Balisage Series on Markup Technologies
Volume 22: Proceedings of the Symposium on Markup Vocabulary Ecosystems
Symposium on Markup Vocabulary Ecosystems
July 30, 2018
Chair: Jeff Beck
Successful shared markup vocabularies (tag sets, document types, schemas, call them what you will), far from being just lists of tags, are the centers of complex ecosystems that support documentation activities while drawing support from both user communities and vendors. A complex ecosystem supports and is supported by these vocabularies. People spend significant time, energy, and money to create, adapt, adopt, modify, maintain, and promulgate the tag set. Users buy and customize tools to create and use content tagged to it and change their processes and tune their requirements to the (often only implied) world view behind the tag set. Vendors specialize in it.
Each vocabulary ecosystem is different, and yet they seem to have common features:
- de jure version(s) created by a formal organization
- de facto version(s) from other sources
- multiple sources of enriched or targeted documentation and examples
- pressure to conform (from peers, business partners, laws, or funders)
- shared process chains (at least in part)
- discussion lists, shared information resources, and conferences
- rules and enforcements beyond the grammatical
- shared tools and tool customizations (code on github, code and services for sale, etc.)
In this symposium we will discuss the features of markup vocabulary ecosystems, how to nurture them, and how strategies to support some vocabularies might be useful to the communities that surround other markup vocabularies. Our focus is on the ways in which we create and support shared vocabularies, not on any particular tag set, so examples from DITA, DocBook, NIEM, HTML, JATS, HL7, OOXML, PRISM, UBL, TEI, or any of the other thousands of public or private shared markup vocabularies are in scope for this discussion.