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*"Embedded Markup Considered Harmful (preview)


For my general position on this, await my forthcoming piece
 "Embedded Markup Considered Harmful."

To address just one of the questions:

>2) Should the author which creates a text which transcludes another text
>   be capable of modifying the attributes of the transcluded text?

My answer is Absolutely.  It is done all the time in scholarly
 writing and serious journalism, with phrases like "emphasis mine."
 Those embedded thingies do not have a status equal to that
 of the text.  However, re-emphasizing it *is* an editorial modification,
 subject to judgment calls.  I think we should consider the alphabet
 and main punctuation marks to be "real" text, the other stuff tapers off.

Naturally, if someone WANTS to quote stuff warts and all (I mean tags),
 that's fine, but reasonable re-use becomes sharply curtailed if every
 aspect and attribute is given sacred status.

In all issues about hypertext, the best guide-of-thumb is to ask
 what the evolved literary practice *has* been.  We should think of
 ourselves as generalizing this, not as overthrowing it.

Best regards,

Ted Nelson
[address at bottom]

- - - - < But YOU wrote--

>I have been looking at some of the issues involved surrounding
>transclusion lately and I thought I would bounce some of the issues off of
>the list to see what you other Xanies think.
>If text is transcluded from another point, there seems to me to be a
>number of problems surrounding the markup from the original text.
>For instance:
>1) Should the markup from the original source be maintained and exibit its
>   attributes in the text that transcludes it?  For example, if the text
>   is in normal face font and the text transcludes another text that
>   happens to be bold, should the bold be maintained?
>2) Should the author which creates a text which transcludes another text
>   be capable of modifying the attributes of the transcluded text?  (I.e.,
>   should the author of the primary text be able to add bold, italic, etc.
>   to the transcluded text?)  One argument would be that if a author can
>   add attributes to the transcluded text, the author is simply modifying
>   its format to fit the current textual presentation.  OTOH, this could
>   intefere with the "art" of writing the transcluded text.  (Some people
>   might get a bit sensitive of people bolding, italicizing, changing
>   the fonts, whatever, of the transcluded text.
>3) What granularity should the transcluded text maintain?  What I mean by
>this is that there is a strong movement towards marking up the structure
>of a document and then assigning the fonts and other textual attributes
>based on the structure based on this -- SGML like (For example, all
>headers are Palentino, 25 pt, Bold.)  Should the transcluded text have to
>maintain an entire document structure?  For example, if you want to
>included part of a header, should you be able to included only part of it
>(say, 3-4 words) or should you have to include all of it since you are
>including the "header" and to prevent the meaning from being manipulated
>in the presentation? On one side, you could argue that by forcing a author
>to include an entire document structure (header, paragraph, footnote,
>etc.) it avoids words being taken out of context and if someone includes
>something they are including a "whole" something. On the other side, it
>could become quite combersome to have to do so.
>There are a number of other issues along these lines.
>I would be interested to hear if anyone else has thought about these
>issues.  (And what they thought. :)
>Art Pollard <PollardA@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Moderator for Comp.Theory.Info-Retrieval
>List Maintainer for the Hyper-Theory (Hypertext Theory) mailing list.

In USA until 10 September 1997:
Ted Nelson, Project Xanadu, 3020 Bridgeway #295, Sausalito CA
 Tel. 415/ 331-4422, fax 415/ 332-0136
In Japan after 10 September 1997:
Theodor Holm Nelson, Visiting Professor of Environmental Information
 Keio University, Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Fujisawa, Japan
http://www.sfc.keio.ac.jp/~ted/    PERMANENT E-MAIL: ted@xxxxxxxxxx
 Home Fax: 0466-46-7368  From USA: 011-81-466-46-7368