Over the years, starting in 95, I have used SGML and XML technologies mostly for software development purposes e.g. like building domain languages, keeping configuration information, support lifecycle management through automated updates. While working for a large Swiss bank I've also used XML for meta-data management to run the development environment for a large-scale CORBA/EJB project. XML proved invaluable as the communication glue necessary to tap into legacy systems and aggregate the results. The term "XML bus" was used for this. Finally, while working on the concepts of a financial research information warehouse XML as an editing tool became more important because it meant shifting to a structured publising process - getting away from Word's Garbage-in-Garbage-out principle.
On of the funniest moments in my carreer was without doubt a CHOOSE event on XML - held in January 98 in Basel. We had a full house and I had invited Adam Rifkin and Rohit Kare (Rohit URL) - two people living the web live much earlier than most others. I still believe Rohits "evolution of document" to be a fascinating piece of literature. My talk concentrated on showing how XML works from a programmers perspective and how it could be used as the "DNA of a large system". Also transformation issues where a hot topic at that time after the merger of Swissbank Corporation and SBG to UBS. But it took a long time for IT management in the Bank to even start realizing the benefits of XML.
Those were kind of my fighting years for SGML and XML (e.g. fighting for deployment descriptors to be in XML format in IBM Component Broker - a EJB system) or for a meta-data repository for the bank.
Character Sets and Encodings - hints and tips from Guillaume Robert Some advice and links to more information on XML and its relation to character sets and encodings.