Picture yourself in the Starship Enterprise’s Transporter Room, where Scotty is fervently spinning dials, flipping switches, and shouting, “Captain, I can’t get a lock on Don’s coordinates! I’m about to lose him! Hold it.. I’ve got the signal!”
And as bits come streaming out of the ether into the sparkly cloud on the transporter stage, the image of Don Day slowly materializes into solid substance. He holds his restored hands up to look at them in wonder, then grinning at Kirk and Scotty, he strides off the stage to greet them.
This is not too far off from my past internet reality. My first 300-baud network postings were on a Prodigy account and to a Radio Shack Color computer usenet group (comp.os.os9, as I recall). Sometime later, IBM exposed employee email accounts to the world, and I began conversing beyond the company firewall with an SGML newsgroup in Finland. Nearly everything that I have written, weighed by keystrokes alone, has probably been in an email of one form or another. There were some user manuals and tool guides from work, of course. Beyond work, I began interacting more and more in forums and BBS sites dedicated to my various interests. My work at IBM concluded with a focus on collaborative authoring of structured content (DITA) on a wiki platform, with numerous public presentations.
Those are the “bits streaming out of the ether” in the picture above. The Learning by Wrote site is the transporter room that is bringing those bits back into a semblance of an architected history of markup languages interpreted by my tools and publishing experiences, best practices, and training. XML will be replaced by other syntax, and markup languages like DITA might be replaced by new content architectures in the future. My mission is to explore these universes and to go where no markup systems have gone before!