I was somehow expecting an example that showed that a
specific presentation was important. (probably my error ...)
Instead, the two run-on paragraphs in the attached message
simply make it clear that without the meta structure, crucial
information has been lost. This should not be a surprise.
Do not confuse a requirement for meta-structure
with a requirement that it be provided in a particular
form or notation.
Traditionally, the structure has been provided implicitly
through use of stylistic conventions in their presentation.
and later deduced by readers (machine and human) through
heuristics (essentially error prone reverse engineering.)
Often it is never formalized but it is always there.
These days we tend to ask the authors to be explicit
so as to avoid this.
Rather than viewing this as separation of content from
presentation, we should be recognizing that
identifying the meta-structure (whether
it be explicitly or implicitly provided by the author)
is an essential step to the meaniningful re-use
(or alternative-display) of some or all of the content.
Even the tools, notations, and mechanisms we use to
do this are not fixed in stone, but good choices
greatly facilitate the process. (It's hard to talk
about a structure if there is no language to describe it...)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Sangrey" <msangrey@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: [xml-doc] Separation of content and presentation
> Anyway, the first paragraph is from Diane Blakemore, "Understanding
> Utterances". The second, a better example, I think, is from Dooley and
> Levinsohn, "Analyzing Discourse: A manual of Basic Concepts". I'm not
> sure how Diane "built" her paragraph, but I'll hold off sharing how
> Dooley and Levinsohn did theirs until AFTER you read it.
> Think about what goes on inside your head as you read them.
> John was late. The eight o'clock news was virtually over. The
> situation in the Gulf had not changed. The threat of war had an
> enormous effect on petrol prices. Susan could no longer afford to
> drive to work. At least all that walking was making her fit. She
> would now be able to go on the expedition to the Swiss Alps. It was
> being organized by the university. The university cannot afford to
> run many trips of this kind. The education cuts have necessitated a
> big cut in spending. The Arts Faculty has no money for new computer
> this year.
> And now the second (perhaps you should take a breath to get you head
> back together):
> The baying of the hounds and the screaming of the chickens echoed
> below me, as i quickly scanned the tracks leading towards the
> hole--this was going to be a hectic breakfast. I thought I'd better
> eat a full meal because of the task ahead and the difficulties I
> might encounter. But it was only when I had cooked myself a steak,
> and that piece of shark meat that had been ignored by everyone, that
> I discovered that I could only pick at these tidbits, having, as I
> now recalled, breakfasted, lunched and dined to repletion already.
> Rather than throw the food away, I rang up my husband at work and
> asked him to bring home some colleagues to dine with us.
> Make sense? What did you try to do as you read them?