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I have to do an assignment and the following is specified:

Extract these items:
<content type="HTML">
 quoted HTML payload
</content>

the extraction refers to an XML feed. What exactly does HTML payload refer to?

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3 Answers 3

Many protocols have a header and then what follows the header is the content, or payload. The header describes the type, length, or other metadata about the content, or payload.

For example, if you are on a Windows XP or Linux system, do the following: telnet www.google.com 80 Then type the following exactly: [enter] GET / HTTP/1.1[enter][enter] What you are doing here is manually issuing an HTTP request to Google in a very simple way.

You'll see a number of lines before the HTML from that page starts. Those are the HTTP headers. They are not normally displayed by your browser, but used by your browser to render content or for other purposes. Usually at a minimum for HTTP you need Content-Type: and Content-Length: headers which tell you what type of data follows and it's length.

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From Wikipedia:

Material transmitted over a network (either computer or telecommunications network) includes both data and information that identifies the source and destination of the material. The payload is the actual data, or the cargo, carried by the headers.

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In this context, the feed wraps a web page in its own tags to identify what it is. This item wraps a page in a content tag, specifying that it is html per the type attribute.

Therefore the reader is indicating that the data contained is an HTML page (likely including the DOCTYPE, html, head, and body tags).

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