Explicit markup: a fool’s errand or the next big thing?

B. Tommie Usdin

Mulberry Technologies

Copyright ©2019, Mulberry Technologies, Inc. Used with permission.

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Explicit markup: a fool’s errand or the next big thing?

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2019
July 30 - August 2, 2019


In 1998, at a Balisage predecessor conference, Brian Reid told us we couldn’t have the world we wanted. XML wouldn’t deliver. He used twenty-year-old slides, slides that he had originally presented at a conference in 1981 to make his point. I still want the world that Brian Reid told us we could not have; I still want Brian Reid to have been wrong. I still believe that separating meaning from format will enable our documents to be displayed in many forms and media, that a markup format that makes hierarchy explicit makes complex documents tractable, that when content creators author in systems that make declarative markup visible and use the author’s knowledge to add value to their content, we will be able to make documents sing! And I have the twenty-year-old slides to prove it.