Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about HyTime (hytime.faq.ascii)

(The remainder of) This letter contains information about SGML,
HyTime, and related matters.  It is intended to help you find the
information you are looking for.  We send this letter to people like
yourself who inquire about various matters.  This letter does not
discuss TechnoTeacher products and services and it is not trying to
sell you anything.  At your request we will gladly send you
information about our International HyTime Workshop series (which is
the best way to learn HyTime available today) and our HyMinder
SGML/HyTime engine technology, a unique all-in-one SGML and HyTime
services library of C++ classes.

Best regards,

       Steven R. Newcomb | TechnoTeacher, Inc.
  direct +1 716 389 0964 | (courier: 3800 Monroe Avenue, 
    main +1 716 389 0961 |  Pittsford, NY 14534-1330 USA)
     fax +1 716 389 0960 | P.O. Box 23795
Internet: | Rochester, New York 14692-3795 USA

                    HyTime, SGML, etc.

``HyTime'' is the nickname of the ISO/IEC International Standard
10744:1992, whose long name is ``Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring
Language.''  It provides a worldwide standard technical framework for
integrated open hypermedia, including the ``SMDL'' Standard Music
Description Language (ISO/IEC Committee Draft 10743).

There is as yet only one authoritative reference work on HyTime:
the HyTime standard itself.  Copies of the standard can be obtained
from your nation's standards organization.  In the United States, this
is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 13th Floor, 11
West 42nd Street, New York, New York 10036-8002 USA (tel: +1 212 642
4900, fax: +1 212 398 0023, Cable: Standards, New York, International
Telex: 42 42 96 ANSI UI, D-U-N-S 07-329-4837.  Last we heard, the ANSI
price of the 10744 standard was $98.

Introductory articles about HyTime can be found in the November 1991
issue of _Communications of the ACM_, and in the July 1991 issue of
_IEEE Computer_.  These articles are slightly inaccurate in some
details; they were written prior to HyTime's final version as adopted
the following year.  A two-part article focusing on HyTime's
contributions to multimedia interchange will appear in the Summer and
Fall 1995 issues of _IEEE Multimedia_.

One book about HyTime has appeared: _Making Hypermedia Work_, by Steven
DeRose and David Durand, published by Wolters Kluwer.  This book is
well regarded in some respects, but its many technical errors and its
tendency to confound addressing with linking make it unreliable as a
reference work on the subject of HyTime.  We are told that the authors
have a new edition in the works that will appear shortly.

Another book is in press at this writing: _Practical Hypermedia_, by
Eliot Kimber, published by Simon & Schuster.  We have seen drafts of
this book and we like what we have seen.  It is likely to be reliable,
since it appears in a series edited by Charles Goldfarb, who chaired
the HyTime committee.

A third book is available freely via anonymous FTP on the Internet.
_A HyTime Application Development Guide_, written by Ralph Ferris of
Fujitsu Open Systems Solutions, Inc. and edited by Victoria Taussig
Newcomb of TechnoTeacher, Inc., can be retrieved as printable
PostScript files from TechnoTeacher's FTP site,, in the
directory pub/HyTime/Application_Development_Guide.

Courses, workshops, and conferences on HyTime (and SGML, see below),
as well as on other topics of interest to the information industry,
are presented by the Graphic Communications Association (GCA).  For
more information, please contact the GCA at 100 Daingerfield Road, 4th
Floor, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2228 (tel: +1 703 519 8160, fax: +1
703 548 2867, Telex: 510-600-0899, Internet:
Among its many other SGML-related services and activities, the GCA
publishes a directory of commercially available SGML tools, software,
and services.

The Second International Conference on the Application of HyTime will
be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, during August 16-17,
1995.  For information on attending the conference, please contact the
GCA at the address given in the preceding paragraph.  Paper abstracts
and presentation proposals should be submitted to Steven R. Newcomb,
Conference Chair, 2nd International Conference on the Application of
HyTime, c/o TechnoTeacher, Inc, P.O. Box 23795, Rochester, New York
14692-3795 USA, tel. +1 716 389 0961, fax +1 716 389 0960, internet  The conference will be preceded by Eliot Kimber's
two-day HyTime course, and other GCA-sponsored experiences will also
be available.

HyTime is currently undergoing an ISO ``corrigendum'' process.  This
process is expected to unify and harmonize the HyTime and DSSSL
(Document Style and Semantic Specification Language, ISO/IEC DIS
10179) standards, and to standardize the means whereby information
architectures -- classes of SGML document type definitions (of which
HyTime itself is the leading example) -- can be specified.

``SGML'' is the nickname of the ISO/IEC International Standard
8879:1986, whose long name is ``Standard Generalized Markup
Language.''  SGML, which forms the basis of a number of standards
including HyTime, allows all kinds of information to be interchanged
among dissimilar information processing systems.  In effect, HyTime
extends SGML by providing a set of ``SGML architectural forms,'' whose
syntax and semantics are standardized by HyTime, and which allows
system-independent expression of hyperlinks, information addresses,
placement of information objects in time and space, etc.

The standard, authoritative reference work on SGML is Charles Goldfarb's
_The SGML Handbook_, published by Oxford University Press.  We
highly recommend this book, which contains the verbatim text of the
ISO 8879 standard itself, along with considerable explanatory text.

The ``SGML Users' Group'' is an international body which performs a
number of important functions in promulgating the understanding and
use of SGML, including sponsoring conferences and special interest
groups, publishing public domain information, etc.  To join the SGML
Users' Group, contact Stephen G.  Downie, Secretary, SGML Users'
Group, c/o SoftQuad Inc., 56 Aberfoyle Cres., Suite 810, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada M8X 2W4 (tel: +1 416 239 4801, fax: +1 416 239 7105).
Other questions, concerns, and issues should be brought to the
attention of Ms. Pamela L. Gennusa, President, International SGML
Users Group, c/o Database Publishing Systems Ltd., 608 Delta Business
Park, Great Western Way, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 7XF, United Kingdom
(tel: +44 793 512 515, fax: +44 793 512 516, Internet:

``SGML SIGhyper'' is the nickname of the SGML Users' Group's ``Special
Interest Group on Hypertext and Multimedia,'' which is the HyTime SIG.
For more information about SGML SIGhyper, please contact Mr. Erik
Naggum, Chairman, SGML SIGhyper, Naggum Software, Irisveien 12, POB
1570 Vika, 0118 Oslo, Norway (tel: +47 2295 0313, fax: +47 2216 2350,
Internet:  SGML SIGhyper maintains an FTP site, as
part of its mission to promulgate information about HyTime.  The FTP
site is in the directory ``pub/sgml/SIGhyper.''  This 
site is sponsored by the Department of Informatics at the University 
of Oslo, Norway.
At this site can be found, among other things:

*    Free SGML parsers for a variety of platforms.  These
     parsers are unsupported, and they do not support all of the
     features of SGML, but they really do work and they are quite
*    An excellent bibliography of SGML source materials, created
     and maintained by Robin Cover.
*    A catalog of HyTime architectural forms (i.e., the HyTime
     meta-DTD, which constitutes the formal description of HyTime
*    Other items of interest.
Another FTP site,, focusing on SGML, HyTime, and related
topics, has just begun operations.  Check it out.

``comp.text.sgml'' is a Usenet discussion group for anyone who is
serious about SGML or HyTime.  If you can not receive this news group
in the usual way, you can request to have it forwarded to your e-mail
address daily, for a fee.  Please send such requests to the Internet
address ``''  (To contribute articles
to comp.text.sgml, you can send them to
``'')  Copies of the comp.text.sgml
archives can be recovered by anonymous FTP from

<TAG>, published monthly, is the only regular source of information
for the SGML industry: articles, reviews, product news, tutorials,
standards updates, user group information, case studies, and useful
technical tips and information.  <TAG> is designed to be an objective
voice of the SGML community; it accepts no advertising and encourages
frank and open debate on the issues faced by the information
publisher.  Please contact SGML Associates at +1 303 680 0875, fax: +1
303 680 4906, or Internet:

``CApH'' is the nickname of the GCA Research Institute's (GCA-RI)
``Conventions for the Application of HyTime'' activity.  This is an
open industrial design committee whose purpose is to develop and
publish advisory documents showing how HyTime can be used in
particular contexts to do represent particular things, such as indexes
based on knowledge bases, licensing information, tabular data, etc.
etc.  For more information about CApH, contact the GCA at the address
given above.

Another fascinating HyTime application is the US Department of
Defense's ``Metafile for Interactive Documents (MID)'' initiative,
intended to allow all databases of technical information for weapons
systems to be ``plug-compatible'' (as it were) with all Interactive
Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) delivery systems.  A report about
this work dated November 1994 is available via anonymous FTP from in the pub/ietm/mid directory.  This directory is
also accessible from the NAVY DTD/FOSI Repository via the Wide World
Web via (Point of Contact for the NAVY
DTD/FOSI Repository is Betty Harvey, CDNSWC Code 183, Bethesda, MD
20084-5000 or via email:  .)

The ``Davenport Group'' is a group of Unix system vendors and vendors
of related hardware, software, and services whose purposes include the
creation of SGML-based conventions for representing online software
documentation.  Some public participation is permitted.  For more
information, please contact Dale Dougherty, c/o O'Reilly & Associates,
Inc., 103A Morris Street, Sebastopol, California 95472 USA (tel: +1
707 829 0515 or +1 800 998 9938 (home office: +1 707 829 3762 or +1
707 829 3762), fax: +1 707 829 0104, Internet: or Ralph
Ferris, c/o Fujitsu Open Systems Solutions, Inc., 6121 Hollis Street,
Emeryville, California 94608-2092 USA (tel: +1 510 652 6200 x421, fax
+1 510 652 5532, Internet:

``SGML Open'' ``is a non-profit, international consortium of providers
of products and services, dedicated to accelerating the further
adoption, application and implementation of SGML, the international
standard for open interchange of documents and structured information
objects.  SGML Open provides its members with an open forum to discuss
market needs and directions, and to recommend guidelines for product
interoperability.  The consortium receives, coordinates and
disseminates information describing SGML methodologies, technologies,
and implementations.''  For more information, contact Mary Laplante,
Executive Director, SGML Open, 218 Parliament Drive, Corapolis,
Pennsylvania 15108 USA.

Some Implementations of HyTime:

``HyMinder,'' an SGML/HyTime engine.  (TechnoTeacher, Inc., P. O. Box
23795 Rochester, New York 14692-3795 USA.

``HyOctane,'' a HyTime engine.  (Interactive Media Group, Center for
Productivity Enhancement, University of Massachusetts--Lowell, One
University Avenue, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854 USA.

``ObjectSGML,'' a HyTime/SGML parser. (Information Technology Research
Center, Yuan-Ze Institute of Technology, 135 Far East Road, Neiti,
Taoyuan, TAIWAN R.O.C.

``SoftQuad Explorer,'' a HyTime document editor/browser.  (SoftQuad
Inc., 56 Aberfoyle Crescent, Suite 810, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M8X
2W4, +1 416 239 4801, fax +1 416 239 7105,, Applelink:

Some HyTime consultants and other HyTime-related service providers:

Atlis Consulting Group
6011 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, Maryland 20852 USA
+1 301 816 4276; main: +1 301 770 3000
fax +1 301 468 6758

High Text S.A.R.L.
5, rue d'Alsace
75010 Paris FRANCE
+33 1 4205 9315
fax +33 1 4205 9248

Martin Hensel Corporation
233 Needham Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02164 USA
+1 617 527 3230
fax +1 617 527 1929

Charles F. Goldfarb
Information Management Consulting
13075 Paramount Drive
Saratoga, California 95070 USA
+1 408 867 5553

Passage Systems Inc.
9971 Quail Boulevard
Suite 903
Austin, Texas 78758 USA
+1 512 339 1400
fax +1 512 339 3618

TechnoTeacher, Inc.
(courier: 3800 Monroe Avenue, Pittsford, NY 14534-1330 USA)
P.O. Box 23795
Rochester, New York 14692-3795 USA
+1 716 389 0961
fax +1 716 389 0960

Best regards,

       Steven R. Newcomb | TechnoTeacher, Inc.
  direct +1 716 389 0964 | (courier: 3800 Monroe Avenue, 
    main +1 716 389 0961 |  Pittsford, NY 14534-1330 USA)
     fax +1 716 389 0960 | P.O. Box 23795
Internet: | Rochester, New York 14692-3795 USA