THE WAY IN WHICH TEXT IS represented on a computer affects the kinds of uses to which it can be put by its creator and by subsequent users. The electronic document model currently in use is impoverished and restrictive. The authors argue that text is best represented as an ordered hierarchy of content object (OHCO), because that is what text really is. This model conforms with emerging standards such as SGML and contains within it advantages for the writer, publisher, and researcher. The authors then describe how the hierarchical model can allow future use and reuse of the document as a database, hypertext, or network.
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