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Here is the exemplar for that kind of thinking:
"Philosophers have often asked the question, 'If a DOM tree sprouts,
grows, withers and dies and is never serialized using angle brackets,
is it XML?' Similarly, they have wondered, 'If a stream pouring
into an XmlReader gurgles to life and then dries up in the heat of
the sun, but the underlying date is not angle brackets, is it XML?'
The answer to both these questions is, 'It's and XML Infoset.' Moving
forward, as more layered specifications are built on top of XML, the
more you think and work in terms of Infosets, the better. XML started
as a markup language, but it has evolved into a platform, the heart of
which is not XML 1.0, but the XML Infoset."
Martin Gudgin: http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/understanding/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnxml/html/xmlinfoset.asp
The urge to muddy what is platform and what is markup is a
terrifying problem. It completely obliterates the reason many came
to markup-based solutions initially; not heterogeneous systems
communication (the Web), but information lifecycle properties: the
ability to preserve information without regard to platform lifecycles.
Information lives longer than the computer on which it is hosted.
From: Tim Bray [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
What really scares me is the recurring theme that we ought to
re-frame XML as a data model and treat the syntax as just one
serialization. That makes me seriously paranoid - if somebody promises
me XML, I want a stream of unicode characters with angle-brackets, not
some fragile opaque binary kludge which is advertised as having infoset