Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Mike Starr <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:26:05 -0700

Mike Starr wrote:
> <snip>
> 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.


This is an issue of documentation methodology and style, but not really
so much about structure in the XML sense.


But you're right, documentation has other uses for structure (as a
template for information collection, as a visual cue to a document's
organization, ...), and IMHO human consumers and writers of
documentation do seem to prefer documentation that has not been fully
elaborated with empty-but-logical structure. I think of XML as a system
for describing information to computers. Indeed, one of the standard
uses of XML is for identifying data elements in an electronic stream of
information, for example from a web form to a database, or from a bank
ATM to the transaction processing system. Sometimes we need to do
documentation for people that way, sometimes not.


Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
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References:
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
Re: Giving up on XML: From: Mike Starr

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