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2005.06.23

XML Abstraction at the Wrong Level

Over the last month I've encountered two applications that use XML at the wrong level of abstraction. Instead of tailoring the schema to their needs, they use a very abstract schema, and encode their elements at a meta level within the XML data. This approach hinders the verification and manipulation of the corresponding XML files.

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2005.06.09

An Open Letter to a Copy-Editor

Copy-editors perform a valuable service. They take prose that is often rough and unfinished, and massage it into a professional document. Unfortunately, sometimes copy editing can go to far and distort the meaning, especially in technical writing. Also, my feeling is that across the across-the-board copy editing performed by many publications results in writing whose language is uniformly polished, and, yes, bland. Think of what would happen if the writings of Hemmingway got copy edited. While I consider my writing at least five leagues below that level, I prefer to learn my own way toward perfection, than to battle with corrections that sometimes change the meaning of what I write in treacherous ways.

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