XML is whatever you want it to be
2002-07-04 01:00:00 UTC
Everyone sees XML as they want to see it. Procedural programmers see it as a stream of on/off switches. Object-oriented programmers see it as a hierarchy of objects. Functional programmers see it as a tree which they can recurse into.
In a way, I suppose this is an indication of XML's success. It presents obvious ways of being processed without forcing any particular model onto the programmer.