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The XML Family
of Technologies
imposition of a strict structure is apt to cause difficulties, and academics may initially
begin to feel that by following the guidelines their work is being constrained. A strong
sense of community will be invaluable, and a project leader should be selected to ease the
collaborative discussions. Recent work of this kind in emblematic studies has benefited
from the domain's sense of community and shared aims.
Since an important element of their work involves comparing and associating specific
parts of texts with other texts, XLink will be of great use in their efforts, as it allows mul-
tidirectional links between parts of different documents, all of which can easily be
reduced to their constituent parts thanks to highly granular XML markup.
allows for considerably more in-depth linking than HTML's standard `one-way' system.
XML's extensible nature allows further functionalities or tags to be added to the schema
in the future to cover new developments in the field.This is a fundamental advantage of
a schema over a DTD.
The final schema can be created and updated using a dedicated XML design environ-
ment such as Altova's XMLSpy 5,
which boasts a visual interface and drag-and-drop
functionality. Sub-elements, parameters, relations and constraints can be defined and edit-
ed directly in different ways (visual, textual, etc.) according to the user's preference.This
should make the final stage of the schema-building process as smooth as possible.
A d v a n t a g e s a n d D i s a d v a n t a g e s
The benefits to be gained by applying XML will continue to grow in the foreseeable
future. XML has few associated risks, but because it is so pervasive any new standard
would need to support the automated conversion of XML documents. In time, XML
may be superseded by something better. Having said that, the chances are strong that any
successor to XML would be a related technology itself, and would likely be defined in
XML terms. XML is simple, readable, and extensible.The clarity of XML's user-defined
tag system will be hard to improve.
In terms of gaining a familiarity and confidence with the use of the technology, the
strictness with which XML markup must be applied may be initially frustrating for staff
who are used to the more forgiving HTML.The strictness of the rules that govern the
application of XML is one of its strengths, and contributes to ensuring the quality of the
XML allows those encoding content to define their own tags and
define document structures according to the objective.
Platform Neutrality and Interoperability
XML files are composed of UNI-
See the forthcoming DigiCULT special publication on the digitisation of Renaissance emblem literature.
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