At 03:35 AM 8/3/01, Michael Beddow wrote:
>True, if we think of this as a matter of recording authorial intentions,
>taking the markup this far may well open us up to what the
>literary-minded will enjoy as ludic sport, where the literal-minded see
>only irresponsible caprice.
>But there's another perspective. Supposing we are encoding (as I confess
>I often quite deliberately am) in order to serve the ends of future
>information retrieval, with the text in hand maybe being not necessarily
>the end goal of such retrieval, but merely a thread of the "semantic
>web" to be traversed en route to who knows where.
Wonderful! As Syd knows, this distinction (interpreting for the sake of
representing an object or a theory about an object, and interpreting for
the sake of near-or-distant future processing) is at the heart of the
argument of the paper I will be presenting the week after next at the
Extreme conference in Montreal.
> May not a future
>researcher be interested in knowing, not just where Shakespeare is
>quoted ("Query returned 10,879,458 hits, would you like to refine
>it?"), but where citations specifically of Mark Antony's
>oration are to be found. In which case, marking up to that level of
>reference has a solid scholarly rationale, with no need to worry about
>purporting to know the unknowable. We are simply (!!) making sure that
>putatively query-worthy components may indeed be located when those
>future Intelligent Agents come to call.
Exactly. And yet this is also a judgement call -- not a judgement call of
whom, exactly, Mr. Brown is quoting (although that too, at least
implicitly), but a judgement call about which kinds of processing we *may*
be interested in, in some yet-to-be-realized, computationally
super-sophisticated future, in which (it must be stressed) not only are our
tools up to the job (it's amazing to see how rapidly they are getting
there), but our data is clean, correct, consistent and copious. And how
much investment we are now willing and able to make in view of such a future.
Much of the art of markup is in balancing such judgements against competing
judgements about the world we see now (even a world of "authorial
intentions"), and finding where they can serve each other.
Wendell Piez mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207 Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301/315-8285
Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML