Standard generalized markup language. A standardized language for the descriptive markup of documents.
SGML is the parent language of HTML and XML as Latin is to French and Spanish. SGML is formally standardized as ISO/IEC 8879-1986.
SGML provides a complex set of rules for defining document structures, HTML uses structures defined under that set of rules, whereas XML provide a subset of the rules for defining document structures.
SGML itself does not specify any particular formatting; rather, it specifies the rules for tagging elements. These tags can then be interpreted to format elements in different ways.
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