Updated 2015-04-16 19:55:00 by EMJ

A markup language is a text format adding processing instructions to plain text, usually for the purpose of either of rendering or logical organization.

Description  edit

A markup language might denote some semantic role of a certain string of the text, for example, document title, chapter delimiter, paragraph delimiter, etc.

Another common type of markup is presentation markup. This is the type of markup we use on this wiki. With presentation markup, you indicate what special actions should be taken during transformation of the text from raw text to the form presented to the user. Here on the wiki, we can

  • mark words as italic (surround then with double apostrophes)
  • mark words as bold (surround them with triple apostrophes)
  • insert horizontal rules (four dashes in a line only)
  • create bulleted lists (start line with 3 spaces, asterisk, space, then your text)

and more.

Typically, if one has a semantic markup, one also has some sort of means to also transform the semantical parsed text into a preferred presentation format. However, the opposite is not often true - if one only has presentation markup, it is quite hard to generate an accurate semantical tree of the document, unless the user takes great care to use presentation and content in such a way that one can somehow derive semantical meaning from the text.

These distinctions are sometimes summarized as being between procedural markup and declarative markup.

Markup Languages  edit


See Also  edit

lightweight markup languages
Simple Markup
a simple presentation markup language.
Structured TeXt
a generic name for a classe of simple markup lanauges
Template and Macro processing
Tcl as a markup language