Being triggered by Laurent Schneider’s post “extract xml from the command line“; I completely forgot about the C-based XDK tooling you nowadays can find in your $ORACLE_HOME. You, probably just like me, weren’t even aware, there were some (C-based that is). Most of these are executable’s and not “just” Java tools, although xsql is a shell script that still starts Java. More information can be found here in the “Oracle® XML Developer’s Kit Programmer’s Guide 11.2”
I mean in principle they are not “new”, they were there since 8.1.x, but now they are compiled executables which you can use on the shell prompt and or in scripting and that is, at least for me, easier than doing the same via their $ORACLE_HOME/xdk Java counterparts.