Orlando: Women's Writing

How Orlando Works

What is markup?

The first view of a screen gives only half the picture. Orlando materials have been carefully structured to enhance their qualities as electronic text. Embedded in the text you read is other text, called 'markup', 'tagging', or 'encoding', which adds meaning and allows the materials to be searched and manipulated in a range of ways.
The tags embedded in the text can be revealed on most screens by using the Show Markup button. Most tags embrace one or more words, such as:
<NAME STANDARD="Woolf, Virginia">Woolf</NAME>
The first word inside the brackets is the name of the tag or element. Additional words, such as "standard" in the Name tag shown above, are called attributes. Attributes are like adjectives: they provide aditional information or modify the meaning of the tag.
Some tags enclose much more than a word or two. They may also have many other tags nested inside them. The following tags can contain substantial discussions:
<EDUCATION MODE="DOMESTIC"> marks discussion of a writer's home education.
<RESPONSES RESPONSETYPE="INITIAL" FORMALITY="INFORMAL" GENDERED="GENDEREDYES"> marks an early, informal response to a writer or text that has been significantly informed by ideas about gender.
As this last example makes clear, much of the tagging in Orlando materials is highly interpretive: it marks our priorities as literary historians and our judgements as scholars. A tag is an additional level of argument about the nature and significance of the material we provide.
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