Huh, SGML (HTML's ancestor) apparently derives from IBM's Generalized Markup Language from 1969.
<< GML was developed in 1969 and the early 1970s by Charles Goldfarb, Edward Mosher and Raymond Lorie (whose surname initials were used by Goldfarb to make up the term GML) >>
SGML had some remarkably useful features designed specifically to solve real problems that we have today, and instead we invented dozens of mutually hostile and deeply incompatible ad-hoc one-off markup languages.
This makes me a bit sad.
<< SGML generalizes and supports a wide range of markup languages as found in the mid 1980s. These ranged from terse Wiki-like syntaxes to RTF-like bracketed languages to HTML-like matching-tag languages.>>
<< Tags can be replaced with delimiter strings, for a terser markup, via the SHORTREF feature. This markup style is now associated with wiki markup, e.g. wherein two equals-signs (==), at the start of a line, are the "heading start-tag", and two equals signs (==) after that are the "heading end-tag". >>
<<Another feature is the NET (Null End Tag) construction: <ITALICS/this/, which is structurally equivalent to <ITALICS>this</ITALICS>. >>
I mean it's still probably much worse than something based on S-Expressions.
But we could certainly have got a lot better than XML if we'd tried.
I guess CERNDOC is the Web's direct predecessor and why HTML is the SGML-like shape it is.
<< In 1984, CERN started the CERNDOC project to build the CERN document server, a document filing and retrieval system that would standardize CERN's manifold and mutually incompatible documentation practices. The project adapted an earlier documentation system developed at the Rutherford Laboratory, a British particle physics research facility. >>
<< Written in the Rexx programming language, installed on an IBM 3090-200 mainframe computer, and running on the VM/CMS operating system, the system stored tens of thousands of documents in a hierarchical structure...
CERNDOC supported two markup systems: a GML application named CERNPAPER, developed locally in 1985, and a SGML application created in 1986 by Anders Berglund >>
<< Berglund mapped a Waterloo SCRIPT macro set onto SGML, basing his application on the document type defined in Annex E of ISO 8879 and on AAP DTD, the American Association of Publishers' document type. >>
Ok so let's blame the American Association of Publishers for everything that's wrong with the Web.
I think that's fair.
@natecull Thirty years, Xerox, IBM [youBM, we all BM for IBM [David Gerrold, obscure joke] in HP, even Microsoft and Oracle... Still no ; paperless office.
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