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- From: David Megginson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 07:00:54 -0400 (EDT)
David LeBlanc writes:
> David, I think your example is a bit strained here. Recognition of
> a citation doesn't seem to me to be materially different from
> recognition of <toollist>.
They're meant to show that there is an infinite variety of meanings
available. I deliberately picked a couple of examples from outside
HTML to show that meaning was more than structural rules (a <p> can
contain a <cite>) or a tiny set of presentational rules (this is block
text, this is a link).
> As in all human communication (which includes XML or HTML no matter
> it's bias towards easy computer recognition of content), I think
> there's an assumed common referent for things like pliars and
> citations and such. Any marked departure from such common referents
> reduces the ability to communicate imho.
Absolutely correct, but how can we capture those referents for
> I don't think any markup language is, or has the potential to be, a
> universal language. It does offer the opportunity, within a
> community of interest, for people to agree on the meaning and
> structure of information that's relevant to that domain and for
> people who become interested in that domain to rapidly become
> fluent in the vocabulary of that domain.
Yes, this is my original point. Any given group of users can agree on
a severly restricted universe of meanings, but we're dealing with the
problem of blind exchange, where the receiver does not necessariily
belong to the same group as the sender: if I send you an arbitrary
chunk of XML, how do you figure out what to do with it? My claim is
that the problem is not solvable in the general case.
> I don't think it's appropriate for any single organization to attempt to
> set definitions (i.e. specify namespaces) for particular domains of
> interest. I see that as an exercise best left to those who know whatever
> particular domain they are creating a tagset/namespaces for.
That was my point, more or less.
All the best,
David Megginson firstname.lastname@example.org
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