1 person found this helpful
I'd say that you should create tags not for appearances, but for semantic content. Specifying formatting styles in your XML betrays your lack of familiarity with the format, because the last thing you'd want to do would be to use HTML markup in the middle of your XML. If you have content that's supposed to be both bolface and oblique - say, a warning - then it's marked up as
<warning>Never refer directly to formatting in your XML markup, only to content types!</warning>
If I had a document that was written in the style you suggest - one with lots of overlapping local formatting - I'd look at developing a better style guide that told the writers that doing so would be bad form. Because, you know, many of the writers I deal with are addicted to forms of emphasis that do nothing useful whatsover for their readership - they only serve to overemphasize the authorial voice of the writers.
Maybe you could tell us why you need these overlapping forms of styling, and we could suggest other InDesign formatting tools (like line styles or nested styles) that would help you get the appearance you want without crowding styling markup into your XML - where, strictly speaking, it doesn't really belong.
You're totally right. Formatting styles should be separated from the content itself.
Our writers use an external CMS to do their stuff and they're allowed to use bold, italics and underline at their whishes. This CMS then generates an XML as resembled in the original post.
As per your suggestion, I will checkout with them about their style guide and see if we can adjust it and provide semantic tags instead.