Information wants to be free
Accessibility is as important as ownership
Different kinds of freedom
"Information wants to be free" is often applied to copyright issues - free speech - and pricing - free beer. There are additional ways information can be be free.
XML makes it possible for the same information to interact with multiple programs in multiple environments. Instead of the information being bound inseparably to one program, it can be read, processed,and stored by any number of programs.
Lowering the bar, raising the quality
Highly optimized binary formats require immense effort to figure out - ask anyone who's had to filter the Microsoft formats. The alternative has been simple text formats like CSV. XML offers the data quality of binary formats with the accessibility of text formats. (There is, of course, a cost in verbosity.)
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