Lecture 9: XML

Title slideFrom the strict rectangles of structured data to the more generous triangles of semistructured data. This lecture gave an overview of what might qualify data as semistructured; trees in general as a mathematical model of data; the particular form of trees in the XPath data model; and their textual respresentation in XML — the Extensible Markup Language.

Finally, some examples of real XML data: from musical scores to financial trading.

Link: Slides for Lecture 9; Video of Lecture 9


  1. Read XML Essentials from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    Link: XML Essentials — What is XML? What is XML used for?

  2. Read the sections from Chapter 2 of Møller and Schwartzbach on the photocopied handout that was distributed in the lecture. You can also get a copy from the ITO office on Level 4 of the Appleton Tower.

  3. Find an SVG file and open it in a text editor to study its XML content.

  4. Find a Microsoft Office .docx file and look at the XML content in that. This format (OOXML) is in fact a zipped archive of XML files, so you will need to unzip it first. Depending on your platform, this may require renaming the .docx extension as .zip

    Link: Wikipedia on Microsoft’s OOXML format


To learn more about XML, try any of the following.