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

Scott Hudson wrote:

>> I agree about the need to provide UI features to choose variable,
>> etc. But that need is separate to how to handle the cases where a
>> user really does just want to do simple bolding and italicizing of
>> text.

I'm afraid it's a bit more of an either-or situation than we might like. 
User interfaces have limited space, users have limited attention, and 
developers have finite time. Putting in b and i and underline buttons at 
best relegates the genuine semantic actions to a less obvious part of 
the user interface, and at worst eliminates them completely. In the 
middle it's very likely that users will just click the buttons and never 
learn or use the semantic markup.

If that's what the users want that's fine, but then why are they using 
DocBook in the first place?

In fact, the current scheme is even worse. It doesn't merely fail to 
apply the correct semantics. It applies actively wrong and mesleading 
semantics. A foreign word or a wordasword is not necessarily emphasized, 
and it shouldn't be marked as such.

Putting i on an emphasis button is cargo cult markup. People have heard 
the message that i is deprecated and they should use em instead. However 
they don't understand why, so they just go ahead and use em wherever 
they would have used i before, even when i is actually more appropriate. 
WordPress has the same bug.

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

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