Author: Mark Baker

Mark Baker is the author of Every Page Is Page One: Topic-based Writing for Technical Communication and the Web, and the forthcoming Structured Writing: Principles and Practices, both from XML Press. He helps organizations adopt the Every Page is Page One approach to information design through training, coaching, editing, and writing services through Analecta Communications Inc. (http://analecta.com). He blogs at http://everypageispageone.com and tweets as @mbakeranalecta.

Why XML sucks

XML sucks. Don’t get me wrong. All kinds of really valuable and important systems use XML to perform vital functions. In particular, XML is used in many structured writing systems. I am a passionate advocate of structured writing. In fact, I am writing a book about it. But I am not writing that book in XML, because XML sucks for writing. XML performs a vital function, but performing a vital function does not keep something from sucking. Lots of people think Windows sucks, but it performs a vital function, and lots of people use it because of that. In...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hypertext

By Mark Baker, Analecta Communications Inc. The Hypertext Nobbling Committee (HNC), that secret cabal of marketers, publishers, writers, and designers dedicated to breaking the Web, has been busy of late. Their latest ploy: the one page site in which all the content is presented in one continuous scroll and any links simply lead from one part of the page to another. The aim of the HNC is to reestablish linearity and hierarchy in the creation, management, and consumption of content. The one page site fits this mission perfectly. It makes it harder to find information within the page via...

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It’s Time To Start Separating Content From Behavior

by Mark Baker, Analecta Communications Inc. When structured markup (SGML/XML) was invented, in the previous millennium, the elevator pitch was “Separate content from formatting.” In those barbaric times, burly men would go into the woods, kill trees, grind them into paste, roll out the paste in sheets, and press ink onto the sheets, as a means of distributing information. Content was static; all it had was appearance or “formatting” and separating content from formatting was all that was needed to make content usable for different purposes. When we killed trees to distribute information, separating content from formatting was sufficient. In our...

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