishedFebruary 10, 1998; 24 years ago (1998-02-10)
Latest version1.1 (2nd ed.)
September 29, 2006; 16 years ago (2006-09-29)
OrganizationWorld Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
EditorsTim Bray, Jean Paoli, Michael Sperberg-McQueen, Eve Maler, François Yergeau, John W. Cowan
Base standardsSGML
Related standardsW3C XML Schema
DomainSerialization
Websitewww.w3.org/xml
Close
Quick facts: Filename extension, Internet media type,...
XML (file format)
Filename extension
.xml
Internet media typeapplication/xml, text/xml[1]
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)public.xml
UTI conformationpublic.text
Magic number<?xml
Developed byWorld Wide Web Consortium
Type of formatMarkup language
Extended fromSGML
Extended toNumerous languages, including XHTML, RSS, Atom, and KML
Standard
Open format?Yes
Free format?Yes
Close

The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability across the Internet.[6] It is a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, the language is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures[7] such as those used in web services.

Several schema systems exist to aid in the definition of XML-based languages, while programmers have developed many application programming interfaces (APIs) to aid the processing of XML data.