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New Language Could Meld the Web Into a Seamless Database

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Science  19 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5371, pp. 1840-1841
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5371.1840

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Dana MacKenzie A new Web invention called extensible markup language or XML goes beyond merely displaying data--the strength of hypertext markup language, which currently dominates the Web--to making it meaningful for other computers. Earlier this year, the World Wide Web Consortium, a group of technology companies and universities, approved the first version of XML, and software companies are working on XML-capable browsers. Ultimately, say Web developers, the language could open the way to "a new Internet" that would be easier to search and exploit, offer more flexible formatting of documents, and might even usher in the ballyhooed age of electronic commerce.