According to the current version of the Chris Sells XML DevCon page (don't bother bookmarking it, Chris Sells doesn't believe in permalinks so all the content on that page is transient) I noticed that Chris Anderson is presenting the following
While everyone is currently infatuated with XML, developers are constantly doing battle with trying to rationalize and leverage XML in their applications. Ill talk about having to balance correct XML-isms vs. usability in XAML, about the preponderance of XML reader/writer/DOM/serialization APIs, and about how all of this throws you into a horrible programming experience of loosely typed runtime errors. This reveals XML for what it is a data encoding. XML is the ASCII text file of the 2000s. While web services are often called "XML Web Services," the reality is that every web service API abstracts the developer from the XML view.
Nothing says vote of confidence like when the chief architects of one of teams you work closely with says your technology sucks. 🙂
Seriously though, I am curious as to what his presentation actually will be about. Reading the abstract, it seems like it is another iteration of a data-centric user of XML coming to the realization that for their scenarios XML is just CSV on steroids. People's behavior when they realize this usually follows a pattern similar to the five stages of grief. First there is denial, this usually takes the form of an initial disbelief that after all the hype they've heard about XML it isn't working out fantastically for them. Then there is bargaining, this usually manifests itself as attempts to not use XML but still use it. Often you here phrases like "binary XML", "XML subset" or "XML profile" at this point. Then there is anger at XML for being more complex and verbose than they need. At this point you get to either read a rant-filled email, blog post, conference paper or in this case conference presentation about how badly the technology is suited for its purpose. Then there is either despair or acceptance. One doesn't follow the other. If the next stage is despair in this case the person ends up not using XML to solve that particular problem. On the other hand if it is acceptance, XML is still used but in some cases it is in one of the forms that were mentioned in the bargaining stage such as a binary representation of an XML stream or using some subset of XML.
Hopefully Chris Anderson will post his slides online.