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   Re: [xml-dev] Is HTML structured or unstructured information?

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On 8/11/05, Philippe Poulard <Philippe.Poulard@sophia.inria.fr> wrote:


> all along, I take care to avoid using such terms "<xhtml:b> has meaning"
> because, as I was saying in a previous post, "semantic is used for terms
> that means something"
> I argue that "my name is <xhtml:b>Philippe Poulard</xhtml:b>" has the
> same meaning that "my name is Philippe Poulard"
> to be coherent, I won't say that "<xhtml:b> means bold", I will say that
> "<xhtml:b> just stands for bold", because <xhtml:b> carries no meaning
> to its text data
> the semantic applies on the content, not on the container : <author>
> can't be an author, it can only contain a text that corresponds to a
> person name that is (should be) an author

Why can't the semantic can't be applied to the container?  Does an
address on an envelope have no semantic meaning?  Why the shift in
context to determine what has "meaning"?

I think you just proved Len's point: the separation of presentation
from content is "tricky". Distinguishing between "means" and "stands
for" is pointless in my book (they both have the same meaning ;-)...


> semantic and structuration are just conventions ; it is also the case in
> any natural language (which is not as natural as it seems)
> you may find conventions at a world-wide level (standards)
> you may fing conventions at a corporate level
> you may fing conventions at an application level
> structured and semantic informations are just where one decide to apply
> them... by convention !
> if you ignore one level of convention, you may loose structure or
> semantic : if you give me an access point to your well-designed
> database, and you omit to tell me that a given colomn contains a blob
> that is XML, I will find binary datas (if I'm curious, I could try to
> parse all the blobs and may find XML)

Exactly.  As I was saying; measures of semantic content or structure
are in the eye of the beholder...

Peter Hunsberger


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