This article speaks of careless use of XML and of how the government wants a standard. This is not a new problem. Once upon a time, the Department of Defense wanted to standardize the way contract proposals were submitted. Thus VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language – VHSIC means Very Speed Integrated Circuit) was born. Schematics were described using this standard. These days the reverse is true – hardware is "written" in VHDL first, then fabricated. Nowadays hardware can be synthesized much like how code is compiled. This is particularly useful when designing for FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). Do a search on Google for any of these terms to learn more.
Government seeks accord on XML
"The federal government isn't known as a pioneering early adopter. But growing support within U.S. agencies for the popular XML data exchange format has raised concerns that, for once, things might be moving too fast."