This page is reference material on data languages. In contrast to
natural languages, most of artificial languages are
programming languages. Grammars are the dominant means
for language specification. Whereas grammars are designed for
virtually all programming languages, it is a pretty rare practice to
use grammars for specifying data formats as opposed to computer programs.
Normally, data formats are specified by giving interpretations
to fixed-size chanks of the data.
Those rare cases in which grammars are used to specify data languages are
collected on this page. It is the grammar that makes a data format a data language.
Data formats described by other means than grammars are not covered here.
While compiling this list of data languages, I discovered that there are basically
two groups of them. The first one is XML-related languages. SGML
belongs to this group but it also stands out as a language that
was in existence far before the conception of XML. In the view of
XML advocates, XML-related languages eventually replace all other data
languages and all other data formats for that matter. The second group
combines all other data languages. Surprisingly, the second group also happened
to be somewhat uniform. It includes exclusively languages for printing and
for visualization of documents. One of the biggest groups of data formats -
graphical formats - are normally not specified by languages.
There are noticable exceptions like SVG and X3D though.
Need to relax? Try brain teasers. I would recommend those marked 'cool'.