primarily by Jon Bosak as a way to make working with information delivered over the Web easier. Then in 1998, XML was standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international standards body for the Web. Since its beginnings, the Web has used HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to display content. HTML documents are stored on Web servers and then sent on demand to a Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. The browser then displays the HTML as a Web page. Figure 1-1 illustrates this process. HTML comes up short HTML has become so wildly popular largely because it’s very easy to learn and work with; heck, even my 7-year-old can create a Web page using Microsoft FrontPage, and my 9-year-old can write HTML by hand. The markup language was originally designed purely as a way to format and lay out infor- mation. However, because people have wanted to use the Web for nearly every task under the sun, HTML has been forced to do far more than was ever intended. Consider a familiar scenario: A company wants to put information stored in a database onto its Web site. A sampling of its data might look something like Table 1-1. Table 1-1 Sample Customer Database ID Name City State Zip 100 Ray Kinsella Anderson IN 46011 101 Rick Blaine Manchester NH 02522 Web Server Web Browser HTML page Figure 1-1: Displaying information over the Web. 8 Part I:  Getting Started with XSLT