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This mid-level tech writing professional has
> no idea about
> the deep history of linking in the markup world, and has to
> figure out how
> he's going to make this work. He also has a mandate to use
> standard tools
> to transform this stuff into HTML content on his company's
> website, and PDF
> documents for delivery to customers.
> What does this guy do?
He's got a choice. He can use an off-the-shelf vocabulary like DocBook or
XHTML, in which case he's not really the document designer at all, just a
configurer of someone else's design. Or he can design a vocabulary for the
target application area.
If they want to capture thousands of similar documents, for example press
releases or tech support bulletins or personnel appraisals or film reviews,
then it's definitely worth designing a custom vocabulary for the purpose,
and hiring someone with the skills to do that - that's what XML is all
about. And in such a custom vocabulary, I would wherever possible represent
links/relationships at a semantic level, for example a tech support bulletin
would refer to products as <product code="ABC12345"/> and not as a hyperlink
to some piece of text describing the product.
Otherwise we might as well write our tech support bulletins in XHTML and
forget all ideas of capturing richer semantics.