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Re: There Are No Metadocuments

From: Terry Allen <tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 20:38:20 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199702110438.UAA16066@ishtar.fsc.fujitsu.com>
To: Bill.Smith@eng.sun.com, davep@acm.org, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Strange.  I can publish a print book, which binds together in
what everyone recognizes as a book font, size, kerning, paper
type, thumbtabs, page numbers, line numbers, verse numbers,
and footnote markers that cause the eyes of literate viewers
to flicker involuntarily to the bottom of the page (behavior).

Yet when I bind all this together (with the text) in a document,
somehow this becomes a metadocument.  If I reprinted the book
in another font, font size, etc., I'd have another book,
perhaps "The Large Type Document for Presbyopters," which 
I would call attention to as different from "The Document,"
although for some purposes it is "the same".

This group must eventually determine how to associate all the
information that comprises the "metadocument".  It must also
determine how to associate the parts of a "document".  Why
should these be separate tasks?  

And where is the description of the overall architecture?

    Terry Allen    Fujitsu Software Corp.    tallen@fsc.fujitsu.com
"In going on with these experiments, how many pretty systems do we build,
 which we soon find outselves obliged to destroy?" - Benjamin Franklin
  A Davenport Group Sponsor:  http://www.ora.com/davenport/index.html

From w3c-sgml-wg-request@w3.org Mon Feb 10 20:12 PST 1997
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To: Bill Smith <Bill.Smith@eng.sun.com>, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
From: davep@acm.org (Dave Peterson)
Subject: Re: There Are No Metadocuments
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At 2:00 PM 2/10/97, Bill Smith wrote:
>Terry Allen wrote:

>> Considering documents this way might clarify discussion (and then
>> again, maybe not), and it would certainly clarify explanation:
>> "An XML document can be a complex structure, including a style
>> sheet or even choice of style sheets, and some metainformation
>> about who and how it was produced, just like a Word document
>> carries its formatting and some meta along with its text, although
>> you don't see everything when you look at it in Word."
>If we are going to go down this path, let's not call this "ball of stuff"
>a document. An object (WebObject) might be a better moniker since we should
>include behavior as well as appearance in the ball.
>My personal preference would be to include references to behavior (code) and
>appearance (style sheets). Without that separation reuse is difficult and
>object management is seriously impaired.

Just as some would like to see SGML Link declaration information be separate
from "the document".  And others insist vociferously that it *must* be
part of "the document".  And others would like "the document" to be just
the SGML document element/instance.  What should and should not be part of
"the document" is a religious war.  :-(

Dave Peterson

Received on Monday, 10 February 1997 23:38:31 UTC

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