Eric Explains: XML


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we at Sunlight want as much government information online as possible.   But when it comes to exactly how this information should be put online, the specifics can be just as important. Many agencies do in fact publish their information and reports online, but what is also important, especially over at Sunlight Labs, is having that data in open, computer-friendly formats.

However, it can be difficult to explain to a non-technical audience why PDF just isn’t good enough, or even inappropriate (have you ever opened a PDF of a table of numbers and wished they’d sent you a spreadsheet instead?). Often, what we want is XML.

  • Never heard of XML?
  • Don’t understand it?
  • Hate tech acronyms?

Well, then you’re who we made this video for.

Here, we have Eric Mill, one of our Labs developers, explain what XML is and why your organization can benefit, like ours has, from publishing your data in XML.