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Re: [xml-dev] Markup language designers - How does one find or determinethe basic/core set of markup combinators?

On 30/07/2011 14:48, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> When designing a new markup language, how does one find or determine the basic/core markup items?
There's at least 40 years of theorising about data modelling that you can call upon, plus 2500 years of philosophical thought that lies behind it. The fact that the target is markup shouldn't matter much.

For example, if you're designing a markup language for music, then you look at the existing structure of the domain. The concepts may be abstract, like a "bar" or "measure", but they are the ones that you use because they are in use in your target community, and the modelling process is largely one of working out how these concepts relate to each other.

Of course very often the design is already there. If you want a markup language for submitting tax returns, chances are it will be a simple translation of the structure of existing paper forms.

The difficult part isn't usually finding the basic items, but deciding how to define them precisely enough to deal with boundary cases (what exactly is a location?) and deciding how much abstraction to apply: should doctors and pharmacists be bundled into a general category called "health-care professionals"?

Michael Kay

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