Descriptive versus procedural markup

Strongly procedural:

Chapter 2: The Marketplace
Dear reader, it was all I could do not to shout with 
   delight at my own savoir-faire when I saw how easily
   I had made myself at home... ]]>

Procedural with a nod towards the descriptive:

Chapter 2: The Marketplace
Dear reader, it was all I could do not to shout with 
   delight at my own savoir-faire when I saw how easily
   I had made myself at home... ]]>

Descriptive with a nod to the procedural:

Chapter 2: The Marketplace

Dear reader, it was all I could do not to shout with delight at my own savoir-faire when I saw how easily I had made myself at home...

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Strongly descriptive with an emphasis on structure:


  The Marketplace
  

Dear reader, it was all I could do not to shout with delight at my own savoir-faire when I saw how easily I had made myself at home...

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Strongly descriptive with an emphasis on the original presentation:

Chapter 2: The Marketplace

Dear reader, it was all I could do not to shout with delight at my own savoir-faire when I saw how easily I had made myself at home...

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Descriptive markup, broadly speaking, is about representing a source:

  • it looks backward to an original document
  • or it may express an original, digital idea
  • but either way, it is describing structures and ideas

Whereas procedural markup is about giving orders:

  • It specifies some output, some result
  • It always looks ahead to output, never back to a source

There’s clearly a continuum here: from purely procedural approaches on the one hand (in which the only thing we care about is giving instructions concerning output) to purely descriptive approaches on the other (in which the only thing we care about is the representation of the source

In accomplishing that representation we may or may not be interested in how the source looked: descriptive approaches may focus on structure or on presentation or both

Overview of Descriptive Markup and the TEI, slide 5 of 13