From: Isaac Rabinovitch <isaacr -at- mailsnare -dot- net>
To: techwr-l
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 17:47:41 -0800

eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com wrote:

Or, use SGML/XML with tags identifying the different items so that they can be formatted according to their type. (or NOT.)

From your mouth to God's ear. Alas, it probably *would* take something like divine fiat to get people to use structured formats and proper content-presentation separation. There's just too much cultural, technical, and economic inertia behind the word-processor approach.

It's worth mentioning that there's more to the ability to change your formatting on the fly then the ability to change your mind. Nowadays, you often have to target your content at several different media: print, web, PDAs, and so on. Now, PDA format is well-suited for print, and can be fiddled to be displayed on all the others. But I think the user is better served if each medium gets a format that's *designed* for it. So HTML for the web, WML for PDAs, and so on. If you have your original content in a structured format (which nowadays basically means XML), you can easily create the other formats as needed.

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