RE: Structured stuff for the beginner

Subject: RE: Structured stuff for the beginner
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2017 12:54:43 +0000 (UTC)

Steve says the following in response to Mark:

"Maybe you're saying (and you probably said this explicitly) that most of the markup languages out there now are document-domain oriented. HTML, SGML, DITA, DocBook, lightweight markup languages, and the like."


SGML is definitely not a document-domain oriented markup, any more than is XML. These are structure oriented markup languages that can be used to create document-oriented variants. Proof? XML is used to express user interfaces (see Flash), transmit record/field data, specify properties and configurations, transport API data, and so on. XML can express many things that are not document-oriented, and so can SGML.

Also, you cannot equate SGML or XML with HTML, DITA, and DocBook any more than you can equate Cat with mamal. HTML is indeed a document-domain oriented implementation of SGML... Hyper Text document-oriented in fact, hence the name Hyper Text Markup Language. DocBook is similarly document-oriented. I would argue that DITA is topic-oriented, and that's a different thing, though it might not be different enough to satisfy.

In fact, I'm having difficulty seeing how this discussion is taking us beyond the SGML discussions of the '90s. SGML was all about creating your own structure definition to satisfy a domain. Yes, they called it a Document Type Definition, but they were careful to insist that it's about setting up structure, and not rendering. With a rich enough structure, you can treat the "document" as data. Ok, so the terminology back then was stuck in document speak. But the results opened up the "domain" so that this current discussion could even be possible. I would like to better understand how the new subject-domain setup is different from SGML application setup, terminology notwithstanding.

I'll also point out that LightWeight DITA uses HTML5 in a way that introduces more metadata than normal HTML. If I got it right, the theory is that anything you can express with lwDITA in XML you can also express in HTML5. And we have already seen that lwDITA XML is able to go beyond the document domain.

To RL... Still no idea why my stuff goes into SPAM.
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