Is XML Stupid Brother of Lisp Sexp?

By Xah Lee. Date:

Is XML syntax the inferior version of lisp sexp?

In around 2003 to 2007, when XML is raging, there's a widespread sense among lisp circles that the world finally understood the advantage of lisp syntax, yet did it in a botched form as XML.

You can see such sentiments here:

There's also rebuttal. For example, this: XML is not S-Expressions made popular on Hacker News at The URL of the original article is 〔〕 and it seems dead. Here a copy: XML is not S-Expressions.

Today, such sentiment is largely gone, and XML is deemed a abomination. Nobody wants to be associated with it. The cutie now is HTML5!

HTML5 spits on regularity. See: Google HTML/CSS Style Guide: Good Style or Bad Taste?.

Lispers are quick to point out the regularity of lisp syntax as advantage, and its simplicity beats XML, yet, if you point out that the lisp syntax is not exactly regular, they think of something else to say.