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structured content reuse

Sent by David Wheeler on 13 January 2004 21:09


On Jan 13, 2004, at 5:38 AM, Ann Rockley wrote:

> You are correct that word processors tend to make authors think 
> "paper" as we author while web/HTML editors make us think "web" as we 
> author. We really need a third type of editor that lets us think 
> content. This doesn't really exist yet. Forms come the closest, but 
> they do not work well for complex granular content.

I think that this states the biggest issue with content management 
succinctly and precisely. The CMS I work on, Bricolage, uses forms to 
enforce the idea that content is just content, independent of 
presentation. But we all know the issues inherent with this 
approach--and they aren't limited to just those that Ann cites.

I'd be _very_ curious to know if anyone has any ideas about this "third 
type of editor." But I think it might require a paradigm shift in the 
way people think about content before it could come about. People think 
"paper" because that's where they're used to seeing content: in books, 
newspapers, magazines, etc. Even for online content, many people will 
print out pages of any significant size to read them, rather than read 
them on screen.

I think that this paradigm will only come about when Online publishing 
is fully integrated into the majority of publishing environments. In 
most publishing environments, the online team is full of techies who 
convert content from the print side for publication on the Web, rather 
than full of editors who simply write content. Until such integration 
occurs, until editors are hired to "write content" rather than 
"contribute to a [print] magazine or newspaper," I don't think that 
this paradigm will come to pass.

Regards,

David


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