Re: XML authoring Tools
I guess they have their place, but I prefer writing that code by hand. Same goes for pretty much any code generation tool really, call me a purist!
They can be helpful in the sense they get you started quickly, but the issue is the code they generate is often so convoluted that you're then locked in to editing that code with that tool. You *could* edit it by hand but it'd be more pain than progress.
If you write code by hand it might take longer initially but you'll learn more and the maintenance cost should eventually be lower to. And you end up with the satisfaction of knowing it's good code underneath!
Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs.