RE: XML / XSL vs. [x]HTML / WML / etc. etc.

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From: Gavin Thomas Nicol (
Date: Fri Sep 29 2000 - 21:49:58 PDT

> Two coworkers of mine are writing a book using StructuredText, which
> is a way to encode simple relationships in a text document with
> indentation, prefixes, etc., like we've all been doing for years on an
> informal level - *emph*, "-" bullets for lists, indentation sublevels,
> etc. They edit the text, it's stored in a DOM tree, and export it to
> others as XML and HTML. They never have to touch the *ML unless
> they're tweaking the display, not the structure, it's the DOM in the
> center that bridges everything.

Sure, but this just really shows how poor XML authoring tools are
in general. The main thing is that they are focusing on structure.
What XML is about is making the inherent structure of text explicit.

Personally, I have a few word templates I use for almost everything,
and have written macros to save the content as XML. Either that or
emacs+psgml. Tools are a matter of preference and are just a means to

I like to remember the days of scribe, LaTeX etc... they were all
somewhat structured. We got away from that with WYSIWYG.

> I think that the farther out you can push the fancy schmancy stuff,
> the easier maintenance will be.

Yes... but you can only do that for some kinds of data. For example,
glossy ad material is typically:
  a) formatting centric
  b) short lived
which makes any kind of maintenance except archival much harder.

> XML can fail at that just as easily as any other format, but it
> can succeed, too.


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