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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] oXygen 9 beta with WYSIWYG-like editing supportfor DocBook

Michael(tm) Smith wrote:

> But for better or worse there does seem to be market demand for
> WYSIWYG DocBook editing, so it's hard for me to find fault with
> the vendor of what is a very good structural editor for XML and
> DocBook wanting to add WYSIWYG capabilities to try to respond to
> that market need. And I can imagine a scenario of a representative
> from oXygen going in to do a product demo of that editor and
> having one of the first questions from the customer be, How do I
> make things bold and italic?

If Oxygen wishes to hire me as their demo rep, I would be more than 
happy to use such a question as a teaching moment to explain the 
importance of semantic markup. :-)

In brief I would ask the questioner why they want to make a particular 
piece of text bold and then show them how to indicate that semantic in 
the tool. They'd get the answer but they'd learn a little something else 
too. If I just told them to "Click the little B button" they'd never 
have the opportunity to learn.

> If somebody wants to argue that a UI should not include features/
> buttons for italic/emphasis or bold/strong-emphasis at all, then
> that would seem to me to make a lot more sense. But emphasis in
> DocBook amounts to meaning "markup for any content that you want
> to be output in italic but which does not have any other semantics
> associated with it", so it might just as well been called italic
> to begin with.

No, it wouldn't. Emphasis is not synonymous with italics. Even granting 
your point that all emphasis might as well be italics, we still have the 
undisputed fact that many uses of italics (and some uses of bold) have 
nothing to do with emphasis: foreign words, equations, words used as 
words, etc.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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