XML like HTML is a text file format. It is designed (unlike HTML) to allow you to represent any kind of data in a structured way. This makes it ideal for working with data on the internet because data is passed to and from many different kinds of machines and operating systems. In fact, XML was designed specifically with the internet in mind.
If you are interested in reading more about XML I would suggest you browse around www.xml.com. This is a web site of XML advocates, most of whom are much better writers than I. They have a FAQ there which can be quite informative, sadly most of the articles are quite technical. Even more technical (and Microsoft specific) information can be found at Microsoft's XML page for developers.
If anyone knows of any non-technical introductions to XML please let me know so I can add a link to it.
I wrote the XML Prophecy spoiler list as a personal proof of concept. In other words, it seemed worth it in theory so I tried it in practice. I decided then that this work could be useful to the magic community at large. That is when I decided to start the Open Magic Data project. The Open Magic Data project is not of interest to a Magic player, but it is of great use to Magic web site and application developers. If you think this might interest you I suggest you read more about it on the Open Magic Data project's home page.
For example on the OMD page you will find instructions for taking the XML file and converting it to HTML or TXT. Using these instructions (and a little programming savvy) you could modify the style sheet to create a checklist format that you like for your own personal use.
Revised May 30, 2000
Webmaster's note: this file has been modified in order to bring it into sync with OMD's new homepage at http://omd.sourceforge.net/ All changes have been to correct broken links and mispellings and style.
- November, 2000.