Java programmers outnumber Perl programmers here by about
20-to-1. I'm pretty much the lone Perl progammer and I
believe that, day to day, I crank out and parse more XML
than the rest combined. I think that's largely because it
is so easy. Although sometimes I think that hurts -- I get
the impression some people think I've just hacked up some
regexp's when, in fact, I do almost all of it with Perl XML
packages from CPAN.
On the other side, it took the Java guys about a year to get
away from custom Java string parsing code (yuck) and start
using some real XML tools. So go figure ...
As to the argument for/against XML itself, the answer is
simple: It's here, so you will have to deal with it if it
comes your way. I do find, however, that many people
complicate simple data import/export models that are single
row oriented (e.g., better suited for delimited or CSV
formats) by coming up with utterly silly XML DTD's that just
blow the whole thing up into 10 times more work. On the
other side of that, I deal with a half dozen or so
interfaces where XML is a perfect fit for the complex,
hiearchical nature of the data.
I always try to do what makes sense and what's easiest. I
think out of our three friend Laziness, Impatience, and
Hubris I may have an extra dose of Laziness ...