Difference between XML and WML

 XML vs. WML

XML is markup language used to create various tags while designing a website. It is one of the most popular HTML based languages used by web-designers. The most attractive facility of XML is that it can be formatted to be compatible with various devices. On the other hand, WML which is also known as Wireless Markup Language is used for creating web pages which are specifically compatible for smaller devices, for example, mobile phones. This programming language is now officially obsolete.

Comparison Chart

  Extensible Markup Language Wireless Markup Language         
Usage It is mostly used in devices which are big in size. Usually meant for more than 1 user. Is widely used in devices which are small in size and is meant for the use of one person.
Purpose XML is meant for documents    containing structured information for encoding in devices of large screens, namely desktops and laptops. Created with the help of XML, mainly for devices with small screens, such as cell phones and providing facilities to design webpage’s.
Functioning It is developed for storing and transfers the data throughout networks. XML used is to transfer and receive the data from the both ends. The simple code required to perform this function. Information stored in XML language in the form of codes. WML developed from XML that performs various function. WML provides navigational support, text, and images. It provides us different functions including tool facility and proper programming.
Developing Base It is developed by using HTML. It is developed by using XML.
Origin XML is a descendant of SGML, (Standard Generalized Markup Language). The language that would eventually become SGML was invented by Charles F. Goldfarb, Ed Mosher, and Ray Lorie at IBM. Building on Open wave’s HDML, Nokia’s “Tagged Text Markup Language” (TTML) and Ericsson’s proprietary markup language for mobile content, the WAP forum created the WML 1.1 standard.
Year 1970 2001


XML, commonly known as Extensible Markup Language, is a markup language that defines the set of rules for encoding a document that is readable in both human and machine cases of encoding. The design goals of XML are mainly focused on simplicity, generality, and usability across the Internet. It is a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, the language is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures such as those used in web services.


WML, commonly known as Wireless Markup Language, which is based on XML is now an obsolete markup language. It was initially intended for those devices which used to have the Wireless Application Protocol, such as mobile phones. It was used to provide navigational support, data input, hyperlinks, and text and image presentation along with other forms of markup language, much like HTML. It preceded the use of other markup languages now used with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), such as HTML and XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), increases gradually.

Key differences

  • The main difference that lies between the two Markup devices is the target device they wish to serve. XML was largely used to serve the desktops while WML was developed to serve the small devices like cell phones.
  • While XML is more developed and advanced, WML is now more or less obsolete. It is less developed because it’s not widely used as XML.
  • The data sharing method of XML is more developed than the data sharing methods of WML.
  • XML allows, developing a single website whose data can be shown on more than one device without any problem. WML, on the other hand, is used to make the web pages which are not able to show themselves on different devices at the same time.
  • XML is not bound to the format of the website but WML is completely bound to the format of the website.
  • XML is used to make tags, customized and predefined, while WML is used to make the headlines of news, podcasts, and stories etc.

Video Explanation

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