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Difference between SGML and XML

Difference between SGML and XML

SGML and XML are both markup languages used to define the structure of data. SGML was developed in the early days of computing, while XML emerged in the late 1990s as a more lightweight alternative. Despite their similarities, SGML and XML have some important differences. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at those differences and explore the pros and cons of each language.

What is SGML?

SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) is a metalanguage in which documents can be created that specify both the structure and content of those documents. SGML was originally developed in the 1970s as a way to standardize the processing of large, complex technical manuals. While it is most commonly associated with HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the two are actually quite different. HTML is a language that uses SGML as its foundation, but it is much more limited in scope. SGML, on the other hand, can be used to create any type of document, from simple web pages to entire books. As a result, it is considered to be very powerful, but also very complex. Nonetheless, SGML remains an important part of many document processing systems today.

What is XML?

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a markup language that is used to structure data. It is similar to HTML in that it uses tags to identify different elements of a document, but it is more flexible because it allows for the creation of custom tags. XML documents can be read by computers and are often used to exchange data between different systems. XML is also sometimes used as a general-purpose scripting language because it can be easily processed by computers.

Difference between SGML and XML

SGML and XML are both markup languages that are used to structure, store, and transmit data. SGML is the Standard Generalized Markup Language, while XML is the Extensible Markup Language. SGML was developed in the 1970s and is a more complex language than XML. SGML is mainly used for large documents that require complex formattings, such as books or technical manuals. XML, on the other hand, was developed in the 1990s and is designed to be simpler and easier to use than SGML. XML is often used for small- to medium-sized documents that do not require complex formatting. In general, SGML is better suited for larger and more complex documents while XML is better suited for smaller and simpler documents.


SGML and XML are both markup languages that allow you to annotate text with tags, which can be used to control the appearance and structure of a document. However, there are some key differences between the two. SGML is more complex and rigid than XML, while XML is designed to be simpler and more flexible. Additionally, SGML is not as widely supported as XML. If you’re looking for a markup language that is both powerful and widely supported, XML is probably your best bet.

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