Re: storing info in XSL-FO: new issue? [was: Draft TAG Finding:...]

At 10:28 AM +0200 8/20/02, Robin Berjon wrote:

>The part I fail to understand is "even without agreement". How is 
>that going to make more sense than a vocabulary that has agreed upon 
>semantics such as MathML? Are we talking about a musician or about a 
>sewing machine model?

It will make more sense than MathML because we are not talking about 
math, and MathML does not have the vocabulary to describe what we are 
talking about (pop celebrities in this example). No single vocabulary 
will describe everything we wish to discuss. Even a natural 
vocabulary such as English or Japanese needs to add new words from 
time to time to describe new things that did not previously exist 
(computer, fax, airplane, television, etc.) Yes, if you wish to 
discuss MathML, then by all means use MathML. It's a nice spec that 
covers its limited domain of equations well. But often we wish to 
discuss things that are not covered by existing predefined 

I am sending you this message. We have no prior agreement, yet you 
likely will understand at least some of its content. You may not have 
exactly the same understanding of it as I do, but in all likelihood 
there will be some overlap. There is intrinsic, if fuzzy, meaning in 
the message itself.

To some extent that meaning depends on context. One context is that 
we both speak English. If you responded to me in French, the meaning 
would still be there. I could still follow most of what you said, 
though some of the meaning would get garbled between the e-mail and 
my brain.  If you responded in Chinese, the meaning would still be 
there, though I personally could not extract it without a translator 
or several years spent studying Chinese. But the meaning is still in 
the message itself, irrespective of whether I, personally, can 
usefully extract it.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
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Received on Tuesday, 20 August 2002 09:30:27 UTC