As the Internet has become more mature, rich applications
featuring responsive user interfaces and interactive capabilities have become
increasingly popular. The capabilities represent a way to make programs easier
to use and more functional, thus enhancing the user experience. Developers have
used a variety of applications from companies, such as Macromedia, Microsoft,
and Sun Microsystems, to add these capabilities in the past. However, Web
applications have generally exhibited problems such as slow performance and
limited interactivity, particularly when compared to typical desktop
applications, noted Nate Root, research director for Forrester Research, a
market analysis firm.
XML is a markup meta language that can define a set of
languages for use with structured data in online documents. Any organization
can develop an XML-based language with its own set of markup tags.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a W3C standard since 1996. CSS
gives Web site developers and users more control over how browsers display
pages. Developers use CSS to create stylesheets that define how different page
elements, such as headers and links, appear. Multiple stylesheets can apply to
the same Web page.