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Information accessible Essay

In the late twentieth century, when world was introduced to internet, it all began from there. Everyone wanted a presence on the global repository, a network of information accessible by anybody in the world with the help of WWW (World Wide Web). The importance of data was very significant and the interoperability of data among different websites was a necessity. This gave a boost to web and programming. Many languages have emerged in front of a Web Developer. It is difficult for a developer to decide which one to choose and also to comprehend the maximum advantages rendered by each.

At this stage, the web developer is interested to find which language would be less complex but more powerful. Although there are languages like JAVA, C++, Visual Basic, VC++, etc. that allow one to create applications that can be taken as web pages, for viewing these applications the web browser has to interpret them into HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). This gave the boost to the Markup Language specified by the web consortium as the default language understood by all the web browsers.

Abstractly, marking-up text is a methodology for encoding data with information about it itself. Examples of markups (encoded data) are universal in the real world. For example, when we were in school, we probably used to use a bright yellow highlighter pen to highlight sentences in our schoolbooks. We did so because we thought that the highlighted sentences would be useful to review around exam time and we also wanted a quick way to skim through the important points.

Just like us, thousands of students around the world did exactly the same thing for the exact same reason. By highlighting certain bit of text, we were effectively “Marking-Up” the data. Essentially, we specified that certain sentences were important by marking them in yellow. These sentences became encoded with the fact that they were important. Because everyone followed the same standard of marking up, we could easily pick up a used text book and get a good idea about the core points of the book from the highlighted sections.

Similarly, a standard must be in place to define what a valid markup is. Markup involves adding of characters to a piece of information such that these characters can be used to process that information in a particular way. A Markup language is not a formatting language. A formatting language focuses on describing the final display of a document without describing the document content. The best example of formatting language is RTF (Rich Text Format). RTF was created specifically to describe the final format of a document, using codes embedded in a document.

These codes are readable through a wide variety of applications, from word processors to page layout programs, but they are generally invisible to a document developer. A Markup language is not a programming language because a programming language creates a set of instructions that are interpreted or compiled into a program or application. The best example of a programming language is Java and a markup language is XML. A markup language does not worry about how the content it describes is formatted, but is instead, concerned about accurately describing its contents.

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