If you were building websites back in the late ’90s you will probably remember how XML was cropping up everywhere. It was going to replace SQL and HTML and cure the common cold too. The vendors were promoting it as a panacea for all the evils of the web. As a result I became very disenchanted with the whole XML movement.

Over the last ten years the hype has subsided and thankfully XML has not taken over the world. However, it has emerged as a fine language for transmitting complex and arbitrary data structures between systems and over the web. It is well supported and most languages provide routines for its easy manipulation. I have just written a library that required importing and exporting complex data structures between websites and found it easy to do in XML. I saved a lot of time because I did not have to invent yet another encoding and I am able to reuse the code for my next project.

I for one will be making more use of XML in the future.