The Search for the XML Oriented Programming Language. ... So I predict that 2003 will be the year we all experience the search for the true meaning of "XML oriented programming"!... [TheArchitect.co.uk - Jorgen Thelin's weblog]
Agreed. There are already various kinds of scripting languages using XML (or XML-like) syntax from ColdFusion to ASP, JSP, XSP, MN8, XSLT, Cocoon, Jelly etc.
XML is a text encoding format and so I can't help thinking that there will always be lots of different ways to process XML based exactly what you're doing, whether it be based on DOM APIs, event based (SAX, StAX), data binding (like in Axis or JAXB), via XPath and XSLT or via event based path languages and transformations like STX.
When XML is used just as a file encoding to interchange data between programs, it works like a charm. When people try to adopt universal APIs, logical models or programming paradigms for XML is often where the trouble starts and things tend to splinter fast.