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Improve front-end. Why using XML?

This is a design question. I'm trying to understand the logic behind some decisions.

Why are we using XML as the front-end to specify world/models? It seems to me that using, for example, a python script to build the graph structure of a model is way easier than struggling with an XML file. This python script can return a data structure that can be loaded directly into a C++ one through bindings.

XML is painful. Why are we doing this to ourselves?