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In reading this thread, I was reminded of a source of confusion at a recent conference I attended, where network management types were looking at applying XML (and, more broadly, web services) to problems in their domain. Many of the questions about XML seemed to stem from a confusion over XML as a data representation and XML as a protocol. It seems to be used at different times as both- and sometimes at the same time as both. It got particularly confusing for people at a web services session- the payload is XML, the protocol (SOAP) is XML, etc. Does XML contribute to the blurring of the distinction between data and protocol, and, if so, is it a good thing or a bad thing?