The Word Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released the first official specification for the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0, a system for defining, validating, and sharing document formats on the Web. XML, like HTML, is a markup language that describes documents, but XML is also extensible, meaning that developers can create new extensions to the language on the fly. Several companies, such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Netscape, have already adopted XML and plan to integrate the language into various products. Microsoft, for example, will use XML and HTML to provide rich, platform-independent documents created with the next version of Office, code-named Office 9.

"The development of XML 1.0 illustrates the power of the W3C process," said Dan Connolly, W3C Architecture Domain Leader and XML Activity Lead. "From its inception, W3C has been committed to the evolution of Web data formats. XML is the next step in that evolution and we are proud to have spearheaded this initiative."

For more information on the XML standard, please visit the W3C homepage