FWIW, I edit XML in vim plenty.  It's not awesome, but it's not
particularly painful either.  XML is not unfriendly to $EDITOR, but it
is more verbose.  The great value that XML provides is in technologies
like XPath, XQuery, and XSLT.  I ache for the power of XSLT in
association with LyX.

But also, even if LyX adopts a native XML format, the old .lyx format
will necessarily stick arou d for a long time due to the need to
support migration from one format to the other, so it should always be
possible to edit .lyx in $EDITOR for those who want it.  The .lyx
format can't be going away forever anytime soon!

Regarding collaborations...  there's an online, web-based,
collaborative LaTeX editor out there that is clearly superior to LyX
as far as collaborative editing goes.  It'd be nice if LyX could grow
some awesome collaborative functionality, and I think that XML
technologies can help there.


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