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Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format which is both human-readable and machine-readable. It is defined by the W3C's XML 1.0 Specification<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and by several other related specifications,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> all of which are free open standards.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality and usability across the Internet.<ref name="XML Goals">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It is a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, it is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> such as those used in web services.

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

XML sections
Intro  Applications of XML  Key terminology  Characters and escaping  Well-formedness and error-handling  Schemas and validation  Related specifications  Programming interfaces  History  Criticism  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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