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XML is a gateway drug to proprietary file formats (HA!)

I am sometimes easily, albeit fleetingly, entertained.

Especially, when I have spent 20 of the last 24 hours trying to hack together enough Python and XPath to get a Scrapy web crawler to be more co-operative than I was as a surly 13 year-old.

In my teenage-like angst I came across a blog post about XML parsing libraries and trying to use them with HTML.

When it comes to web I tend to read for information so I take special delight in authors who can convey useful (to me at least) technical information clearly with just enough flair to make it fun.

Simon Timms succeeded when he coined this line:

…You don’t want to get involved in XML anyway—it is a gateway drug to proprietary file formats.

Whether you find it funny or not, it earned him an organic inbound link. And I’ll go out of my way to read his stuff in the future, it’s just the right mix of and technically sophisticated commentary and information and irreverence.