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structured content reuse

Sent by Adam Gaffin on 14 January 2004 00:12

> 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 

Sure it does. It's called Atex, circa 1980.

Atex systems of that vintage force you to separate content from format -
because all you have is a green (or white)-on-black screen. Yet it has a ton
of fields for filling out meta data and if you really want to do something
granular, there are all sorts of fancy codes you can wrap around specific
bits of content for later processing (plus: the keyboard doubles as a handy
self-protection device).

Way back in 1981, I worked on an Atex-like system (ECRM) that output content
both for print and for the dozens (well, a couple dozen, anyway) people
who'd splurged on 300-baud modems and could read our content on CompuServe.

I'm not arguing that people should go back to Atex systems (no matter how
fun it was to forge instant messages in it). But, models for format-less
content production exist. And while the Atex back end of that era might be
cumbersome and prone to crashing (right on deadline, typically), the front
end was, despite all those bizarro extra keys on the keyboard, simple enough
for even the drunkest sports reporter to use to file on deadline. 

Adam Gaffin
Executive Editor, Network World Fusion
[EMAIL-REMOVED] / (508) 490-6433 / 
"I programmed my robotic dog to bite the guy who delivers the electronic
mail." -- Kibo  

please trim your posts.
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