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Re: [xml-dev] "XML is just syntax" versus "Use semantic markup" (Is this a paradox?)

I think, it would be useful to think about this subject looking at the
concept of Schema.

Schema gives meaning to the markup (or we could say, in this case
markup becomes "semantic markup").

In the absence of the Schema, markup is meaningless. Then, it is just
a syntax obeying XML well formedness constraints.

To me, all this is quite useful to represent information ...

On Sun, Mar 9, 2008 at 6:19 PM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I have often heard it said: "XML is just syntax."
> I have equally often heard it said: "Use semantic markup."
> How can XML be "just syntax" and also be "semantic markup"?
> Is this a paradox?
> Let me take a go at resolving this seeming paradox:
> 1. Tags are indeed just syntax.  They provide a mechanism for
> structuring the data.
> 2. Tags are created by a specification, which define what each tag
> means.  When constructing an XML document, there may be a choice of
> tags, say <ABC> and <XYZ>, which may be used to wrap a particular datum
> (item of data).  Suppose the specification gave tag <ABC> a general
> meaning and tag <XYZ> a specific meaning. Compare:
>    <ABC>datum</ABC>
> versus
>    <XYZ>datum</XYZ>
> We say that the later is using "semantic markup."  This means: those
> applications which have been implemented to understand the tag-set will
> gain more information about 'datum' from the <XYZ> tag than from the
> <ABC> tag.
> Let me repeat the last sentence:
> "... will gain more information about 'datum' from the <XYZ> tag than
> the <ABC> tag."
> Hmm, sounds to me like the tags are providing more than just syntax.
> The tags are providing information/meaning/semantics about 'datum'.
> This paradox is unresolved in my mind.
> Care to take a go at resolving this paradox?
> /Roger

Mukul Gandhi

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