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APIs, messaging

After reading the last week or so of messages, I'm wondering if maybe we're picking up on a division which is kind of but not quite parallel to the documents vs. data division.

It seems like we have people who want to use XML the same way they've
used data structures in programs, building tightly-defined APIs to close
tolerances the same way they've built programs for the last few decades.
APIs are built and documented and developers have to conform to the
rules of the API to use them.

There's another group of people who want to use XML to get out of that
world of close tolerances and into a much less precise approach where
messages are exchanged and things may or may not happen depending on the
understandings of the sender and the receiver.  Message formats may or
may not be documented and developers can use information for processes
quite different from the original design.

Does that seem like a reasonable breakdown of the situation?

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer, 3rd Edition - just released!