From markup to not and back again
Embedded Markup Considered Harmful
Ted Nelson's classic screed on why embedding markup causes problems appeared in the Winter 1997 World Wide Web Journal. For the most part, I think he's actually right. Is this a problem for markup?
Just to explore whether markup was capable of supporting the kinds of things Nelson wanted to do, I wrote a set of processors which separate the content from the markup in one phase, and which recombine the content and the markup in another phase.
Maintaining the relationships between markup and content is much more difficult when they are separated because of the obvious problem of maintaining correct connections if the content changes. While markup is capable of supporting out-of-line markup, it requires an entirely more sophisticated framework. Markup is pretty much hackery compared to what Nelson wants - good hackery, I think.
Looking over this separation led me to think about how exactly we apply markup to information. While Nelson's vision may just be too difficult for most common use across loosely-connected networks, it has a lot to tell us about how we interact with information, even as we violate his principles.
> Next Page