Session Date: Wednesday Feb 22, 2017
A markup language identifies pieces of a document so that another application can do something with those pieces.
All document creation tools have a markup language.
Any creative work involving structured text must be accompanied by some set of rules.
In early days of text processing, some markup tools used to let you see and edit their markup code; Word and MacWrite usually didn't. The following image shows an example of how WordPerfect showed you the markup in the text. All formatters need to distinguish the text to be printed from instructions about how to print; these instructions are called markup. * procedural markup tells the software what to do (space down, invoke a macro) * generic markup describes the thing to be printed (heading, cross-reference, etc.).
Markup has a long history. But one can understand markup by thinking about some markup languages that you are already familiar with. HTML, the HyperText Markup Language, is an example of SGML - Standard Generalized Markup Language. XML, the eXtensible Markup Language is much more robust, and Microsoft has embedded a lot of XML in MSWord And some you may not have yet encountered * Biology - Physiome Markup Languages - note the CellML and FieldML examples * Archival Finding Aids Markup Language - Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
Markup Languages: WordStar was one of the earlier ones. Since there was no graphical user interface at that time, it had to show you in text what it was doing with its markup, much as the UNIX text editors do.
WordPerfect was very good for text-centric documents and was thus embraced by folks creating legal documents. The ability to see and control the text markup was critical. There have been a lot of markup tools brought to market over the years.