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   Re: [xml-dev] "Smart ASCII" -> XML for authoring?

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From: "Bill Lindsey" <bill@b-bop.com>

> USEMAP anybody?

For those who don't get this, Bill is refering to SGML's Short References,
which appear to provide exactly the thing that the article at IBM mentions.

It seems that the same set of requirements that people had 15 years
ago when SGML was standardized has not suddenly changed: tagging
data with as few keystrokes as possible, with good visual clues, and
being able to think about the text more as a linear flow rather than as 
nested elements.

Simon's Regular Fragmentations seems to provide a nice reworking
of Short References with the XML zeitgeist: no entities and 
synchronous with the containing element.  (This probably makes
Regular Fragmantations only suitable for inline short-cuts, such as date fields 
and case citations, so it is not as general as Short References
which also would handle paragraph breaks, lists starting with "*",
etc., better, I suspect)

> I don't expect the casual user to ever become comfortable
> with angle brackets, 

But is XML used by "casual users"?    Or is XML more like 
programming languages, where there is arguably no such thing
as a "casual programmer" (i.e., someone who starts
programming without any specific knowledge of what they are
doing)  in the way that there is a casual user of a bus (who only 
needs the skill of sitting down).

A casual user is not using XML: an suitable application for them
is not "hiding" the angle brackets per se, but giving them domain-specific
UI objects for more direct manipulation. 

Rick Jelliffe


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