A web page is created using various languages, technologies, and programs. HTML and XML are two of the widely used web development languages.

XML and HTML are both markup languages but very different from each other in features and applications. In this article, we will discuss XML vs. HTML in detail.

What is XML?

XML is an Extensible Markup Language. It is a widely used web language to store and transfer data across applications and servers. It is a markup language that humans or machines can easily understand.

Unlike HTML, XML allows users to create their tags and are self-descriptive. It allows users to create customized markup language.

What is XML

For Example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<note>  
 <to>Joy</to>  
<from>Mary</from> 
<heading>Reminder</heading>
<body>Family Dinner Tonight - 10pm </body>
</note>

The first line describes the XML version and encoding. The second line describes the document’s elements, which is a Note. The following four lines define user-defined tags to, from, heading, and body. And the last line ends the root element (</note).

XML is used to wrap data around the tags; like above, the reminder is wrapped around the Note tag. Details such as to, from, type of data, and the actual data are wrapped around the to, from, heading, and body tags, respectively.

XML is code sensitive. One of the most significant advantages of XML is that it allows easy storage and transportation of data. It is easy to code and supports multilingual tests and Unicode. 

Features of XML

  • XML helps to store and transfer data from one place to another efficiently.
  • It has a well-structured format and is difficult to learn comparatively.
  • Unlike HTML, XML tags are not predefined; they are user-defined, so memorizing them is not necessary.
  • All the platforms and applications support XML.
  • It can be used to create non-static web pages because of its dynamic nature.

What is HTML? 

What is HTML

HTML is Hypertext Markup Language developed to create web pages and applications. It is a markup language with predefined tags. Unlike XML, it doesn’t help with the transfer of data but helps to display data.

In HTML, each page can be connected to another through hyperlinks. HTML allows embedding graphics, video, sounds, or other multimedia efficiently on web pages.

HTML consists of predefined tags and attributes. The tags are within the angle brackets(<>), and attributes are written with quotes. 

For example: 

<p>This is a paragraph.</p>      //Here <p> is a paragraph tag.
<p text-align=’center'> </p>   

Here, align is an attribute and is defined in quotes which align the paragraph as defined

HTML is case insensitive and displays errors or typos, which means it doesn’t affect the code even if there is some syntax error and instead displays it on the web page. 

The most significant advantage of HTML is that it is straightforward to understand and learn and is a widely used Markup Language. Most of the web pages that you see are developed using HTML. The language doesn’t need any software or additional application, and codes can be written using text editors like Notepad. It allows the storage of large files using the cache feature.

Although simple, HTML requires a lot of coding to develop web pages or applications that sometimes become complex. It creates static web pages but can’t create dynamic pages.

Features of HTML

  • HTML is an easy language; it doesn’t need a coding expert to learn it. The HTML codes can be understood easily by anyone.
  • It is an excellent way to learn to code for a beginner who wants to learn code.
  • HTML is the standard language for web development.
  • It works on almost all browsers, platforms, and applications.
  • HTML is not case-sensitive and is not affected much by typos or syntax errors.
  • It can be integrated with other web languages like XML, CSS, and back-end coding languages.
  • The language quickly adds images, graphics, videos, and sounds to the web pages.

XML vs. HTML

XML vs. HTML

The main difference between XML and HTML is that HTML is specifically used to design web pages and display data, while XML is for data transport and storage. The following table discusses XML vs. HTML in detail:

ParameterXMLHTML
LanguageXML is an Extensible Markup Language similar to HTML but without predefined tags.HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.
CasingXML is case-sensitive.HTML is case insensitive.
TagsXML allows the creation of tags as per needs or requirements. HTML has predefined tags which can be used to create web pages.
PurposeData storage and transfer.Data display or presentation.
ErrorsErrors can hamper data transfer or storage, so they must be corrected.It ignores minor errors.
NestingNesting should be done appropriately to avoid errors.It does not affect code if Nesting is not done correctly.
End TagsSome tags don’t have an ending and closing tags like <br>, <hr>, <img>, etc.In HTML, every tag has an ending and closing tag.
QuotesXML requires Quotes around the attribute values.HTML does not require Quotes.
Object SupportIn XML, objects must be expressed by conventions like attributes and elements.HTML offers native object support.
SizeRelatively large document size due to lengthy codes and approach of formatting.Relatively small document size due to brief syntax and formatted text.
White SpacesWhite spaces can be used in XML.No white spaces should be used in HTML.
Formatting XML requires significant effort to map application types to XML attributes and elements.Provide direct data mapping with the application.
JavaScript IntegrationsRequires XML DOM (Document Object Model) implementation and mapping code.No additional implementation and mapping code is required.
Learning CurveXML is complex as you will need to learn technologies like Schema, XML  DOM, XPath, etc.HTML is comparatively straightforward to learn.

Use Cases of XML and HTML

Like the features, both markup languages differ in their application. 

Applications of HTML

Use cases of XML

  • Web publishing: XML is used to create web pages that are interactive and customized by the user. It helps create more intuitive eCommerce applications. It helps store and transfer data instead of displaying it on its own.
  • Web searching and web tasks automation: XML makes web searching very easy by defining the data type in its document. 
  • General applications: The language is famous for applications and devices to store, transmit and display data.
  • e-Business: eBusiness implements XML language to make EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) more accessible for information interchange and all kinds of transactions.
  • Pervasive computing: XML provides structured and portable information types for display on wireless computing devices like mobile phones, PDAs, etc. 
  • Metadata applications: XML allows expressing Metadata in a portable and reusable format.
html

Use cases of HTML

  • Web page development: HTML is widely used for web page development. It is used to display data.
  • Web document creation: HTML also helps to create documents on the internet. The web document has three parts title, head, and body which are designed and created using HTML tags.
  • Internet navigation: This is one of the prominent and revolutionary applications of HTML. Through hyperlinks and hypertext, web pages can be linked to each other. It allows users to navigate easily between web pages and websites.  
  • Cutting-edge features: HTML introduces some of the latest features and trends in creating websites.
  • Client-side storage: HTML5, the latest version of HTML is used for developing client-side storage using localStorage and IndexDB.
  • Offline capabilities usage: HTML can help store browser data even when the internet is not connected with its cache feature.
  • Data entry support: HTML5 standard and a set of APIs are also used to support data entry.
  • Game development usage: HTML5, CSS3, and a light-fast JavaScript engine can be used for game development.

Conclusion

HTML and XML create web pages and work together for various applications. HTML is used to display data and describe the structure of a web page, whereas XML is used to store and transmit the data. HTML is a simple language with predefined tags and attributes. XML is a standard language. Both are markup languages and are essential for any website or application development.

Also, you should check out Best Real-Time HTML Editor for Web Development.