Subject: Re: XML
From: Allen Schaaf <soundbyte -at- sound-by-design -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 08:27:20 -0700

At 03:19 AM 8/20/02, Chris Gooch wrote:


Whilst it is true that tables do typically present issues for many
markup systems, xml and latex alike, I cannot agree that a table is
not a logical structure. A traditional table, as described here by
Hilesund, is a 2 dimensional array, which is really a visual
structure, not a logical one, he says. Oh yes? What about a three
dimensional one then? -- I suppose I can just about imagine a
3d graph or somesuch, [snip]

Who besides me remembers combing reference card stacks?

For those who never encountered this, imagine a 5x8 with 1/8" holes all around the edges and long needles that fit into the holes.

You would line up a bunch of cards - 2-300 - and based on what you were searching for, insert your needles into the appropriate holes, grab the needles and shake. Depending on the library, either the cards that dropped out or the ones that stayed behind were the ones you wanted. They met the several criteria of your search.

I distinctly remember an illustration of the process that showed the three dimensionality of the whole process. The written description was not as understandable as the illustration so I would agree with Chris that tables of X dimensions and their 2, or even 3 dimensional representations can be logical structures.

Even given this mistake, IMHO, this does not detract from the essential tenant that XML is not the holy grail of write once, publish anywhere cant.

Java was supposed to do the same for programming and has failed totally.

I suspect that the only way this type of approach will work is with the bones of many systems being discarded along the wayside.

Allen Schaaf
Sr. Tech Writer
Currently looking for work.

Who says bad manuals aren't a risk to your life? Just ask the passengers of the jet where the engine caught fire because the company's maintenance manual was wrong about how to install one key bolt. (NTSB Report on GE CF6 engine fire, American Airlines flight 574, July 9, 1998. <>)

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Re: XML: From: Chris Gooch

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