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> What (authoritative) source gave you the impression that XML is
> only, or even primarily, an "interchange" format? It started
> life as "SGML for the Web", and SGML is not primarily an
> interchange format. Its usefulness as an interchange format
> is alluded to in the XML 1.0 spec, IIRC, but not stressed.
I think that many of the design decisions in XML (and SGML) can only be
justified by considering it primarily as an interchange format.
No-one designing a storage format, for example, would have designed it
so that you can't locate an element by ID except by reading the file
serially from the beginning. That's why XML databases, even native XML
databases, don't actually store XML: they store a representation of the
XML InfoSet optimized for storage and retrieval.
I generally argue that XML is designed primarily for information
interchange, and that the requirement for storage is secondary: it
arises whenever there is a time-lapse between someone writing the
message and someone else wanting to read it. Messages are stored only to