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1.7 Descriptive markup 

Since the start of computer-assisted typography attention has been paid to abstract from details, to embrace structure, and to adhere to the principle of the separation of concerns.

Leading in this area is the SGML approach. It is argued that

authors should concentrate on the contents - and inherently on the structure - of their documents, leaving the details for formatting to the publisher.
Example: Call for papers, Furuta

 \input cfp.tex%Call for Papers format and macros
 %next copy proper
 The aim of this paper...
 Paper are solicited on ...
 \lstitm Picture editing
 \lstitm Text processing
 \lstitm Algorithms and software...
 Detailed abstracts should not ...
 Duration of presentation...
The above example is a mixture of natural input, where blank lines have an intuitive but context-dependent meaning, and of handling trivia automatically behind the scenes. An example of a default is the heading.

For this format the heading is always the same, so there is no need for a user to provide it each time the format is used. It comes along with the format. So do the fonts used and the shortcuts like \def\lstitm{\item{--} }.

My approach looks simpler than Furuta's - in that paper all the low-level formatting details were present - because I applied the principle of the separation of concerns and abstracted from the low-level formatting details. The point I'd like to make is that it is possible to hide formatting details, to account for these separately and at a lower level. I like to call this approach generic, because the markup is customized at a lower level to the suited tool.

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