text (OHCO)

The essential parts of any document form what we call ‘content objects,’ and are of many types, such as paragraphs, quotations, emphatic phrases, and attributions. Each type of content object usually has its own appearance when a document is printed or displayed, but that appearance is superficial and transient rather than essential — it is the content elements themselves, along with their content, which form the essence of a document. When mnemonic names for these objects are specified, a document is said to include ‘descriptive markup.’ Most content objects are contained in larger content objects, such as subsections, sections, and chapters. […] Generally, smaller content objects do not cross the boundaries of larger ones; thus a paragraph will not begin in one chapter and end in the next. For this reason, the structure of a document is a hierarchical one, like a tree or taxonomy. Smaller content objects that occur within a larger one, such as the sections within a chapter, or the paragraphs, block quotes, and other objects within a section, occur in a certain order. This ordering is essential information, and must be part of any model of text structure. Combining these essential elements, we can describe a text as an “ordered hierarchy of content objects,” or “OHCO”.

Contributed by Caroline. View changelog.