XML is not the answer. Structured writing may be the answer. XML is one way to implement structured writing.
More and more these days, I am hearing technical publication managers (and not a few consultants) talk about the need to “move to XML”. This may be a shorthand way for them to describe a very sensible plan to implement structured writing, but if so, I wish they would say “move to structured writing”. Structured writing is a potential answer to many content challenges. XML, by itself, is not.
There is a very real danger in all this XML talk that people can get the impression that if they move their content to XML — any XML — then they will instantly have the ability to reuse content across the enterprise and to seamlessly and effortlessly deliver content to any and every channel in a form that perfectly matches the optimal information design for that channel. It just isn’t so.