Recent posts about what XML is or is not like (Two XMLs, sliced and diced, XML. Hard for who? and others -- just follow the links) reminds me of debates some years ago about PostScript, as a programming language.
What I believe is that like PostScript, XML is fundamentally a format for machine to machine communication, with a nice benefit of being human-readable, more or less. Maybe like SMTP and FTP.
But that in the longer term most programmers are not going to be reading and writing XML any more than they read or write PostScript or SMTP. Of course the small minority of programmers writing PostScript engines or SMPT protocol stacks etc will do, but to the majority XML will be some format that the platform uses but that the developer is largely insulated from.
I believe that. What I am not clear about is how that should or should not affect or inform the RSS and Atom discussions, but maybe someone else will comment on that.
(update: Why RSS is (or should be) as irrelevant as HTML puts forth essentially the same point of view.)