The release of Ritchie Boss led to some discussion on twitter of the use of XML in fiction.
Not that I need to tell you all, but XML is a kind of markup that gets sprinkled around textual content, <example>like this</example>. The slash on the latter angle-bracketed-term indicates a “closing tag” and balances out the opening tag. When everything balances, plus follows a few other rules, it is said to be well-formed.
So, the discussion went to uses of XML in fiction. The obvious progenitor, and the inspiration for Ritchie Boss, was Vernor Vinge in Rainbows End. Elliotte Harold also pointed out Master Minds, an anthology that includes a well known flaw in XML, called the billion laughs attack.
What other stories can you think of that make use of XML or markup? Comment below.