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Re: Remembering the original XML vision

omittag xml
Rick Jelliffe writes:

 > I don't believe users are happy.
 > At least, not the publishing users.  By making it easy for
 > developers, we have a lot of software which is good for data
 > transmission but still very little that is an advance for data
 > capture.

I agree that the publishing users are not happy, but I don't think the
reason is the lack of SHORTREF or OMITTAG in XML.  I did clever things
with that stuff, too, but it's a show-off thing like the
generating-a-concordance-with-a-single-Unix-command-line trick.
Realistically, you'll be converting non-XML/SGML data using a
scripting language, and at that point it's not any harder to add in
the explicit start and end tags.

The real problem is that neither SGML nor XML is particularly easy for
authors to use and understand.  In the data world, we can remove much
of the unfamiliarity by using input forms, but in the document world,
authors have to learn the whole new world-view of generic markup even
if they do have nice, GUI-based, WYSIWYMG editors to hide the pointy

Furthermore, the publishing industry works in a much less controlled
environment than your typical corporate data provider or consumer:
book authors and freelance journalists tend to work from home, on
their own systems, and full-time journalists in the field have even
more limited computing resources available (sometimes just a
Blackberry).  Publishers can reasonably expect authors to install and
maintain their own copies of Word (or OpenOffice) at home, but they
cannot expect the same for XML authoring software.

All the best,


David Megginson, david@m..., http://www.megginson.com/


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