Rollin’ Trees, yo by Clark Feusier.
From the post:
I like trees. All kinds of trees — concrete and abstract. Redwoods, Oaks, search trees, decision trees, fruit trees, DOM trees, Christmas trees, and more.
They are powerful beyond common recognition. Oxygen, life, shelter, food, beauty, computational efficiency, and more are provided by trees when we interact with them in the right ways.
Don’t get offended when I say this:
you don’t like trees enough
Before I can make you feel bad about taking trees for granted, I need you to be very familiar with trees and their uses. Once you understand the tree, you will feel bad for not appreciating it enough. Then, you will start appreciating trees, as well as using them in the situations for which they are perfectly suited. Good.
Oh, I don’t mind using trees for “…situations for which they are perfectly suited.” What I object to is using trees to model texts, where outside of the artificial strictures of markup, are definitely not trees!
I suppose the simplest (and most common) case of non-tree like behavior for texts is where a sentence crosses page boundaries. If you think of the page as a container, then the markup for the start and end of a sentence “overlaps” the markers for the page boundary.
Another easy example is where a quotation starts the middle of one sentence and ends at the end of the following sentence. Any markup for the first sentence is going to “overlap” the markup for the start of the quotation.
For all that, this is a good review of trees and worth your time to read. Just don’t allow yourself to be limited to trees when thinking about texts.
I first saw this in a tweet by Anna Pawlicka.