SGML - Dispelling The Myths

What is SGML ?

Standard Generalised Markup Language

Why use SGML ?

Traditionally information held in a database has been viewed as a resource which needs to be accessed continually over long periods of time. Therefore we are quite accustomed to using files from one database and naturally assuming that we could then use the same file in a different database package or spreadsheet. Unfortunatley the same has not been true of "text-based" information - that is until now.

Most Word Processors and Desktop Publishing packages are only concerned with the apperance of the printed page. In these days of electronic publishing it is more likely that the actual text or "data" held on disk is the real concern. SGML is about taking care of the actual data and not the style of its presentation.

Todays organisations are beginning to realise that "text" in technical manuals and other documents is an invaluable "data-resource". The use of SGML will ensure that your data is future-proof. It will ensure that electronic data you produce will be useable by other departments, for other output strategies as well as ensuring its useability in future systems.

SGML will extend the useful lifetime of your document-based information.

Using SGML - For built-in flexibility

One SGML document can be used for a variety of dissemination strategies. An SGML file can be printed in hard-copy, published on CD-ROM, converted into an electronic book for reading on screen or distubuted across a network.

Benefits of SGML

ISO 8879

ISO is the International Organisation for Standardisation. Their work involves the provision of industry standards and specifications for international agreement.

They help to ensure that information processing methods conform to standards which allow the interfacing and interchangeability of all types of data. There are over 200 standards covering software and hardware.

The subject of this page is ISO 8879 :-

Who is using SGML ?

SGML makes every document a virtual 'database' record, allowing information to be extracted and re-used in a variety of dissemination stategies.