Reflection on XML

I have recently started learning about and using HTML and XML code. HTML is, of course, the language for structuring and displaying content on the internet and some knowledge of it is very useful when customising websites such as WordPress. It is a fixed format, pre-defined language and is not extensible or machine-readable. XML is similar to HTML in that they are both mark-up languages but it is not fixed format and thus is very adaptable, accurate and flexible and is both human and machine readable. It is also free and non-proprietary and much easier to manage than SGML.
XML has a myriad of uses, not only in the academic world, where it is used to for machine learning, information extraction, data mining and textual analysis. In a business environment, it can be used to transfer data though different software or move it through upgrades without fear of it being incompatible. If proprietary software is used to collect data, then the user can become locked out when trying to use the data differently. As XML is now the industry standard, it is easier to move data if it is already in XML format rather than trying to rewrite the entire portfolio. Also, if the data needs to be used in multiple formats eg web publishing, apps, pdfs or print, XML can readily translate the data.