Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: "Mike Starr" <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 00:47:38 -0500

It also occurs to me that adopting a tool that imposes structured
documentation doesn't do anything at all to impose consistent structure. I
can have a boatload of content that's all structured with none of it
structurally similar.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: Giving up on XML

>I was intrigued by this recent writing:
> "The most commonly-stated reasons for adopting
> structured documentation techniques include:
> Automation, Reuse, Single-sourcing, Productivity gains
> (resulting from the above)
> However, none of these (or other) advantages require
> structuring at all. Non-SGML markup languages such as
> troff or TeX, and even help-authoring tools like
> RoboHelp, all allow automation, reuse, and
> single-sourcing.
> Another purported benefit of structured authoring is
> that it enforces consistency both within a document
> and across a suite of related documents. Again,
> structure is not necessary to gain this benefit: a
> properly-designed style sheet (combined with good
> old-fashioned peer pressure) is sufficient."
> I agree on some levels: structured documents, like
> virtualization, are an overhyped trend.
> On another level, I find them useful in that they are
> often machine parseable.
> On still another level, I find the convergence of RDF
> and XML interesting as XML is a structural markup,
> while RDF is a value-typing/definitional markup.
> Kollar made some good points about the utility of
> simply a style sheet and some common sense. I think
> the dumbing-down of authoring to the point where
> machines could do it is a silly idea. On the other
> hand, I like the thought of writing information into
> an XML format, tagging it with RDF-style definitional
> markup, and then putting a kind of data tainting on it
> so it knows where to go, whether a public CMS or a
> private intranet. Letting the machines work for us, in
> other words.


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Re: Giving up on XML: From: Chris Borokowski

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