The SGML FAQ Book
Understanding the Foundation of HTML and XML
Steven J. DeRose
Electronic Book Technologies, Inc., Providence, RI, USA
ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING SERIES
The SGML FAQ Book: Understanding the Foundation of HTML and
XML is similar, but not quite the same kind of thing as an online
FAQ or `Frequently Asked Questions' list. It addresses questions from
people who already actually use SGML in some way (including HTML
authors), and people who are about to use it. It deals mainly with
issues that arise when using SGML in practice.
A very brief introduction to SGML is included as Appendix A.
The questions discussed in The SGML FAQ Book are repeatedly
heard by people who make their living serving the SGML community.
SGML experts spend many hours teaching these details, sometimes
repeatedly because some questions do not seem important -
until you run into them. So one benefit of this book is
learning more of the art of document creation and management, both by
general reading before questions arise and by specific reference when
a question arises. For the latter use, the appendices, glossary, and
index are particularly important.
A second benefit of this book is that it provides a common theme to
its answers that you can apply in your use of SGML, HTML and related
languages in general. The fundamental answer to many of the questions
boils down to `simplify': many questions do not show up if you use the
simple, elegant core of SGML without worrying about optional features.
The credo of this book is simply, `SGML doesn't need to be
complicated'. SGML has the potential for complexity at certain points.
But much of the complexity comes from optional parts and can be
avoided. SGML methodology and its primary benefits suffer no loss even
if you skip many features, which speaks well for the quality of SGML's
overall design. Many of the questions discussed involve those optional
parts, and therefore can be avoided by judicious designers and
The two key goals of the book are (1) to answer questions that you may
actually encounter as an SGML user, and to help you get `unstuck' and
be as productive as possible in using the language and (2) to show
proactive ways you can simplify your use of SGML, and get its very
substantial benefits with minimal complexity.
Foreword. Preface. Organization and Conventions. 1. For
Authors and Document Editors Using SGML Tools. 2. For Authors
and Document Editors Who Commonly Deal with Raw SGML. 3. For
Data Conversion Specialists. 4. For Authors and Editors Using
External Data or Modifying DTDs. 5. For Builders of SGML DTDs.
6. For Builders of SGML DTDs who Must Constrain Data in Special
Ways. 7. For Builders of SGML DTDs and SGML Declarations.
8. A Simple, Standard Subset. Appendix A: Introduction to
SGML. Appendix B: SGML Delimiters. Appendix C: SGML
productions. (Grammar Rules). Bibliography. Glossary. Index.
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston
- Hardbound, ISBN 0-7923-9943-9
May 1997, 280 pp.
NLG 145.00 / USD 68.00 / GBP 46.25