Markup: apparatus, cont. (36)

Wed, 8 Mar 89 19:45:36 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 690. Wednesday, 8 Mar 1989.

Date: 8 March 1989 09:54:32 CST
From: "Michael Sperberg-McQueen 312 996-2477 -2981" <U35395@UICVM>
Subject: apparatus, cont'd -- the end user and the marked-up form

I agree with Charles Faulhaber that one would prefer to have software
that supported the manipulation of textual variants properly. In such
software one need not see any markup at all (although being able to turn
Nestle marks on and off would be convenient). But "not seeing the
markup when one is editing the file" is a far cry from "not having so
much markup". All hypertext systems, like all simple text systems, have
markup (usually lots of markup). Since the markup expresses the
essential facts about the textual variations, any system at all that
handles variation must and will have this information embedded in the
text, either as codes in the text or structurally in the storage
arrangements. There will *always* be "symbols in the text" whether they
are echoed to the display or not.

Schemes like those presented here by Bob Kraft and myself are not
intended as "the" way to look at text with variants. But unlike current
hypertext schemes, they are readable by more than one program; they do
not strand you with your data on a hyper-island. In the global scheme
of things, they can be regarded as sketches for possible input formats
for loading data into the intelligent text systems of the future, which
also have the advantage that they are usable with existing software.

Michael Sperberg-McQueen