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Mark Stanton wrote
I hope not, XML is supposed to be a self defining file format surely?

It's a meta-file format. You (who defines all the XML tags) are the one and
only person able to develop import and export software for your particular
flavour of XML.

<BLAH foo="bar">
<blub x=12>1.43</blub>
<scramble crucifix=True>ertzuiopdfghjklöxcvbnm</scramble>
How would you translate this into a spreadsheet? Is BLAH a row, a column?
What is scramble? How to deal with the attributes?

Nobody ever tells us anything about his/her user-defined file formats such
as CSV or XML. So most of the topics becaome lengthy and some remain

  A general importer ought to be easy, no?

 Google reveals plenty of examples about how to write XLST scritpts to
import/export user-defined XML formats into/from ODF. This is development
work just like writing macros or setting up a database.
In all those years since OOo 1.0 nobody wrote a generic XML-to-Calc tool. I
would search in the database world for existing XML tools for database
engines. Once you have the data in a connectable database, you have it it in
Calc and Writer as well.

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