But: a) is support for semantic markup incompatible with support for
wiki markup? Can’t you just support an additional set of tags?
Yes. But it can get difficult if you have too many of them. And this
is still just syntax. It might be better to say what we want to be
able to represent semantically, what implications that can or may have
for formatting, and then go from there.
I personally can live a perfectly happy life without semantic markup. But
that’s probably not the answer you are looking for.
Well, more practically, my point is that we can’t know what solution
is workable (generally) without assessing both. Presentation-only
might work for you, but am not sure (e.g. I really don’t know) if it
works across fields.
But do you know of any cases where semantic markup is really required? I
can’t think of any.
Supporting wiki tags has the benefit of the fact that some content
mark up their titles in presentations encoding (italics,
And b), in some cases (simple) semantic markup just isn’t going to cut
When citing papers, one should generally copy the metadata of that
closely as possible, even if it goes against style conventions. E.g.
cited paper mentions a gene in the title, but it isn’t italicized (as
should be), you could annotate it with semantic markup as a gene but
you would need a way to indicate that it shouldn’t be italicized like
gene names in other (correctly written) titles.
Hmm. I agree with up to the end. How these things should be handled on
output is a function of the output style; isn’t it?
Well, in the case of gene and species names, there isn’t any variability
between styles. The formatting is standardized by convention, so here I
don’t see a benefit of semantic markup in obtaining correct presentation
So your hypothetical example is only hypothetical?
For sake of argument, what happens if you have a species name in a
book title that is otherwise italicized?
My gut tells me it should flip-flop (i.e. become non-italicized), but some
examples I found proof me otherwise:
e.g. for the following reference, found at
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/13/2/244.full, Saccharomyces is italicized
along with the rest of the title: Strathern J.N., Jones E.W., Broach J.R.
(1982) The molecular biology of the yeast Saccharomyces— Metabolism and gene
expression. (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY).
The same goes for some papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and
Nature I checked. I’m not entirely sure however whether this markup is the
result of a deliberate choice, or of limitations in the software used to
format these entries.
Or you could decide not to add semantic markup to that particular
but that would go against the
And would yield incorrect output if my position above is correct.
This I don’t follow.
If one had a species name that was not italicized, you could not set
it to output the correct styling (say, italicized).
Maybe I was unable to make myself entirely clear in my example. In my mind
the most important principle here is that when citing, one should always
copy the cited titles verbatim, including errors or non-standard markup. As
such, the markup that should be present in the cited titles (e.g. gene and
species markup), is not a function of the output style of the manuscript but
purely related to the cited sources.