Distributable Educational Material Markup LanguageTM


First Alpha version of schema published.

Though it is still rough and only covers the fundamental constituents of a DEMML™ topic, the DEMML_0.1 schema is available for viewing here.

Created DEMML™ blog site.

It took me a while to get around to creating a blog but it is finally up. (Updated July 8, 2009)
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Added new Features and Benefits page.

DEMML is truely unique but I seem to have a hard time getting people to see that. Hopefully this will help. (Updated Dec. 10, 2007)
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New Powerpoint about Communications Systems

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How DEMML™ was Invented

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.
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DEMCS™ Branches, Stems, & Leaves Metaphor

Why DEMCS™ uses a different model

DEMML™ breaks everything down into very specific individual topics. Anyone can contribute content about a topic and those contributions are kept in separate files rather than combined into one giant document about each topic. The reason for this is simple. We want the system to be as simple to use as possible. It may seem at first to be simpler to just put everything in one big file, but it doesn't work out that way. When new content is contributed for a topic, we want users to be able to just download that extra file, put it in the correct directory on their computer, and that's it. If a teacher creates additional content about a topic and distributes it directly to their students, we want those students to be able to just stick that content in the same folders with their other content and be done with it. No importing and no risky modifications to existing files. If a student has some free content and some DRM managed, commercial content on their computer, they should be able to just copy their whole collection to a friends computer. That friend will then be able to see all of the free content right away, but will only be able to open the commercial files if they pay for the right to do so. All of this would be much more difficult if all of the content was in one big file.

So, DEMML™ content for a particular topic consists of multiple files. Each file may contain one or more items. And, together, all those files with all those items in them constitute all the content for the topic. But what about different languages? With most CBT systems, content creators and organizers simply stick to one language or another. This is easy for them to do because their content is essentially locked up on a private server where only a relative few, privileged students can access it. Again, DEMML™ is different. The primary goal of DEMML™ is easy self-education for everyone everywhere. This means anyone, anywhere needs to be able to access content written in their language.

There are two ways to create a structure that allows for all the different topics in all the different languages. One way is to start by separating everything out by language, then group by topic. Using the tree metaphor, each language would be a separate tree with the subjects represented by all the branches of those trees. But this presents a problem. Have you ever seen two trees in a forest that were exactly identical right down to the last branch? Even a skilled arborist couldn't prune two trees to be so identical, let alone forty or so. There are far more different subjects and topics than there are languages and not all topics will be covered in all languages. Therefore, it will be much easier to keep one tree for all the subjects and topics and then keep the different translations of the content in separate directories but near one another in the tree. This makes it easier to maintain the organization of the tree because there is only one. It makes it easy for people to copy only files that are written in their language. And it also makes it easy for students to find content written in other languages if they so choose. You will see how this fits in in just a little bit.

Next: Stems to Hold Collections of Leaves...

First Published: May 15, 2007 — Last Modified: May 15, 2007
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