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It's not a myth; it's a very useful and important part of XML. But only a
part, and not always required, as you noted. Where I work, the separation of
presentation and content is an integral part of what we do in repurposing
content for a variety of print and electronic outputs and even
reusing/mixing pieces and parts to create new products -- and we had to
learn it the hard way. We worked hard to get our authors and editors to quit
thinking about specific presentation and focus on content and structure
(it's a fragile thing still); please, please don't tell them it's just a
From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I agree. It is one of the stronger myths about XML, repeated everywhere and
seldom examined critically as you are doing.
It is a best practice as possible, but there are instances where the
presentation IS the information and the separation position falls apart like
ontological arguments about infinitely thin boundaries.
XML's principal advantage is the agreement about the syntax and the encoding
that enables the REST and SOA advocates to disagree about everything else.