Making information easy to exchange
You'll never write another parser
XML 1.0 makes it easy for applications to share parsers, effectively using programmers' laziness to create a universal data format of sorts. While it isn't appropriate for every situation, it provides a flexible and solid foundation for many different kinds of work.
Offloading application work
Application developers are being encouraged to hand over large chunks of work they used to do by themselves to smarter parsers. XML 1.0 parsers provided structural validation, while parsers that understand XML Schemas and data typing will be able to handle data type validation as well.
Toward the Semantic Web
The W3C sees XML, particularly namespaces, as one step toward the 'Semantic Web' of readily-understood information available over networks.
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