What is XML and why should humanists care? (David Birnbaum)

The context

Digital humanities (and, in particular, the subfield of DH traditionally called humanities computing) is the use of computer technology to conduct primary humanities research. This introduction has been written for an undergraduate course entitled “Computational methods in the humanities,” a title chosen to emphasize the students’ creation of original programming for use in their own humanities research projects. This focus ignores other uses of computers in humanities scholarship, such as the creation of web pages, blogs, wikis, social networks, etc., not because those uses are unimportant, but because publishing something on the screen does not automatically move the researcher very far beyond what would be possible with paper publication, and because collaborative or social authoring on the Internet differs from other forms of collaboration more in ease of use than in the significance of the eventual research results.

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