[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]
My friend Tim asked me on Saturday night about XML. He actually asked me a question that I had asked DonXML at the Sells DevCon on Wednesday afternoon.
Tim's question was this: I don't know much about XML and after reading all that you wrote about the conference, I'm starting to wonder if I should know more; when should I consider using XML?
My question to Don went something like this: I know XSLT and I know XML, but I find that I rarely use it; when should I use it.
Now Don is a pretty smart guy (otherwise I would have found someone else to pose the question to). Instead of answering me directly Don asked me a series of questions that amounted to when have you used it in the past. I explained a situation where I was dynamically filtering data on the client. I also was dynamically building the filtering parameters all on the fly.
I've seen other situations where I could use it, but since I was neither trying to take advantage of a specific XML feature, doing offline storage, or transmitting the data elsewhere, I couldn't convince myself that it was beneficial to use it.
Don then responded that I probably already knew the answer to my question.
I guess the point for me is to realize that to use XML, you have to create a document, so you have to balance the processing involved in creating a document against the added benefits. If you are doing one of the things I mentioned above then converting to XML may be worthwhile (then again it might not... it's important to use your brain and not simply look for rules to follow... don't be a lazy thinker).