I’ve been always a great fan of XML. Yesterday, in the search for Indigo references, I’ve found a very interesting article by Aaron Skonnard on "Serialization in Windows Communication Foundation". It is always nice to learn directly from architects of a given technology. There is not much about WCF in there, but a lot about object to XML mapping, and how to make serialization and deserialization as flexible and transparent as possible. Especially this point seems to be the most interesting: “The separation of serialization from encoding makes it possible to build your applications on a consistent data model (the XML Infoset) while providing flexibility in representation (the encoding)”. Aaron Skonnard is well known XML expert. His in-depth “Essential XML Quick Reference” is available as free download from the TheServerSide. The best reference to doing similar things in Delphi for .NET I know so far is the BDN article "Binary Serialization with the Microsoft .NET framework and Delphi for .NET" by Marcel van Brakel.
In the recent eweek article on the future of programming DavidI says that “in 2010, XML will be the fundamental data type for all programming languages and databases“ and “all IDEs will contain at least 10 different general-purpose and DSLs (domain specific languages) that can be intermixed inside the same project parts.” Going further in this direction it would be super cool if Delphi, or more formally Borland Developer Studio, would contain either dedicated XML personality with RAD support to XML Schema, XSL, XQuery authoring and debugging, or at least full featured XML editor.
Something like XML Notepad 2006 integrated with the IDE would be good enough for starters;-)