Markup Languages

If you dabble in web design then hearing the term “markup language(s)” shouldn’t be something new to you. However, do you really know what it means? And do you know that markup languages has actually been used long before computers came into existence?

According to Wikipedia, “a markup language is an artificial language using a set of annotations to text that describe how text is to be structured, laid out, or formatted.” As you can see the definition does not say that it describes how text should be formatted in a web page but simply how ANY text can should be formatted. What this means is that more likely than not there are markup languages found in every corner of the world as long as languages are printed or put in written form. Of course, as web designers this is not our concern. What we are interested in are the markup languages that have emerged due to computers including all the markup languages that fall under these categories:

  • XML markup languages
  • General purpose markup languages
  • Document markup languages
  • Content syndication markup languages
  • Lightweight markup languages
  • User interface markup languages
  • Vector graphics markup languages
  • Web service markup languages

As web designers though it is to be expected that you’ll be most familiar with XML markup languages and user interface markup languages. In my next posts I’ll be giving a short list of markup languages and maybe even discuss with a bit more depth some of the more popular markup languages.

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