One of the complaints about Tim Bray's talk this morning was that it depressed everyone about what is bad with XML (in particular, all the work being done to extend it with lots of WS-* specs before we really need them, among other problems).
Earlier, Sam Ruby talked to us about the encoding problems of RSS, escaping problems with XML/HTML, and how the rest of it is tenuous at best. Tim Ewald bemoaned this and pointed out how the MSDN team dealt with these problems, but Sam showed how http://msdn2.microsoft.com still had these problems (we saw this fixed very quickly by the responsive team at Microsoft).
Follow Sam's talk online at http://intertwingly.net/slides/2004/devcon. The bottom line of Sam's talk was that Atom (which Sam helped develop) helps solve these problems.