Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Recent: Balisage Conference [details]

  1. Introduction
  2. Working Groups
  3. Events
  4. Other Resources
  5. Contact

Nearby: XML Specifications and Translations of them.

Introduction

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.

This page describes the work being done at W3C within the XML Activity, and how it is structured. Work at W3C takes place in Working Groups. The Working Groups within the XML Activity are listed below, together with links to their individual web pages.

You can find and download formal technical specifications here, because we publish them. This is not a place to find tutorials, products, courses, books or other XML-related information. There are some links below that may help you find such resources.

You will find links to W3C Recommendations, Proposed Recommendations, Working Drafts, conformance test suites and other documents on the pages for each Working Group. Each document also contains email addresses you can use to send comments or questions, for example if you have been writing software to implement them and have found problems or errors.

Please do not send us email asking us to help you learn a language or specification; there are plenty of resources online, and the people editing and developing the specifications are very busy. We are interested in technical comments and errata.

If your organization would like to join the W3C, or if you would like to participate formally in a working group (and have the necessary resources to attend meetings), you can read more about the Consortium.

Working Groups

There is more detail about each of these Working Groups in the Activity Statement and also on the individual Working Group public web pages.

Most Working Groups have both a public web page and another more private one that is only accessible to W3C Members. The private page has telephone numbers, schedules for meetings and conference calls, links to internal editing drafts, and other administrative information.

XML Coordination Group

The membership of this group is the Chairs of the individual Working Groups. Its role is to provide a forum for coordination between the Working Groups of the XML Activity, and between the XML Activity and other parts of W3C, and between the XML Activity and other organizations.

This group does not produce specifications, so does not have a public page of its own. You can read the XML CG Charter, and there is more information about the XML CG in the Activity Statement. There is is also a member-only page.

XML Core Working Group

The mission of the XML Core Working Group is to develop and maintain the specifications for XML itself and closely related specifications such as Namespaces in XML, the XML Information Set, and XInclude.

You can read the XML Core Working Group Public Page and the XML Core Working Group Charter, and there is also a member-only page.

XSLT Working Group

The XSLT Working Group is responsible for XSL Transformations (XSLT) and a number of supporting specifications.

You can read the XSLT Working Group Public Page which links to their Charter and to their member-only page.

XPPL Working Group

The XML Print and Page Layout Working Group is responsible for the XSL-FO formatting language.

You can read the XML Print and Page Layout Public Page and the XML Print and Page Layout Charter, and there is also a member-only page.

The Efficient XML Interchange Working Group

The Efficient XML Interchange Working Group is responsible for developing ways to exchange XML documents in ways that are as efficient as is practical without compromising the interoperability of XML itself. It also continues the work of the XML Binary Characterization Working Group. This Working Group is not about producing a closed, proprietary or obfuscated “binary XML ”—The W3C is all about increasing interoperability!

You can read the Efficient XML Interchange Working Group Public Page and their Charter; there is also a member-only page for technical discussion and administration.

XML Processing Model Working Group

The XML Processing Model Working Group is working on defining a scripting language for XML: that is, a way to specify what operations should be performed on an XML document and in what order.

You can read the XML Processing Model Working Group Public Page and their Charter; there is also a member-only page for administration purposes.

XML Linking Working Group

The charter of the XML Linking Working Group has expired, and the group is not currently active. When still active, it was working on hypertext links for XML. This includes the XML Linking Language (XLink) and the XML Pointer Language (XPointer).

You can read the deprecated XML Linking Working Group Public Page. There is also a member-only page.

XML Query Working Group

The XML Query Working Group is working on the XML Query Language, a way to provide flexible query facilities to extract data from real and virtual XML documents on the Web. This includes publication of XQuery and also XPath, in conjunction with the XSLT Working Group (part of the Style Activity).

You can read the XML Query Working Group Public Page and the XML Query Working Group Charter, and there is also a member-only page.

XML Schema Working Group

W3C XML Schemas provide mechanisms to define and describe the structure, content, and to some extent semantics of XML documents.

You can read the XML Schema Group Public Page and the XML Schema Working Group Charter, and there is also a member-only page.

Upcoming events

XML Prague, the leading XML-specific conference in Europe.

markupforum, in Stuttgart is a symposium that has a local emphasis on publishing.

The leading conference relating to the theory and practice of XML and other markup is, of course, Balisage, in Montréal in August. W3C is a co-sponsor of Balisage 2013, and there is a registration discount for W3C Members.

XML Amsterdam is a sister event to XML Prague in the Spring.

Other Resources

There are so many resources related to XML that we can't possibly list them all here. This is a good thing, because it means XML is a success! In addition to a history of the development of XML at W3C, there is an extensive index at the Cover Pages, maintained by Robin Cover. The individual Working Group public web pages may have links to specific resources. There are Usenet newsgroups (e.g. comp.text.xml) and public mailing lists (e.g. xml-dev).

You could also try a search engine such as Google for:

Contact

Liam Quin, XML Activity Lead

             

Note

The XML specification, and other information specific to the XML Core Working Group, has moved to the XML Core Working Group Public Page.

There is also a separate page for Translations.

 

There is a separate page documenting the xml-spec DTD used for many of our specifications.

There is also a Google+ page for XML.