Happy 25th birthday, XML!


The Extensible Markup Language specification was first published on the 10th of February, 1998:

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML (ISO 8879). 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.

XML continues to be an important format for documents and data exchange to this day. I appreciate its extensibility with namespaces, inline comment support, tooling, and that it can be easily transformed and validated.

Every day I interact with ODF, SVG, RSS, OPML, Atom, RDF, FOAF, XSLT, and/or (sigh) OOXML. Even if that all sounds like alphabet soup, you probably use or benefit from it without even realising.

Many formats and standards exist, but I’d argue XML remains the lingua franca of the open web. Bagus! 🎂

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.