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Last modified: February 25, 2002
DSSSL - Document Style Semantics and Specification Language. ISO/IEC 10179:1996

ISO/IEC 10179:1996 Document Style Semantics and Specification Language was complete as of January 11, 1996. A related style language which uses DSSSL constructs is the Extensible Style Language (XSL). DSSSL is maintained by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 (Document Description and Processing Languages), Working Group 2 -- Information Presentation. The Convener for ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 34 WG 02 is Dr. Yushi Komachi. WG2 "is responsible for producing standards for languages and resources for the description and processing of compounds and hypermedia documents, including: (1) Document processing architecture and formatting for logical documents (2) Multilingual font information interchange and related services (3) Final-form document architecture and page information interchange (4) APIs for the above document processings."

The DSSSL Standard: Sources

DSSSL Introductions and Overviews

[CR: 20011102]

  • [November 03, 2001] PDAM1 to ISO/IEC 10179: Extensions to DSSSL. ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 N216. "This amendment specifies additional flow object classes, additional formatting area, API to a DSSSL processor, formal public identifiers, and their associated characteristics for various line breaking and line composition methods. The additional flow object classes specify flow object classes for the online display. The additional formating areas clarify formating areas for an inline-display area and inter-line attachment area..." See reference page.

  • [November 03, 2001] "Summary of Voting on SC 34 N 216 - PDAM1 to ISO/IEC 10179: Extensions to DSSSL." 5-October-2001. ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 N258. See PDAM1 to ISO/IEC 10179: Extensions to DSSSL.

  • [November 03, 2001] Posting to '' by Ken Holman: "The appropriate forum to talk about the future of an ISO standard is through the ISO itself by participating in your country's representative committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34. Canadians interested in doing so are welcome to contact me as I am the chairman of Canada's representative committee. Presently, Japanese representatives have been most active on the maintenance and progression of the DSSSL standard, having already released an amendment. There is a commercial implementation of complex page geometry for DSSSL from Next Solution in Japan, and I know their engineer who is active with standards issues..." See the list archives.

  • Serialized tutorial article on DSSSL in three parts: "Formatting Documents with DSSSL Specifications and Jade," by Bob DuCharme, published in <TAG>: The SGML Newsletter, May, June, July 1997. See the bibliographic entry for full reference information.

  • Sharon Adler, "The 'ABCs' of DSSSL." In Structured Information / Standards for Document Architectures = Journal of the American Society for Information Science [Special Issue] Volume 48, Number 7 (July 1997), pages 597-602. Similarly: Adler and Berglund, "ABCs of DSSSL," SGML '95 Proceedings, pages 1-9.

  • Tutorial article by Dianne Kennedy, "An Introduction to DSSSL (ISO/IEC 10179)," in <TAG> 10/2 (February 1997). The first in an announced series of articles. Part 2: <TAG> 10/3 (March 1997) 1-4.

  • Slides from Presentations on DSSSL - "Putting on the Style! - DSSSL, CSS, XSL, ..." SGML UK (SGML Users' Group) Tuesday, March 31, 1998. DSSSL presentations by Richard Light, Aidan Killian, and David Pawson.

  • "A Gentle Introduction to DSSSL," by Dan Speck. In InterChange [Newsletter of the International SGML Users' Group (ISUG)] Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 1998) 8-11.

  • [May 03, 2000] "Style Matters: DSSSL for XML: Why not?" By Didier Martin. From May 02, 2000. ['Although a forerunner to CSS and XSLT, DSSSL can still be used today with XML to create RTF, HTML, and other formats. Didier Martin show us how.'] "I'll talk about a grove processing and styling language, DSSSL (pronounced 'deesel'). DSSSL stands for Document Style Semantics and Specifications Language. Like groves, DSSSL is another technology with its roots in SGML, and sometimes suffers from bad press in the XML world. In fact, as you'll notice after reading this article, a DSSSL style sheet can be as simple to read and understand as a CSS style sheet. Both are rule-based languages, as indeed is XSLT. DSSSL is mainly intended for processing SGML documents but, since XML 1.0 documents are also SGML documents, they can be processed by a DSSSL engine. The OpenJade DSSSL implementation can be used to style DTD-less well-formed XML documents, as you would with CSS or XSLT. For those of you who use XSLT, you'll find DSSSL has some familiar processing concepts..."

DSSSL Tutorial Materials Online

[CR: 19991006]

  • Announcement from Jon Bosak for an expanded collection of simple tutorial materials for DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language, ISO/IEC 10179). [March 03, 1997]
  • Learn about DSSSL, starting with a simple example: See an example contributed by Jon Bosak for DSSSL stylesheets applied to (SGML-encoded) email messages. In the tutorial package, the files "show a simple SGML application and a set of DSSSL stylesheets for that application. The stylesheets are arranged in a progression that shows certain basic DSSSL features in action." [mirror copy], February 1997]
  • [October 06, 1999] (Originally - July 24, 1997) "Introduction to DSSSL." By Paul Prescod. July, 1997 [or later]. Originally posted March 1997. 'The tutorial does not presuppose a basic knowledge of Scheme.' "DSSSL is the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language and is meant to work with SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language. DSSSL is an international standard for associating processing with SGML documents. As you know, SGML itself is intended to allow the complete separation of the content of a document (text, structure, links), from the processing to be associated with it (usually formatting). So where a Word for Windows, Tex, or even LaTeX document would describe what a document looks like (in other words how a printer should 'process' it), SGML documents would only describe the structure. Using DSSSL you can describe the processing of documents in a standard way. Since the two most common forms of document processing are formatting and transformation, DSSSL standardised these two processes first. Others may follow as they are needed. . ." [local archive copy]
  • Announcement for a tutorial "Introduction to DSSSL," contributed by Daniel M. Germán. Tutorial prerequisites are said to include a basic SGML knowledge and a basic Scheme knowledge. [March 10, 1997]
  • [June 08, 1998] An announcement from Markus Reinsch (Universität Bielefeld) was posted to DSSSList for a draft online DSSSL tutorial, "Visual Introduction to DSSSL." The tutorial illustrates basic DSSSL concepts interactively using Java applets. At present, it covers the DSSSL query language and parts of the style language. The author solicits feedback from readers. See:
  • [April 02, 1998] An announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies) reports the the availability of an online tutorial on the DSSSL Core Expression Language. The tutorial is accessible in SGML, HTML, and RTF formats from The source format is SGML (encoded in DocBook 3.0 markup); a transformation to both HTML and RTF was made using James Clark's Jade DSSSL engine and Norman Walsh's db108b1 stylesheet. Mulberry Technologies has contributed this tutorial on DSSSL's Core Expression Language to the DSSSL Documentation Project in celebration of the first full year of DSSSList's operation.
  • [July 19, 1997] Example/tutorial DSSSL specification from Eliot Kimber, documented in the paper "An Approach to Literate Programming With SGML Architectures." See the announcement from Eliot, or the abstract in the Topics section, sub "Architectural Forms and SGML Architectures."
  • Groves, Grove Plans, and Property Sets in SGML/DSSSL/HyTime - Online explanations from Eliot Kimber, Steve Newcomb, Charles Goldfarb, and others.
  • [August 20, 1998] "The TeX backend for Jade and the JadeTeX Macros." From Sebastian Rahtz (Elsevier Science Ltd). - How DSSSL and TeX work together. See JadeTex on SourceForge. [local archive copy]
  • [August 29, 1998] DSSSL documentation (in French), from Jeremy Calles.

DSSSL Development and Reference Resources

[CR: 19991020]

  • [October 20, 1999] On behalf of the OpenJade Development Team, Matthias Clasen has announced the Version 1.3 release of OpenJade. "OpenJade is the DSSSL user community's open source implementation of DSSSL, Document Style Semantics and Specification Language, an ISO standard for rendering SGML and XML documents. OpenJade is based on James Clark's widely used Jade. OpenJade 1.3 is the second OpenJade release. See below for a list of new features compared to OpenJade 1.2.2. You can download OpenJade from For more information, see the DSSSL/OpenJade home page at" Clasen also noted in connection with this 1.3 release: "you will notice that we don't provide a binary package for Win32. That is because we currently lack the necessary man-power/systems to do any testing/building on Win32 platforms. So if you are a Win32 jade/OpenJade user with access to MSVC and want to see OpenJade run well on Win32 in the future, please consider helping us by testing/building OpenJade-1.3 and/or the current CVS sources on Win32 platforms." Changes in version 1.3 are listed in the announcement. Note in particular: "(1) The SGML backend will not emit linebreaks when used as -t sgml-raw; (2) Jade can bind variables to arbitrary values on the command line; (3) The prlabs1 module of the SGML property set is supported; (4) Style sheet extensions .dsl lists all known external procedures ready for easy inclusion as an external-specification..."

  • [August 27, 1999] OpenJade Development Team Releases OpenJade 1.3pre1 (Beta). A recent posting from Avi Kivity and the OpenJade Development Team announced the release of OpenJade 1.3pre1 (Beta). "OpenJade is the DSSSL user community's open source implementation of DSSSL, Document Style Semantics and Specification Language, an ISO standard for rendering SGML and XML documents. OpenJade is based on James Clark's widely used Jade. OpenJade 1.3pre1 is a more complete implementation of the DSSSL standard, and introduces many new features, including (1) Implementation of most standard procesures; (2) Support for char-repertoire and related declarations; (3) Language support (including language-dependent procedures); (4) Standard color spaces are supported; (5) Special-query-expressions are recognized; (5) force! for inherited characteristics; (6) Character properties; (7) SGML architecture support extension; (8) The prlgabs1 SGML property set module is supported; (9) Binding of values to variables on the command line. You can download OpenJade from See the file jadedoc/jade.htm, included with the distribution, for building and installation instructions. For more information, see the DSSSL/OpenJade Home Page.

  • [June 09, 1999] [See preceding] Didier PH Martin posted an announcement concerning a new collection of Web pages for the DSSSL language. "You'll find useful references, articles, news and software all about DSSSL. This is the site in construction for the DSSSL user group. Avi Kivity already organized the source code on a CVS server. Ralph Ferris is busy working on the next Hybrick browser plug-in. I am busy working on the SGML/XML kit version 2 that will also include the Omnimark language in addition to OpenJade. Hopefully, if Keith work is enough advanced, the kit will offer an alternative to Microsoft's XSL engine. I am also slowly but surely documenting the OpenJade code (a long and hard job). I think that we'll soon be ready to integrate the OpenJade code developed by some of you for the next OpenJade release." The OpenJade source code, now maintained by the user group members, is available in a CVS repository. Note that the new DSSSL Web site and the 'OpenJade' effort have emerged in the context of a wider conversation about Jade/DSSSL held on the (Mulberry Technologies) DSSSList forum; see the May/June 1999 threads with subjects "Jade Maintenance," "Jade/DSSSL future," and "More on the Future of DSSSL." From one of the key postings by James Clark, maintainer of Jade - an implementation of the DSSSL style language: "My general feeling is that just as the future is XML not SGML, so the future is also XSL not DSSSL. When XSLT and XSL are done, there will (I hope) be nothing you can do in DSSSL that you can't do with XSL(T). DSSSL has not achieved widespread acceptance, and of course that's disappointing to all of us involved in DSSSL. But I think we have to face up to the fact that the main reason it has failed to achieve acceptance is not because of lack of promotion or explanation or marketing (although that has probably been a factor), but because of real useability problems in the language itself. XSL started off as a collaboration between DSSSLers and Microsoft to create a new syntax for the DSSSL style language that would be easier to use and could achieve wide acceptance. It hasn't quite turned out like that. On the XSL flow objects side, politics and market realities have necessitated building DSSSL functionality on top of CSS formatting objects/properties rather than starting with the DSSSL flow objects. On the XSLT side, as we've continued to work on the language we've found many ways to improve it, and the language has evolved substantially from DSSSL; however it's still very much the same approach to transformation as jade -t sgml. There are big advantages to being in the mainstream, and XSLT looks set to become a mainstream technology. It's attracted the support of some of the biggest players out there -- Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Sun, Lotus, Adobe . . ." See also the OpenJade announcement posted by Didier PH Martin to Usenet CTS/CTX. Version 1.2.2 released July 20, 1999.

  • [January 04, 1998] DSSSL Documentation Project, coordinated by Mulberry Technologies, Inc. The DSSSL Documentation Project is "a collaborative effort by DSSSL users to write and disseminate documentation on all aspects of DSSSL for the purposes of: (1) introducing DSSSL to new users; (2) education for both new and experienced users; (3) assistance for people using DSSSL. The project draws on the combined experience of present users of DSSSL, principally those subscribed to the DSSSList mailing list, which also hosts the discussion between project participants."
  • [November 09, 1998] G. Ken Holman (Crane Softwrights Ltd.) posted a description of a 'literate DSSSL stylesheet environment' package that has been using for a while to write a DSSSL script and its associated documentation in a single file. This tool is available for download. Description: "CSLDSSSL is an Annotatable DSSSL Stylesheet document model, where the annotations and documentation are captured in rich element structure, interspersed with the actual DSSSL code recognized by the DSSSL engine in the architectural instance of the stylesheet. The environment produces both HTML and printed documentation of the rich markup. . . The Annotatable DSSSL Stylesheet document model CSLDSSSL.DTD is rich with element content that contains parts, sub-parts, cross-references, and other constructs in addition to raw DSSSL code. The supporting documentation DSSSL stylesheet CSLDSSSL.SGM renders the rich embedded markup into documentation in three formats: print semantics, HTML markup, and distilled DSSSL code." See also the online documentation.
  • [June 25, 1999] Jade-DSSSL Auto FAQ - Implemented by YESOD - (Alias Jean-Philippe Théberge).
  • DSSSL Syntax Summary Index, by Harvey Bingham. Announcement from May 1996. [See also SGML Syntax Summary, May 1996 or later]
  • [June 24, 1998] DSSSList -- The DSSSL Users' Mailing List. See the database entry for additional details, and the administrative guidelines document [June 24, 1998].
  • DSSSL Documentation Project Procedures Library. Includes Chapter 1: Procedures (IEEE/R4RS Procedures); Chapter 2: Scheme but not DSSSL procedures; Chapter 3: DSSSL-specific Procedures; Chapter 4: Debugging. [" based largely upon David Love's contribution of July 2, 1997"] Also: SGML source.
  • DSSSL Documentation Project: GLOSSARY
  • [April 04, 1998] Alpha/snapshot - Eliot Kimber's 'XLink in DSSSL Package.'. Provides a function package for resolving XPointers in DSSSL using Jade. Alpha sources..."implemented the four absolute terms and all the relative terms except preceding, which has a bug somewhere in its supporting functions. I have not yet implemented attribute qualification or the 'other terms' (span, string, attr)..." - as reported on DSSSList.
  • [October 14, 1997] The DSSSL Cookbook - Part of the DSSSL Documentation Project. ". . .arranged as a series of hints about using DSSSL, including style and techniques for writing DSSSL stylesheets as well as the use of specific DSSSL functions and flow object classes. The examples in the DSSSL Cookbook are cross-referenced to the material in the Flow Object Gallery which details features of the DSSSL flow object classes." See also: 'simple-page-sequence'.
  • [May 11, 1998] Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for Revision 2 of The DSSSL Cookbook. "The DSSSL Cookbook is a series of hints about using DSSSL, including style and techniques for writing DSSSL stylesheets as well as the use of specific DSSSL functions and flow object classes." Additions to the Cookbook leading to Revision 2 have been contributed by Chris Maden, David Pawson, and Tony Graham.
  • [May 12, 1998] Announcement from Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.) for a DSSSL Flow Object Class Reference - new online reference resource documenting DSSSL's flow object classes. The reference work is not yet complete: "it is a humble beginning, but with time, and contributions, it will become a valuable resource to people using DSSSL and to people using the DSSSL flow objects with XSL." The new DSSSL flow object class documentation is part of the DSSSL Handbook, itself part of the DSSSL Documentation Project.
  • "Index to all DSSSL procedures by prototype", by Henry S. Thompson. Derived automatically from the DSSSL standard using Jade. April 21, 1997. [mirror copy]
  • [September 05 [10], 1997] Announcement from Henry S. Thompson for a 'DSSSL Digest' programmer's resource. The DSSSL Digest "contains all the procedures and top-level expressions from the electronic version of the DSSSL standard document, in alphabetical order, with thumb-tabs. Each prototype is followed by the first paragraph of its definition in the standard. Multiple prototypes which share a definition are cross-referenced to the first prototype in the group, which is followed by the summary. Section numbers are given for all prototypes." [archive copy] Document via FTP.
  • [October 05, 1998] "Color Resources for DSSSL," from Crane Softwrights Ltd. (Ken Holman). A "free DSSSL colour key resource that implements 282 of the 'popular web names' for colours as DSSSL variables. The supplied DSSSL source gives the decimal fraction combinations for each of these 282 colours." See the announcement from June 17, 1998.
  • Property Definitions [Clause 9], provided by Arjan Loeffen. Tree overview in PostScript format; [local mirror copy]
  • From Russell O'Connor: ps2java. ". . . a series of DSSSL style sheets that create a series of Java interfaces and classes from a property set. ps2java uses (abuses?) Jade's SGML backend to create a list of classes which is split into a series of individual files using an Java program included called Split.
  • From Arjan Loeffen, Utrecht University: HyTime architectural forms: tree listing(DSSSL style sheet element trees are available as EPS files)
  • "Node Properties in Jade", produced by David Megginson. From the overview of the document: "It is important to understand the implications of James's inclusion of the 'node-property' primitive in Jade 0.7 -- we now have direct, low-level access to the grove built from the parse SGML document, and can easily navigate from the root down to each leaf, and back again. . .[I have created] a web page to help [me] understand which classes and properties were supported by the current version of Jade, including the INTRBASE properties that are not part of the SGML grove plan proper." [archive copy]
  • KEDIT Language Definition for DSSSL Specifications, from Geir Ove Grønmo, Falch Infotek. Version 1.0 - March 1997. See the [mirror copy].
  • Practical Formatting Using DSSSL - DSSSL Courses from Crane Softwrights Ltd.
  • [December 15, 1997] "Characters available in Jade" "The files charnames.dsl and charnames.sgml can be used to produce an RTF file that lists all of the characters available in Jade 1.0 via the '\charname;' syntax. To produce charnames.rtf do: jade -t rtf -d charnames.dsl charnames.sgml. From Daniel Speck (Thomson Technology Services Group).

DSSSL Software Tools and Applications

[CR: 20011119]

  • See the dedicated section on DSSSL Software and related DSSSL development resources for a more complete listing of DSSSL software.
  • Jade: James [Clark]'s DSSSL Engine. Jade Home Page: As of August 1997: "Jade includes the following components: (1) An abstract interface to groves; (2) An in-memory implementation of this interface built with SP; (3) A style engine that implements the DSSSL style language; (4) A command-line application, jade, that combines the style engine with the spgrove grove interface and four backends: (i) a backend that generates an SGML representation of the flow object tree, (ii) A backend that generates RTF, (iii) A backend that generates TeX, (iv) A backend that generates SGML, llowing Jade to be used for SGML transformations. . ."
  • DSSSL Syntax Checker, from Henry S. Thompson. See the announcement for version 1.0, or the earlier anouncement for version 0.7 [October 03, 1996]
  • [November 15, 2001] From Allin Cottrell (Wake Forest University Department of Economics): "DBTeXMath is "a small set of files enabling literal pass-through of TeX math to jadetex, in the context of DocBook -- i.e., lets you use TeX math rather than MathML in the SGML/XML source file. Includes a utility to auto-generate PNG images from the texmath elements for use in HTML. Small addition to the DTD, a few DSSSL bits and pieces, plus some perl hackery..." Version 0.2 makes it possible "to use both DSSSL and XSL stylesheets to pass math to TeX or generate file for automatic TeX-to-image processing..." [cache 0.1]
  • [December 02, 1999] DSSSLprint Version 1.0 Available for Review. Fumihito Matsumoto (Next Solution) recently announced the beta/demo release of DSSSLprint Version 1.0. DSSSLprint 1.0 is an SGML/XML formatter, and its output formats are PostScript and PDF. The utility converts an SGML/XML document into PostScript or PDF by following the layout, style and pagination descriptions in a DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) script conforming to the International Standard (ISO/IEC 10179:1996). The demo/evaluation version of DSSSLprint1.0 is available for Sun Solaris 2.4 or above. A layout sample created by DSSSLprint1.0 is on Next Solution's web site. "DSSSLprint implements the DSSSL formatting language. By writing a style script that specifies how to format the structures found in an SGML document, you can format and print out on any PostScript Level II printer any document that conforms to the expected hierarchy. Furthermore, by creating other scripts, you can create other presentation styles for the same set of documents. The documents themselves are not altered in any way and once the script is created, the formatting process is automatic and independent of the content of any single document instance. DSSSLprint transforms the document straight into PostScript or PDF code, so there are no problems with intermediate files or programs like TeX or LaTeX. Features: (1) Layout results can be previewed on the display before printing on film or paper; (2) All PostScript Level II printers supported; (3) Supports TIFF, EPSF, JPEG and CGM graphic images referenced in the SGML/XML file; (4) DSSSLprint can be easily invoked from a GUI."
  • [July 20, 1999] DSC Version 2.0 Released with DSSSL Transformation Language. In response to popular demand, Henry S. Thompson has announced the "long-delayed release of dsc-2.0, with support for the DSSSL transformation language in addition to dsc's DSSSL checking and debugging features." This 2.0 release had been "languishing in a not-quite-well-packaged state for over a year. . ." On DSC: "This tool, which embeds a full R4RS Scheme interpreter in James Clark's SP parser, is designed both to provide an online syntax checker for all DSSSL expression, style and transformation language programs, and to serve as a preprocessor for any Scheme-embedded DSSSL implementation. Virtually the entire language as specified in chapters 8 through 12 of the standard is checked for syntactic correctness, and a virtually complete implementation of the core expression language is included, as is the first-ever (as far as I know) implementation of the DSSSL transformation language. . . DSC implements the full semantics of the DSSSL standard regarding specification files, composing a specification body from one or more files conforming to the DSSSL architectural form, then mapping from the specification body (i.e., sequences of expression language forms) to a reordered normalised form thereof and loading the result into a Scheme interpreter with access to a document source grove. Comprehensive and detailed error messages, based on a large database of information about the calling sequences for all specification language functions and forms are logged to stderr, together with (optionally) information about feature usage. The semantics of the style language is not implemented, but the query and transformation languages are implemented, as is the core expression language, together with a number of optional compenents, with two exceptions: only 8-bit characters with single-character names are supported, and the functions `time' and `time->string' are not implemented."
  • [October 28, 1997] Announcement from Henry S. Thompson for the release of an alpha version of xslj, a Jade-compatible XSL-to-DSSSL translator. "XSLJ is a virtually complete implementation of XSL by way of translation into extended DSSSL, as supported by the latest test release of James Clark's DSSSL engine Jade. XSLJ translates valid XSL style sheets into valid extended DSSSL style sheets, which can then be used to render XML documents using Jade. Virtually all of XSL as described in the W3C document 'A Proposal for XSL' is supported, although some minor modifications have been necessitated by the exigencies of implementation, all of which are described in detail in material contained in the release. . ." XSLJ development was supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council via their support for HCRC and by a grant from Microsoft. See the University of Edinburgh Web site for details:
  • [February 15, 1999] Ralph E. Ferris (Fujitsu Software Corporation) posted an update on the HyBrick V0.80 support for XLink and XPointer. HyBrick is an advanced SGML/XML browser developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, the research arm of Fujitsu. HyBrick is based on an architecture that supports advanced linking and formatting capabilities. HyBrick includes a DSSSL renderer and XLink/XPointer engine running on top of James Clark's SP and Jade. It supports "both valid and well-formed XML documents, XLink and XPointer, SGML (ISO 8879), DSSSL (ISO 10179) online specification, printing and print previewing based on DSSSL stylesheets." To make the point [about HyBrick XLink/XPointer support, Ralph has] put some files with XLink/XPointer declarations in them up on the HyBrick Web site at These files are intended to be accessed over the Web. If your network access environment allows you to though, you can see XLink and XPointer at work over the Web by downloading HyBrick and pointing it at: . . ." [see the posting for caveats and full details.] HyBrick Version 0.8 with XLink/XPointer support is now available for download.
  • [February 16, 1999] Didier PH Martin posted an announcement for a new version of the DSSSL XML/SGML kit (for IE 4.x and IE 5.x). "The SGML/XML Kit is a browser add-on that transforms SGML/XML documents into displayable entities; [it] is based on a DSSSL script engine." See the text of the announcement for a list of changes in this release.
  • [July 29, 1999] Braille Formatter - Braifo Version 0.0.1. Peter Nilsson has posted an announcement for the availability of Braifo version 0.0.1. Documents describing Braifo, as well as the source code, are available from the author's web site. Braifo, the Braille Formatter, "is a braille formatter and translator implementing a subset of the flow object classes defined by the DSSSL style language. The formatter has basic support for the following DSSSL flow objects: [sequence, simple-page-sequence, paragraph, character]. The development platform for Braifo is Debian GNU/Linux, but it is planned to run on as many platforms as possible (including Unix variants, DOS and Windows)." For additional details, see the Braifo home page.
  • [June 09, 1999] Peter Nilsson posted an announcement to the DSSSList for the availablity of 'Braifo - A Braille Formatter'. "Braifo is a braille formatter that will generate braille out of an SGML/XML document. Currently it supports DSSSL using (OPEN)Jade. I am planning to also support XSL in the future, when the XSL spec gets more ready. Braifo will convert documents written in SGML into braille as specified in a style sheet. Braifo will support some, but not all of the featueres that are optional in the style language. It will also not support some required features of DSSSL, such as font characteristics, the external-graphic flow object class, etc. The page feature of DSSSL will be supported. This allows for generated headers and page footnotes. Neither of the multi-column, nor nested-column-set features will be supported. The bidi and vertical features also won't be available. The style sheet language is DSSSL, with some modifications to support braille. The development platform for Braifo is Debian GNU/Linux, but it is planned to run on as many platforms as possible (including Unix variants, DOS and Windows)."
  • [May 02, 1998] Announcement from G. Ken Holman (Crane Softwrights Ltd.) for the public availability of an SGML/DSSSL Presentation Development Application. It is an SGML application for frame-based presentation slide-shows with DSSSL scripts for the rendering of the slides to HTML and RTF final forms. This shareware application may be used with James Clark's JADE DSSSL Engine "to create slide-show presentations and associated paper handouts" from SGML source documents. The tool is "based on an SGML document model (DTD) and uses two DSSSL stylesheet scripts to render the structured presentation in both HTML and RTF." See the Crane Softwrights shareware library for details.
  • [July 20, 1999] Work in progress: Pomade: Poor Man's DSSSL Environment. "Pomade does the following things that are not difficult but tiresome for an experienced Jade user: 1) It lets you add application specific catalog files to those defined in SGML_CATALOG_FILES. In addition, you may specify which directories are to be searched for files whose SYSTEM identifiers do not contain a fully qualified path name. 2) It builds a top level DSSSL script that does not only invoke your main script responsible for the actual work, but also contains your current configuration choices (fonts, margins etc.) 3) If instructed to do so, it builds a temporary catalog file that maps PUBLIC identifiers used in the DTD or in a DSSSL script to SYSTEM identifiers reflecting your current choices. It also makes sure that this catalog file overrides the other catalog files. 4) It builds a Jade call with all necessary parameters for the output format(s) of your choice." See the online documentation, the Win32 self-extracting binary, and the GZIPped TAR file. Or: see the online [earlier URLs:] sources and documentation. From Andreas Saremba or, Siemens Business Services, Berlin.
  • [April 13, 1998] Provisional pointer: Note on dsldump (set of functions I wrote to dump dsssl objects) and 'code for literate programming using Jade", from Gregg Reynolds (; see sub "slambda".

DSSSL and the Web

This section provides information for 'DSSSL Online' (dsssl-o), 'DSSSL Lite,' and related efforts.

DSSSL Stylesheets

[CR: 19990114]

DSSSL - Miscellaneous and Historical Reference

  • "Overview: XML, HTML, and all that", by Jon Bosak, Sun Microsystems. Presented on April 11, 1997. Compares and contrasts SGML, HTML, and XML; DSSSL and/versus CSS as style languages. On the style language comparison: see the entry in the stylesheet section. [Archive copy .ZIP, or overview document text only]
  • Technical Corrigendum for ISO/IEC 10179: DSSSL from James Clark. WG8 N1883 (11 November 1996); [archive copy]
  • [Perhaps partially dated information: DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) is under ISO Project JTC1. The second DIS version of DSSSL (ISO/IEC DIS 10179.2) was being reviewed (late 1994) for approval as an IS. Voting may (have) close(d) on 1994-12-25 or 1995-01-25. The draft version as of early 1995 is available through the normal distribution channels for a DIS, but is also available in PostScript or PDF format (partially in SGML as well) at a number of Internet locations. There is a special working group preparing a feature list for a DSSSL subset (DSSSL Lite), to be implemented as a means of supporting electronic style sheets for "HTML" documents. A list of relevant sites follows.
  • Remote file
  • Remote file
  • Matthew Fuchs, "Semantic Extensions to DSSSL to Handle Trees." Presentation at SGML '96, and pages 441-448 in SGML '96 Conference Proceedings. Celebrating a Decade of SGML. See the bibliographic entry for abstract and links to the document online.
  • R. Alexander Milowski, "Transformation as the Basis of Application: DSSSL in Practice." Presentation at SGML '96, and pages 449-462 in SGML '96 Conference Proceedings. Celebrating a Decade of SGML. See the bibliographic entry for the abstract.
  • Note on DSSSL (DIS) by Erik Naggum: bibliographic reference or the full article
  • Tabulation of voting results, early 1995 (DSSSL passes, only Germany votes "no"). See the posting supplied by Erik Naggum.
  • According to WG8 Document #1789 (Annual Report of the Convenor of WG8 to SC18, 9-June-1995), "The second DIS ballot on DSSSL succeeded with only one negative vote. The comments are being resolved and a final text is in preparation. The final publication date is expected to be September 1995."
  • "DSSSL and DSSSL Lite": DSSSL and/vs FOSI. A NAVYSGML link
  • Multimedia/Hypermedia Standards Activity - October 1995
  • Copernican Solutions SGML Implementor's Resource, with DSSSL Information [offline 2002-02; new reference?]

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