Many electronic information products today (and tomorrow) rely on accurate and standardized markup languages. XML, the term and the technology, is talked about and used almost everywhere. XML is the latest step in technological changes in publishing. Compositors and technical in-house publishing systems have been using it for over a decade. Now traditional publishing has discovered its usefulness. XML provides publishers with many opportunities, especially for digital publishing. For example, by using XML, a publisher can group content into modules, then tag and repurpose the material into new products.
What Is XML?
Short for Extensible Markup Language, it is a way to organize & display textual data.
It is an open standard.
It uses understandable, text-based tags that make sense to humans.
It is sometimes referred to as a high-performance data format, since its use allows for enhanced functionality of content.
XML has become arguably the de facto method for presenting and exchanging data between applications, disparate technologies, and a variety of products and formats.
Why Use XML?
With all the associated risks and increased costs, this is the question being faced by many publishing houses today. Adopting XML overcomes a number of obstacles that have plagued the print industry throughout history. By embracing XML publishers have a powerful opportunity to reduce composition costs and increase revenues through content rendering and repurposing.
As publishers continue to build their digital products, many are looking for more efficient ways to manage their content and bridge the gap between separate production systems. One solution is XML content repositories, which convert content to a format that’s easily reproduced in multiple formats— print, online, ebook, mobile syndication—all the formats that can start from a central repository
What are the benefits of using XML?
Reduced costs (in some cases)
Many output 'formats'
A website is just a reformat
E-books (e.g. Kindle & ePub)
“Chunking” of materials (selling parts is greater than sales of the whole)
Whether yours or theirs, repositories are in our future.
XML also offers an answer to the question of access and depositing of materials into repositories (internal or external). Whether your policy is Paid Access, Public Access, Open Access, or some combination, it is often advantageous to convert your stored documents into a single format.
While documents can be maintained in any of a number of formats, several organizations with institutional repositories (among them the US National Institutes of Health) have selected XML as their institutional target format. For institutions which have XML as their target format, MTC can facilitate conversion of incoming documents from any format into XML.