Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: "Mike Starr" <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: "Janice Gelb" <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>, "techwhirlers" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 08:23:08 -0500

Well, of course you're right... if I could think of a reason I'd need a
nanny to watch over my shoulder and make sure I didn't violate standards I'd
have to choose a different tool. I do think that, in spite of not having
been created by an "official" Structured Document Authoring Tool®, it could
still actually be a structured document. If it walks like a duck...

However, I suspect if the standard you're referring to had incorporated a
second head3-level style for those sorts of situations, your writers
wouldn't have felt compelled to use a head4 in its place. There should
always be a mechanism in place for situations that weren't anticipated when
the style guide/DTD was created. Even the best style guide needs to be
overridden once in a while. That's the value of an experienced writer.

But just out of curiosity, if one skips a level, is that inherently evil?
Isn't the resulting document still intact with respect to the heirarchy? And
even if it isn't is that in itself a fatal flaw if I can look at the
document structure and still make sense of it? In my case, there's nobody to
impose structure on my documents other than my own built-in standards that I
adhere to.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Janice Gelb" <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: "techwhirlers" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: Giving up on XML

> Mike Starr wrote:
>> Ah and I create lovely structured documents using Word...
>> Apply heading styles as appropriate then use Word's outline functionality
>> to
>> reveal the structure. Drag-and-drop and/or promote/demote to revise the
>> structure.
> Contrary to appearances, these are not actually
> structured documents. For example, nothing prevents
> you from putting a Head4 after a Head2 (something
> our writers used to do in FrameMaker when they
> didn't want the bigger font of a Head3 after
> certain Head2 headings). The numbers refer to the
> styling you've assigned to the heads rather than
> to an actual structure, even though you are using
> appearance to indicate a structure.
> SGML, at least, enforces a DTD rule set that
> prevents one from tinkering with structure
> just for output effects, or with using *ahem*
> personalized structures that do not match a
> structure that has been decided on by the
> entire organization as the standard.
> -- Janice


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Rant: Giving up on XML: From: siliconwriter
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Giving up on XML: From: quills
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Giving up on XML: From: quills
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Mike Starr
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Janice Gelb

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