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

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Michael Smith wrote:

> But if programmers don't expect to find simple systems to hand-hold
> them through the process of writing code for complex applications --
> things to add logic to their code for them where there was none
> before-- why should writers expect simple-text or WYSIWYG authoring
> systems to hand-hold them through the process of writing documentation
> for those applications -- magic things to add logical distinctions to
> their information for them, where there was none before?

Because WYSIWYG tools should be able to do this. For example, we marked
up text this way with styles in Word quite easily. Instead of making a
function name bold, we labeled it with a "function" character style,
which happened to be bold. Instead of using a fixed-width font for
function signatures, we labeled them with a signature paragraph style.
The reasons were the same as any sort of markup: ease of changing
presentation and writing targeted code -- macros in our case.

The hard part of this was not the tools. The hard part was defining a
useful set of styles (DTD) and getting people to use it. In the latter
category, a lot of people -- those who followed the rules anyway -- had
no trouble adapting. It was people who wouldn't mark up their text,
whether for presentation or content, who generally refused.

-- Ron


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