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If you look at the XML snippet above, there are some things that surprise:
- XML is readable by yourself, but also by the machine. This is one of its great advantages.
- It is Unicode (Unicode: a unique number is defined for every character, regardless of platform, language, program). This means it can be stored in different encoding. What's the difference? You probably know that the documents were (still are) encoded in ASCII, but it only refers to one alphabet and one writing system. The code fragment shows a UTF-8 encoding, which is supported by many alphabets.
- The XML is object-oriented: instead of breaking down the data into normalized tables linked by relationships, it describes objects (concrete and abstract) by modeling their properties as they are, which makes the XML documents more intuitive to understand .
- Finally, the XML distinguishes between the content and the layout, the layout of the data being provided by third-party languages such as CSS, XSL ...
- The XML generates a low cost in terms of software components, hence its successful integration into the IT industry.