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Re: XML Blueberry (non-ASCII name characters in Japan)

At 6:03 PM -0400 7/9/01, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

>Actually, they aren't being confused.  We simply have rather different
>values.  I want users to be able to do markup in the same language they
>use for the text.  Requiring developers to use a different language for
>markup than they use for text seems inherently bizarre to me.

You mean as bizarre as every non-English page on the Web today? or perhaps as bizarre as every non-English Docbook and TEI document?

>> To lose any of these scripts from text, would be a huge disadvantage. 
>> It would clearly disenfranchise far more than 10,000 users apiece. It
>> would be a radical impoverishment of human culture. But nobody's
>> arguing that.
>But you seem deeply uninterested in those of us who find limiting the markup 
>characters to the existing set to be an "impoverishment of human culture".  That
>disenfranchisement does not appear to trouble you.

It troubles me, but you're right that it doesn't trouble me very much, certainly not as much as breaking the existing XML infrastructure. Markup is a practical thing, not art. I'm interested in the job it does and whether it has the expressivity I need for the job I want to do. If it lets me get the job done, I really don't care what it looks like.

In general, anything you intend to present to a human being should be in the text of the document. The markup's for machines, not people. If I were marking up the Odyssey, I might pick Docbook or TEI, but it wouldn't bother me in the least that the tags were in English and the text in Greek. If we can give people what they need, then the machines can adapt. 

For example, right now I'm writing a book in Docbook. One of the first things I did was define a set of macros for my text editor that let me click my tags into place. I'm an English-speajer so I wrote the titles for each button in English, but I could have done them in French or Hebrew or some other language and still gotten the valid English Docbook tags into my document. If I were less of an XML geek, I might be using OpenOffice or WordPerfect. Then I could have a localized user interface and never see the tags at all. 

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      | 
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/     |