Wooden Nickels

The first thing you should know about XML is that XML is not hard. It is not difficult to learn. In its bare essence, XML is a programmable, hierarchical text file format—that's all. It will not cure cancer or walk your dog. It's simply a technology—a very powerful technology—that people are using to enable applications to work together and share data. It is not hard, and its syntax isn't even that complex, as you'll see in just a moment.

That said, XML does seem to be in a constant state of flux—its creators just can't seem to leave it alone. I'm reminded of what the French film director Marcel Pagnol once said, “One has to look out for engineers—they begin with sewing machines and end up with the atomic bomb.” XML's extensibility ...

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