Besdies if the config file is in XML it's easier to write your own tools to manipulate those configurations than if it was a proprietary binary file, or a text file with no real organization.
Coming from someone who has never written an single tool no doubt... Yes it is such a challenge looping down a text file and then splitting it by '='. XML is insanely complex to manipulate with tools unless your using a pre-build parser. Dumping things
in binary is actually fairly straight forward as are most text formats.