This had to be carried out by implemented various styles (Natanya Pitts-Moultis and Cheryl Kirk, 1998). The problem faced was that various clients would adapt different styles of their choice which might result in incompatibility over the wide spread users. There had to be standards adopted for attaining specific styles that could support the numerous requirements of the users. Thus the concept of style sheets had evolved.
The code for designing the style sheets was similar to English language, which brought in the new problems such as distinguishing the code from the data. Thus to differentiate them both the designer had to "mark-up" the specific styles for the codes to appear in the preferred fashion. Thus the Markup Languages came into existence. The very first Markup Language was the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) which was a general mark-up Language used for specialized applications on computers. Later on in 1990 Tim Berners Lee created the first Web Server named as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that enabled the users to access the text in a nonsequential pattern based on the SGML fundamentals (Steven Holzner, 2005). Thus XML was the improvised version of previous mark up languages that was used to enhance the web features.
XML an abbreviation for eXtensible Markup Language has been designed in order to possess all the extended features of its predecessors such as HTML and SGML markup Languages. The extended features are the benefits that make the XML language a consistent and simple language to use (Selena Sol, nd). XML is a language that is used for management and exchange of data over the Internet. It basically implements the Cascading style sheets (CSS) for displaying functionality. XML on its own has few benefits and drawbacks followed below.
Listed below are some benefits of XML.
Self descriptive documents - This feature enables the user to easily document the application as there is no complexity in implementing the standards.
Interoperability - It provides the dynamic messaging feature among various personnel.
Hierarchical structure - It enables the implementation of Inheritance and easy adaptation to new changes.
Platform independent - This feature helps in executing the various XML documents on diverse platforms indeed resulting in portability (Chris Kinsman & Jeffrey McManus, 2002).
Updating the documents with ease - the Xml documents can be dynamically updated based on the new releases of products, thus providing a comparative feature on compatible types.
Wide range of presentation features - It provides excellent presentation features that ease the browsing and processing of queries for a user.
Overcomes tag constraint standards - The tags have not been strictly standardized in order to enable the programmer to design an appropriate XML application based on the requirements.
Easy alterations of formats - The addition and deletion of data are carried out with ease based o the above features.
Hassle free retrieval of accurate data - The user is provided with the accurate data retrieval feature pertaining to their requirements.
XML had definitely overcome the restrictions of former markup languages, but up to a certain extent only. As the various necessities kept on increasing the limitations of XML had turned out to be the drawbacks (Gurpreet Kunwar, nd).
Specific application for processing - XML requires a specific processing application such as Internet Explorer, Netscape