Tuesday, August 13, 2002


The latest Journal of Digital Information has the article Many Outputs — Many Inputs: XML for Publishers and E-book Designers by Terje Hillesund. Argues that XML will not allow publishers to generate many expressions from one entity.
This essay questions the XML doctrine of "one input — many outputs". In the area of publishing the doctrine says that from one book one can produce many formats and end-products. Supported by insights of linguistics and experiences of writers and editors, I shall claim this assertion to be basically wrong. By examining the main properties of XML I will further, in contrast to the doctrine, argue that XML and related technologies add to the complexity of publishing. New media, new formats and new genres will, powered by XML, lead publishers into a new and challenging state of "many outputs — many inputs".