Chapter 2
                     A GENTLE INTRODUCTION TO SGML
   The encoding scheme defined by these Guidelines is formulated as an
application of a system known as the Standard Generalized Markup Lan-
guage (SGML).(3)  SGML is an international standard for the definition
of device-independent, system-independent methods of representing texts
in electronic form.  This chapter presents a brief tutorial guide to its
main features, for those readers who have not encountered it before.
For a more technical account of TEI practice in using the SGML standard,
see chapter 28, "Conformance," on page 47.  For a more technical
description of the subset of SGML used by the TEI encoding scheme, see
chapter 39, "Formal Grammar for the TEI-Interchange-Format Subset of
SGML," on page 77.
   SGML is an international standard for the description of marked-up
electronic text.  More exactly, SGML is a metalanguage, that is, a means
of formally describing a language, in this case, a markup language.
Before going any further we should define these terms.
   Historically, the word markup has been used to describe annotation or
other marks within a text intended to instruct a compositor or typist
how a particular passage should be printed or laid out.  Examples
include wavy underlining to indicate boldface, special symbols for pas-
sages to be omitted or printed in a particular font and so forth.  As
the formatting and printing of texts was automated, the term was extend-
ed to cover all sorts of special markup codes inserted into electronic
texts to govern formatting, printing, or other processing.
   Generalizing from that sense, we define markup, or (synonymously)
encoding, as any means of making explicit an interpretation of a text.
At a banal level, all printed texts are encoded in this sense:  punctua-
tion marks, use of capitalization, disposition of letters around the
page, even the spaces between words, might be regarded as a kind of
markup, the function of which is to help the human reader determine
where one word ends and another begins, or how to identify gross struc-
tural features such as headings or simple syntactic units such as depen-
dent clauses or sentences.  Encoding a text for computer processing is
in principle, like transcribing a manuscript from scriptio continua, a
process of making explicit what is conjectural or implicit, a process of
directing the user as to how the content of the text should be inter-
   By markup language we mean a set of markup conventions used together
for encoding texts.  A markup language must specify what markup is
allowed, what markup is required, how markup is to be distinguished from
text, and what the markup means.  SGML provides the means for doing the
first three; documentation such as these Guidelines is required for the
   The present chapter attempts to give an informal introduction--much
less formal than the standard itself--to those parts of SGML of which a
proper understanding is necessary to make best use of these Guidelines.
2.1   What's Special about SGML?
   There are three characteristics of SGML which distinguish it from
other markup languages:  its emphasis on descriptive rather than proce-
dural markup; its document type concept; and its independence of any one
system for representing the script in which a text is written.  These
three aspects are discussed briefly below, and then in more depth in
sections 2.3, "SGML Structures," and 2.7, "SGML Entities," on page 3.
2.1.1   Descriptive Markup
   A descriptive markup system uses markup codes which simply provide
names to categorize parts of a document.  Markup codes such as <para> or
\end{list} simply identify a portion of a document and assert of it that
"the following item is a paragraph," or "this is the end of the most
recently begun list," etc.  By contrast, a procedural markup system
defines what processing is to be carried out at particular points in a
document:  "call procedure PARA with parameters 1, b and x here" or
"move the left margin 2 quads left, move the right margin 2 quads right,
skip down one line, and go to the new left margin," etc.  In SGML, the
instructions needed to process a document for some particular purpose
(for example, to format it) are sharply distinguished from the descrip-
tive markup which occurs within the document.  Usually, they are col-
lected outside the document in separate procedures or programs.
   With descriptive instead of procedural markup the same document can
readily be processed by many different pieces of software, each of which
can apply different processing instructions to those parts of it which
are considered relevant.  For example, a content analysis program might
disregard entirely the footnotes embedded in an annotated text, while a
formatting program might extract and collect them all together for
printing at the end of each chapter. Different sorts of processing
instructions can be associated with the same parts of the file.  For
example, one program might extract names of persons and places from a
document to create an index or database, while another, operating on the
same text, might print names of persons and places in a distinctive
2.1.2   Types of Document
   Secondly, SGML introduces the notion of a document type, and hence a
document type definition (DTD).  Documents are regarded as having types,
just as other objects processed by computers do.  The type of a document
is formally defined by its constituent parts and their structure.  The
definition of a report, for example, might be that it consisted of a
title and possibly an author, followed by an abstract and a sequence of
one or more paragraphs.  Anything lacking a title, according to this
formal definition, would not formally be a report, and neither would a
sequence of paragraphs followed by an abstract, whatever other report-
like characteristics these might have for the human reader.
   If documents are of known types, a special purpose program (called a
parser) can be used to process a document claiming to be of a particular
type and check that all the elements required for that document type are
indeed present and correctly ordered.  More significantly, different
documents of the same type can be processed in a uniform way. Programs
can be written which take advantage of the knowledge encapsulated in the
document structure information, and which can thus behave in a more
intelligent fashion.
2.1.3   Data Independence
   A basic design goal of SGML was to ensure that documents encoded
according to its provisions should be transportable from one hardware
and software environment to another without loss of information.  The
two features discussed so far both address this requirement at an
abstract level; the third feature addresses it at the level of the
strings of bytes (characters) of which documents are composed.  SGML
provides a general purpose mechanism for string substitution, that is, a
simple machine-independent way of stating that a particular string of
characters in the document should be replaced by some other string when
the document is processed.  One obvious application for this mechanism
is to ensure consistency of nomenclature; another, more significant one,
is to counter the notorious inability of different computer systems to
understand each other's character sets, or of any one system to provide
all the graphic characters needed for a particular application, by pro-
viding descriptive mappings for non-portable characters.  The strings
defined by this string-substitution mechanism are called entities and
they are discussed below in section 2.7, "SGML Entities," on page 3.
2.2   Textual Structure
   A text is not an undifferentiated sequence of words, much less of
bytes. For different purposes, it may be divided into many different
units, of different types or sizes.  A prose text such as this one might
be divided into sections, chapters, paragraphs, and sentences.  A verse
text might be divided into cantos, stanzas, and lines.  Once printed,
sequences of prose and verse might be divided into volumes, gatherings,
and pages.
   Structural units of this kind are most often used to identify specif-
ic locations or reference points within a text ("the third sentence of
the second paragraph in chapter ten"; "canto 10, line 1234"; "page 412,"
etc.) but they may also be used to subdivide a text into meaningful
fragments for analytic purposes ("is the average sentence length of sec-
tion 2 different from that of section 5?"  "how many paragraphs separate
each occurrence of the word nature?" "how many pages?").  Other struc-
tural units are more clearly analytic, in that they characterize a sec-
tion of a text.  A dramatic text might regard each speech by a different
character as a unit of one kind, and stage directions or pieces of
action as units of another kind.  Such an analysis is less useful for
locating parts of the text ("the 93rd speech by Horatio in Act 2") than
for facilitating comparisons between the words used by one character and
those of another, or those used by the same character at different
points of the play.
   In a prose text one might similarly wish to regard as units of dif-
ferent types passages in direct or indirect speech, passages employing
different stylistic registers (narrative, polemic, commentary, argument,
etc.), passages of different authorship and so forth.  And for certain
types of analysis (most notably textual criticism) the physical appear-
ance of one particular printed or manuscript source may be of impor-
tance:  paradoxically, one may wish to use descriptive markup to
describe presentational features such as typeface, line breaks, use of
white space and so forth.
   These textual structures overlap with each other in complex and
unpredictable ways.  Particularly when dealing with texts as instantiat-
ed by paper technology, the reader needs to be aware of both the physi-
cal organization of the book and the logical structure of the work it
contains.  Many great works (Sterne's Tristram Shandy for example) can-
not be fully appreciated without an awareness of the interplay between
narrative units (such as chapters or paragraphs) and page divisions.
For many types of research, it is the interplay between different levels
of analysis which is crucial:  the extent to which syntactic structure
and narrative structure mesh, or fail to mesh, for example, or the
extent to which phonological structures reflect morphology.
2.3   SGML Structures
   This section describes the simple and consistent mechanism for the
markup or identification of structural textual units which is provided
by SGML.  It also describes the methods SGML provides for the expression
of rules defining how combinations of such units can meaningfully occur
in any text.
2.3.1   Elements
   The technical term used in the SGML standard for a textual unit,
viewed as a structural component, is element.  Different types of ele-
ments are given different names, but SGML provides no way of expressing
the meaning of a particular type of element, other than its relationship
to other element types.  That is, all one can say about an element
called (for instance) <blort> is that instances of it may (or may not)
occur within elements of type <farble>, and that it may (or may not) be
decomposed into elements of type <blortette>.  It should be stressed
that the SGML standard is entirely unconcerned with the semantics of
textual elements:  these are application dependent.(4)  It is up to the
creators of SGML conformant tag sets (such as these Guidelines) to
choose intelligible names for the elements they identify and to document
their proper use in text markup.  That is one purpose of this document.
From the need to choose element names indicative of function comes the
technical term for the name of an element type, which is generic identi-
fier, or GI.
   Within a marked up text (a document instance), each element must be
explicitly marked or tagged in some way.  The standard provides for a
variety of different ways of doing this, the most commonly used being to
insert a tag at the beginning of the element (a start-tag) and another
at its end (an end-tag).  The start- and end-tag pair are used to brack-
et off the element occurrences within the running text, in rather the
same way as different types of parentheses or quotation marks are used
in conventional punctuation.  For example, a quotation element in a text
might be tagged as follows:
         ...  Rosalind's remarks <quote>This is the silliest stuff
          that ere I heard of!</quote> clearly indicate ...
As this example shows, a start-tag takes the form <name>, where the
opening angle bracket indicates the start of the start-tag, "name" is
the generic identifier of the element which is being delimited, and the
closing angle bracket indicates the end of a tag.  An end-tag takes an
identical form, except that the opening angle bracket is followed by a
solidus (slash) character, so that the corresponding end-tag would be
2.3.2   Content Models:  An Example
   An element may be empty, that is, it may have no content at all, or
it may contain simple text.  More usually, however, elements of one type
will be embedded (contained entirely) within elements of a different
   To illustrate this, we will consider a very simple structural model.
Let us assume that we wish to identify within an anthology only poems,
their titles, and the stanzas and lines of which they are composed.  In
SGML terms, our document type is the anthology, and it consists of a
series of poems.  Each poem has embedded within it one element, a title,
and several occurrences of another, a stanza, each stanza having embed-
ded within it a number of line elements.  Fully marked up, a text con-
forming to this model might appear as follows:(6)
           <poem><title>The SICK ROSE</title>
                   <line>O Rose thou art sick.</line>
                   <line>The invisible worm,</line>
                   <line>That flies in the night</line>
                   <line>In the howling storm:</line>
                   <line>Has found out thy bed</line>
                   <line>Of crimson joy:</line>
                   <line>And his dark secret love</line>
                   <line>Does thy life destroy.</line>
                   <!-- more poems go here    -->
   It should be stressed that this example does not use the same names
as are proposed for corresponding elements elsewhere in these Guide-
lines: the above is not a valid TEI document.  It will however serve as
an introduction to the basic notions of SGML.  White space and line
breaks have been added to the example for the sake of visual clarity
only; they have no particular significance in the SGML encoding itself.
Also, the line
                   <!-- more poems go here    -->
is an SGML comment and is not treated as part of the text.
   This example makes no assumptions about the rules governing, for
example, whether or not a title can appear in places other than preced-
ing the first stanza, or whether lines can appear which are not included
in a stanza:  that is why its markup appears so verbose.  In such cases,
the beginning and end of every element must be explicitly marked,
because there are no identifiable rules about which elements can appear
where.  In practice, however, rules can usually be formulated to reduce
the need for so much tagging.  For example, considering our greatly
over-simplified model of a poem, we could state the following rules:
1.    An anthology contains a number of poems and nothing else.
2.    A poem always has a single title element which precedes the first
      stanza and contains no other elements.
3.    Apart from the title, a poem consists only of stanzas.
4.    Stanzas consist only of lines and every line is contained by a
5.    Nothing can follow a stanza except another stanza or the end of a
6.    Nothing can follow a line except another line or the start of a
      new stanza.
   From these rules, it may be inferred that we do not need to mark the
ends of stanzas or lines explicitly.  From rule 2 it follows that we do
not need to mark the end of the title--it is implied by the start of the
first stanza.  Similarly, from rules 3 and 1 it follows that we need not
mark the end of the poem:  since poems cannot occur within poems but
must occur within anthologies, the end of a poem is implied by the start
of the next poem, or by the end of the anthology.  Applying these sim-
plifications, we could mark up the same poem as follows:
              <poem><title>The SICK ROSE
                   <line>O Rose thou art sick.
                   <line>The invisible worm,
                   <line>That flies in the night
                   <line>In the howling storm:
                   <line>Has found out thy bed
                   <line>Of crimson joy:
                   <line>And his dark secret love
                   <line>Does thy life destroy.
                   <!-- more poems go here    -->
   The ability to use rules stating which elements can be nested within
others to simplify markup is a very important characteristic of SGML.
Before considering these rules further, you may wish to consider how
text marked up in the form above could be processed by a computer for
very many different purposes.  A simple indexing program could extract
only the relevant text elements in order to make a list of titles, or of
words used in the poem text; a simple formatting program could insert
blank lines between stanzas, perhaps indenting the first line of each,
or inserting a stanza number.  Different parts of each poem could be
typeset in different ways.  A more ambitious analytic program could
relate the use of punctuation marks to stanzaic and metrical divi-
sions.(7)  Scholars wishing to see the implications of changing the
stanza or line divisions chosen by the editor of this poem can do so
simply by altering the position of the tags.  And of course, the text as
presented above can be transported from one computer to another and pro-
cessed by any program (or person) capable of making sense of the tags
embedded within it with no need for the sort of transformations and
translations needed to move word processor files around.
2.4   Defining SGML Document Structures:  The DTD
   Rules such as those described above are the first stage in the cre-
ation of a formal specification for the structure of an SGML document,
or document type definition, usually abbreviated to DTD.  In creating a
DTD, the document designer may be as lax or as restrictive as the occa-
sion warrants.  A balance must be struck between the convenience of fol-
lowing simple rules and the complexity of handling real texts. This is
particularly the case when the rules being defined relate to texts which
already exist:  the designer may have only the haziest of notions as to
an ancient text's original purpose or meaning and hence find it very
difficult to specify consistent rules about its structure.  On the other
hand, where a new text is being prepared to an exact specification, for
example for entry into a textual database of some kind, the more pre-
cisely stated the rules, the better they can be enforced.  Even in the
case where an existing text is being marked up, it may be beneficial to
define a restrictive set of rules relating to one particular view or
hypothesis about the text--if only as a means of testing the usefulness
of that view or hypothesis.  It is important to remember that every doc-
ument type definition is an interpretation of a text.  There is no sin-
gle DTD which encompasses any kind of absolute truth about a text,
although it may be convenient to privilege some DTDs above others for
particular types of analysis.
   At present, SGML is most widely used in environments where uniformity
of document structure is a major desideratum.  In the production of
technical documentation, for example, it is of major importance that
sections and subsections should be properly nested, that cross referenc-
es should be properly resolved and so forth.  In such situations, docu-
ments are seen as raw material to match against pre-defined sets of
rules.  As discussed above, however, the use of simple rules can also
greatly simplify the task of tagging accurately elements of less rigidly
constrained texts.  By making these rules explicit, the scholar reduces
his or her own burdens in marking up and verifying the electronic text,
while also being forced to make explicit an interpretation of the struc-
ture and significant particularities of the text being encoded.
2.4.1   An Example DTD
   A DTD is expressed in SGML as a set of declarative statements, using
a simple syntax defined in the standard.  For our simple model of a
poem, the following declarations would be appropriate:
         <!ELEMENT anthology      - -  (poem+)>
         <!ELEMENT poem           - -  (title?, stanza+)>
         <!ELEMENT title          - O  (#PCDATA) >
         <!ELEMENT stanza         - O  (line+)   >
         <!ELEMENT line           O O  (#PCDATA) >
These five lines are examples of formal SGML element declarations.  A
declaration, like an element, is delimited by angle brackets; the first
character following the opening bracket must be an exclamation mark,
followed immediately by one of a small set of SGML-defined keywords,
specifying the kind of object being declared.  The five declarations
above are all of the same type:  each begins with an ELEMENT keyword,
indicating that it declares an element, in the technical sense defined
above.  Each consists of three parts:  a name or group of names, two
characters specifying minimization rules, and a content model. Each of
these parts is discussed further below.  Components of the declaration
are separated by white space, that is one or more blanks, tabs or new-
   The first part of each declaration above gives the generic identifier
of the element which is being declared, for example poem, title, etc.
It is possible to declare several elements in one statement, as dis-
cussed below.
2.4.2   Minimization Rules
   The second part of the declaration specifies what are called mini-
mization rules for the element concerned.  These rules determine whether
or not start- and end-tags must be present in every occurrence of the
element concerned.  They take the form of a pair of characters, separat-
ed by white space, the first of which relates to the start-tag, and the
second to the end-tag.  In either case, either a hyphen or a letter O
(for "omissible" or "optional") must be given; the hyphen indicating
that the tag must be present, and the letter O that it may be omitted.
Thus, in this example, every element except <line> must have a start-
tag.  Only the <poem> and <anthology> elements must have end-tags as
2.4.3   Content Model
   The third part of each declaration, enclosed in parentheses, is
called the content model of the element, because it specifies what ele-
ment occurrences may legitimately contain.  Contents are specified
either in terms of other elements or using special reserved words.
There are several such reserved words, of which by far the most commonly
encountered is #PCDATA, as in this example.  This is an abbreviation for
"parsed character data," and it means that the element being defined may
contain any valid character data.  If an SGML declaration is thought of
as a structure like a family tree, with a single ancestor at the top (in
our case, this would be <anthology>), then almost always, following the
branches of the tree downwards (for example, from <anthology> to <poem>
to <stanza> to <line> and <title>) will lead eventually to #PCDATA. In
our example, <title> and <line> are so defined. Since their content mod-
els say #PCDATA only and name no embedded elements, they may not contain
any embedded elements.
2.4.4   Occurrence Indicators
   The declaration for <stanza> in the example above states that a stan-
za consists of one or more lines.  It uses an occurrence indicator (the
plus sign) to indicate how many times the element named in its content
model may occur.  There are three occurrence indicators in the SGML syn-
tax, conventionally represented by the plus sign, the question mark, and
the asterisk or star.(8)  The plus sign means that there may be one or
more occurrences of the element concerned; the question mark means that
there may be at most one and possibly no occurrence; the star means that
the element concerned may either be absent or appear one or more times.
Thus, if the content model for <stanza> were (LINE*), stanzas with no
lines would be possible as well as those with more than one line.  If it
were (LINE?), again empty stanzas would be countenanced, but no stanza
could have more than a single line.  The declaration for <poem> in the
example above thus states that a <poem> cannot have more than one title,
but may have none, and that it must have at least one <stanza> and may
have several.
2.4.5   Group Connectors
   The content model (TITLE?, STANZA+) contains more than one component,
and thus needs additionally to specify the order in which these elements
(<title> and <stanza>) may appear.  This ordering is determined by the
group connector (the comma) used between its components.  There are
three possible group connectors, conventionally represented by comma,
vertical bar, and ampersand.(9)  The comma means that the components it
connects must both appear in the order specified by the content model.
The ampersand indicates that the components it connects must both appear
but may appear in any order.  The vertical bar indicates that only one
of the components it connects may appear.  If the comma in this example
were replaced by an ampersand, a title could appear either before the
stanzas of a <poem> or at the end (but not between stanzas).  If it were
replaced by a vertical bar, then a <poem> would consist of either a
title or just stanzas--but not both!
2.4.6   Model Groups
   In our example so far, the components of each content model have been
either single elements or #PCDATA.  It is quite permissible however to
define content models in which the components are lists of elements,
combined by group connectors.  Such lists, known as model groups, may
also be modified by occurrence indicators and themselves combined by
group connectors.  To demonstrate these facilities, let us now expand
our example to include non-stanzaic types of verse.  For the sake of
demonstration, we will categorize poems as one of stanzaic, couplets, or
blank (or stichic).  A blank-verse poem consists simply of lines (we
ignore the possibility of verse paragraphs for the moment)(10) so no
additional elements need be defined for it.  A couplet is defined as a
<line1> followed by a <line2>.
     <!ELEMENT couplet O O (line1, line2) >
   The elements <line1> and <line2> (which are distinguished to enable
studies of rhyme scheme, for example) have exactly the same content mod-
el as the existing <line> element.  They can therefore share the same
declaration.  In this situation, it is convenient to supply a name group
as the first component of a single element declaration, rather than give
a series of declarations differing only in the names used.  A name group
is a list of GIs connected by any group connector and enclosed in paren-
theses, as follows:
     <!ELEMENT (line | line1 | line2) O O (#PCDATA) >
The declaration for the <poem> element can now be changed to include all
three possibilities:
     <!ELEMENT poem - O (title?, (stanza+ | couplet+ | line+) ) >
That is, a poem consists of an optional title, followed by one or sever-
al stanzas, or one or several couplets, or one or several lines.  Note
the difference between this definition and the following:
     <!ELEMENT poem - O (title?, (stanza | couplet | line)+ ) >
The second version, by applying the occurrence indicator to the group
rather than to each element within it, would allow for a single poem to
contain a mixture of stanzas, couplets or blank verse.
   Quite complex models can easily be built up in this way, to match the
structural complexity of many types of text.  As a further example, con-
sider the case of stanzaic verse in which a refrain or chorus appears.
A refrain may be composed of repetitions of the line element, or it may
simply be text, not divided into verse lines.  A refrain can appear at
the start of a poem only, or as an optional addition following each
stanza.  This could be expressed by a content model such as the follow-
     <!ELEMENT refrain - - (#PCDATA | line+)>
     <!ELEMENT poem    - O (title?,
                           ( (line+)
                           | (refrain?, (stanza, refrain?)+ ) )) >
That is, a poem consists of an optional title, followed by either a
sequence of lines, or an un-named group, which starts with an optional
refrain, followed by one of more occurrences of another group, each mem-
ber of which is composed of a stanza followed by an optional refrain.  A
sequence such as refrain - stanza - stanza - refrain follows this pat-
tern, as does the sequence stanza - refrain - stanza - refrain.  The
sequence refrain - refrain - stanza - stanza does not, however, and nei-
ther does the sequence "stanza - refrain - refrain - stanza."  Among
other conditions made explicit by this content model are the require-
ments that at least one stanza must appear in a poem, if it is not com-
posed simply of lines, and that if there is both a title and a stanza
they must appear in that order.
2.5   Complicating the Issue:  More on Element Declarations
   In the simple cases described so far, it has been assumed that one
can identify the immediate constituents of every element defined in a
textual structure.  A poem consists of stanzas, and an anthology con-
sists of poems.  Stanzas do not float around unattached to poems or com-
bined into some other unrelated element; a poem cannot contain an
anthology.  All the elements of a given document type may be arranged
into a hierarchic structure, arranged like a family tree with a single
ancestor at the top and many children (mostly the elements containing
#PCDATA) at the bottom.  This gross simplification turns out to be sur-
prisingly effective for a large number of purposes.  It is not however
adequate for the full complexity of real textual structures.  In partic-
ular, it does not cater for the case of more or less freely floating
elements that can appear at almost any hierarchic level in the struc-
ture, and it does not cater for the case where different elements over-
lap or several different trees may be identified in the same document.
To deal with the first case, SGML provides the exception mechanism; to
deal with the second, SGML permits the definition of "concurrent" docu-
ment structures.
2.5.1   Exceptions to the Content Model
   In most documents, there will be some elements that can occur at any
level of its structure.  Annotations, for example, might be attached to
the whole of a poem, to a stanza, to a line of a stanza or to a single
word within it.  In a textual critical edition, the same might be true
of variant readings.  In this simple case, the complexity of adding an
annotation element as an optional component of every content model is
not particularly onerous; in a more realistically complex model perhaps
containing some ten or twenty levels such an approach can become much
more difficult.
   To cope with this, SGML allows for any content model to be further
modified by means of an exception list.  There are two types of excep-
tion:  inclusions, that is, additional elements that can be included at
any point in the model group or any of its constituent elements; and
exclusions, that is, elements that cannot be included within the current
   To extend our declarations further to allow for annotations and vari-
ant readings, which we will assume can appear anywhere within the text
of a poem, we first need to add declarations for these two elements:
     <!ELEMENT (note | variant) - - (#PCDATA)>
The note and variant elements must have both start- and end-tags, since
they can appear anywhere.  Rather than add them to the content model for
each type of poem, we can add them in the form of an inclusion list to
the poem element, which now reads:
     <!ELEMENT poem - O (title?, (stanza+ | couplet+ | line+) )
                                              +(note | variant) >
The plus sign at the start of the (NOTE | VARIANT) name list indicates
that this is an inclusion exception.  With this addition, notes or vari-
ants can appear at any point in the content of a poem element--even
those (such as <title>) for which we have defined a content model of
#PCDATA.  They can thus also appear within notes or variants!
   If we wanted for some reason to prevent notes or variants appearing
within titles, we could add an exclusion exception to the declaration
for <title> above:
     <!ELEMENT title  - O  (#PCDATA)  -(note | variant) >
The minus sign at the start of the (NOTE | VARIANT) name list indicates
that this is an exclusion exception.  With this addition, notes and var-
iants will be prohibited from appearing within titles, notwithstanding
their potential inclusion implied by the previous addition to the con-
tent model for <poem>.
   In the same way, we could prevent notes and variants from nesting
within notes and variants by modifying the definition above to read
     <!ELEMENT (note | variant) - - (#PCDATA)  -(note | variant) >
The meticulous reader will note that this precludes both variants within
notes and notes within variants.  Inclusion and exclusion exceptions
should be used with care as their ramifications may not be immediately
2.5.2   Concurrent Structures
   All the structures we have so far discussed have been simply hier-
archic:  that is, at every level of the tree, each node is entirely con-
tained by a parent node.  The figure below represents the structure of a
document conforming to the simple DTD we have so far defined as a tree
(drawn on its side through exigencies of space).  We have already seen
how Blake's poem can be divided into a title and two stanzas, each of
four lines.  In this diagram, we add a second poem, consisting of one
stanza and a title, to make up an instance of an anthology:
                              |              |----line1
                              |              |----line2
               |              |              |----line4
               |              |
               |              |              |----line5
               |              |----stanza2---|----line6
               |                             |----line7
               |                             |----line8
               |              |-------------------title
               |              |
               |              |              |----line1
               |              |              |----line2
   Clearly, there are many such trees that might be drawn to describe
the structure of this or other anthologies.  Some of them might be rep-
resentable as further subdivisions of this tree:  for example, we might
subdivide the lines into individual words, since no word crosses a line
boundary.  But equally clearly there are many other trees that might be
drawn which do not fit within this tree.  We might, for example, be
interested in syntactic structures -- which rarely respect the formal
boundaries of verse.  Or, to take a simpler example, we might want to
represent the pagination of different editions of the same text.
   One way of doing this would be to group the lines and titles of our
current model into pages.  A declaration for such an element is simple
     <!ELEMENT page - - ((title?, line+)+)   >
That is, a page consists of one or more unnamed groups, each of which
contains an optional title, followed by a sequence of lines.  (Note,
incidentally, that this model prohibits a title appearing on its own at
the foot of a page).  However, simply inserting the element <page> into
the hierarchy already defined is not as easy as it might seem.  Some
poems are longer than a single page, and other pages contain more than
one poem.  We cannot therefore insert the element <page> between
<anthology> and <poem> in the hierarchy, nor can it go between <poem>
and <stanza>, nor yet in both places at once!  What is needed is the
ability to create a separate hierarchy, with the same elements at the
bottom (the stanzas, lines and titles), but combined into a different
superstructure.  This is the ability which the CONCUR feature of SGML
   A separate document type definition must be created for each hier-
archic tree into which the text is to be structured.  The definition we
have so far built up for the anthology looks, in full, like this:
         <!DOCTYPE anthology [
         <!ELEMENT anthology      - -  (poem+)             >
         <!ELEMENT poem           - -  (title?, stanza+)   >
         <!ELEMENT stanza         - O  (line+)             >
         <!ELEMENT (title | line) - O  (#PCDATA)           >
As this example shows, the name of a document type must always be the
same as the name of the largest element in it, that is the element at
the top of the hierarchy.  The syntax used is discussed further below
(see section 2.9.2, "The DTD,").  Let us now add to this declaration a
second definition for a concurrent document type, which we will call a
paged anthology, or <p.anth> for short:
         <!DOCTYPE p.anth [
         <!ELEMENT p.anth         - -  (page+)               >
         <!ELEMENT page           - -  ((title?, line+)+)    >
         <!ELEMENT (title|line)   - O  (#PCDATA)             >
   We have now defined two different ways of looking at the same basic
text--the PCDATA components grouped by both these document type defini-
tions into lines or titles.  In one view, the lines are grouped into
stanzas and poems; in the other they are grouped into pages only.
Notice that it is exactly the same text which is visible in both views:
the two hierarchies simply allow us to arrange it in two different ways.
   To mark up the two views, it will be necessary to indicate which
hierarchy each element belongs to.  This is done by including the name
of the document type (the view) within parentheses immediately before
the identifier concerned, inside both start- and end-tags.  Thus, pages
(which are only visible in the <p.anth> document type) must be tagged
with a <(p.anth)page> tag at their start and a </(p.anth)page> at their
end. In the same way, as poems and stanzas appear only in the <antholo-
gy> document type, they must now be tagged using <(anthology)poem> and
<(anthology)stanza> tags respectively.  For the line and title elements,
however, which appear in both hierarchies, no document type specifica-
tion need be given:  any tag containing only a name is assumed to mark
an element present in every active document type.
   As a simple example, let us assume that Blake's poem appears in some
paged anthology, with the page break occurring half way through the
first stanza.  The poem might then be marked up as follows:
         <!--      other titles and lines on this page here -->
              <(anthology)poem><title>The SICK ROSE
                   <line>O Rose thou art sick.
                   <line>The invisible worm,
                   <line>That flies in the night
                   <line>In the howling storm:
                   <line>Has found out thy bed
                   <line>Of crimson joy:
                   <line>And his dark secret love
                   <line>Does thy life destroy.
         <!--      rest of material on this page here    -->
   It is now possible to select only the elements concerned with a par-
ticular view from the text, even though both are represented in the tag-
ging.  A processor concerned only with the pagination will see only
those elements whose tags include the P.ANTH specification, or which
have no specification at all.  A processor concerned only with the
ANTHOLOGY view of things will not see the page breaks.  And a processor
concerned to inter-relate the two views can do so unambiguously.
   A note of caution is appropriate:  CONCUR is an optional feature of
SGML, and not all available SGML software systems support it, while
those which do, do not always do so according to the letter of the stan-
dard.  For that reason, if for no other, wherever these Guidelines have
identified a potential application of CONCUR, they also invariably sug-
gest alternative methods as well.  For fuller discussion of these
issues, see chapter 31, "Multiple Hierarchies," on page 48.
   Note also that we cannot introduce a new element, a page number for
example, into the <p.anth> document type, since there is no existing
data in the <anthology> document type which could be fitted into it. One
way of adding that extra information is discussed in the next section.
2.6   Attributes
   In the SGML context, the word attribute, like some other words, has a
specific technical sense.  It is used to describe information which is
in some sense descriptive of a specific element occurrence but not
regarded as part of its content. For example, you might wish to add a
status attribute to occurrences of some elements in a document to indi-
cate their degree of reliability, or to add an identifier attribute so
that you could refer to particular element occurrences from elsewhere
within a document.  Attributes are useful in precisely such circumstan-
   Although different elements may have attributes with the same name,
(for example, in the TEI scheme, every element is defined as having an
id attribute), they are always regarded as different, and may have dif-
ferent values assigned to them.  If an element has been defined as hav-
ing attributes, the attribute values are supplied in the document
instance as attribute-value pairs inside the start-tag for the element
occurrence. An end-tag may not contain an attribute-value specification,
since it would be redundant.
   For example
     <poem id=P1 status="draft"> ... </poem>
The <poem> element has been defined as having two attributes:  id and
status. For the instance of a <poem> in this example, represented here
by an ellipsis, the id attribute has the value P1 and the status attri-
bute has the value draft. An SGML processor can use the values of the
attributes in any way it chooses; for example, a formatter might print a
poem element which has the status attribute set to draft in a different
way from one with the same attribute set to revised; another processor
might use the same attribute to determine whether or not poem elements
are to be processed at all.  The id attribute is a slightly special case
in that, by convention, it is always used to supply a unique value to
identify a particular element occurrence, which can be used for cross
reference purposes, as discussed further below.
   Like elements, attributes are declared in the SGML document type dec-
laration, using rather similar syntax.  As well as specifying its name
and the element to which it is to be attached, it is possible to specify
(within limits) what kind of value is acceptable for an attribute and a
default value.
   The following declarations could be used to define the two attributes
we have specified above for the <poem> element:
     <!ATTLIST poem
               id       ID                              #IMPLIED
               status   (draft | revised | published)   draft        >
   The declaration begins with the symbol ATTLIST, which introduces an
attribute list specification.  The first part of this specifies the ele-
ment (or elements) concerned.  In our example, attributes have been
declared only for the <poem> element.  If several elements share the
same attributes, they may all be defined in a single declaration; just
as with element declarations, several names may be given in a parenthes-
ized list.  Following this name (or list of names), is a series of rows,
one for each attribute being declared, each containing three parts.
These specify the name of the attribute, the type of value it takes, and
a default value respectively.
   Attribute names (id and status in this example) are subject to the
same restrictions as other names in SGML; they need not be unique across
the whole DTD, however, but only within the list of attributes for a
given element.
   The second part of an attribute specification can take one of two
forms, both illustrated above.  The first case uses one of a number of
special keywords to declare what kind of value an attribute may take.
In the example above, the special keyword ID is used to indicate that
the attribute ID will be used to supply a unique identifying value for
each poem instance (see further the discussion below).  Among other pos-
sible SGML keywords are
CDATA:  The attribute value may contain any valid character data; tags
  may be included in the value, but they will not be recognized by the
  SGML parser, and will not be processed as tags normally are
IDREF:  The attribute value must contain a pointer to some other element
  (see further the discussion of ID below)
NMTOKEN:  The attribute value is a name token, that is, (more or less)
  any string of alphanumeric characters
NUMBER:  The attribute value is composed only of numerals
   In the example above, a list of the possible values for the status
attribute has been supplied.  This means that a parser can check that no
<poem> is defined for which the status attribute does not have one of
draft, revised, or published as its value.  Alternatively, if the
declared value had been either CDATA or NAME, a parser would have
accepted almost any string of characters (status=awful or sta-
tus=12345678 if it had been a NMTOKEN; status="anything goes" or status
= "well, ALMOST anything" if it were CDATA).  Sometimes, of course, the
set of possible values cannot be pre-defined.  Where it can, as in this
case, it is generally better to do so.
   The last piece of each information in each attribute definition spec-
ifies how a parser should interpret the absence of the attribute con-
cerned.  This can be done by supplying one of the special keywords list-
ed below, or (as in this case) by supplying a specific value which is
then regarded as the value for every element which does not supply a
value for the attribute concerned.  Using the example above, if a poem
is simply tagged <poem>, the parser will treat it exactly as if it were
tagged <poem status=draft>.  Alternatively, one of the following key-
words may be used to specify a default value for an attribute:
#REQUIRED:  A value must be specified.
#IMPLIED:  A value need not be supplied (as in the case of ID above).
#CURRENT:  If no value is supplied in this element occurrence, the last
  specified value should be used.
   For example, if the attribute definition above were rewritten as
     <!ATTLIST poem
               id       ID                             #IMPLIED
               status   (draft | revised | published)  #CURRENT      >
then poems which appear in the anthology simply tagged <poem> would be
treated as if they had the same status as the preceding poem.  If the
keyword were #REQUIRED rather than #CURRENT, the parser would report
such poems as erroneously tagged, as it would if any value other than
draft, published, or revised were supplied.  The use of #CURRENT implies
that whatever value is specified for this attribute on the first poem
will apply to all subsequent poems, until altered by a new value.  Only
the status of the first poem need therefore be supplied, if all are the
   It is sometimes necessary to refer to an occurrence of one textual
element from within another, an obvious example being phrases such as
"see note 6" or "as discussed in chapter 5."  When a text is being pro-
duced the actual numbers associated with the notes or chapters may not
be certain.  If we are using descriptive markup, such things as page or
chapter numbers, being entirely matters of presentation, will not in any
case be present in the marked up text:  they will be assigned by what-
ever processor is operating on the text (and may indeed differ in dif-
ferent applications).  SGML therefore provides a special mechanism by
which any element occurrence may be given a special identifier, a kind
of label, which may be used to refer to it from anywhere  else within
the same text.  The cross-reference itself is regarded as an element
occurrence of a specific kind, which must also be declared in the DTD.
In each case, the identifying label (which may be arbitrary) is supplied
as the value of a special attribute.
   Suppose, for example, we wish to include a reference within the notes
on one poem that refers to another poem.  We will first need to provide
some way of attaching a label to each poem:  this is done by defining an
attribute for the <poem> element, as suggested above.
     <!ATTLIST poem
               id       ID     #IMPLIED >
   Here we define an attribute id, the value of which must be of type
ID.  It is not required that any attribute of type ID have the name id
as well; it is however a useful convention almost universally observed.
Note that not every poem need carry an id attribute and the parser may
safely ignore the lack of one in those which do not.  Only poems to
which we intend to refer need use this attribute; for each such poem we
should now include in its start-tag some unique identifier, for example:
              <POEM ID=Rose>
                   Text of poem with identifier 'ROSE'
              <POEM ID=P40>
                   Text of poem with identifier 'P40'
                   This poem has no identifier
   Next we need to define a new element for the cross reference itself.
This will not have any content--it is only a pointer--but it has an
attribute, the value of which will be the identifier of the element
pointed at.  This is achieved by the following declarations:
         <!ELEMENT poemref - O EMPTY                  >
         <!ATTLIST poemref     target IDREF #REQUIRED >
   The <poemref> element needs no end-tag because it has no content.  It
has a single attribute called target.  The value of this attribute must
be of type IDREF (the keyword used for cross reference pointers of this
type) and it must be supplied.
   With these declarations in force, we can now encode a reference to
the poem with id Rose as follows:
         Blake's poem on the sick rose <POEMREF TARGET=Rose> ...
   When an SGML parser encounters this empty element it will simply
check that an element exists with the identifier Rose.  Different SGML
processors could take any number of additional actions:  a formatter
might construct an exact page and line reference for the location of the
poem in the current document and insert it, or just quote the poem's
title or first lines.  A hypertext style processor might use this ele-
ment as a signal to activate a link to the poem being referred to.  The
purpose of the SGML markup is simply to indicate that a cross reference
exists:  it does not determine what the processor is to do with it.
2.7   SGML Entities
   The aspects of SGML discussed so far are all concerned with the mark-
up of structural elements within a document.  SGML also provides a sim-
ple and flexible method of encoding and naming arbitrary parts of the
actual content of a document in a portable way.  In SGML the word entity
has a special sense:  it means a named part of a marked up document,
irrespective of any structural considerations.  An entity might be a
string of characters or a whole file of text.  To include it in a docu-
ment, we use a construction known as an entity reference.  For example,
the following declaration
     <!ENTITY tei "Text Encoding Initiative">
defines an entity whose name is tei and whose value is the string "Text
Encoding Initiative."(11)  This is an instance of an entity declaration,
which declares an internal entity.  The following declaration, by con-
trast, declares a system entity:
     <!ENTITY ChapTwo SYSTEM "sgmlmkup.txt">
This defines a system entity whose name is ChapTwo and whose value is
the text associated with the system identifier -- in this case, the sys-
tem identifier is the name of an operating system file and the replace-
ment text of the entity is the contents of the file.
   Once an entity has been declared, it may be referenced anywhere with-
in a document.  This is done by supplying its name prefixed with the
ampersand character and followed by the semicolon.  The semicolon may be
omitted if the entity reference is followed by a space or record end.
   When an SGML parser encounters such an entity reference, it immedi-
ately substitutes the value declared for the entity name.  Thus, the
passage "The work of the &tei has only just begun" will be interpreted
by an SGML processor exactly as if it read "The work of the Text Encod-
ing Initiative has only just begun". In the case of a system entity, it
is, of course, the contents of the operating system file which are sub-
stituted, so that the passage "The following text has been suppressed:
&ChapTwo;" will be expanded to include the whole of whatever the system
finds in the file sgmlmkup.txt.(12)
   This obviously saves typing, and simplifies the task of maintaining
consistency in a set of documents.  If the printing of a complex docu-
ment is to be done at many sites, the document body itself might use an
entity reference, such as &site;, wherever the name of the site is
required.  Different entity declarations could then be added at differ-
ent sites to supply the appropriate string to be substituted for this
name, with no need to change the text of the document itself.
   This string substitution mechanism has many other applications.  It
can be used to circumvent the notorious inadequacies of many computer
systems for representing the full range of graphic characters needed for
the display of modern English (let alone the requirements of other mod-
ern scripts or of ancient languages).  So-called "special characters"
not directly accessible from the keyboard (or if accessible not correct-
ly translated when transmitted) may be represented by an entity refer-
   Suppose, for example, that we wish to encode the use of ligatures in
early printed texts.  The ligatured form of ct might be distinguished
from the non-ligatured form by encoding it as &ctlig; rather than ct.
Other special typographic features such as leafstops or rules could
equally well be represented by mnemonic entity references in the text.
When processing such texts, an entity declaration would be added giving
the desired representation for such textual elements.  If, for example,
ligatured letters are of no interest, we would simply add a declaration
such as
     <!ENTITY ctlig "ct" >
and the distinction present in the source document would be removed.
If, on the other hand, a formatting program capable of representing
ligatured characters is to be used, we might replace the entity declara-
tion to give whatever sequence of characters such a program requires as
the expansion.
   A list of entity declarations is known as an entity set.  Standard
entity sets are provided for use with most SGML processors, in which the
names used will normally be taken from the lists of such names published
as an annex to the SGML standard and elsewhere, as mentioned above.
   The replacement values given in an entity declaration are, of course,
highly system dependent.  If the characters to be used in them cannot be
typed in directly, SGML provides a mechanism to specify characters by
their numeric values, known as character references.  A character refer-
ence is distinguished from other characters in the replacement string by
the fact that it begins with a special symbol, conventionally the
sequence &#, and ends with the normal semicolon.  For example, if the
formatter to be used represents the ligatured form of ct by the charac-
ters c and t prefixed by the character with decimal value 102, the enti-
ty declaration would read:
     <!ENTITY ctlig "fct" >
Note that character references will generally not make sense if trans-
ferred to another hardware or software environment:  for this reason,
their use is only recommended in situations like this.
   Useful though the entity reference mechanism is for dealing with
occasional departures from the expected character set, no one would con-
sider using it to encode extended passages, such as quotations in Greek
or Russian in an English text.  In such situations, different mechanisms
are appropriate.  These are discussed elsewhere in these Guidelines (see
chapter 4, "Characters and Character Sets," on page 7).
   A special form of entities, parameter entities, may be used within
SGML markup declarations; these differ from the entities discussed above
(which technically are known as general entities) in two ways:
*   Parameter entities are used only within SGML markup declarations;
    with some special exceptions which will not be discussed here, they
    will normally not be found within the document itself.
*   Parameter entities are delimited by percent sign and semicolon,
    rather than by ampersand and semicolon.
Declarations for parameter entities take the same form as those for gen-
eral entities, but insert a percent sign between the keyword ENTITY and
the name of the entity itself.  White space (blanks, tabs, or line
breaks) must occur on both sides of the percent sign.  An internal
parameter entity named TEI.prose, with an expansion of INCLUDE, and an
external parameter entity named TEI.extensions.dtd, which refers to the
system file mystuff.dtd, could be declared thus:(13)
      <!ENTITY % TEI.prose 'INCLUDE'>
      <!ENTITY % TEI.extensions.dtd SYSTEM 'mystuff.dtd'>
   The TEI document type definition makes extensive use of parameter
entities to control the selection of different tag sets and to make it
easier to modify the TEI DTD.  Numerous examples of their use may thus
be found in chapter 3, "Structure of the TEI Document Type Definition."
2.8   Marked Sections
   It is occasionally convenient to mark some portion of a text for spe-
cial treatment by the SGML parser.  Certain portions of legal boilerp-
late, for example, might need to be included or omitted systematically,
depending on the state or country in which the document was intended to
be valid.  (Thus the statement "Liability is limited to $50,000." might
need to be included in Delaware, but excluded in Maryland.)  Technical
manuals for related products might share a great deal of information but
differ in some details; it might be convenient to maintain all the
information for the entire set of related products in a single document,
selecting at display or print time only those portions relevant to one
specific product.  (Thus, a discussion of how to change the oil in a car
might use the same text for most steps, but offer different advice on
removing the carburetor, depending on the specific engine model in ques-
   SGML provides the marked section construct to handle such practical
requirements of document production.  In general, as the examples above
are intended to suggest, it is more obviously useful in the production
of new texts than in the encoding of pre-existing texts.  Most users of
the TEI encoding scheme will never need to use marked sections, and may
wish to skip the remainder of this discussion.  The TEI DTD makes exten-
sive use of marked sections, however, and this section should be read
and understood carefully by anyone wishing to follow in detail the dis-
cussions in chapter 3, "Structure of the TEI Document Type Definition."
   The "special processing" offered for marked sections in SGML can be
of several types, each associated with one of the following keywords:
INCLUDE:  The marked section should be included in the document and pro-
  cessed normally.
IGNORE:  The marked section should be ignored entirely; if the SGML
  application program produces output from the document, the marked sec-
  tion will be excluded from the document.
CDATA:  The marked section may contain strings of characters which look
  like SGML tags or entity references, but which should not be recog-
  nized as such by the SGML parser.  (These Guidelines use such CDATA
  marked sections to enclose the examples of SGML tagging.)
RCDATA:  The marked section may contain strings of characters which look
  like SGML tags, but which should not be recognized as such by the SGML
  parser; entity references, on the other hand, may be present and
  should be recognized and expanded as normal.
TEMP:  The passage included in the marked section is a temporary part of
  the document; the marked section is used primarily to indicate its
  location, so that it can be removed or revised conveniently later.
   When a marked section occurs in the text, it is preceded by a marked-
section start string, which contains one or more keywords from the list
above; its end is marked by a marked-section close string.  The second
and last lines of the following example are the start and close of a
marked section to be ignored:
      In such cases, the bank will reimburse the customer for all losses.
      <![ IGNORE [
      Liability is limited to $50,000.
Of the marked section keywords, the most important for understanding the
TEI DTD are INCLUDE and IGNORE; these can be used to include and exclude
portions of a document -- or a DTD -- selectively, so as to adjust it to
relevant circumstances (e.g. to allow a user to select portions of the
DTD relevant to the document in question).
   The literal keywords INCLUDE and IGNORE, however, are not much use in
adjusting a DTD or a document to a user's requirements, however.  (To
change the text above to include the excluded sentence, for example, a
user would have to edit the text manually and change IGNORE to INCLUDE.
It might be thought just as easy to add and delete the sentence manual-
ly.)  But the keywords need not be given as literal values; they can be
represented by a parameter entity reference.  In a document with many
sentences which should be included only in Maryland, for example, each
such sentence can be included in a marked section whose keyword is rep-
resented by a reference to a parameter entity named Maryland.  The ear-
lier example would then be:
      In such cases, the bank will reimburse the customer for all losses.
      <![ %Maryland; [
      Liability is limited to $50,000.
When the entity Maryland is defined as IGNORE, the marked sections so
marked will all be excluded.  If the definition is changed to the fol-
lowing, the marked sections will be included in the document:
      <!ENTITY % Maryland 'INCLUDE'>
When parameter entities are used in this way to control marked sections
in a DTD, the external DTD file normally contains a default declaration.
If the user wishes to override the default (as by including the Maryland
sections), adding an appropriate declaration to the DTD subset suffices
to override the default.(14)
   The examples of parameter entity declarations at the end of the pre-
ceding section can now be better understood.  The declarations
      <!ENTITY % TEI.prose 'INCLUDE'>
      <!ENTITY % TEI.extensions.dtd SYSTEM 'mystuff.dtd'>
have the effect of including in the DTD all the sections marked as rele-
vant to prose, since in the external DTD files such sections are all
included in marked sections controlled by the parameter entity
TEI.prose.  They also override the default declaration of
TEI.extensions.dtd (which declares this entity as an empty string), so
as to include the file mystuff.dtd in the DTD.
2.9   Putting It All Together
   An SGML conformant document has a number of parts, not all of which
have been discussed in this chapter, and many of which the user of these
Guidelines may safely ignore.  For completeness, the following summary
of how the parts are inter-related may however be found useful.
   An SGML document consists of an SGML prolog and a document instance.
The prolog contains an SGML declaration (described below) and a document
type definition, which contains element and entity declarations such as
those described above.  Different software systems may provide different
ways of associating the document instance with the prolog; in some cas-
es, for example, the prolog may be "hard-wired" into the software used,
so that it is completely invisible to the user.
2.9.1   The SGML Declaration
   The SGML declaration specifies basic facts about the dialect of SGML
being used such as the character set, the codes used for SGML delimit-
ers, the length of identifiers, etc.  Its content for TEI-conformant
document types is discussed further in chapters 39, "Formal Grammar for
the TEI-Interchange-Format Subset of SGML," on page 77 and 28, "Confor-
mance," on page 47. Normally the SGML declaration will be held in the
form of compiled tables by the SGML processor and will thus be invisible
to the user.
2.9.2   The DTD
   The document type definition specifies the document type definition
against which the document instance is to be validated.  Like the SGML
declaration it may be held in the form of compiled tables within the
SGML processor, or associated with it in some way which is invisible to
the user, or requires only that the name of the document type be speci-
fied before the document is validated.
   At its simplest the document type definition consists simply of a
base document type definition (possibly also one or more concurrent doc-
ument type definitions) which is prefixed to the document instance.  For
     <!DOCTYPE my.dtd [
         <!-- all declarations for MY.DTD go here -->
         This is an instance of a MY.DTD type document
   More usually, the document type definition will be held in a separate
file and invoked by reference, as follows:
         <!DOCTYPE tei.2 system "tei2.dtd" [
              This is an instance of an unmodified TEI type document
Here, the text of the TEI.2 document type definition is not given
explicitly, but the SGML processor is told that it may be read from the
file with the system identifier given in quotation marks.  The square
brackets may still be supplied, as in this example, even though they
enclose nothing.
   The part enclosed by square brackets is known as the document type
declaration subset or "DTD subset".  Its purpose is to specify any modi-
fication to be made to the DTD being invoked, thus:
         <!DOCTYPE tei.2 SYSTEM "tei2.dtd" [
              <!ENTITY tla "Three Letter Acronym">
              <!ELEMENT my.tag - - (#PCDATA)>
              <!-- any other special-purpose declarations or
                   re-definitions go in here -->
              This is an instance of a modified TEI.2 type document,
              which may contain <my.tag>my special tags</my.tag> and
              references to my usual entities such as &tla;.
In this case, the document type definition in force includes first the
contents of the DTD subset, and then the contents of the file specified
after the keyword SYSTEM.  The order is important, because in SGML only
the first declaration of an entity counts.  In the above example, there-
fore, the declaration of the entity tla in the DTD subset would take
precedence over any declaration of the same entity in the file tei2.dtd.
It is perfectly legal SGML for entities to be declared twice; this is
the usual method for allowing user modification of SGML DTDs.  (Ele-
ments, by contrast, may not be declared more than once; if a declaration
for <my.tag> were contained in file tei.dtd, the SGML parser would sig-
nal an error.)  Combining and extending the TEI document type defini-
tions is discussed further in chapter 3, "Structure of the TEI Document
Type Definition."
2.9.3   The Document Instance
   The document instance is the content of the document itself.  It con-
tains only text, markup and general entity references, and thus may not
contain any new declarations.  A convenient way of building up large
documents in a modular fashion might be to use the DTD subset to declare
entities for the individual pieces or modules, thus:
         <!DOCTYPE tei.2 [
              <!ENTITY chap1 system "chap1.txt">
              <!ENTITY chap2 system "chap2.txt">
              <!ENTITY chap3 "-- not yet written --">
         <teiHeader> ... </teiHeader>
             <front> ... </front>
   In this example, the DTD contained in file tei2.dtd has been extended
by entity declarations for each chapter of the work.  The first two are
system entities referring to the file in which the text of particular
chapters is to be found; the third a dummy, indicating that the text
does not yet exist (alternatively, an entity with a null value could be
used).  In the document instance, the entity references &chap1; etc.
will be resolved by the parser to give the required contents.  The chap-
ter files themselves will not, of course, contain any element, attribute
list, or entity declarations--just tagged text.
2.10   Using SGML
   A variety of software is available to assist in the tasks of creat-
ing, validating and processing SGML documents.  Only a few basic types
can be described here. At the heart of most such software is an SGML
parser:  that is, a piece of software which can take a document type
definition and generate from it a software system capable of validating
any document invoking that DTD.  Output from a parser, at its simplest,
is just "yes" (the document instance is valid) or "no" (it is not).
Most parsers will however also produce a new version of the document
instance in canonical form (typically with all end-tags supplied and
entity references resolved) or formatted according to user specifica-
tions.  This form can then be used by other pieces of software (loosely
or tightly coupled with the parser) to provide additional functions,
such as structured editing, formatting and database management.
   A structured editor is a kind of intelligent word-processor.  It can
use information extracted from a processed DTD to prompt the user with
information about which elements are required at different points in a
document as the document is being created.  It can also greatly simplify
the task of preparing a document, for example by inserting tags automat-
   A formatter operates on a tagged document instance to produce a
printed form of it.  Many typographic distinctions, such as the use of
particular typefaces or sizes, are intimately related to structural dis-
tinctions, and formatters can thus usefully take advantage of descrip-
tive markup.  It is also possible to define the tagging structure
expected by a formatting program in SGML terms, as a concurrent document
   Text-oriented database management systems typically use inverted file
indexes to point into documents, or subdivisions of them.  A search can
be made for an occurrence of some word or word pattern within a document
or within a subdivision of one.  Meaningful subdivisions of input docu-
ments will of course be closely related to the subdivisions specified
using descriptive markup.  It is thus simple for textual database sys-
tems to take advantage of SGML-tagged documents.  Much research work is
also currently going into ways of extending the capabilities of existing
(non-text) database systems to take advantage of the structuring infor-
mation made explicit by SGML markup.
   Hypertext systems improve on other methods of handling text by sup-
porting associative links within and across documents.  Again, the basic
building block needed for such systems is also a basic building block of
SGML markup:  the ability to identify and to link together individual
document elements comes free as a part of the SGML way of doing things.
By tagging links explicitly, rather than using proprietary software,
developers of hypertexts can be sure that the resources they create will
continue to be useful.  To load an SGML document into a hypertext system
requires only a processor which can correctly interpret SGML tags such
as those discussed in chapter 14, "Linking, Segmentation, and Align-
ment," on page 26.
(3) International Organization for Standardization, ISO 8879:  Informa-
    tion processing--Text and office systems--Standard Generalized Mark-
    up Language (SGML), ([Geneva]:  ISO, 1986).
(4) Work is currently going on in the standards community to create
    (using SGML syntax) a definition of a standard "document style
    semantics and specification language" or DSSSL.
(5) The actual characters used for the delimiting characters (the angle
    brackets, exclamation mark and solidus) may be redefined, but it is
    conventional to use the characters used in this description.
(6) The example is taken from William Blake's Songs of innocence and
    experience (1794).  The markup is designed for illustrative purposes
    and is not TEI-conformant.
(7) Note that this simple example has not addressed the problem of mark-
    ing elements such as sentences explicitly; the implications of this
    are discussed below in section 2.5.2, "Concurrent Structures," on
    page 3.
(8) Like the delimiters, these are assigned formal names by the standard
    and may be redefined with an appropriate SGML declaration.
(9) What are here called "group connectors" are referred to by the SGML
    standard simply as "connectors"; the longer term is preferred here
    to stress the fact that these connectors are used only in SGML model
    groups and name groups.  Like the delimiters and the occurrence
    indicators, group connectors are assigned formal names by the stan-
    dard and may be redefined with an appropriate SGML declaration.
(10) It will not have escaped the astute reader that the fact that verse
     paragraphs need not start on a line boundary seriously complicates
     the issue; see further section 2.5.2, "Concurrent Structures," on
     page 3.
(11) By convention case is significant in entity names, unlike element
(12) Strictly speaking, SGML does not require system entities to be
     files; they can in principle be any data source available to the
     SGML processor:  files, results of database queries, results of
     calls to system functions -- anything at all.  It is simpler, how-
     ever, when first learning SGML, to think of system entities as
     referring to files, and this discussion therefore ignores the other
     possibilities.  All existing SGML processors do support the use of
     system entities to refer to files; fewer support the other possible
     uses of system entities.
(13) Such entity declarations might be used in extending the TEI base
     tag set for prose using the declarations found in mystuff.dtd.
(14) This is so because the declarations in the DTD subset are read
     before those in the external DTD file, and the first declaration of
     a given entity is the one which counts.  This was described briefly
     in section 2.7, "SGML Entities."