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Most XML parsers I've used are leaky abstractions. Even once the document is parsed, actually accessing the data can require a lot more complexity than accessing parsed JSON data.

IIRC, the popular C++ implementations were glorified tokenizers. It was up to you to figure out which tokens were data and how those tokens related to each other.

Ah, SAX. People built some true horrors with that API, just because it was "more performant" than DOM. Never mind that their hacked-together tree builders often leaked like sieves.

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