[Mirrored from: http://www.ceth.rutgers.edu/projects/hercproj/panorama.htm]
SoftQuad Panorama (product information available from SoftQuad) is an extension application for the Mosaic and Netscape World-Wide Web browsers. Like any helper application, Panorama is invoked by the WWW browser whenever the browser is asked to download a file of the appropriate type -- in this case an SGML file identified by the file extension .sgml or .sgm. Having downloaded the file, Panorama proceeds to download associated files (including the SGML Document Type Definition or DTD, if it is not already stored locally), parse the DTD and render the SGML document on the screen. If you run Mosaic or Netscape on a Windows platform, you should be able to use Panorama to browse SGML in its native form.
The minimum system requirements for Panorama 1.5 are an 80486/33 processor with 8 MB available RAM, running Windows 3.1 or higher. In order to use the program's graphics viewer, your video card must provide at least 256 colors.
Performance is also affected, of course, by conditions such as the speed of your net connection: naturally, the faster the better, especially since some SGML files, or associated files such as graphic images or DTDs (document type definitions) can be large. Notwithstanding Panorama's evident utility (and its various advantages over an HTML browser), the practical performance limitations of some networked SGML applications suggest that there is still an advantage in running them on a stand-alone basis, providing an added value to CD-ROM publication (for example) -- at least with present networking technologies.
A free, unsupported version of SoftQuad Panorama comes bundled with the Spyglass Mosaic WWW browser; the program may also be configured to run as a helper application to Netscape. (Unfortunately, as of this writing Panorama is only available for Microsoft Windows.) An executable installation file is available for download from the NCSA ftp site: log in anonymously to ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu and download the file panofr10.exe from the /Mosaic/Windows/viewers subdirectory (or click here to launch file transfer from your www browser).
Panorama Free is a product of SoftQuad, Inc., and is not for commercial use.
One of the main advantages of SGML applications is that they allow designers to design and provide their own style sheets, controlling the appearance of the electronic text in the browser, and navigators, which are typically tree structures in greater or lesser detail, representing the hierarchy of the text and offering point-and-click access to the different text structures. An SGML text configured for Panorama may come, in fact, with more than one style sheet or navigator, providing different views of the same text. For example, a manuscript edition may come with a "clear text" or normalized view, vs. a "full text" view, a faithful diplomatic transcription of the text with editorial emendations rendered on screen.
Any Panorama style sheets and navigators provided for a text will be available in Panorama through the pull-down menus at the top of the Panorama window.
Warning as of July 1996: Designed for Netscape version 1.1, SoftQuad Panorama 1.5 works best with versions 1.1, 1.2 of Netscape, and has been tested with version 2.0; other versions (especially later versions) of Netscape can encounter problems downloading SGML files for Panorama. If you encounter problems, these tips may help:
Panorama 2.0 is due to be released shortly; it is expected to address these compatibility problems.
Downloading and Running SoftQuad Panorama, by
Wendell Piez (
Sponsored by the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (CETH)
Rutgers and Princeton Universities
This page last emended 4 September 1996 [wap]
Copyright © 1996 by CETH