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Text Markup Part II

Thanks all for the thoughtful comments.    The next question (you didn't
think I'd stop there !) 
"Why use a an XML Syntax for entire documents  ?"

What I'm getting at is that there seems to be either a transition, some
tipping point, or perhaps a wholly new approach/idea that instead of just
"marking up text" we should transform the entire document into a new syntax.

The edge case of this is requiring putting a root element around every
document. (in HTML or XML etc ...)
It's not good enough that there is markup *within* a text but now we find
ourselves having to actually transform the text into a new syntax.   Thus we
see things like Docbook, TEI , DITTA , XHTML ... and a slow progression into
even the Data realm where everything is tagged and there is no mixed or free

My question here is :

* Was there a slow transition of adding markup then some kind of "Ah Ha!"
moment where people realized they needed/should wrap the whole thing in a
tag ?

* Was there a legacy/historic (SGML?) reason why documents needed to be
tagged from the very beginning in order to parse tags at all ? (A kind of
inline file header/type/magic number ?)

* Was there a natural evolution from tagging little bits of text to the
point where it was felt that all of it should be tagged ?  Or perhaps there
were cross-purposes from different camps ?

What I'm trying to get at is the fundamental rational between  what appears
to be two extremes not necessarily compatible, and why we ended up with only
the later.

A) "Marking up bits of text where needed" 
B) "A full text markup vocabulary for encoding an entire document"

My 'gut feeling' on this, not having been privy to the entire history ... is
that it was an artifact of processing.
That (it was felt that) processors simply needed to detect the *possibility
of markup* within text at the start of a document and thats how we ended up
wrapping the whole thing in a root element , thus crossing the threshold
from "A document with marked up text" to "A Markup formatted/schema based
document for encoding text".

Comments ?

Again thanks for your patience.

David A. Lee

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