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Subject: Re: 2 kinds of XML document editors needed
From: Sean Mc Grath <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 12 Jun 1998 10:34:14 +0100

text/plain (40 lines)

>>Adam M. Donahue wrote:
>> There's no need to really mark-up XML-based documents by hand.
>Marcus Carr
>If only that were the case, SGML would have ruled the world years ago.

How true! Some aspects of the SGML experience (in my experience) that I
think are relevant to this discussion:-

a) Authors[1] *hate* strutured editors. Authors *care deeply* about how their
content looks. Authors *love* WYSIWIG - however flawed and illusory.

b) Authoring in a structured environment - especially with a canned DTD -
pre-supposes that you know how all the bits of content hang together.
Like any creative act, writing involves an intermediate stage where there
is just content. Good stuff, but yet to be structured.

Bottom line : For some types of writing, content comes first,
structure is layered on afterwards.

c) No one has (IMHO) figured out a good visual metaphor for editing

d) Once you know what you are doing, fancy strutured editors get in
the way. I know of more than one intence markup activity where Brief,
Emacs, and even Word with Macros is preferred to fully blown structured

Just my 1 EURO's worth.

[1] By "authors" I am excluding myself and people like me who both write
books and work with SGML/XML professionally.

Sean Mc Grath -
XML by Example:Building E-Commerce Applications
ParseMe.1st - SGML for Software Developers

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