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I agree. It is one of the stronger myths about XML, repeated
everywhere and seldom examined critically as you are doing.
It is a best practice as possible, but there are instances
where the presentation IS the information and the separation
position falls apart like ontological arguments about
infinitely thin boundaries.
XML's principal advantage is the agreement about
the syntax and the encoding that enables the
REST and SOA advocates to disagree about everything else.
From: Xasima Xirohata [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
So the adherence of the rule
<separate and be victorious over complexity> will lead to the loss of
semantic links and force to intricate application design.
In my opinion the separation isn't the principle feature neither in
XML nor in Web Services.