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Just when I stop paying attention to www-tag, interesting stuff appears.
This thread in particular is worth a read:
I'm especially fond of this (mildly edited) comment from Elliotte Rusty
Harold, which I think cuts to the heart of the matter quite beautifully.
"The problem is not that data models are bad. It's that data models are
local. My data model is not your data model, and need not be. Syntax is
exchangeable and interoperable. Data models aren't."
There's not much more I can say to that. There may be occasional
exceptions. Data model by decree works occasionally - XPath 1.0, I
think is the strongest case in that direction, though it succeeds in
large part by doing a lot with very little. Unfortunately, the genuinely
"shared" data models tend to have all the appeal of a toy that's been
fought over by screaming children yanking it away from each other.